Today we dispatched the December edition of our Leadership That Works Newsletter December 2016, a curated digest of the best leadership links to read right now, sent at the end of each month. This time, as the year comes to an end, we’ve compiled a collection of thought-provoking posts to inspire you to lead and live with more fulfillment and greater impact in 2017. 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).
How often does the pursuit of perfection hold you back from getting things done? In this SmartBrief post, the author argues that sometimes just trying — simply putting in an effort even when things aren’t perfectly aligned for success — is half the battle and can pay big dividends. A good kick-in-the-rear to try more often and adventurously in 2017.
“Vitality is a never-ending journey of using your current performance to support future potential” write the co-authors of this smart post that reveals the key to building organizational vitality: balancing both the present and the future. A good topic to explore as the year draws to a close.
** Interested in balancing current performance with future growth? Supplement this article with Doug’s post on how to be a leadership time traveler.
“If you don’t differentiate yourself you’re in a death spiral” advises legendary Umpqua Bank CEO, Ray Davis. With over two decades under his belt of leading ongoing innovation and high-impact change, Davis has gathered some valuable, actionable insights for achieving the extraordinary, which are profiled in this great Harvard Business Review post. Required reading for leaders looking to kick it up a notch in 2017.
**Obsessed with leading change in the new year? Read our post on 3 small ways to make big change.
“Tough ethical problems make you strong. Exercising that muscle regularly makes you strongest” writes Jesse Lyn Stoner in this important post that guides leaders through the toughest ethical quagmires of all: those that aren’t clear-cut, that exist in the grey area between right and wrong. Helpfully, Stoner provides a 3-part checklist leaders can quickly consult when in the midst of ethically challenging decisions. A good resource for leaders heading into the new year.
Any book-loving leader looking for suggestions in December has their pick of end-of-year business book roundups. Fast Company‘s list of the year’s 10 best books stands out because they framed their list around books that introduced new ideas in 2016. Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit, tops this list, and it’s rounded out by many forward-thinking treatises on how to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing, fiercely complex world.
**Want more? Follow this list up with our post on building leadership grit and Doug’s list of all-time “foundational favorite” business books.
When trying to effectively reach people with your leadership message, there are some things you can do to boost your physical presence — but more importantly, there are concrete things you can do to prepare mentally to ensure you “exude gravitas” and make an impact when speaking to an audience. This fascinating post from Quiet Revolution tells you exactly what to do.
“A manifesto is a rigorous written account of where you are, where you would like to be, and why. Unlike New Year’s resolutions, the personal manifesto isn’t tied to the time of year or to specific acts.” In fact, “it’s a way to keep yourself focused”, honest, and tethered to your personal values year-round, argues this compelling Strategy + Business post. Developing a manifesto starts with, “an honest conversation with yourself” — a process which is nicely aligned with ConantLeadership’s belief that a disciplined process of reflection is essential to connecting with your purpose, developing a personal leadership model, and leading effectively in the 21st century.
**Intrigued by the process of reflection? Follow this up with our posts on the first 2 questions of leadership, the 3 heart-based questions leaders must answer, and test your leadership character with our comprehensive checklist. To learn how to build your own leadership model under the personal guidance of Doug Conant, check out our next Leadership Boot Camp in March, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA.