Today we dispatched the December 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, we compiled links specifically to inspire you to have a happy, productive, and fulfilling new year in 2018. 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).
Stop Trying to Be Perfect
Driven leaders are often tempted to “do more, be more, achieve more” but overwork and lack of balance can lead to, “diminishing returns” writes Executive Coach, Joel Garfinkle, in this SmartBrief post. To avoid burnout, stop trying to be perfect. Instead of chasing perfection at any cost, “work to achieve excellence.” Read all four of Garfinkle’s tips for avoiding burnout here.
Be Here Now
Good leaders heed the quantity of time they spend with people; they try to devote ample attention to all their different stakeholders. But the effort won’t be worth much if there isn’t equal focus on the quality of that time says this thoughtful Harvard Business Review piece. The key to really engaging people and maximizing the time in your busy schedule? It’s found in being truly mindful and present in your interactions. And it’s essential. Read their four tips for being present here.
** For more on being present, check out our tips for better listening.
To Lead in a Crisis, Don’t Downplay the Issue
In times of crisis, an understandable instinct is to reassure and soothe, to let people know that everything is going to be OK. But that’s not always the most effective — or authentic — approach says this Inc. article that uses a thoughtfully-crafted letter from Elon Musk to his employees as a case study. To really connect with people, authentically acknowledge the scope of the problem, show how much you genuinely care, and take ownership to move things forward in an improved way.
**For more on leading better in tough situations, read our post on proactively leaning in to difficult challenges.
When Should You Trust Your ‘Gut’?
Are you a leader who credits your decision-making powers to trusting your intuition or “gut”? If so, is that a reliable way to make the best business decisions? The simple answer is “sometimes, yes, but other times no” according to Nobel Prize Winner, Daniel Kahneman. Here, McKinsey has packaged four fascinating pieces of content to help you better understand when you should “go with your gut” and when you should question your impulses. The most valuable takeaway? Yes, executives should sometimes trust their instincts, but only when these four conditions are met.
** To explore this topic further, check out Mary Jo Asmus’ post on how to develop intuition. Then, read Seth Godin’s post on “making your gut smarter.”
New Questions for a New Year
Goal-setting is a crucial (and often exciting) part of most people’s year-end ritual. And it’s important. But there is always an opportunity to push your thinking around planning and self-improvement. Before you arrive on new goals, Dan Rockwell suggests probing deeper in this post. What questions haven’t you been asking? Is there something you can let go of to make room for something new? Explore his full list of questions here.
**For more compelling questions to inspire you to leverage self-reflection to make 2018 your best year yet, explore our first two questions of leadership, our three leadership questions of the heart, and our leadership character and competence checklists.
Leadership Resolutions for 2018
Continuous improvement is at the heart of leadership that works and at the center of a fulfilling life. To help with the transition to a new year filled with fresh challenges and opportunities for growth, we’ve compiled our list of leadership resolutions for 2018. In the spirit of pro-activity, we hope these goals will empower you to lift your leadership to new heights and lead your most productive, meaningful, and fulfilling year yet — with intention. Explore the resolutions here.
Be an Ambassador
To get the best results in the new year, consider this important notion: your actions do not represent you alone — you are also representatives of your team, your company culture, your entire organization. Staying anchored in your principles, and doing what is right even when it is difficult or unpopular is very important for leaders both as individual contributors and as representatives of the entire enterprise. True leaders are expert ambassadors. Learn more about the power of carrying a spirit of ambassadorship in your leadership here.
Enjoyed these links? Check out our recent link roundups from November, October, September. Explore our suite of leadership resources here. Or, join our mailing list here.
Ready to take your leadership to the next level? For an immersive and transformational leadership experience in 2018, apply to attend our leadership Boot Camp, taught personally by our Founder — internationally renowned business leader and Fortune 300 CEO — Doug Conant, here.
(Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash)