7 Smart Leadership Links to Read Right Now


Today we dispatched the most recent edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of smart leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each monthIn this month’s 7 smart leadership links to read right now: manage burnout, take a pause, win tomorrow, seek the highest good, and more. As alwayswe’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.

Take a Pause

“If you want to lead with excellence, you need to more consistently make choices that are not reactive but responsive.” says this leadership post in Mindful. Sometimes leaders can get in a reactive cycle, rather than creating proactive momentum, because they are on auto-pilot. How to break the cycle? By learning to take “Purposeful Pauses.” The benefits are numerous: “Adding a few pauses into your day allows you to be more present, to recharge your mind and body, and to cultivate the spaciousness for some new ideas.” Furthermore, “purposeful pauses allow us to be more fully present, and that presence is felt by those around us,” leading to improved employee engagement and performance in the workplace. Learn 3 tricks for adding more pauses into your day here.
**For more on being present, explore our post on the “gratitude mindset” here

Charisma Can Be Learned

It’s a common belief that charisma is innate — you either have it or you don’t. But recent research shows that charisma, like many other positive traits, can be learned. In this fascinating Psychology Today article, the author explores 10 insights about developing charisma gleaned from John Antonakis of the University of Lausanne, who has been studying charisma for over a decade. His first most powerful revelation is that charisma is not “a sacred endowment reserved for ‘special people,’ most of us can boost our charisma levels with the help of a few tricks.” What’s more, “these tricks—known as charismatic leadership tactics (CLTs)—have been shown to be effective as much in research laboratories as in the real world: in classrooms, boardrooms, and presidential elections.” Read the full post to explore how you can hone your charismatic leadership tactics here.

How to Win Tomorrow

“The traditional playbook for strategy is no longer sufficient.” write the authors of this must-read Boston Consulting Group treatise on how to compete in the coming decade (and beyond). They continue, “in all businesses, competition is becoming more complex and dynamic. . . and the stakes are higher than ever: the gap in performance between the top- and bottom-quartile companies has increased in each of the past six decades.” Not only are business facing unprecedented change and competitive concerns in the near-term but, “as the 2020s approach, they must also look beyond today’s situation and understand at a more fundamental level what will separate the winners from the losers in the next decade.” Their research has revealed 5 new imperatives of competition: Increasing the rate of organizational learning, Leveraging multicompany ecosystems, Spanning both the physical and the digital world, Imagining and harnessing new ideas, and Achieving resilience in the face of uncertainty. Explore each of the 5 imperatives and learn how to prepare your organization to win in the next decade here.
**For more on doing better in the 21st century, explore our 5 essential leadership questions here

Managing Burnout

Hard work and long hours is often the name of the game in leadership and associates face similar hours and demands. So how can compassionate managers who care about their employees help their team work through burnout when they’re feeling a bit burned out themselves? “For the sake of both your health and the health of your employees, you need to summon all the resources you can to improve matters,” writes Rebecca Knight in this highly helpful Harvard Business Review Post that provides actionable steps for mitigating stress in the workplace. Knight provides 7 steps leaders can take to improve morale and re-energize teams. The first step? Make your own health a priority: “Before you can help your team members manage their stress, you need to manage your own.” Explore all 7 actions, as well as a handy Do and Don’ts list for managing burnout, in the full post here.

Put People First

Bringing about substantial change in a large complex organization is difficult no matter what sector you’re in, but the public sector faces unique challenges: “74 percent of private-sector transformation efforts fail to meet their objectives, while in the public sector, the failure rate is even higher, at 80 percent.” finds McKinsey in this in-depth report on why the public sector must place people at the heart of its transformation initiatives. Understanding that the public sector, on average, has weaker organizational health than the public sector, how can government leaders think about change in a more effective way? McKinsey has found that any successful undertaking must be, “people-driven” and has identified 3 essential practices that center people for improved transformational results. Explore the full report and learn the 3 practices here.
**For more on change, read our 3 small ways to make big change and explore our 25 quotes on managing change

Seek the ‘Highest Good’

“Many businesses often choose to operate with an eye toward short-term profits to enhance shareholder value instead of considering a more inclusive perspective that incorporates all concerned — shareholders, customers, employees and communities.” writes Gregory Stebbins in this compelling Forbes post on transcendent leadership. But this short-term approach can be limiting and has been called into question by high-profile people like Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, one of the biggest investment firms in the US. A better approach might be working to seek, the “highest good”, choosing to expand our view of, “who is included in our definition of organization stakeholders.” By aiming to deliver value for the most stakeholders, rather than chasing profits alone, a more transcendent approach can emerge. Explore the full idea here.

Leading at Home

We often discuss leadership in the context of our workplace, our religious institutions, our communities, and our governments. But what about at home? Raising children requires leadership skills of the highest order and, no matter who you are or where you live, raising happy and successful kids is a challenge. One Harvard economist wanted to find out: what’s the secret to successful parenting? The results, as summarized in this Inc. post, are fascinating and reveal insights any parent can apply to their own leadership as it pertains to child-rearing. After interviewing hundreds of successful adults and their parents, a pattern emerged; each of the surveyed “high functioning, fully realized adults” was revealed to have had parents, “who performed the same 8 roles for them as kids.” The conclusion was: “there is a formula for raising successful kids.” To apply the learning in your home, explore the 8 essential leadership roles parents must play here.

Enjoyed these links? Check out our recent link roundups from FebruaryJanuary, and December. Explore our suite of leadership resources here. Or, join our mailing list here


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