3 TED Talks Every CRE Professional Should Watch

by Kaitlan Whitteberry on August 14, 2015

It’s easy to get confined by our own biases and internal thoughts, and every so often it’s a good idea to have our ideas challenged, preferably by people much more intelligent than ourselves. TED Talks is the perfect place to expand your mind and challenge the way you think. The brightest people of our generation share their ideas with us, and help expand our often limited view of the world. Although these talks don’t specifically apply to just commercial real estate, they dive deep into the world of work, leadership and where our priorities as business leaders should be today and tomorrow. 

Simon Sinek | Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

What makes you feel safe? Your job? Your house? A childhood blanket? There is something about “surrounding” ourselves with comfortable people and even things that truly make us feel secure. Often leaders forget this, and tend to scare their followers to ignite motivation and to gain respect, not understanding the power of making people feel safe. This is exactly the opposite of what Sinek says is effective. Employees need to feel safe and secure in their job, or they will never perform at the level they are truly capable of.

His talk dives into why we respect great leaders, and how they earn our respect. It might not be what you think, not their C-Suite title or the Maserati they park in their reserved spot. It is how they treat people and the sacrifices they make for the betterment of the team. Sinek understands what great leaders understand,

“It’s better that we should all suffer a little than any of us should have to suffer a lot.”

Sinek’s story outlines the challenges leaders must voluntarily take on to keep their team feeling safe. In order for the workplace hierarchy to succeed, some sacrifices have to be made. The main takeaway? “Leaders eat last”, which is also the title of Sinek’s book which you can learn more about here.

Jason Fried | Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

Jason Fried makes a compelling argument against offices, and while he’s at it, meetings and managers. All of that sounds like it could jut be coming from a grumbled employee, he has a very valid point. He explains that employees come to a structured gathering place to accomplish their assigned tasks, also known as the traditional office. However, by the end of the day, sometimes they haven’t ever reached those tasks. Why is that? Fried believes it’s those darn offices, meetings and managers. In today’s hyper-controlled offices, some workers simply are too interrupted or distracted or hyper-managed to get work done.

“Businesses are spending all this money on this place called the office, and they’re making people go to it all the time, yet people don’t do work in the office.”

In all seriousness, he means to point out that not all workers are the same, and the way they work isn’t all the same either. They’re individuals, who may work best in a secluded space, or in an open environment. Fried wants those in positions of power to understand that allowing flexibility and giving employees options in how they want to complete their work benefits everyone. He believes just hours of uninterrupted time is the greatest gift of productivity you could ever give. Trusting your employees to manage their own time shouldn’t be something that happens every once and a while, it should be a staple in your office’s management structure.

Rainer Strack | The Workforce Crisis of 2030: How To Solve It Now

Every office has a financial plan. A budget, set in stone that dictates most moves and decisions in the office until the next financial quarter. Certainly your workplace has a financial plan, but does your office have a workforce plan? Who are you going to hire in the coming months, and more importantly, how are you going to keep them? Strack believes that this question is more important than your institution’s finances, because the workforce demand is going to change rapidly.

“Workforce planning will become more important than financial planning.”

This change will be starting when his generation, the Baby Boomers, begin to retire, there will be a dramatic increase in job demand just as the amount of available workers drops. Our search for qualified labor just might extend beyond our borders, which isn’t entirely out of the question considering how global our lives really are.

Attracting and retaining top talent is going to become one of your main goals within the next 15 years, and you’re going to be competing for these individuals with many other countries as well as companies. Is your company ready? It’s up to companies to “realize an appreciation and relationship culture”, one where employees feel valued and wanted. This change is absolutely imperative to the success of your company, because if you don’t have a workforce, you don’t have a business.

Want more TED Talks? Take a look at our 3 Ted Talks Every Facilities Manager Should Watch blog post for even more inspiring content. 


Kaitlan Whitteberry

Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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