Today we dispatched the April edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the best leadership links from around the web, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s best leadership links to read right now: Make a ‘to-don’t’ list, stay curious, practice metacognition, and more. As always, we’re sharing the content from our newsletter here in case you’re not subscribed to our mailing list. If you find these links enriching, you can sign up to receive our newsletter right here.
Empathy Is Just the First Step
“Often, empathy is touted as the antidote” to cruel or impersonal business practices, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle, says this strategy+business piece on the topic of humane leadership. To take empathy from a soft-and-fuzzy ideal to a real-world practice, it’s important to, “connect with empathy, but lead with compassion,” because that makes it actionable: “Empathy plus action equals compassion.” Specifically, when engaging with people, the goal is to practice “wise compassion,” which combines “the ability to see reality clearly and act accordingly,” with “the intention to be of benefit to others.” There are five steps for pursuing “wise compassion” in your leadership interactions, the first of which is taking ample time to prepare for your next hard conversation: “No matter how difficult it is for you, it’s more difficult for that other person,” so show respect “by coming to the conversation well prepared and mentally in the right space.” Get the full story here.
**For more on this, explore our conversation with Brené Brown on why empathy is the secret source of connection.
Don’t Freak Out
Women Are at the Heart of the Future of Work
How to Be Curious
To become a better listener, “you have to value truth more than your own opinion, and you have to come in with a measure of humility,” writes Mónica Guzmán in this article inspired by her new book, I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times. The key to having better conversations, especially with people who disagree with you, is to move away from certainty about your own positions in favor of “curiosity and understanding.” The most useful opinions are those that are “in curious conversation” with others. So how to be— and stay—curious in hard conversations? Guzmán offers eight tips including changing the question, listening longer before jumping in, admitting “‘I don’t know’ when you don’t know,” and more. Get the full story and all eight tips here.
**For more on this, explore our post from the archives on how to listen like a leader.
Guide, Don’t Tell
Make a ‘To-Don’t’ List
Wellbeing at work is a buzzy topic today as employees and leaders alike are reporting record levels of burnout and dissatisfaction in the wake of the pandemic. While mindfulness exercises and yoga classes are nice perks, they’re merely “icing on the cake,” not “the cake itself,” and are insufficient to tackle the larger issue, says this actionable Suzi McAlpine post on improving team wellbeing. McAlpine says the top thing leaders can do to beat back burnout is to “get better at prioritizing and organizing work,” and she offers seven tips that can help. One counterintuitive way to better manage tasks? Make a “to-don’t” list. Odds are, “you and your team simply can’t do it all—especially not right now,” so a crucial part of your strategic planning should be identifying things that the organization “can ditch or delay.” Look at your top 3-5 priorities and “resist any ideas or initiatives that don’t match up.” You can always table great ideas to add back into the mix later. Exercising this kind of discipline can be a challenge but also “powerful and freeing” and takes some of the pressure off you and your team’s back so you can all focus on what matters most. Get the full story here.
The ‘YOLO’ Job Market
**For more on this, explore our resources for leading with a ‘people first’ approach.
Your Zoom Screen Might Be Hindering Brainstorming
Insights & Resources from ConantLeadership
‘Empathy Is the Secret Source of Connection’—Brené Brown and Doug Conant on Leadership in the Pandemic Era
At the third bi-annual BLUEPRINT Leadership Summit earlier this month, Doug Conant was joined in conversation by Brené Brown, beloved researcher, author, and bestselling author. Read their smart tips for leading with empathy in this new blog post.
Liz Wiseman and Doug Conant on Leadership in Ambiguous Times
At the third bi-annual BLUEPRINT Leadership Summit earlier this month, Doug Conant was joined in conversation by Liz Wiseman, celebrated CEO of The Wiseman Group and bestselling author. Read their smart tips for leading with courage and becoming an ‘Impact Player’ in this new blog post.
Creating a Better World Through Business
In this LEADERS Magazine interview, Sara Appleyard Adams, Senior Director of Communications and Marketing at CECP, sat down with Doug Conant, Founder & CEO of ConantLeadership and Chairman of CECP, to explore how corporate leaders can more effectively lead with purpose.
Hubert Joly and Doug Conant on Leadership in a Changing World
At last fall’s BLUEPRINT Leadership Summit, Doug Conant was joined in conversation by Hubert Joly, former chairman and CEO of Best Buy, and author of the recent WSJ bestseller, The Heart of Business. Read their smart tips for leading with purpose and engaging employees in this recent blog post.
March’s Leadership That Works Newsletter
In last month’s newsletter: Battling ‘brain fog,’ beating burnout at the top, the 5-million-person experiment, and more.
Level Up Your Leadership at the BLUEPRINT Boot Camp
About the Author: Amy Federman is ConantLeadership’s Director of Content and Editor in Chief, and co-author with Doug Conant of the WSJ bestseller, The Blueprint.