Leadership Reading We Liked

Because ongoing learning, exploring, and developing others are in our DNA here at Brraithwaite Innovation Group and Get Your BIG On, we are researching and reading all the time. These posts intrigued us and/or captured our imagination and/or pushed our comfort zones this past week. Here’s hoping they do the same for you…enjoy!

Are you making choices that matter? (Chery Gegelman, Lead Change Group Blog)

This one will get you thinking. Chery asks the $64,000 question:  ”Are we engaged and courageously challenging our own comfort zones for the good of those around us or are we sitting comfortably and watching the world go by?”

Six Extras that Build Power and Leadership (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review blog)

The team at BIG is big on helping people step up and into their power. Power gets a bum rap. People believe they don’t deserve to have it or don’t want any.  Others think it’s evil and self-serving. Power, in and of itself, is neutral. It only becomes good or bad depending upon how one chooses to use it. In this terrific post, Kanter highlights six building blocks for making power good:  being a good colleague, connecting people, being a giver, framing issues, commitment and diplomacy.

Do You Use Verbal White Space? (Steve Roesler, All Things Workplace)

Effective verbal communication skills are a must-have leadership toolkit item. Steve offers up great advice for phrasing your message to assure your meaning is communicated, and not lost in a sea of too many words.

Understanding Bias Is Essential to Inclusion (Mark Kaplan, Diversity Executive)

Ready for comfort zone discomfort? ”The debate about bias is over. Bias is a part of being human. The issue is no longer whether people are biased, but more about how to increase awareness of how bias impacts organizations and what can be done about it.”

Change, Patience, and Reinventing Ourselves (Debbe Kennedy, Women In the Lead)

The butterfly story from Greg Levoy’s Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life is included. It’s a splendid reminder of the power of patience and that sometimes the best help is no help.

Managers: Drive out fear—one thing you can do this week (David Witt, Blanchard LeaderChat)

Great guidance for not letting small things become big problems. What really stood out for us:  email is one-way communicating. Real managers make sure two-way communications occur.

Thoughts on success and humility. ”It is said that it is far more difficult to hold and maintain leadership that it is to attain it. Success is a ruthless competitor for it flatters and nourishes our weaknesses and lulls us into complacency. We bask in the sunshine of accomplishment and lose the spirit of humility which helps us visualize all the factors which have contributed to our success. We are apt to forget that we are only one of a team, that in unity there is strength and that we are strong only as long as each unit in our organization functions with precision.” ~Samuel Tilden

Use this week to help those on your team learn to use their heads to manage and their hearts to lead…success requires both!


This Week’s Leadership Favs

Our Friday leadership favorites are an eclectic collection of articles, blog posts, quotes, pod casts and whatever else engages our interest. Some items are recent, others aren’t. Some are mainstream, others are off the beaten path. Enjoy! Be inspired!

The Leader And The Peacock In The Closet (Terry Starbucker)

Striking the fine balance between confidence and humility is a perpetual challenge for many leaders. Terry shares some of his early lessons from powerful mentors who helped him learn how effective leaders think more about we and less about me.

Management Debt (Ben Horowitz, ben’s blog)

As Gary Hamel writes, business is full of irreconcilable trade-offs, yet Ben adds a new twist. ”…you will run into serious trouble if you fail to keep the trade-off in the front of your mind. There also exists a less well-understood parallel concept, which I will call management debt. Like technical debt, management debt is incurred when you make an expedient, short-term management decision with an expensive, long-term consequence.”

Power Failure in Management Circuits (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, HBR post)

What a great opening line:  ”Power is America’s last dirty word.” And what’s even more compelling (to me) is that this article was published in 1979…and is still totally relevant today. Read on to learn more about sources of power, powerlessness, and sharing power. Then, ponder, as the BIG team is, about when this is all going to change…

What The Eyes Reveal: 10 Messages My Pupils are Sending You (Psyblog)

If you are looking for clues as to what story someone’s eyes are telling you, you’ll find ten interesting possibilities here.  The second item was a surprise to the BIG team.

Three Convenient Non-Excuses Keeping Women Off Boards (Melissa Anderson, The Glass Hammer)

While research from Catalyst and a host of other sources shows the positive bottom line impacts of more women in senior teams and on boards, the presence of women on those roles remains limited. Melissa writes about ”three convenient non-excuses that boards make for their lack of business-building diversity – and to counter them.”

A thought to noodle: ”I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” ~Gilda Radner

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



Friday Leadership Favs 12.2.11

Ongoing learning, exploration, making a positive difference that lasts, and developing others are in our DNA here at Get Your BIG On. We are doing research all the time whether it’s fact-finding for an article we’re writing, creating content for a development session, or working for a client. We see lots of worthy material while doing our work (what a delightful perk!), so we’re sharing the highlights via our “Friday Leadership Favs” - a short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but might be interested in knowing.

3 “ME’s” of Leadership (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, The Change Master)

The BIG team (and Anne Perschel, Germane Consulting) are big on positive power. Learn here how to espouse the power of message, exemplify the power of models, and establish the power of formal mechanisms - all keys to being a better leader (and person!).

Turn up the heat (Simon Jordan, Success for Business)

We have a client who was concerned that her business wasn’t growing. When asked to describe how she was promoting it, she talked about all the things “she planned to do.” However, there was little to talk about regarding what she had actually done. In this piece, Simon offers a cooking metaphor for putting action behind all the wishing and thinking and intentions. It’s the hard work that produces results!

How to Instill Purpose (John Baldoni, Lead by Example)

Purpose gives our personal and professional lives meaning and direction. Here John offers four astute things for organizations to do to build purpose amongst their employee base. “Purpose, as savvy leaders know, is the foundation for creating vision, executing the mission, and abiding by the values of an organization. Culture emerges from purposeful organizations, because purpose is what shapes individual’s beliefs and organizational norms.”

Leading By Example and Mistaken Beliefs (Gwyn Teatro, You’re Not the Boss of Me)

Gwyn opens her post by saying this post is one “I like to come back to from time to time because I strongly believe it is not what we say, or what we intend but what we do that shapes the leader.” We agree! Gwyn thoughtfully debunks some common misbeliefs about what being a leader is, or isn’t.

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Fail, Fail, Fail (Daniel Honan, BigThink)

Failure is a great teacher…provided we give ourselves the opportunity to learn from it. If you’re afraid to take a risk and/or want to give up, this inspiring story about Twyla Tharp will nudge you in the learning and success direction. “…success comes through rapidly fixing our mistakes rather than getting things right the first time.”

Ponder time: We all participate in weaving the social fabric; we should therefore all participate in patching the fabric when it develops holes. ~Anne C. Weisberg