Today we dispatched the June edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of intriguing leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s 6 intriguing leadership links to read right now: Just say no, a script for employee appreciation, creatives have different brains, 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.
Build the Best Team
Building high performance teams isn’t easy but, luckily, “it’s not rocket science either” writes Executive Coach Dede Henley in this Forbes post. The first step to leading great teams is understanding the difference between a working group and a team. A working group has tasks that are not interdependent. Whereas a team has “lots of interdependencies . . . members rely on each other to get their tasks completed.” In a team, individuals need each other’s strengths and skill set to accomplish shared goals. With that understanding, Henley shares five basic must-dos for leaders looking to create and influence top teams. Explore these five basics in the full post here.
**For more on building the best teams, explore our resource, “The Best Teams Have These 3 Things.”
Don’t Wait, Ask
“We’ve got feedback all wrong” writes Tamra Chandler, author of this guest post on Leadership Freak and of the new book Feedback (and other Dirty Words). Most people wait to receive feedback but the way to lead a “seismic shift in how we perceive, engage in, and experience feedback” is to be what Chandler calls a “Seeker.” Seekers ask for feedback instead of waiting and are proactive about improving their skills. Read Chandler’s tips for seeking feedback in the full post here.
Many of today’s middle market organizations look to the Fortune 500 for “sustainable growth insights and guidance” according to this interesting post from ProHabits. Since smaller organizations can benefit from insights gleaned from the bigger players in the marketplace, ProHabits decided to explore the topic of corporate values to extract actionable learnings. To this end, their research calculated 2,054 core values gathered from a total of 397 organizations in the Fortune 500 and they hope their findings can incite “a global dialogue about best practices” for the future of business. One of the most interesting takeaways? “It doesn’t matter what a company’s values are. What truly matters is whether or not they are lived” by leaders and managers. Explore the full explanation of their findings here.
**For more on values, explore the 7 key value-based leadership practices we champion in The ConantLeadership Flywheel
Just Say No (More Often)
“Busy has become a badge of honour, a signifier of success . . . but if you really are ‘too busy’, chances are you aren’t saying no enough” writes Chloe Brotheridge in this thoughtful piece in The Guardian. Brotheridge continues, “if your life is so tightly packed with other people’s requests that you don’t have time for what really matters to you . . . it is time to make a change.” People who are particularly prone to people-pleasing may find saying no to be deeply challenging so it’s helpful to start by tuning into what you really want; instead of defaulting to a yes response, get into the habit of asking yourself why you are agreeing and if it is something that really serves you. If it feels scary or awkward, it is helpful to anchor yourself with this provocative question: “if you said no more, what could you say yes to?” Explore the full article here.
A Script for Employee Appreciation
Leaders are responsible for keeping their team engaged in the work, motivating employees, and boosting morale so goals are met or exceeded. While a simple “thank you” goes a long way and never goes out of style, gratitude and recognition shouldn’t stop at the bare minimum. In this helpful Inc. post, a group of successful leaders was polled to gather specific phrases they use to express appreciation. Keep these seven phrases in your back pocket the next time you’re looking for a fresh way to give praise; you can use each of them verbatim.
**For more on giving thanks, explore our post “10 Powerful Ways to Give Thanks with Your Leadership” and our related post “4 Powerful Ways to Value People Beyond Saying ‘Thank You‘”
Science Shows Creatives Have Different Brains
“Imagination is a trait that we all possess and use in our daily lives” writes Knvul Sheikh in this Scientific American article on the brain, but many people struggle to imagine scenarios that “are too far from our reality in time or space.” A new study shows that creative professionals have an easier time picturing far-flung scenarios and are better at envisioning the future because they can tap “into a brain network that only they can access.” Sheikh explains, “By using the dorsomedial part of what scientists refer to as the brain’s ‘default network,’ creative people can stretch their imagination to more distant futures, places, perspectives and hypothetical realities.” This has implications for scientists who now curious to explore how to make that unique network accessible to everyone (and it may inspire leaders to look to their more creative professionals to help them imagine the future of their organizations). Explore the full article here.
Enjoyed these links? Check out our recent link roundups from May, April, and March, Explore our suite of leadership resources here. Or, join our mailing list here.
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(Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash)