FEBRUARY 07: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks on stage at The 2017 MAKERS Conference
To earn a Masters degree in Business Administration, you have to take many classes with highly esteemed professors who lecture you on problem-solving, management skills, hard work, and more. But thanks to the internet, you can watch highly esteemed professionals lecturing you on those same topics for much, much less money. Sure, it’s not a real MBA, but it’s a good place to start.
Lean back, open up your laptop, and put on your listening ears: we’ve outlined the eight best TED Talks to improve your business skills.
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But if you’re seriously considering getting your MBA, you should probably also do that, too.
1. Grit: Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth
Duckworth coined the term “grit,” which constitutes a dedication to hard work and a commitment to achieving success with passion and perseverance — a quality she believes to be more important than IQ when determining one’s future success.
2. How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek
An expert on leadership, Sinek discusses the “Golden Circle” and its importance in the approach of great leaders of the past. Sinek discusses Martin Luther King, Jr. (as well as others) and describes what makes one a good leader: it’s not how you do what you do, but why you choose to do it.
3. Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses “power posing,” or standing in a way that exudes confidence through one’s body language. She describes how power posing can make you feel confident even when you were not feeling confident to begin with — and how it can increase your chances of professional success.
Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, discusses gender inequality at the executive level and offers advice on how women can achieve equality in the workplace. Sandberg tells women to treat themselves fairly, to be real partners to their husbands or wives, and to continue to persevere rather than quit.
5. The Puzzle of Motivation by Dan Pink
Pink is a career analyst who will change your way of thinking when it comes to motivation. Social scientists are telling us that traditional rewards systems in companies are not effective, but managers are not listening. Listen as Pink attempts to end things-based motivation.
6. The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Anchor
Psychologist Shawn Anchor argues against the belief that we need to work hard in order to be happy. Instead, he suggests we need to first be happy in order to work hard. He argues that happiness allows us to be more productive, and in turn, more successful.
7. The Power of Believing that You Can Improve by Carol Dweck
Dweck, an author and professor of psychology, discusses “growth mindset” — the idea that our brains can grow and learn to solve problems. Dweck wants others to focus not on the belief that they may not be smart enough to solve a problem. Instead, they should consider that they just haven’t found a way to solve it… yet.
8. 8 Secrets of Success by Richard St. John
This short-but-sweet TED Talk by St. John details his research on successful people like Bill Gates and Goldie Hawn. Were they simply smart? Did they just get lucky? St. John says neither. His eight secrets include passion, focus, persistence and more.
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits, and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards, and career advice.
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