Leadership Reading 

Developing others and ongoing learning are in our DNA here at Braithwaite, so we're researching something all the time. It might be fact-finding for our writing, creating content for a development session or speech, or working for a client. We see lots of worthy material while doing our work (what a delightful perk!), so we share the highlights via this weekly list — a short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but might be interested in knowing.

Our weekly favs are an eclectic curation of articles, research, blog posts, quotes, pod casts, books, cartoons, and whatever else engages our mind and/or touches us. Some items are recent, others aren't. Some are mainstream, others are off the beaten path. inspired...Lead BIG!

Leadership Friday Favs 1.11.13

Are You a Bully? Are You Sure You Aren't? (Colin Gautrey, Colin Gautrey on Influence)

Feeling introspective? Colin offers up a thought-provoking list of 31 bullying behaviors along with a five-step process to assess whether or not some adverse behaviors have crept into your leadership style.

Carol Dweck's Attitude: It's not about how smart you are (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Interested in learning about "the follies associated with thinking and talking about intelligence as a fixed trait" rather than as something fluid over which we have a measure of control, and how that impacts how we deal with failure? If so, check out this article.

Squeezed in the Middle? (Center for Creative Leadership)

Are you in the Oreo cookie middle layer of management, feeling stuck between the pooh-bahs and the up-and-comers? If so, you're not alone. Read about several research studies, and "ask yourself, what would be different if I could bring more agility, flexibility, strength and focus to my life?"

Instead of Making Resolutions, Dream (Whitney Johnson, HBR Blog Network)

The team at BIG isn't big on new year's resolutions and love the alternative Whitney serves up:  dreaming. "While resolutions are about 'shoulds,' dreaming is about hope — and who we may become. Dreaming is at the heart of disruption..."

When Emotion Becomes Leadership's Biggest Enemy (Chris Young, The Rainmaker)

Chris's willingness to be vulnerable and disclose information about how he learned, the hard way of course, to temper his emotion is moving and informative. "Do not be mislead. Emotions in leadership are not ineffective or harmful all together. They become destructive when you do not control those emotions."

On growing your comfort zone and being a perpetual learner. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. ~C. S. Lewis

Photo credit:  Bored Panda

Leadership Friday Favs 12.21.12

Finding Meaning at Work, Even When Your Job Is Dull (Morten Hansen and Dacher Keltner on HBR Blog Network)

Maybe it's just the time of year for taking stock or there's some impact from all the end of the world talk because BIG clients are big into searching for meaning. Here's some thoughts and research about finding meaning at work...when your work is not all that meaningful.

Here are the things that are proven to make you happier (Eric Barker on Barking Up the Wrong Tree)

An inspirational assortment of ways to give yourself permission to be happy. "Thinking happy thoughts, giving hugs and smiling sound like unscientific hippie silliness but they all work."

How Friendly Should HR Be? (Ian Welsh, Toolbox for HR)

Sometimes there's lots to be learned from negative role models because things are so wrong on so many levels.  The either/or thinking alone in this piece is making our brains (mostly Jane's) explode.

The Character Based Leader (Michael McKinney on Leading Blog)

Book review:  "The greatest threat to any leader comes not from without, but from within. It is who we are, more than anything else, that will derail us. The traits we so value in great leaders is a matter of character. And it is through this character that our leadership is manifested. It creates the space in which we lead."

Being a Boss isn't Rocket Science (Wally Bock on Three Star Leadership)

As he always does, Wally beautifully and succinctly goes right to the heart of the matter. "That's what being a boss is like. Theories are great, but you have a job to do with whatever you've got available at the time. That's engineering, not science."

Ready to step into your power? "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." ~George Bernard Shaw

Leadership Friday Favs 12.14.12

Beyond Either/Or (Ted Coine, Switch & Shift)

Ted points out how organizations get caught up in either/or thinking, forgetting (ignoring?) that it's not applicable in every situation. "Real life is very rarely ones or zeros, yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down. Life is an essay test, and we get extra points for answering creatively!" 

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown, HBR)

Some thought-provoking ideas here about the "clarity paradox" and how "success is a catalyst for failure."

Measuring what makes life worthwhile (Chip Conley, TED)

Looking for an end-of-year attitude re-alignment? Here's a good place to start: where happiness has a place in business models and in defining success.

5 Leadership Fads to Ignore (Steve Tobak, Inc.)

Steve's list includes a few leadership items that have seemingly risen to "sacred cow" status...some fascinating perspectives here.

Authentic Leadership Development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership (Bruce J. Avolio and William L. Gardner)

As we get close to the end of the year (and perhaps the end of the world [smile]), taking stock of what we're doing, being and becoming seems important. If becoming a more authentic leader is something you're considering, start here. This 2005 report from the inaugural summit on the topic as hosted by the Gallup Leadership Institute article details authentic leadership - what it is, how it's different and how to practice it. There's some fascinating reading here, and the links and references are a treasure trove of information.

Dare to think the unthinkable. We must dare to think "unthinkable" thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about "unthinkable things" because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless. ~J. William Fulbright


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