8 Best Leadership Links to Read Right Now


Today we dispatched the January edition of our Leadership That Works Newslettera curated digest of the best leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s edition: how to ask better questions, why you’re braver than you think, lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 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).

Ask Better Questions. 

Many leaders are aware of a need to learn better listening skills to become more effective but are often confused about where to start. In this enlightening Farnam Street post, author Krista Tippett says, “listening is more than being quiet while the other person speaks” — in fact, the key to better listening is asking better questions because, “generous listening is powered by curiosity.” What makes a better question? Read the full post to find out.
**Interested in more ways to practice better listening? Follow this list up with our post on how to listen like a leader.

The Best Leaders Stay Calm. 

The key to being able to remain calm and collected in a challenging situation, as the best leaders do, is “emotional balance” says Daniel Goleman in this fascinating Korn Ferry post. Emotional balance requires “self-awareness”, and if it does not come naturally to you, it can be cultivated with practice and learning to recognize when you might be “hijacked” by negative emotions. Read the full post for an explanation of emotional balance and tips for achieving it.

Give Yourself Some Credit.

You’re far more flexible, brave, and capable than you think you are says Brandeis International Business School professor, Andy Molinsky, in this Harvard Business Review post. In fact, you have rich resources available to you that can allow you to thrive outside your comfort zone — and he argues that no matter how scary the situation may seem, it will most likely turn out better than you think as long as you try in earnest to give it a shot.

Yes, You Can Make a Difference.

This month in the US we celebrated a federal holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy. Former Medtronic CEO and Harvard Business School Senior Fellow, Bill George, talks in this post about the important leadership lessons we can learn from Dr. King — namely, “how you can make a difference in the world through your leadership, and then to step up to the challenge when opportunities present themselves.” Read the full post for all of Bill’s insights and actionable takeaways from Dr. King’s life.

What Is a TouchPoint?

You may be familiar with our founder, Doug Conant’s, bestselling book TouchPoints, co-authored with Mette Norgaard, in which they explain how to create powerful leadership connections in the smallest of moments. If you’re searching for ways to infuse your daily interactions with new energy and make everyday encounters more effective but are short on time to devote to reading or re-reading the entire book, Mette has now distilled many of the core concepts into two short, well-designed, and easy-to-digest new videos. If you’re looking for a quick refresher or burst of leadership inspiration check them out: Watch “Why TouchPoints?” | Watch “What Is a TouchPoint?”

6 Expert-Tested Productivity Tips.

Leaders have endless to-do lists and competing priorities demanding their time and attention — so they can benefit from simple strategies for maximizing their productivity. In this Fast Company post, six highly productive people share their tricks for managing their time and getting stuff done.
** Interested in more resources for achieving goals? Follow this up with our post about how to reach your goals no matter what

Restructuring: A Strategic Guide.

Periods of restructuring, cost-cutting, and upheaval can cause a lot of turmoil and mistrust in organizations. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In this comprehensive Strategy + Business article, the authors lay out in great detail a manual for building trust while enacting big strategic changes.
** Want to read more about how important trust is to effective leadership? Follow this up with our post about how trust unlocks superior performance, read Doug and Stephen M.R. Covey’s co-authored Harvard Business Review article on trust, and check out our 52 quotes about trust and leadership.

Decide to Learn. 

Kevin Eikenberry lists “continual learning” as one of the 13 critical competencies of highly effective leaders, and explains some of the reasons why in this SmartBrief post. But he takes it a step further and argues that any leader who wants to become a learner need only to decide, and set the intention, and learning opportunities will “show up” all around them.

For more fascinating leadership links, check out our recent link roundups from December, NovemberOctober, and September

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