Today we dispatched the most recent edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most intriguing leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s 7 fascinating leadership links: kindness is contagious, understanding psychological safety, Jim Collins on purpose, 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.
A new report, nicely summarized by BigThink here, reveals that a majority of workers value meaningful work more than money. Of the people surveyed, 9 out of 10 were willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for more meaningful employment. Leaders can unlock the power of this research by creating more meaning, and more opportunities for meaning-making, in the workplace. Prioritizing meaning can yield very positive results in employee retention and productivity as the report also shows that, “employees who work meaningful jobs also seem to work harder and stay with organizations longer.” Dig deeper here.
Most leaders, according to this interesting Harvard Business Review post, want employees who, “go above and beyond normal standards of service, to impress customers with their kindness.” Kindness, not surprisingly, is a desired trait in companies and workplace cultures. Many leaders think the way to bring this about is through policies, procedures, and kindness “directives.” But studies show that kindness is contagious and that “positive conformity” is a real phenomenon. Therefore, the best way to, “unleash kindness in your organization is to treat it like a contagion, and to create the conditions under which everybody catches it.” Explore the full article here.
**Want more on kindness? Explore our post, “Work Hard, Be Kind.”
Most leaders are acutely aware of the impact the daily grind can have on peace of mind; stress can cause physiological detriments and harm productivity. But there is a low or no cost solution at all of our fingertips: practicing mindfulness. According to this helpful guide from the New York Times, research shows that mindfulness is a reliable way to reduce stress and train the mind. Even more significant, a mindfulness practice helps leaders, “stay honest, make tough choices empathically and inspire confidence.” And eventually, the more you do it, the easier it gets; it becomes self-reinforcing. To learn how to practice, explore the full guide here.
As ‘psychological safety’ creeps into the workplace lexicon and more consultants, coaches, and leaders are becoming curious about its benefits, some misconceptions have begun to take root in the conversation according to this fascinating post by Amy C. Edmonson in Quartz. Chief among these misconceptions is that psychological safety mostly constitutes being “nice.” But that’s very far from the truth. Writes Edmonson, “working in a psychologically safe environment does not mean that people always agree with one another” or that, “people offer unequivocal praise or unconditional support.” In fact, it’s the opposite; psychological safety, “is about candor, about making it possible for productive disagreement and free exchange of ideas.” Creating the right conditions also helps with resolving conflict, allowing people on different sides of an issue to, “speak candidly about what’s bothering them.” To learn more about what psychological safety is — and isn’t — explore the full post here.
In this engaging interview with Think:Act Magazine, esteemed leadership thinker and author, Jim Collins, opens up about his evolving view of purpose in the workplace. He warns that great companies are at risk when they, “pursue undisciplined growth – growth that doesn’t fit with the purpose of the company, that doesn’t fit with why it could be best in the world” ultimately leading to, “the undisciplined pursuit of more.” That’s why, he expounds, “having a purpose and a drive far beyond the purpose of making money is so important.” If your purpose is purely financial, when you meet financial goals, you run out of purpose. But if your higher purpose is, “to do amazing things or create things, you’ll never run out of purpose because you’re never done.” Read the full interview here.
**For more on purpose, explore our resources on the topic here.
Serving others is a proven strategy for adding clarity to your life and elevating your career. People mistakenly think this requires becoming 100% selfless. But in this Forbes article, the author shows how practicing ‘enlightened self-interest’ can shift your mindset; if you consistently help others, you’ll begin to see how these acts of service can also be beneficial to your own growth and quality of life. Wondering where to start? The article provides 3 simple ways to begin practicing ‘enlightened self-interest’ into your daily routine here.
**Looking for more resources on serving others? Check out our 8 high-impact habits for leading better and helping others here.
“It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well,” writes our Founder, Doug Conant, in this new post on leading with gratitude. But, he continues, “it’s much more difficult to remain in a state of gratitude when we are plunged into the depths of turmoil or difficulty.” For maximum leadership effectiveness and fulfillment, learning how to, “remain thankful even when the weather in our life gets stormy, makes all the difference.” What’s the secret? “To unlock a life of learning, joy, and influencing others,” you have to change your way of thinking. Doug explains, “leading with gratitude is not a single action or set of practices, it’s a mindset – it’s a spirit that helps you to recover from setbacks, to reframe challenges as opportunities, to seek more creative resolutions to problems, and to value people more fully.” Learn how to shift your mindset and lead with gratitude in the full post 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.