The 17 Most Inspirational Videos to Inspire Better Leadership
The internet is filled with content on how to be a good leader. Leadership comes in many forms, some more surprising than others. Great leadership is about inspiration and motivation at its core. And sometimes, even great leaders can use a little inspiration of their own! When looking for a little #MotivationalMonday or simply trying to find some new perspective for an upcoming project, just shifting through the thousands of inspirational videos or leadership videos available online can be a monumental task.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’ve cut through the noise to create this collection of the most inspirational videos that can help you re-center your leadership strategy or inspire your teams!
1. How Great Leaders Inspire Action with Simon Sinek
If you only watch one inspirational video on our list, this is the one you NEED to see. Sinek’s “Golden Circle” is a simple, brilliant concept everyone needs to take to heart, no matter what your position is within an organization. If you can master it, you’re well above many others in your industry already.
2. The Art of Managing Emotion with Daniel Goleman
Sometimes, getting ahead in business means stepping outside the box. That’s why this talk from Daniel Goleman, a leading psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence, is such a gem. The better you understand emotional intelligence, the more you can improve your team’s productivity and motivation. (learn more about the book Emotional Intelligence in the post 11 Books Every Great Leader Should Read)
3. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us with Daniel Pink
Taking concepts from his bestselling book Drive, Daniel Pink breaks down some of the most core conceptions of motivation. Most of us believe that money and wealth is the greatest motivator for every situation. The complicated truth of this notion might surprise you – and change how you approach motivation in your own life. (learn more about the book Drive in the post 11 Books Every Great Leader Should Read)
4. Dare to Disagree with Margaret Hefferman
You won’t get much done in an echo chamber, as Hefferman states in no uncertain terms. Learn how challenging the status quo can lead to changing things for the better in business, science, and in life. It’s certainly food for thought.
5. The Essence of Leadership with Colin Powell
It doesn’t get much better for leadership videos than advice from a four-star general in the United States Army who just happens to be a former Chief of Staff for the President of the United States. Answering a question from the press, Powell gives an amazing, succinct answer to one of the biggest questions out there – what makes a good leader?
6. The Power of Positivity with National Geographic
At first glance, this may not seem like an inspirational video, but don’t be fooled by the title. The key to motivation can be as simple as how you use reinforcement to help – or hinder – your team’s productivity. In this fun social experiment, the NatGeo team shows how positive reinforcement plays out in the real world.
7. It’s How You Act, Not Your Position with Pat Cormier
If you don’t have time to sit down and listen to a full lecture, we’ve added several shorter videos to our list. This short snippet from John Kotter and Pat Cormier discusses how the role we take – no matter what our actual job title may be – shapes our role (and potential career growth) in a company.
8. What Makes a Great Team? with Charles Duhigg
If you’re leading others, the first hurdle you’ll often face is the team itself. You have to build a functional team to get the best work from each person. But how do you do that? What matters most – the people on the team or how they interact? And which of those interactions help or hinder the most? Looking at the writer’s room at SNL and Google’s research on the subject, Duhigg shares the perfect storm for an excellent team.
9. How to Manage for Collective Creativity with Linda Hall
While we’re on the topic of teamwork, here’s a great TED talk from Linda Hall on how to nurture creativity from all your employees, not just those in the expected positions to do so. Innovation is key to success and you never know where – or with whom – lightning might strike next.
10. Be a Mr. Jensen with Clint Pulver
If you’re struggling to motivate a younger workforce (or anyone for that matter), we recommend checking out this inspirational video from Clint Pulver – the Millennial Speaker – as he shares a story about leadership and perspective. It only takes one great leader to change someone’s life.
11. How to Start a Movement with Derek Sivers
In this short, entertaining TED talk, Sivers uses an unusual dancing man as a lesson in how to become a leader and how movements are created. This video might employ plenty of humor to go along with the lesson – but it’s still sure to give you a new perspective on making waves.
12. How to Be a Leader with Simon Sinek
Leadership is a choice. That’s the central point of this video from Simon Sinek. But what does it mean to choose leadership? And how do you make that choice? Thoughtful and filled with practical advice, How to Be a Leader is a must for any aspiring manager.
13. Steve Jobs Talks About Managing People
Apple’s success took the world by storm. In this short interview snippet, Steve Jobs discusses how Apple manages people from the top-down, focusing on trust and teamwork at all levels. The take-away from this one? Run a business on ideas, not hierarchy.
14. Speak Like a Leader with Simon Lancaster
If there’s a big presentation in your future – or even if you want to boost your public speaking skills – you just might benefit from learning a few secrets from this professional speechwriter. If you want to be heard, you must learn how to talk like other great leaders.
15. Transformational Leadership | Be Unreasonable with Simerjeet Singh
Another short clip that’s sure to motivate your inner leader. While it certainly sounds unconventional, Singh’s exploration of the George Bernard Shaw’s advice to “Be Unreasonable” illuminates how transformational leaders thrive – and even depend – on their own “unreasonable” drives.
16. The Key to Success? Grit with Angela Lee Duckworth
There’s more to success than your ability to manage a few spreadsheets or hanging a diploma on your wall. It takes hard work and determination to get where you want to be (and to stay there). While talent may get you the job, Angela Lee Duckworth succinctly points out “effort counts twice.”
17. Everyday Leader with Drew Dudley
There are no rules for being a leader. Likewise, there is no specific time or place when you should be practicing leadership. In this uplifting talk, Drew Dudley teaches us all that leadership can be a part of our every day life.
Bonus Inspirational Video: Funniest Leadership Speech Ever!
Leadership comes from the most unconventional places. Just in case you needed a little humor with your motivational moments, we hope you’ll enjoy this video to end our list.
RECAP: 17 Best Videos to Inspire Great Leadership
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek
- The Art of Managing Emotion – Daniel Goleman
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink
- Dare to Disagree – Margaret Hefferman
- The Essence of Leadership – Colin Powell
- The Power of Positivity – National Geographic
- It’s How You Act, Not Your Position – Pat Cormier
- What Makes a Great Team? – Charles Duhigg
- How to Manage for Collective Creativity – Linda Hall
- Be a Mr. Jensen – Clint Pulver
- How to Start a Movement – Derek Sivers
- How to Be a Leader – Simon Sinek
- Steve Jobs Talks About Managing People – Steve Jobs
- Speak Like a Leader – Simon Lancaster
- Transformational Leadership | Be Unreasonable – Simerjeet Singh
- The Key to Success? Grit – Angela Lee Duckworth
- Everyday Leader – Drew Dudley
- Bonus: Funniest Leadership Speech Ever!
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