Weekly Leadership Reading

Since the team at BIG is perpetually doing research and seeing great articles, we share some of our favorite reading from the past week…enjoy!

14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas (Mitch Ditkoff on The Heart of Innovation)

Looking for inventive people-oriented ways to kick-start the flow of new ideas? Mitch offers up 14 great suggestions.

The Power of Integrity (Andre van Heerdan on Critical Thought)

Very thoughtful piece on how leadership is built on integrity. “What is integrity? Most people say it is ‘honesty’ — being as good as your word. But it is more than that. Integrity is completeness, wholeness, or perfect condition. When something falls apart, it disintegrates.”

23 Things You Could Do Today to Increase Your Influence (Colin Gautrey on Colin Gautrey’s Influence Blog)

As Colin writes,”If you want to become more influential, I always first advise pausing to think — but not for long. Unless you act, the thinking is likely to have been a complete waste of time. So here is something to think about — 23 things in fact. All of them are ideas you could do today to become more influential. The first two are mandatory.”

Bob Sutton’s Good Boss, Bad Boss: A Review. Of the First Page. (CV Harquail, Authentic Organizations)

So compelling, so creative, so rich with possibility! “I’m really stuck on those numbers: 21 million bosses, 21 times X million employees. I think about the potential for positive change that resides in a compelling, fluid, reasonable, well-grounded, realistic book about becoming a better boss.”

The Dangers of Being Smart (Tauriq Moosa on Big Think)

“We forget that learning something new usually means unlearning biases we are probably all born with: thus, (1) if we are smart and (2) haven’t been challenged at vulnerable times, say when we’re younger, on certain entrenched views that many have, then when counter-arguments are presented, the bad beliefs are so tightly knitted due to our being smart that we can’t simply weave a new thread. The previous one, with all its knots and bows, must itself be carefully undone.”

A thought on what we measure and value. “Maybe it’s time we get a toolbox that doesn’t just count what’s easily counted, the tangible in life, but actually counts what we most value, the things that are intangible.” ~Chip Conley



This Week’s Leadership Favs

The BIG Friday leadership favorites are an eclectic collection of articles, blog posts, quotes, pod casts and whatever else engaged our interest as we did our work over the past week. Lead BIG and enjoy!

How to Map the Politics around Your Work (Colin Gautrey, The Gautrey Group)

Ewwww, say many people when the topic “office politics” is broached. Yet smart leaders understand that office politics can’t be ignored, and in fact, need to be understood. Colin offers up a fascinating exercise in this post, designed to help leaders develop a “firm grasp of what is “really” going on, can you start to navigate safely through the corridors of power.”

The 70-20-10 Rule  (Center for Creative Leadership e-Newsletter, requires free sign-up)

Based on their own research, CCL proposes a formula for developing managers that incorporates three categories of experience: “challenging assignments (70 percent), developmental relationships (20 percent) and coursework and training (10 percent). Says CCL’s Meena Surie Wilson, ‘We believe that today, even more than before, a manager’s ability and willingness to learn from experience is the foundation for leading with impact.’”

Bad is Stronger Than Good (Roy F. Baumeister, et al, research paper)

If your orientation to the world is a glass half empty, you’ll have a field day with the scientific data here, “having a good day did not have any noticeable effect on a person’s well-being the following day, whereas having a bad day did carry over and influence the next day.”  For us glass-half-full folks, all the more reason to keep working on making a positive difference and paying it forward.

Bad Boss or a Bad Job Fit? (Chris Young, Rainmaker Group)

Chris poses an interesting question here: are you certain your workplace problems are caused by having a crummy boss, or is the root cause that the wrong person was hired for the job? He proposed a three-step process to find the answer.

4 Big Reasons to Kill Your Weekly Status Meeting (Art Petty, Management Excellence)

Time is money. Relationships are the new currency of workplace. If you’re a boss and value both time and relationships, read Art’s post before you schedule your next staff meeting.

Quote of the week:  “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” ~Art Turock



This Week’s Fav Leadership Reading

The Big Seven Stakeholder Management Mistakes (Colin Gautrey on The Influence Blog)

The Lone Ranger management model rode off into the sunset a long, long time ago. Yet many managers still haven’t gotten the word that stakeholdering is a vital element in their leadership success. Stakeholders come in all sizes and places within an organization, and can play a large role in either the success or failure of your venture. Colin offers a most helpful list of seven not-to-do items with communicating and/or partnering with stakeholders.

Build versus Buy: Taking Stock of your Frontline Pipeline (DDI Directions)

A client group is preparing their 2012 business plan. The high level yet thoughtful questions and insights posed in this article were most helpful to them as they thought through how to approach their workforce staffing and development needs. “Identifying and developing emerging leaders requires—and is receiving—a focus from organizations across the world.You have to start by answering the critical question: ‘Do we build or do we buy? Building is identifying and developing existing and emerging leaders from within. Buying is hiring from outside.”

Tom Reads The Little BIG Things (Tom Peters on tompeters!)

Do you work at an organization where the sole focus is on profits/the bottom line, and that singular focus leaves you feeling empty? At Get Your BIG On, we believe magic happens when people feel confident, are engaged and know their employer values their contributions. If you believe in this kind of magic and need a boost, listen in as Tom reads a proposed company credo in the audio version of his The Little BIG Things. Warning: be prepared to swoon with delight and be transported to business as it should be, a place where there is an accountable focus on personal leadership growth, input and opinions do matter and are invited, and where a spotless work record signals not stellar success yet an unwillingness to brave the unknown…woohoo!

The Real Lesson of Moneyball (Wally Bock on Three Star Leadership)

This is a great companion piece to the Tom Peters reading noted above. Wally tells the story of how the Oakland A’s were the first baseball “team to use the statistical analysis tools that find undervalued stocks to find undervalued baseball players.” While using statistical tools must be part of the leadership/business toolkit, it isn’t a guarantee of fool-proof success. As Wally points out, “New ways of doing business and business process innovations are important. They can give you a temporary advantage, but soon your competitors copy what you do and what was once a big advantage becomes table stakes.”

Your Company’s Secret Change Agents (Richard Tanner Pascale and Jerry Sternin, Harvard Business Review)

One thing is for certain: with the “new normal” in business, an effective leader must be on the perpetual lookout for change. The tried and true doesn’t always cut it. One must seek the “sparkling exceptions to the rule” as they’re so aptly defined in this article. The authors outline six fascinating elements for helping a group learn from its own hidden wisdom, thus eliminating the “not-invented-here” bias that typically flows from best practice and benchmarking analysis.

Quote of the week. The Get Your BIG On team is loving on this quote this week: “If you’re interested in misery, 1) always try to look good in front of others; 2) always live in a world of assumptions and treat each assumption as though it’s a reality; 3) relate to every new situation as if it is a small crisis; 4) always live in the future or the past; and 5) occasionally stomp on yourself for being so dumb as to follow the first four rules.” ~W. W. Broadbent