Leadership Friday Favs

Ongoing learning, exploring, making a sustainable positive difference, paying it forward, and developing others are in our DNA here at Get Your BIG On. The team at BIG is doing research all the time; it might fact-finding for something we're 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 our "Leadership Friday Favs," a short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but might be interested in knowing.

Our weekly leadership favorites are an eclectic collection of articles, blog posts, quotes, pod casts, books and whatever else engages our interest. Some items are recent, others aren't. Some are mainstream, others are off the beaten path. Enjoy! Be inspired! Lead BIG!

Leadership Friday Favs 5.11.12

What is Unconscious Bias? (Unconscious Bias)

Unconscious bias is gaining social science traction (and some controversy) as yet another reason why discrimination, albeit covert, still exists in the workplace. The concept "offers the idea that discrimination and bias are social, rather than individual issues, and that we can thus all participate in promoting equality."

  • Companion piece: the Implicit Association Test (IAT) developed by Doctors Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin R. Banaji, designed to help us better understand the conscious-unconscious divergences that go on in our mind. We're still talking about our results.

Ladies! Will an interest in men's sports advance your career? (Dorothy Dalton on Dorothy Dalton); Wanted: Senior Executive: Must Play Golf ~ Really? (Gwyn Teatro on You're Not the Boss of Me)

I'm (Jane writing here) married to a sports addict whose wedding gift to me was golf clubs. I've done my share of playing really bad golf at business meetings, networking events and vendor/client outings. So two posts in a week about the relationship between sports and business was are some of the comments to these posts.

Do Your Team Members Throw One Another Under The Bus? (Chris Young, Human Capital Strategy Blog)

If your employees pointing fingers at one another instead of supporting/encouraging each other, Chris offers some investigative answers to help leaders get to core of the issue.

Are You Building a Leadership Culture? (Doug Dickerson on Leader's Beacon)

Using the results of the recent Hay Group study on best leadership practices as a springboard, Doug poses questions for reflection to determine if your organization will ever show up on that list.

Book reviews to check out: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel on LeadershipNow, Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams that Got Them Right by Thomas H. Davenport and Brook Manville on LeadBIG, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg on WhitneyJohnson.

Thoughts on getting your personal big on. "Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you." ~Jim Rohn

Leadership Friday Favs 5.4.12

Lead by Listening and Championing New Leaders & New Ideas (Melissa Laughon, Catch Your Limit)

The BIG team loves Melissa's self-awareness! On a recent flight, she recognized it was time to be a listener and hear stories about leadership and the power of negative role models.

Leadership and Love (Paul J. Zak, Big Questions Online)

Another fav topic with the BIG team - bring more compassion and caring into the workplace. "Especially in tough economic times, some managers may believe that love in the workplace is a luxury they can't afford. They may find that the cost of hard-hearted or indifferent management can be counted in dollars and cents."

Office Politics – Five Steps to Make It Joyful (Henna Inam, The Glass Hammer)

Office politics is frequently a work sport many people choose not to play. Bad move. Henna offers up good advice on how to turn those sticky situations into positive advantage.

Escaping the Asylum (Samuel B. Bacharach, The Bacharach Blog)

Goodness, what an idea:  comparing corporate life to being in an asylum, where, "after a while everyone...begins to submit to the definition of self the organization imposes on them, begins speaking the language of the organization, parroting the aspirations of the organization, and accepting the authority and rules of the organization." Lots to noodle after reading this one!

3 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic (Scott Eblin, Eblin Group)

Scott serves up three methods for silencing the itty, bitty committee in your head "so you can show up with the kind of confidence that compels people to follow your lead."

How Women Can Advance as Business Leaders (Anne Deeter Gallaher, CrowdShifter)

It's always good to hear success stories, especially ones from women in business. Anne shares tips and pointers that helped her with career advancement, from finding her voice to building her own sandbox.

Workplace Diet: Was Blind But Now I See (Because I Asked for Input) (David Grossman, Leader Communicator Blog)

As David writes, "We all have them. Blind spots. Things that are unknown to us yet obvious to others; an area of our leadership vision we're not able to see." He offers examples of the most common blind spots as well as 11 ways to figure them out.

Thoughts on dealing with the paradox of kindness. "Kindness is the currency of our hearts, the only currency that can never be subtracted and never be balanced in anyone's ledgers. We choose to be kind because it is the way we want to live our lives, not because we will be rewarded in some way. When we start to keep score, we become closed-hearted: I'm not doing anything nice until someone does something good for me. Our acts of kindness are whole unto themselves. They require no acknowledgment and no reward, for the act itself returns us once again to the heart of our own humanity." ~Will Glennon

Here's wishing you and your team success this coming week in using your head to manage and your heart to lead!

Leadership Friday Favs 4.27.12

Are you making choices that matter? (Chery Gegelman, Lead Change Group Blog)

This one will get you thinking. Chery asks the $64,000 question:  "Are we engaged and courageously challenging our own comfort zones for the good of those around us or are we sitting comfortably and watching the world go by?"

Six Extras that Build Power and Leadership (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review blog)

The team at BIG is big on helping people step up and into their power. Power gets a bum rap. People believe they don't deserve to have it or don't want any.  Others think it's evil and self-serving. Power, in and of itself, is neutral. It only becomes good or bad depending upon how one chooses to use it. In this terrific post, Kanter highlights six building blocks for making power good:  being a good colleague, connecting people, being a giver, framing issues, commitment and diplomacy.

Do You Use Verbal White Space? (Steve Roesler, All Things Workplace)

Effective verbal communication skills are a must-have leadership toolkit item. Steve offers up great advice for phrasing your message to assure your meaning is communicated, and not lost in a sea of too many words.

Understanding Bias Is Essential to Inclusion (Mark Kaplan, Diversity Executive)

Ready for comfort zone discomfort? "The debate about bias is over. Bias is a part of being human. The issue is no longer whether people are biased, but more about how to increase awareness of how bias impacts organizations and what can be done about it."

Change, Patience, and Reinventing Ourselves (Debbe Kennedy, Women In the Lead)

The butterfly story from Greg Levoy's Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life is included. It's a splendid reminder of the power of patience and that sometimes the best help is no help.

Managers: Drive out fear—one thing you can do this week (David Witt, Blanchard LeaderChat)

Great guidance for not letting small things become big problems. What really stood out for us:  email is one-way communicating. Real managers make sure two-way communications occur.

Thoughts on success and humility. "It is said that it is far more difficult to hold and maintain leadership that it is to attain it. Success is a ruthless competitor for it flatters and nourishes our weaknesses and lulls us into complacency. We bask in the sunshine of accomplishment and lose the spirit of humility which helps us visualize all the factors which have contributed to our success. We are apt to forget that we are only one of a team, that in unity there is strength and that we are strong only as long as each unit in our organization functions with precision." ~Samuel Tilden

Use this week to help those on your team learn to use their heads to manage and their hearts to lead...success requires both!


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