10 Talks HR Leaders Should Watch

10 Talks HR Leaders Should Watch

Like many of you, we love to be inspired by people who are experts in their field. We love to learn from those who are on the cutting edge of innovation. We love to dream big, broaden our perspectives, and redefine what’s possible.
After countless hours watching some of the world’s best thought-leaders speak on leadership, team building, company culture, and more, we narrowed in on 10 talks that we think all HR leaders (and any business leader) should watch. These 10 presentations share wonderful ideas, unite common threads, and offer interesting (and sometimes deviating perspectives) on how to lead.
We hope you enjoy!

Talk #1: Three ways to create a work culture that brings out the best in employees.

Chris White — University of Michigan, Center for Positive Organizations

In this presentation, Chris shares 3 critical ways to create a work culture that brings out the best in employees. The talk focuses on the need to unblock communication, become responsive, and aim higher. He also gives practical examples of how you can apply these principles into your workplace.

Talk #2: Leaders who coach are creating better workplaces, and so can you.

Saba Imru-Mathieu — Executive Coach, Business Owner

Saba is a dynamic leader who centers her message around ways to create a better workplace. She suggests that to accomplish this leaders must focus on coaching. Coaching is different from management. It’s not simply telling people what to do, but it involves mentoring people, building people, and helping them unlock their potential. Saba argues that with a coaching mindset, you can completely change the culture of your company, and even the direction of people’s lives.

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Talk #3: Stop Managing, Start Leading

Hamza Khan — Best-selling author, speaker

Hamza is an emerging leader who claims that he’s a “horrible boss.” Of course, he explains that he’s a horrible boss because he’s not willing to micromanage other people’s time, and he encourages you to avoid it as well. In his talk, he states that organizations need management, but people don’t like to be managed. So what can we do about these conflicting interests? Hamza argues for a new style of leadership that focuses on productivity and results, rather than the simple appearance of busyness. Millennials want roles where they’re given a level of autonomy, can have creative freedom, and are given opportunities for growth and mentorship.

Talk #4: Putting the human back into human resources.

Mary Schaefer - HR Expert, Author, Business Owner

Mary gets right to the point and tells things how it is. She loves people and wants to shine a light on the human-aspect of business. Appreciation, belonging, and basic human kindness can go such a long way for our co-workers. Everyone deserves to have someone else believe in them. Everyone deserves to have their worth honored at work. When we see and treat people as what they can become, rather than as they are, we will often be surprised by what they can accomplish.

Talk #5: Start with why — how great leaders inspire action.

Simon Sinek - Author, Thought-leader

This talk by Simon Sinek has been viewed over 6,000,000 times and is an essential listen for aspiring leaders everywhere. Starting with why is a critical part to any project or endeavor, no matter the size. During this presentation, Simon will walk you through the pattern that great companies and leaders use to produce amazing results. He explains why some people are able to inspire, while many others cannot.

Talk #6: Why the best hire might not have the perfect resume.

Regina Hartley - VP of HR at UPS

Regina has years of experience running HR teams, hiring talent, and thinking about building great organizations. In this presentation, Regina makes an argument for the underdog. Too often we are quick to judge job applicants on the most obviously impressive portions of a resume (like graduation from a top-notch university) rather than the least obvious, but often more important stories that may not even appear in writing. She juxtaposes “silver spoon” and “scrapper” job candidates who may look the same in some ways, but vary greatly in others. Regina encourages HR leaders to rethink the way they evaluate job candidates.

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Talk #7: Extreme Ownership

A decorated retired Navy SEAL, Jocko powerfully teaches leadership lessons learned from years of military experience. He recounts stories that highlight the intensity of the battlefield and explains the importance of owning your responsibilities in the most extreme way. Jocko’s message can apply in many areas of business and can inspire the next generation of great leadership.

Talk #8: The surprising truth in how to be a great leader

Julia Milner - Professor of Leadership

Julia is a leadership expert. She works with leaders to help them understand how to coach rather than how to manage. She teaches us that motivational micromanaging is a common mistake that leaders use when they give advice. Leaders often feel like they need to be an expert in everything, when really they just need expertise in helping colleagues figure things out on their own. Julia’s simple, clear teaching style throughout the presentation makes the message easy to understand, and inspires the viewer to act.

Talk #9: What do all great leaders have have in common

Matt Beeton - Business Owner, Author

Matt has been serving in leadership roles for over 20 years. He has vast experience at various companies, and he’s learned from some of the best teachers. His message focuses on the common threads of leadership and the basic principles that can turn ordinary people into visionary leaders. Matt argues that in order to lead, you first need to work on yourself. Through self-reflection, self-regulation, and understanding self-perception, you’ll be prepared to improve yourself and then improve your organization.

Talk #10: Why We Need Introverted Leaders

Angela Hucles - Olympic Gold Medalist, President of the Women’s Sports Foundation

Through years of experience in sports and business, Angela has learned that organizations need multiple forms of leadership. The vast majority of leaders in today’s world are extroverts, but about half of the population self-identifies as introverted. Getting more introverts into leadership positions creates balance for organizations that result in positive outcomes. Introverted leaders exude quiet confidence. They do not need to be loud, or pretend they are something they are not. Introverted leaders draw on strength from the inside-out, not the other way around. Introverted leaders can provide perspective and insight that differs from extroverted counterparts.
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