Weekly Leadership Reading

These articles resonated with the Get Your BIG On LeadBIG team this past week…enjoy!

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Be A Leader (Don Shapiro, Lead Change Group Blog)

We like Don’s counsel that draws from lessons to be learned from sports leaders: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a leader…just have your heart in the right place and do enough things right to make a difference to those you lead.”

Every Leader’s Achilles Heel (Lisa Petrilli, C-Level Strategies)

“In other words, you can have every attribute you need to be a strong, distinguished leader but a lack of clarity is the single vulnerability that destines you to ruination.” Lisa offers three insights for how to create clarity of purpose.

A silent leadership killer (Mary Jo Asmus on SmartBrief for Leadership)

“Groupthink is powerful: a little unethical conduct here, a white lie there — justification is available for every integrity-compromised action. Suddenly, someone realizes something is wrong, and it’s too late; the momentum has built like a leaky faucet until a drip becomes a stream that turns into a flood, drowning employees, customers and those who trusted your leadership.”

None of us is as smart as all of us—take this quiz and see for yourself (David Witt on Blanchard LeaderChat)

Granted the Mensa quiz snagged our attention asap, yet the real insights come from the readout of using this quiz in development sessions. Is it all about me…or we?

Are You Brainwashed or Drinking Too Much Kool-Aid? Leadership Starts With You!(Todd Nielsen on A Slice of Leadership)

Ever wonder why you keep working at that place you hate? Todd offers up four psychological reasons for understanding why we may hang on, even to our detriment.

From the what’s-life-all-about-perspective: “Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Is life a multiple choice test or is it a true or false test?” …Then a voice comes to me out of the dark and says, “We hate to tell you this but life is a thousand word essay.” ~Charles M. Schulz

Lead BIG this week, using your head to manage and your heart to lead!



This Week’s Fav Leadership Reading

A Recipe for Appreciation (Susan Mazza, Random Acts Of Leadership)

Susan reminds us that “appreciation has two very important purposes – to let someone know you care and to let them know they matter” and goes on to offer a helpful three-part recipe for incorporating real thanks and gratitude into your daily actions. Most appropriate for the holiday season - and for every day of the year!

Authentic Leadership Development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership (by Bruce J. Avolio and William L. Gardner)

As we move into the beginning of the holiday season and the end of the year, it’s common to take stock of what we’re doing, being and becoming. If becoming a more authentic leader is something you’re noodling for making a positive difference in business, 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.

Gratitude in Leadership: When Gratefulness Fuels Giving (Lisa Petrilli, C- Level Strategies - Visionary Leadership)

Stories bring such deep and meaning to leadership; and here Lisa shares a great story of being named Vice-President of the Indiana University Student Foundation, and how this experience taught her the power of gratitude.

Negotiating Challenges for Women Leaders (Harvard Business School Working Knowledge)

In both my corporate and entrepreneurial careers, this issue surfaces over and over again: women actively advocating other others yet remaining silent and/or holding back when the situation calls for negotiating on their own behalf. No doubt, it’s a double bind situation: speak up and be labeled aggressive; fail to negotiate for yourself and fall behind in earnings, etc. Chew on this nugget from this article: “That research shows that in conditions of ambiguity, if you bring men and women into the lab and you say either one of two things: “Work until you think you’ve earned the $10 we just gave you,” or “Work and then tell us how much you think you deserve,” the women work longer hours with fewer errors for comparable pay, and pay themselves less for comparable work. But if there’s a standard [that men and women know], then this result goes away.”

Moon Shots for Management (Gary Hamel, Harvard Business Review, February 2009)

At Get Your BIG On, we’re big on polarities – those both/and scenarios that seem contradictory yet are interdependent and both necessary. Things like being confident and humble, well-liked and powerful. In this article Gary Hamel itemizes a whole host of polarities necessary to revitalize management (another fav topic of ours!). Which of the 25 grand challenges resonates the most with you? Share your thoughts for an upcoming LeadBIG post.

Inspiring thought of the week: “I urge you to: trudge not through life leaving ugly gashes, tiptoe not through life leaving half-formed impressions; but tread gently, lovingly and purposefully, leaving graceful heart-prints.” ~Unity Dow, the Botswana High Court Judge