Today we dispatched the June edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter, a curated digest of the most captivating leadership links to read right now from around the web, sent at the end of each month. Topics covered in this month’s captivating leadership links to read right now: Build your resilience, reskill the workforce, be an ‘upstander,’ 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 find these links enriching, you can sign up to receive our newsletter right here.
New research from Harvard shows that the popular wisdom to “pursue your passion” might need a gentle reframe, says this coverage in Inc. Instead of focusing on what can bring you the most joy—i.e. passion—try chasing your “purpose,” which allows you to “align your work with your deepest values.” This purpose-centric approach builds resilience for the long haul, because it releases the expectation that your career will be all “happiness and sunshine,” and builds the fortitude necessary to push through challenges. When you are working in harmony with what matters to you most, it’s more likely you’ll persevere through the inevitable roadblocks on your career path. Read the full post here.
In April 2021 alone, a record 4 million people quit their jobs, reports this NPR post about a continuing post-pandemic trend that many analysts have dubbed, “The Great Resignation.” This unprecedented mass exodus from the workforce shows a clear response to the pandemic that upended daily life worldwide: With more time to think about what matters most, to spend with family, and to pursue new skills, people decided it was now or never to take a leap towards a different career or life path. What are the insights for leaders? “People are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility, and more happiness,” so companies looking to attract the best talent can meet employee needs by highlighting their ability to offer those three attributes in particular. Learn more in the full post here.
The move to remote work over the past year and a half illustrates an interesting “paradox of time management,” according to this Harvard Business Review piece: Removing the daily commute demonstrably frees up time, and employees report feeling more productive—yet data shows that “the average workday has expanded by a full 30 minutes globally, the opposite of what we would expect with people using their time more productively.” The trap of time management is that it promises more space for efficiency, but that space gets filled up quickly; “Time management is like digging a hole at the beach: the bigger the hole, the more water that rushes in to fill it.” The key to retaining your capacity, your output, and your sanity is to find “strategies for eliminating volume instead of simply accommodating it.” The major imperative is to “simplify,” and there are three actionable suggestions for doing so in the full post here.
Retired CEO of Guardian Insurance, Deanna Mulligan, makes the business case for reskilling workers in this insightful Deloitte + Wall Street Journal interview. As digital disruption reshapes business, Mulligan says the C-Suite should champion initiatives that prepare employees for the demands of the future—creating opportunities for learning and growth that keep people competitive and make them feel valued. One study shows that “companies that invested more than their competitors in employee learning and development generated three times higher profit growth over several years.” And helping existing employees “learn new skills and grow in their careers” creates a virtuous circle that can lead to “better employee engagement, higher productivity, and more innovation.” Learn more in the full post here.
“While the pandemic has been a time marked by stress, grief and hardship for many Americans, some have also experienced a surprising outcome: a sense of resilience,” reports this Washington Post piece. For some, the unforeseen challenges of navigating a “disorienting new world,” caused a helpful shift in perspective that catalyzed new decisions and “healthy habits that could shape their lives for the better.” One expert refers to this as “post-traumatic growth,” which can lead to deeper appreciation for life and a “greater sense of personal strength.” If you didn’t personally feel a COVID-inspired surge in resilience, never fear, one way to develop hardiness on your own is to reflect through an appreciative frame: “practicing gratitude—pausing to think about or write about what you’re thankful for—is one of the simplest and most effective skills that contribute to an overall sense of well-being and can help build resilience.” For more tips, read the full post here.
**To further develop your gratitude muscle, download your free excerpt of The Blueprint, a book which contains countless prompts for thoughtful reflection including a values exercise, envisioning exercise, and more.
Insights & Resources from ConantLeadership
Announcing the Fall BLUEPRINT Leadership Summit
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Brené Brown with Doug Conant on Finding & Telling Your Leadership Story
Last month on her Dare to Lead podcast, Brené Brown talked with ConantLeadership Founder Doug Conant about the principles and practices in his new book co-authored with Amy Federman, The Blueprint.
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