The Best TED Talks By B-School Professors

4) Columbia University’s Simon Sinek: “HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE ACTION”


Is this information new? 3

Like Smith, Sinek rearranges familiar concepts. Unlike Smith, Sinek’s rearrangement gives us hope that we actually won’t fail to have a great career as long as we listen to what he says.

Is the presentation engaging? 5

Along with being a strategic communications professor at Columbia, Sinek is a motivational speaker. It shows: he says things like, “Why do you get out of bed in the morning, and why should anyone care?” without skipping a beat.

Is this spicier than a class presentation? 4

This talk is much easier to digest than the average lecture, though the comparison isn’t fair — it isn’t nearly as dense. Sinek tells stories instead of referencing research, and he explains his ideas by drawing as he talks. He also adds a little kick to his message with this phrase: “[Martin Luther King] gave an ‘I have a dream’ speech, not an ‘I have a plan’ speech. Listen to politicians now with their 12-point plans. They’re not inspiring anybody.”

Does it leave viewers with practical takeaways? 3

Sinek doesn’t provide viewers with steps so much as new ways of looking at the purpose of a business. Whether you accept them depends on your world view. I drank the Kool-Aid; you might just roll your eyes.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.