Sacred cows, essay tests and other leadership reading

Sacred cows, life as an essay test, having unthinkable thoughts and success as a catalyst for failure were among the eclectic leadership topics hitting the BIG’s team radar this past week. Please enjoy!

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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