Jan 24, 2021 | Leadership

How did your leadership team handle 2020? Did they cope with the COVID-19 crisis with agility? Did they prioritize your organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy? Were they empathetic with the WFH challenges faced by their team members? Since 2006, TED has provided accessible content on topics that can help leaders address current challenges. Here are six TED Talks and interviews from 2020 worth sharing and discussing with your leadership team this year. 

1. How symbols and brands shape our humanity byDebbie Millman

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Here’s an excerpt: The discipline of branding has transformed more in the last 10 years than it has in the last 10,000. For the first time in modern history, the most popular, influential brands are not brands being pushed down by the corporation. They are brands being pushed up by the people, for the people, for the sole purpose of changing the world and making it a better place. Our greatest innovations aren’t brands providing a different form or a different flavor of our favorite snack. Our greatest innovations are the creation of brands that can make a difference in our lives and reflect the kind of world that we want to live in. 

2. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Here’s what to do next by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Here’s an excerpt: I think sometimes our emotions about our emotions become a bigger problem, so if you’re feeling frightened and anxious, and then you’re layering shame on top of that because you feel like you should be handling it better, or you should be doing your isolation better, or you should be creating more while you’re alone, or you should be serving the world in some better way, now you’ve just multiplied the suffering, right? So I think that the antidote for that, first of all, is just a really warm, loving dose of compassion and mercy towards yourself, because if you’re in anxiety, you’re a person who is suffering right now, and that deserves a show of mercy. 

3. How to foster true diversity and inclusion at work (and in your community) by Rosalind G. Brewer

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What it’s about: I think we have spent more time trying to reach numbers than we have changing our environment. People want to feel safe, feel they can come to work and be their whole be their whole self, and give it everything they’ve got. They want their differences to be recognized and appreciated for the value that they can add to the conversation and, ultimately, the bottom line. So I think there’s so much opportunity in the inclusion space, because we focus too much on meeting metrics. 

4. To save the climate, we have to reimagine capitalism by Rebecca Henderson

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What it’s about: “Business is screwed if we don’t fix climate change,” says economist Rebecca Henderson. In this bold talk, Henderson describes how unchecked capitalism destabilizes the environment and harms human health — and makes the case for companies to step up and help fix the climate crisis they’re causing. Hear what a reimagined capitalism, in which companies pay for the climate damage they cause, could look like.

5. How reverse mentorship can create better leaders by Patrice Gordon

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What it’s about: Employee diversity and inclusive leadership are goals for most organizations today, but how do we get there? Try a “reverse mentorship” program, which sets up junior team members to guide senior staff. Here are 6 tips to make reverse mentorship work, from executive coach and personal development advocate Patrice Gordon.

6. Why rumors about vaccines spread and how to rebuild trust by Heidi Larson

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What it’s about: Anthropologist Heidi Larson explores how medical rumors originate, spread and fuel resistance to vaccines worldwide. While vaccines cannot escape the “political and social turbulence” that surrounds them, she says, the first step to stopping the spread of disease is to talk to people, listen and build trust.

Bottom line. To lead effectively today, you need to constantly test your assumptions and recalibrate outdated thinking. Help your leadership team build a library of resources that challenge perceptions and build new leadership models to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

Question: What resources do you use to stimulate new ideas with your leadership team?

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!

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