Is this truly a leadership topic?


Didier Marlier

May 23, 2019

From Disruption to Engagement

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When Saul Bekin, a Brazilian consultant and business mentor, shared a TED speech titled “Sleep is your superpower”, and commenting it with “Unmissable”, I confess that my first thought was “Thank you for confirming that LinkedIn increasingly seems like Facebook nowadays!”. But, knowing of Saul’s other quality publications, I thought: “Why don’t you try to understand why someone like him values this speech?”

And here I am, sharing it with you! Why a TED talk about sleep on this blog dedicated to Leadership in the Disruption Economy? Once you will have watched it, you will better understand how sleep (and its deprivation) profoundly affects our capacity to behave, reflect, analyse, thing, remember, learn and… lead.

Of course, I know and experience some of this, regularly in my 7/7 18/24 working weeks and days or when the pathetic TAP (Europe’s worse airline) is unable/unwilling to provide you with a hotel room after canceling your late-night flight as they just did. In MBTI terms, ENTPs and ENFPs (I am ENFP) are the most sensitive to sleep deprivation. It means that, after a short night or when jet-lagged, I am acutely aware that my reactions may be inappropriate and I try to keep them under control (not always successfully).

But what sleep scientist Matt Walker explains on this TED video, goes way beyond those arch-known implications. I thank Saul to have shared this clip as I believe (although I fail to be rigorous enough about it), that keeping a balanced body and spirit is also part of what makes great leaders. I sincerely hope you will watch this and not react as I first did to Saul’s post!

Enjoy your Leadership Journey!


  1. Ivo Knottnerus

    Hi Didier,

    Great article and Ted talk. I completely understand the value of sleep and feel immediately when I don’t get my required 8 hours. I was amazed what sleep deprivation does to the brain and body.

    Re Jeff Bezos, I didn’t quite get the link? Is he known for taking sleep as a priority?

    Take care.


    • Didier Marlier

      Thank you dear Ivo…
      My mistake! Jeff Bezos, claims he needs 10 hours sleep/night to be at his best and isn’t repentant about it…
      Have a wonderful week


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