From Entrepreneur, Jason Demers offers 9 lessons that he’s taken from TedX talk. He likes and summarizes many of my favorite talks including:
1. People buy a ‘why,’ not a ‘what.’
In one particularly fascinating TEDx presentation, author and consultant Simon Sinek talked about how great leaders inspire action in their teams. To do this, he covered many different areas; but the most significant takeaway, I felt, was the fact that when people buy into something—whether that be a basic product purchase or a team leader’s vision — they buy into a “why,” not a “what.”
In other words, they buy into an abstract idea, and a way of distinguishing themselves. One of Sinek’s best examples was Apple’s branding, which encourages consumers to “think different” and be independent by buying a computer. They aren’t buying a computer for the computer itself; they’re buying a computer for the idea behind it.
2. Vulnerability is what makes us human.
Brené Brown’s talk explored another side of how to reach people — through vulnerability. Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, advised that vulnerability is the expression or admission of thoughts and emotions you wouldn’t otherwise reveal. Society may pressure us, in various ways, to restrain our most powerful and deepest feelings, but if you really want to connect with someone, and get in touch with your humanity on a basic level, you need to find the courage to show that vulnerability.
This is important on both a personal and professional level, as transparency and empathy can help organizations thrive — just as these life skills can do with friendships and other basic relationships.
3. Happiness makes us productive, and can come only from inside.
Okay, part of this should be obvious: A happier worker is a more productive worker, and Shawn Achor, who terms himself a “happiness researcher,” made this fact evident.
Thus, if you want to be more productive in your work, you have to strive to be happier, Achor said. But, for many of us, this presents a conundrum, as we’re actively working for happiness, striving for more money, a higher position or a better lifestyle. But, happiness, Achor argued, can only come from within: All those extraneous factors you think will make you happy (money, security, fame, etc.) account only for a predictability factor of about 10 percent.
I recommend the 2011 documentary Happy; it explores what makes people happy around the world, and it’s quite compelling.
4. Relationships determine our success and satisfaction.
Speaking of happiness, psychiatrist Dr. Robert Waldinger presented some results and takeaways from the longest study on happiness ever conducted. He found some of the same conclusions that Achor did and noted in his talk that many of the “conventional” routes to happiness don’t always make people happy.
Instead, he said, he found that the single biggest indicator of happiness is the quality of our relationships with those around us. My big takeaway? Never neglect your family or friends in the pursuit of money or power
Read the full story at 9 Things I Learned From TEDx Presentations