Today we dispatched the January edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the best leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. In this month’s edition: 5 mindset shifts to transform your organization, why you need a work BFF, how to make better decisions, 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.
Historically, hardliner capitalists have held that a company’s primary purpose is to make money. But that may be changing. One of the world’s most influential and powerful investors, Laurence D. Fink, CEO of the investment firm, BlackRock, has penned a letter this month, profiled here in The New York Times, that could be a catalyst for change. “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” writes Fink, adding, “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Importantly, if companies fail to comply with this directive to deliver social as well as financial value, they risk losing BlackRock’s support. Explore the entire story here.
The secret to improving your behaviors and achieving lasting change may be found in emotional self-awareness says this interesting Key Step Media post. Why? “Absent self-awareness, we’re unable to consistently manage our impulses, motivations, and actions, instead letting our habitual reactions get the best of us.” To be more conscious of the choices you’re making in each moment, try the three practices for developing self-awareness recommended here.
** For more on honing your self-awareness, check out our enlightening prompts for reflection here, here, and here.
While many leaders and workers consider friendships at work to be a “nice-to-have”, few consider work friendships to be essential to performance. But Gallup‘s research tells a different story. “Our research has repeatedly shown a concrete link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort employees expend in their job” writes Annamarie Mann in this Gallup report. Consistently, their surveys show that having a “best friend” at work leads to better performance. This holds true across genders, but in particular for women who report that the social aspect of work is crucial to their engagement. Convinced? Gallup provides strategies leaders can use to create the conditions for meaningful friendships to form here.
**For more on relationship-building, explore our post on why tough-minded leaders must be ace relationship builders.
Today’s rapidly changing commercial and social environment is, “pressing organizations to become more agile; in response, a new organizational form is emerging” that exhibits five crucial mindset shifts writes McKinsey in this thorough article. Each of the five shifts are valuable individually but their impact is only truly optimized when they are all active and present simultaneously. To ensure your organization is equipped to rapidly adapt and thrive in today’s marketplace, work to make these five crucial shifts in mindset and approach.
**For more on adapting your organization, read our post on why organizations must grow or die.
“Fighter pilots have to work fast. Taking a second too long to make a decision can cost them their lives” writes Shane Parrish in this Farnam Street post on how to make better decisions. Since fighter pilots have to test out their decision-making chops when the stakes are high and time is short, there’s lots for us regular leaders to learn from them about how to assess situations and act — both in our everyday lives and when the pressure’s mounting. One highly effective practice, borrowed from fighter pilots, is the “OODA Loop.” Developed by U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd, the OODA loop stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Learn exactly how to apply it for better results in your leadership in this deep-dive into the practice.
To maximize your impact in 2018, turn your attention to building better relationships and fostering connections says Mary Jo Asmus in this empowering post. “You can be the facilitator and demonstrator of what it means to connect, relate, mentor, coach, and help others” by following her five simple steps for engaging with people more fully.
**For more on fostering connection, explore our highly effective leadership habit for building relationships.
As February approaches, many begin to experience a waning in the momentum they had towards reaching their goals on January 1st. To keep moving forward, we find it helpful to be mindful of the power of habits. After all, habits transform dreams into reality. To help you keep moving towards your loftiest aspirations with gusto, we compiled 32 quotes about the power of habits. The quotes are compiled from people across professions and spheres of influence. Read them here.
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 compiled a list of leadership resolutions for 2018. It’s not too late to glean inspiration from these resolutions. As this year ramps into full swing, there are still lots of motivating tips, goals, and leadership insights to explore here.