Today we dispatched the August edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most engrossing leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s edition: pursue your passion, improve your self-talk, boost your body language, 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.
Leadership is the art and science of influencing others, and you need both competence and character to do it well. But did you know there is a third component that may be equally important to your leadership success? In this fascinating Forbes post, Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D, explains, “your use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact can enhance, support, weaken, or even sabotage your impact as a leader.” Your ability to master your body language, and what it subliminally telegraphs about you as a person, can materially impact your leadership. To help you improve, Gorman identifies five crucial things to consider in this comprehensive and highly practical post.
A recent study profiled in this NPR post suggests that people who end up in leadership roles, “make decisions for a group in the same way that they make decisions for themselves.” What does that mean? Those who tend to become leaders, “don’t change their decision-making behavior, even when other people’s welfare is at stake.” There’s an egalitarianism in play. The study suggests that leaders weigh a decision that affects only themselves in the exact same manner they weigh a decision that affects multitudes. It’s an interesting discovery that can potentially offer new insight into what makes a leader. Explore the research more here.
PwC’s Jesse Sostrin explains in this smart post that “learning agility is the ability to learn when you least expect it.” This is a unique competency which means you are always poised to transform, learn, and grow whenever you need to (and you will often need to). Your ‘learning agility’ is something like a positive pre-existing condition. Sostrin emphasizes, “if you want to weather disruption with greater resilience, you can increase your transformation readiness with more dynamic learning.” To help, he identifies six behaviors that inform this skill — three that accelerate your growth and three that block it. Explore the full post here to self-assess where you stand within his six-pronged framework.
**For more on learning and growth explore our post on why the best leaders must grow or die here.
Many leaders are intentional about improving their communication with stakeholders but often neglect the way they talk to themselves. But managing internal conversations better can produce profoundly positive outcomes. This useful interview with author and leader, Erika Anderson, stresses how improving your self-talk “allows you to have much more control over how you respond to what happens within you and around you.” To get started, there are four steps: Recognize, Record, Rethink, Repeat. Delve more deeply into the four steps here.
Vip Vyas, CEO of Distinctive Performance, writes in INSEAD Knowledge, “in a disruptive world, corporate survival will increasingly depend on the ability of firms to transform themselves.” One thing that persistently stands in the way is that leaders fundamentally misunderstand the difference between transformation and change. Says Vyas, “I have found that companies often mistakenly work on change when the real unarticulated need is for transformation.” What’s the primary difference between the two? Transformation is focused on building a better future while change is oriented in fixing the mistakes of the past. Both are valuable but it’s necessary to understand which of the two is needed in a particular situation. Learn more about the important distinction here.
**For more on this topic, explore our post about leading change here and our 25 quotes about managing change here.
In a growing company, side projects are often frowned upon. But passion projects, “can be useful as an outlet for creative energy, as a way to develop employees, and even as a tool to bring in new clients” argues this Thrive Global post. While “90% of your time should be focused on your core business and its requirements” leaders can actually reap benefits from encouraging employees to pursue their passions. Employees will become more engaged in their work and may often develop new and better ideas as a result. Read more about the benefits here.
** For more on employee engagement, read our 10 tips for valuing people 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, Doug Conant, the only former Fortune 500 CEO who is a NYT bestselling author, a Top 50 Leadership Innovator, a Top 100 Leadership Speaker, and a Top 100 Most Influential Author in the World.