Today we dispatched the April edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most captivating leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s edition: why you should laugh more at work, learn to think small, keep it simple, make strategy practical, and more. As always, we’re sharing the articles from our newsletter here in case you’re not subscribed to our mailing list. If you like what you see, you can sign up to receive our newsletter here.
“Laughing together is something that improves team collaboration and stimulates innovation” find scientists in this heartening BBC post. In particular, laughter occurs during face-to-face interactions, which studies show are more essential to productive workplaces than digital communication like email. Laughter can help build relationships, spark creativity, and foster solidarity. Read the full post here.
**For more on creating productive teams, read our post on the 3 things the best teams have.
To create momentum in organizations, many leaders believe you have to “think big.” But how do you accomplish the grand vision that comes with “thinking big?” By thinking small. To really create momentum, says Julie Winkle Giulioni in this interesting SmartBrief post, it’s best to set smaller, manageable goals, celebrate wins along the way, and always think of next steps.
“You can’t be a great CEO” if you are not, “committed to gender equality” says Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff in this 60 Minutes coverage. He became devoted to backing that declaration up with action when, in 2015, a pay audit revealed a demonstrable gap between women and men’s salaries. What does it take to truly advance gender parity? It has to be championed at the top and must be done “continuously” with ongoing monitoring and tracking. But it’s worth it. Says Benioff, “I believe as a CEO that I can show other CEOs how to create a great culture in their company.”
“We are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in our relationship to knowledge. From the ‘information age’, we are moving towards the ‘reputation age’, in which information will have value only if it is already filtered, evaluated and commented upon by others.” writes Italian philosopher, Gloria Origgi, in this fascinating piece. What does this mean for us? How should we seek and process information in the midst of this paradigm shift? Origgi says to best determine the veracity of a new piece of information, we should always ask, “Where does it come from? Does the source have a good reputation? Who are the authorities who believe it? What are my reasons for deferring to these authorities?” This has important implications for leaders as they must be more mindful of their own reputation if they want the information they share to be trusted. For a deeper understanding of this massive shift, read the full post here.
“For internal communicators, complexity kills” says this Ragan post on effective communication. To get more done and be more accurate, it helps to find strategies to simplify your message. This post shares three ways to simplify starting with clearing out the cluttering jargon from your communications. Read all three tips here.
**For more on communicating with your team, read our post on how to choose goals that motivate and inspire your people.
To truly have an effective strategy, leaders must understand the social dynamics that undermine strategic conversations. In their extensive research, McKinsey has identified eight practical steps you can take to better address these dynamics, “and dramatically improve the quality of your strategic dialogue, the choices you make, and the business outcomes you experience.” The best news? “These are moves that you can start implementing Monday morning. Together, the eight shifts will enable you to change what is happening in your strategy room.” Read all eight practical shifts here.
Ready to take your leadership to the next level? For an immersive and transformational leadership experience, apply to attend one of our upcoming leadership Boot Camps, taught personally by our Founder — internationally renowned business leader and Fortune 300 CEO — Doug Conant, here.