Five TED Talks Every Firefighter Should Watch

The TED2014  Conference: The Next Chapter just finished up this week in Vancouver, Canada. It was the conference’s 30th anniversary.

TED Talks are devoted to spreading ideas, and it’s done through short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less) delivered by just about anyone from world leaders to previously unknown school teachers. TED topics include a variety of talks from science to art to leadership to understanding social and global issues. The Talks will make you think and give you a deeper understanding of our world and the roles we play in it.

As firefighters, our mental-ability is just as important as our physical-ability. We must understand why we’re here, how we think, and what we really do that makes a difference. We need thinking leaders at every level.

Here are 5 TED Talks every firefighter should watch:

With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)
“The key to inspiring a large group? Getting that single first follower.”

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …

An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming talk, Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.

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.

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

What are your favorite TED Talks?