Leadership Reading Roundup

In our work and research over the past week, the BIG team was drawn to articles about taking stock, being happy, having character and keeping things in perspective. May you be inspired!

Finding Meaning at Work, Even When Your Job Is Dull (Morten Hansen and Dacher Keltner on HBR Blog Network) Continue reading


Weekly Leadership Reading

Developing others and ongoing learning are in our DNA here at Braithwaite/Get Your BIG On, so we’re doing research all the time. It might be fact-finding for something we’re writing, creating content for a development session or speech, or working for a client. We get to see lots of worthy material while doing our work (what a wonderful perk!), so we share the highlights via our weekly leadership reading, a short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but might be interested in knowing. Enjoy!

“I have the power!” (I/O at Work)

The BIG team is on mission to educate people that power in and of itself is neutral. We believe it becomes positive or negative depending on how people choose to use it. The research cited here affirms that power doesn’t corrupt. However, the researchers found that power “allows corrupt people to express their inner ‘corruptness’ more freely (or allows the virtuous to express their goodness).” Continue reading


This Week’s Leadership Favs

Ongoing learning, exploring, making a sustainable positive difference, paying it forward, and developing others are in our DNA here at Get Your BIG On.  The BIG team sees lots of worthy material while doing our work (what a delightful perk!), so we share the highlights via our “Leadership Friday Favs,” a short-cut to information you may not have the time to look up but might be interested in knowing.

9 Surefire Ways to Destroy Employee Morale (Kim Bhasin, Open Forum)

Gallup’s last employee engagement stats say 71% of workers aren’t engaged. If you’re a leader who’s worried about that number, do a mini-audit to see how many of these nine things are happening at your workplace.

Gender and Impression Management, Playing the Promotion Game (Val Singh, Savita Kumra, Susan Vinnicombe)

You work hard, keep your head down, and trust that’s enough to land you the big promotion that’s eluded you to-date. Not so, say these researchers. Some interesting stuff here about impression management and office politics.

Nine Reasons Managers Struggle (Michael McKinney, LeadershipNow)

Great book review of Managers, can you hear now now? by Denny Strigl, former CEO and president of Verizon Wireless. If leaders are guilty of committing any of these nine behaviors (ranging from caught up in self-importance to failing to enforce accountability), there’s trouble ahead.

WOMEN: Leadership is How to Be (Debbe Kennedy, Women in the Lead Blog)

This post touched on several topics near and dear to the BIG team: showing heart in leadership, women, being versus doing. “We have to get comfortable with putting more heart into our leadership, creating that dazzling combination of competence and human compassion, interest, and understanding of others.”

The Alchemy and Mystery of Leadership (Wally Bock, Three Star Leadership)

The BIG team loved Wally’s conclusion that “you will never know the impact you have on most of your team members, but you will have an impact. Set a good example. Treat people right. Leave the world better than you found it.” But what we loved even more was how he set a great learning example for leaders: being open to the content from Mary Jo Asmus’ “Embracing Mystery” post and using feedback from a former direct report to expand his definition of leadership.

Be kind to yourself message of the week. “Try looking at your mind as a wayward puppy that you are trying to paper train. You don’t drop-kick a puppy into the neighbor’s yard every time it piddles on the floor. You just keep bringing it back to the newspaper.” ~Anne Lamott

Here’s to using your head to manage and your heart to lead at the intriguing intersection of the art of leadership and the science of business!



This Week’s Fav Leadership Reading

Uncertainty Will Freeze You in Place if You Let It (Michael McKinney on Leading Blog)

We’d all like to be perpetually confident and serenely clear on what to do, but, hey, that’s not the case. Here Michael shares insights from Jonathan Fields’ book Uncertainty, proposing that uncertainty can be a catalyst for innovation and personal improvement. Love the “negative capability” from poet John Keats.

Meetings Don’t Have to Suck (Susan Mazza on Random Acts of Leadership)

Meetings that waste our time have unfortunately become yet another business obstacle.institution to be endured. Susan offers three extremely simple and very effective rules of self-leadership for conducting meaningful and productive meetings. Do these three things, and people will want to come to your meetings!

→Les McKeown’s post, If Picasso had your schedule, we’d never have heard of him, addresses meetings and is a great companion piece to Susan’s. It’s great for a rueful smile and some inspiration.

Moral Fog (Wally Bock on Three Star Leadership)

Wally’s post is a thoughtful summary of the horrific sex scandal unfolding at Penn State. Wally goes to the real heart of the matter, however, when he courageously asks why a football program took priority over the lives of young boys.

→A great companion piece is Moral potency: building the capacity for character based leadership by Sean T. Hannah and Bruce Avolio. (We’ve featured this free ebook before yet it merits a second post.)

Why Sustainable Businesses Should Study Up On Women (Andrea Learned on Sustainable Business Forum)

Given our passion for redefining leadership, we were drawn to Andrea’s concept that business must move away from an over-reliance on linear thinking and move toward relational and interdependent thinking - and that women can be instrumental in that process.

→We’re on a roll with companion pieces, so why not one more?! I’d love it if you would check out my post over at Gary Hamel’s MIX - Square Pegs, Sacred Cows and Starting Over with Leadership - where I propose ways to redefine leadership. A former boss’s reaction? Holy cow! Fire Wall Street? Can’t be done.

Thought of the week: “If you try to make your circle closed and exclusively yours, it never grows very much. Only a circle that has lots of room for anybody who needs it has enough spare space to hold any real magic.” ~Zilpha Keatley Snyder