Friday Favs 8.19.11

Leading Again for the First Time (Chris Souba, Dean The Ohio State University [go bucks!] Journal of Surgical Research 157, 139–153, 2009)

It’s all here: getting your identity all confused with your role, telling yourself empowering and/or disempowering stories, being mindful of your mental hard drives (what a great turn of phrase!), interpretative versus evidence-based decision-making, and even two views of reality. All great stuff as a either a primer or a review, depending upon where you are in your leadership journey. “The sustainability and ‘thrive-ability’ of our organizations, societies, nations, and world rest on changing the way we currently think.”

Roadmap to a life that matters (HBR post by Umair Haque)

Having spent a big chunk of the last year researching business and power, the folks at BIG believe the fabric of business is badly frayed. Umair’s piece filled us with peace…and hope and joy. “More, bigger, faster, cheaper, nastier has built an economy that might just be in furious pursuit of mediocrity. Put what, why, and who you love ahead of what, why, and who you don’t, and your roadmap will begin to write itself.”

The Rainmaker ‘Fab Five’ Blog Picks of the Week (Chris Young, The Rainmaker Group, Maximize Possibility)

OK, OK, including a collection of posts in a collection of posts is perhaps a tad odd. However, there’s such thoughtful content here that touches several of our hot buttons that we couldn’t resist! Insights on employee engagement, leadership values, job autonomy, ethical behavior and more. If you’re a leader looking for a few topics to introduce a thoughtful discussion in a staff meeting, those topics are here.

When You’re Thrown Off Course... (Jesse Lyn Stoner)

It’s been another volatile week on the stock market. The evening news is full of doom and gloom stories. You feel your attitude meter starting to dip southward. If your outlook could use a “pick-me-up,” you’ll appreciate Jesse’s telling of Terry Fox’s story. It’s a true tale of leadership, resilience and spirit. Warning: be prepared to be inspired!

Quote of the week. Gotta love this point of view!

A pessimist, they say, sees a glass as being half empty; an optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty. ~G. Donald Gale

Friday Favs 7.29.11

Five People You Need On Your Personal Board of Directors (Tina Vasquez for The Glass Hammer)

If you’re a woman interested in making professional connections for career advancement, there’s some good advice in this article. Rather than wait for a mentor or sponsor, be proactive and create your own board of directors. Tina offers suggestions for five roles for the individuals you select for your board. This composition provides a variety of feedback which “leads to diversity of thought and in most cases, better results.”

Who’s Got the Monkey? (HBR Classic by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass)

Struggling with a ‘to do’ list that gets longer every time one of your direct reports pops into your office? If your employees are delegating their issues upward to you, this will be a great read (or re-read!). HBR re-released it in the late ’90′s, and it totally resonated with the leadership team where I was working at the time. To help us manage what the authors call “subordinate-managed time,” we all purchased the barrel of monkeys toy, using it as a visual symbol to track who was giving the monkey to whom!

Cultivating Goodness (Mary Jo Asmus, Aspire Collaborative Services)

Here at Braithwaite and Get Your BIG On, we’re big supporters of goodness, kindness and making a sustainable positive difference. We applaud Mary Jo for creating a thoughtful list of things leaders can/should do to serve the greater good. “When you put goodness out there, it comes back to you. Make an impact and watch goodness ripple throughout your organization.”

Why Airplanes are a Productivity Haven For Me (Kevin Eikenberry on Leadership and Learning)

Kevin’s post made us chuckle. We share his view that airplanes are a haven for unplugged productivity. Kevin’s key point to add to your toolkit is finding your haven - a place to think and renew. “It’s about making (not finding) the time and place to do your most important work.”

Whack Pack: The best brainstorming tool for the iPad

I’m a big fan of Roger von Oech’s Whack Pack. It’s a great tool for introducing creativity concepts to leaders and for brainstorming. Now it’s available as an app. This article provides suggestions on how to use the tool via an iPad…ingenious! (And now all I have to do is get an iPad!)

This quote stopped us in our tracks this week: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.” ~Nietzsche

Friday Favs 5.20.11

Art by Mary Blair

This week’s leadership Friday Favs runs the gamut from women and labyrinths to your inner critic to asking/answering questions…enjoy!

Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership (Harvard Business Review article, Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli, September 2007)

The authors use a labyrinth as a metaphor for what women in business face. “Passage through a labyrinth is not simple or direct, but requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead. For women who aspire to top leadership, routes exist but are full of twists and turns, both expected and unexpected.” The article goes on to explore various obstacles women in business encounter and management interventions that can help.

Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? (Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones)

Combining empathy with accountability is a unique skill set no leader should be without. In this HBR article, Goffee and Jones define tough empathy as “giving people not necessarily what they want, but what they need to achieve their best.” It’s the ultimate leadership balance beam act between task completion and relationship. Being tough and tender. Having high standards and high touch. The article is a great reminder to periodically hit your own pause button occasionally to re-assess your leadership behavior.

Just Imagine How Much You’d Get Done (Seth Godin)

No doubt, this is one short post. Yet one that’s full of reflective horsepower. Bottom line: determine just how much power you want to give to your inner critic.

Leading Questions (Bright Tree Consulting Post by Matt Angello, @mattangelo)

Whether you’re new to leadership or an experienced old hand, Matt offers a nugget of wisdom: avoid the trap of believing you have all the answer or even thinking that you should. The real power of leadership comes from asking the right question.

Quote of the week: “It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”  ~Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom From Fear