Leadership Reading Favs

Influence, diversity, inclusion, a-name-for-the-deadbeats-in-a-project-group, and office politics snagged our reading attention this past week and show up in our curated list of reading favs. Enjoy!

Why Inclusion is the New Competitive Business Advantage (Patty Rasmussen, Womenetics)

A great little interview that shreds some good light on how diversity is different from inclusion. “While diversity is certainly linked to inclusion, organizations can be diverse and not inclusive.” Continue reading


Weekly Leadership Reading

The BIG team sees lots of interesting material while doing our work (what a delightful perk!), so we share the highlights via our weekly leadership favs. Enjoy our short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but find interesting!

The Power of Introverts (Susan Cain, Huff Post Women)

Are you an introvert who feels like you must masquerade as an extrovert because that’s the more socially acceptable way to be? If so, you’ll like how Susan challenges mainstream “go with the flow” thinking.

Trend Watch: Redefining Leadership (Center for Creative Leadership, may require free sign-up)

Some very stimulating concepts from Nick Petrie, former Harvard professor and now with CCL. “Individual competencies still matter. However, something more significant may be happening — the end of an era, dominated by individual leaders, and the beginning of another, which embraces networks of leadership.”

Best and Worst Jobs of 2012 (Wall Street Journal)

Several clients were intrigued with this list of preferred/not preferred jobs, looking at the contents from turnover, engagement and strategic planning purposes. Some interesting business and cultural value statements here.

Leading Change in the 21st Century: 4 Myths About Cultural Change (Aad Boot, Leadershipwatch)

If your senior leadership team is saying we need to change the culture around here, have them read Aad’s post. Then follow up with some long and thoughtful discussions about what will or won’t work for your organization.

A Perfect System of Misunderstanding (Dan Oestreich, Unfolding Leadership)

“We seem to thrive on caricatures and stereotypes and all too habitually see problems rather than possibilities in the unknown regions beyond our own preferred stories,” writes Dan in this thoughtful post. Great tips that encourage leaders to be open and vulnerable (however tricky and unnerving that will be) as they deal with conflict and misunderstanding, particularly of one another.

When Goals Become Limits (Patrick Love, Unconventional Leadership)

Some good insights to challenge your thought processes about whether or not SMART goals curb what we’re capable of achieving.

A quote we liked best. “For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” ~John F. Kennedy

Here’s to using your head to manage and your heart to lead!

Photo from Quick Flash Games




Fav Leadership Reading

Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership (Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis)

Fascinating stuff! Research in the emerging field of social neuroscience—the study of what happens in the brain while people interact—is beginning to reveal subtle new truths about what makes a good leader. Certain things leaders do—specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to others’ moods—literally affect both their own brain chemistry and that of their followers. The authors contend that leading effectively is less about mastering situations—or even mastering social skill sets—than about developing a genuine interest in and talent for fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need.

Next Generation Leaders (Talent Management)

Is your organization wondering whether or not investing in leadership development is the right place to spend your money? If so, you’ll benefit from reading this well-written and researched piece (that does take several minutes to load so do be patient, the wait is worth it). The list of 10 expectations for evaluating the success of a leadership development program is quite interesting.

Can You Lead With Pictures (Center for Creative Leadership March 2011)

This post introduces “visual thinking.” “Visual thinking uses pictures and images to evoke ideas, thoughts and feelings and to foster powerful conversations,” says CCL’s Chuck Palus. “People use pictures as the starting point for talking about complex or difficult things.” The post contains a list of very provoking “framing” questions to spur creativity…techniques appropriate for every leader’s repertoire.

The Making of a Corporate Athlete  (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, Harvard Business Review)

We used this piece in a workshop we facilitated this week to underscore the importance of self-care. Short-staffed organizations expect their leaders to continually do more with less. Thinking of oneself as a corporate athlete – and training mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – can be a great boon in replenishing one’s leadership reserves so the well doesn’t run dry someday.

The Myth of the Ideal Worker (Nancy M. Carter and Christine Silva for Catalyst)

In this recent report, Catalyst continues researching gender myths, this time focusing on the question of whether the gender gap persists because women and men adopt different strategies to advance their careers. Their discovery? That doing “all the right things” helped men – but not women – advance further and faster.

Quote of the week: “There is another more subtle way in which the innocence of childhood is lost: when the child is infected with the desire to become somebody. Contemplate the crowds of people who are striving might and main to become, not what Nature intended them to be - musicians, cooks, mechanics, carpenters, gardeners, inventors - but somebody: to become successful, famous, powerful; to become something that will bring, not quiet and self-fulfillment, but self-glorification and self-expansion.” ~Tony deMello SJ, Indian spiritual leader and writer