Today we dispatched the February edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most fascinating leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s edition: why you should keep a diary, the secret to winning Olympic gold, how civility pays, 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.
Norway has dominated the Winter Olympics this year, earning far more medals than any other country. What’s the secret to their success? The tight-knit and high-performing men’s ski team has five rules that guide their behavior and help them to rack up medals. Their top rule? Don’t be a jerk. (May seem obvious but it can often be easier said than done for the fiercely competitive athletic elite). Explore this article in The New York Times to learn all five of the team’s winning secrets.
**For more on teamwork, read our list of the three things all the best teams have.
When you’re about to start a big or time-consuming project, what’s your inner monologue like? Is it helpful or hurtful? If you find yourself dreading the looming thing you “have” to do, you might get better results if you use a quick trick to change the narrative, says this interesting post from Eblin Group. Next time you’re embarking on a tricky project, instead of thinking about what you “have” to do, think about what you “get” to do. The results may surprise you. Read the full post here.
Many leaders think kindness is viewed as weakness — but the opposite is true says Georgetown University professor and researcher, Chris Porath, in this fascinating TedXtalk. Research shows that civil behavior in the workplace leads to higher performance, more creativity, increased retention, and better results overall — whereas rudeness or incivility hurts performance by over 60%. Worse, incivility acts like a contagion and can spread virally and infect an entire organization. Watch the full talk to learn how changing small behaviors can help you leverage the power of civility and make a bigger impact.
**For more on civility read the interesting HBR article co-authored by Doug Conant and Chris Porath on the topic here.
**Follow that up with this post in The Wall Street Journal that found that exposure to even a little rudeness can harm job performance all day.
Today, women “make up a majority of college graduates and 40% of the classes at top MBA programs” but “make up just 25.1% of senior managers and executives at S&P 500 companies and only 4.4% of CEOs.” What is the best way to close the gap? According to this thoroughly researched piece from Bain & Company, the role of frontline managers is pivotal. “To help women get to the summit, frontline managers need to focus not only on building skills but also on bolstering aspiration and confidence.” Readers will find lots of specific, actionable advice here for championing women in their ascent to senior leadership positions.
Leaders often pontificate on how to make organizational culture “real” and tangible. How do you best coalesce people around a set of values? The truth is, it happens in the smallest of moments. Daniel Coyle writes, “We normally think of cohesion as a trait: groups either have it or they don’t. But that’s wrong. Cohesion is a conversation. It’s an exchange of behaviors that happens over and over.” Read the full post here.
**For more on the power of moments, explore our post on influencing people with honor here and our post on ten powerful ways to value people with your leadership here.
At ConantLeadership, we believe that leadership that works is inside-out. The best leaders reap insights from their own reflections and use those insights to inform how they engage with the world with more intention, awareness, and effectiveness. One practice that can make this idea more approachable is keeping a journal. Why? According to artist Austin Kleon, keeping a diary has several benefits including helping you pay attention to the world and giving yourself a space to have bad ideas. Read his full post on keeping a diary here.
Ready to take your leadership to the next level? For an immersive and transformational leadership experience in 2018, 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.