This isn't your father's business advice. These talks -- from a philosopher, a general, a cognitive psychologist -- offer unconventional, and uncommonly useful, advice on leading, working, creating and living better. Here are their 11 talks.Curated by TED
1. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
2. Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
3. Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work
Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. In his talk, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.
4. Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off
Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.
5. Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success
Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.
6. Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work
Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity -- and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers -- and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.
8. Richard St. John: "Success is a continuous journey"
In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail.
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.
10. David Logan: Tribal leadership
David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form -- in schools, workplaces, even the driver's license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.
11. Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead
Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning -- and addressing the possibility of failure.