Today we dispatched the most recent edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most engaging leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s 7 engaging leadership links to read right now: read to lead, wield your power responsibly, make inclusion real, 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.
Research from PwC shows that employees want “careers that fit their values, are enjoyable, and contribute to society.” How can leaders answer the call? According to this comprehensive guide in strategy+business, to attract and retain top talent, there are five specific areas organizations must understand if they are committed to helping people do good work in a place makes them proud. Leaders must: “tackle burnout and boost vitality, build social resilience, encourage agility and adaptability, support ‘intrapreneurship,’ and provide autonomy.” Discover in-depth insights on how to bring these five competencies to life in the long-form article here, or explore the short video explaining the principles here.
**For more insights on engaging talent, explore our resources on inspiring trust and building vitality.
Many leaders publicly tout the importance of diversity and inclusion but upon closer inspection there are gaps “between rhetoric and action,” says this timely KelloggInsights article that draws on the insights of leadership professor Ellen Taaffe. Even those companies that do succeed in building diverse organizations often fall short in the inclusion piece of the puzzle. The article explains, “having employees with a wide array of backgrounds does not ensure that everyone feels equally welcome and valued.” That’s why it’s crucial for leaders to devote energy to truly “welcoming, developing, and advancing a diverse mix of individuals,” rather than merely centering diversity alone. To make inclusion real and successfully create an environment where all people have equal opportunity to thrive, there are four key elements leaders must keep in mind; learn all about these four elements here.
What’s the one thing great leaders have in common? They read. A lot. According to this John C. Maxwell post, the average CEO reads four to five books a month. Compare that with the average American at large, who reads about one book a year, and it becomes clear how differentiating an avid reading habit can be. If you’re still not convinced, consider that “active readers are likely to have annual incomes more than five times greater” than those who read only a little or not at all. Dig in to more of the leadership benefits of reading here.
**Looking for a book recommendation? Check out Doug’s reading list of “Foundational Favorites” here.
Many leaders hope to see their company featured on a “Most Admired” or “Best Place to Work” list; they want their image to be prestigious and positive. But it’s important for leaders to understand that they can’t chase awards while eschewing the necessary effort to develop their company’s character in kind, writes Stephen M.R. Covey in this smart post in Inc. Covey says, “companies, at least in the short term, are often able to create a perception that may or may not match the reality.” But, “any attempt to build a positive corporate reputation while lacking the character to back it up won’t be sustainable.” The larger goal should be “actually improving the company, rather than just its image.” The best way to do this, and rightfully earn a high ranking on industry lists, is to develop a high-trust culture; start with these three key steps from Covey.
“Leadership is a doing discipline. You must turn your learning and insights into action.” writes Wally Bock in this post on how to mine your experiences to develop actionable insights. Leaders can leverage their experiences most effectively by developing habits for reflection that can help them change their behavior and grow. Bock recommends three practical (and minimally time-consuming) habits that leaders can start practicing right away here.
**Looking for more reflection exercises? Explore our five essential questions of leadership.
“Early in your career . . . it’s natural to focus on your functional agenda” and neglect a more holistic focus on the agenda of others in your organization, says this Eblin Group post. However, as you take on more responsibility and “grow as a leader, your mindset needs to shift from ‘me’ to ‘us’.” This more enlightened mindset helps leaders better understand and meet the needs of the entire enterprise. To discover areas for improvement and identify opportunities to more fully embrace the ‘us’ mindset Eblin Group has developed a handy checklist which you can fill out here.
**For more self-assessments, explore our character and competence checklists.
“Most leaders are positive people who want to use their power and influence for good,” writes Skip Prichard in this post on humble leadership. But some leaders find themselves corrupted by their power, leading ineffectively and with arrogance; abuse of power is common enough that we can read about it in the papers with some regularity. How can well-intentioned leaders stay grounded while delivering extraordinary results? The key lies in developing humility and avoiding arrogance in equal measure. Find practical tips for doing both — six tips for practicing humility and three tips for avoiding arrogance — here, adapted by Prichard from the book The Leadership Killer.
Ready to take your leadership to the next level this year? For a practical and transformational leadership experience that fits perfectly into your busy life, apply to attend one of our upcoming 2-day 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. It’s 2 days of in-person training, a lifetime of results.