When executed well, inspirational, educational, and motivational lectures and lessons are extremely powerful. Why? Because they express what we know, recognize, feel, believe, think, accept, imagine, hope, fear, desire, acknowledge, and/or have experienced as a life truth. They help us to understand that we are not alone and offer the hope we all need to plow through life's challenges to achieve our dreams.
Today I gathered some of my favorite videos in the hope that you will find just the inspiration you need to accomplish your next great thing. Enjoy!
Storyteller/researcher Brene Brown studies human connection: our ability to empathize, belong, and love. This is a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston where she shares deep insights about vulnerability--something every entrepreneur needs to master--and her personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.
My favorite quote: "There is only one variable between people who really have a sense of worthiness, love, and belonging and the folks who struggle for it. Those people who have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging."
Writer and lecturer Susan Cain offers powerful insights on the expectations placed on introverts in a culture that prizes social and outgoing personalities. You'll be pleasantly surprised with her research and discoveries that demonstrate the talent and abilities brought to this world by introverted people.
My favorite quote: "When psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people, what they find is that they are very good at advancing and exchanging ideas, but they also have a serious streak of introversion in them. This is because solitude is a crucial ingredient to creativity."
This little clip by Coca-Cola is a playful break to boost your confidence in mankind. It will also help to shape your perspective on how you market your brand. Notice that this promotion has little to do with the Coca-Cola brand and everything to do with touching and stimulating your emotions.
If you offer incentives and other traditional rewards for performance, you're doing it all wrong. Notable author and ex-chief speechwriter at the White House, Dan Pink, examines the puzzle of motivation and makes a case for rethinking how we run our businesses. He offers a thought-provoking idea for a new operating system for businesses that revolves around three principles: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
My favorite quote: "So many of our businesses don't work. It's not a feeling, it's not a philosophy, this is a fact. Incentives dull thinking and block creativity."
Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" With examples including Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers, Sinek will inspire you to connect with the "why" behind what you do.
My favorite quote: "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares a very emotional, inspirational life story in this video. You'll see evidence that body language affects how others see us and may also change how we see ourselves. Fascinating research shows how "power poses" can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
My favorite quote: "Don't fake it until you make it, fake it till you become it."
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has placed himself in difficult, even dangerous positions to examine societal issues in a way that make them interesting and entertaining. Here he dives into the hidden, but influential world of brand marketing on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored, too. By whom, and for how much? He'll tell you.)
My favorite quote: "When you train your employees to be risk-averse, you're preparing your whole company to be reward-challenged."
When was the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe will convince you that refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day will impact your entire life. Meditation will help you gain a different perspective.
My favorite quote: "We spend more time taking care of our clothes and cars than we do our minds."
Leadership is lonely. No matter how big your team, sometimes it's just you--which means you sometimes need to look inside yourself for motivation and inspiration.
Or you can find personal inspiration from someone who has been there, done that...and done it well.
Here are some of my favorite leadership quotes. Tweet them, share them, but most important, use them to help you become an even better leader than you already are.
"To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." Eleanor Roosevelt
"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." William Arthur Ward
"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse." Adlai E. Stevenson II
"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." Robert Louis Stevenson
"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." Ronald Reagan
"Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men--the other 999 follow women."Groucho Marx
"Don't waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you're the boss. Or they won't. Who cares? Do your thing, and don't care if they like it." Tina Fey
"Power isn't control at all--power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own." Beth Revis
"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." George S. Patton Jr.
"I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men." Lao Tzu
"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan. John F. Kennedy
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." Peter F. Drucker
"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." Woodrow Wilson
"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." Albert Schweitzer
"Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them." John C. Maxwell
"The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones." Brandon Sanderson
"Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another." John C. Maxwell
"You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." Steve Jobs
"A leader... is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind." Nelson Mandela
"Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off." Colin Powell
"Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas."Margaret Thatcher
"A leader is a dealer in hope." Napoleon
"The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."Theodore Roosevelt
"I don't see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have answers." Tupac Shakur
"If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see." Henry David Thoreau
"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself." Robert E. Lee
"The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership." Colin Powell
"Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: 'I stand for consensus?' " Margaret Thatcher
"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." Rosalynn Carter
"There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust." Klaus Balkenhol
"You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." Nancy D. Solomon
"In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are." Max De Pree
"We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark." Whoopi Goldberg
"A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own." Beth Revis
"Always remember, Son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle, or horses, or men; the least government is the best government."Ralph Moody
"If you really want the key to success, start by doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing." Brad Szollose
"Give as few orders as possible," his father had told him once long ago. "Once you've given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject." Frank Herbert (from Dune)
"The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes." Tony Blair
"Wisdom equals knowledge plus courage. You have to not only know what to do and when to do it, but you have to also be brave enough to follow through." Jarod Kintz
"In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it." Seth Godin
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." Patrick Lencioni
"No guts, no story." Chris Brady
"Leadership is an action, not a position." Donald McGannon
"Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way" Ronald Reagan
"I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: try to please everybody." Herbert Bayard Swope
"Show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of man you are." Thomas John Carlisle
"The challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly." Jim Rohn
"A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason." J.P. Morgan
"If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything." Tom Rath
"Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." Orrin Woodward
"Don't blow off another's candle for it won't make yours shine brighter." Jaachynma N.E. Agu
"Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision." Peter F. Drucker
"When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow." Jerry Porras
"A good leader leads the people from above them. A great leader leads the people from within them." M.D. Arnold
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." Father Theodore M. Hesburgh
"It is absolutely necessary...for me to have persons that can think for me, as well as execute orders." George Washington
"When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter." Winston Churchill
"A leader takes people where they would never go on their own." Hans Finzel
"You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." Ken Kesey
"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." Max Lucado
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position. Brian Tracy
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. Ralph Nader
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
"My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better." Steve Jobs
People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. John Maxwell
To have long-term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way. Pat Riley
A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. John Maxwell
A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.George Patton
Earn your leadership every day. Michael Jordan
Success at the highest level comes down to one question: "Can you make the choice that your happiness can come from someone else's success?" No one has qualities like courage, vision, charisma, adaptability, and decisiveness in equal measure. But every great leader does make the same decision--and so can you. Jeff Haden (sorry, couldn't resist)
Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business.