By: Kara Williams
“How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he proposes a new approach to marketing and what convinces people to buy into an idea: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Consumers don’t want you to tell them what they need. People want to feel inspired. They want to have a window into your inspirations and motivations. Appealing to these deeper thoughts will persuade much more effectively than any competitive advantage you could offer.
Our marketing team resonates with this idea. We all know why we love TED. Our job is to convince you to love it too.
This year, the marketing team’s efforts will start with the leadership of co-directors Kevin Schmidt and Heidi Hoffman.
Marketing Co-Director Kevin Schmidt
Kevin Schmidt has been in the Marketing Director position for two years now, and he said he is excited to continue in this position. “Every year is a new experience with a new theme, new speakers and new team members,” he said.
Kevin is passionate about the TED brand overall, so when the opportunity to be involved with an IU branch of TEDx arose, he jumped at the chance. TEDxIndianaUniversity is an organization that allows other students who want to facilitate the spread of ideas and creation of intelligent conversation. “It allows students at IU to take part in crafting an event that the entire world gets to see once it goes online,” he said. “Not many other student groups on campus have that kind of outreach.”
Throughout his experience with TEDxIndianaUniversity, Kevin’s style of leadership has evolved. “I learned there’s an art and balance to delegating work and trusting in my teammates to get that work done while I do my own,” he said.
Because of this, Kevin has encouraged the marketing team to be more independent and self-motivated. This approach allows members of the team to embrace their roles more thoroughly and to pursue positions that they are truly passionate about. “It allows for each person involved to put a part of themselves into the event,” he said.
Marketing Co-Director Heidi Hoffman
Heidi Hoffman will work alongside Kevin as a Marketing Co-Director this year. She previously worked as the Marketing Event Coordinator and the Campus Media Coordinator for TEDx.
Heidi has been involved with the TEDxIndianaUniversity organization since its founding three years ago. “I joined TEDx, first of all, because I love TED Talks, but also the spreading of ideas, the promoting constant learning and the open-mindedness were things that struck a chord with me,” she said.
Although Heidi is studying abroad in Spain this semester, she has already embraced her new leadership role. She has been keeping up with the marketing efforts and checking up on team members remotely for now. “Everyday leadership means making an effort to get to know all members and stepping up to the plate when given the opportunity,” she said. “Personal connections and a positive attitude are important.”
Don’t forget to attend our last public salon event of the year! The event will be held at 8 p.m. April 27 at Global and International Studies Room 1100. Join us for TED Talks and conversation about space exploration.