Inspiration

As lifelong learners, we are always looking for thoughts and concepts that inspire us to dig deeper and expand our awareness. Here are some presentations that have grabbed our attention that we hope will inspire you as well. None of them is longer than 22 minutes and each is accessible with a click. We post new presentations monthly, and keep previous entries in our archive for your convenience. 

So, when you get a chance, have a listen. We hope you will be entertained, educated and come away with a new nugget of inspiration. Please share with us any inspiring presentations you've found that we can post here as well.


SIMON SINEK,  HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE ACTION

Fascinated by the leaders who make an impact in the world, companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Simon Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate.

An ethnographer by training, Sinek is an adjunct of the RAND Corporation. He writes and comments regularly for major publications and teaches graduate-level strategic communications at Columbia University.

In this video, Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership -- starting with the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers .

Length of talk: 17 min 56 sec


BRENÉ BROWN,  THE POWER OF VULNERABILITY

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness.

She poses the questions: How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

Length of talk: 20 min 19 sec


ricardo semler, how to run a company with (ALMOST) no rules

What if your job didn't control your life? Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler practices a radical form of corporate democracy, rethinking everything from board meetings to how workers report their vacation days (they don't have to). It's a vision that rewards the wisdom of workers, promotes work-life balance — and leads to some deep insight on what work, and life, is really all about. 

 After assuming control of Semler & Company (Semco) from his father in 1980, Brazil's Ricardo Semler began a decades-long quest to create an organization that could function without him, by studying and then implementing what could best be called "corporate democracy", allowing employees to design their own jobs, select their supervisors, and define pay levels. He has then applied the same principles to education, banking and hospitality. All with very good results. 

He's now promoting the idea of designing organizations -- companies, schools, NGOs -- for wisdom. With a question as a starting point: If we were to start from scratch, would we design organization X the way we have done it?

Length of talk: 21 min 43 sec