Each week I read a number of leadership articles from various online resources and share them across social media. Here are the five articles readers found most valuable last week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think, too.
Our Gift to You: Karin and I have a gift for you when you pre-order Winning Well. Check it out at the end this round-up.
The One Sentence Employee Engagement Course: 20 Words to Gain Emotional Commitment on Forbes.com by Kevin Kruse
Is it truly possible to condense the science of employee engagement into a single sentence? It is and Kevin will convince you of that. No topic that is more important to the long-term success of business than engagement. Despite the click-baiting contrarians, Gallup and others have a solid body of research that shows that engagement is the antecedent of service, quality, sales, profits and ultimately shareholder value.
My Comment: The research around what connects people to their work is clear and well documented. Kevin Kruse gives you a great one-sentence summary of the principles of engaged employees. Karin and I devote the pages of Winning Well to practical tools you can use to live out these principles every day.
10 Empowering Quotes from Inspiring Women Leaders Infographic by John Walston
These empowering quotes from inspiring women leaders might help motivate you to reach the next level. They come from different walks of life – business, politics and entertainment – but their messages resonate with all of us.
My Comment: Many good quotes here – one of my favorites is from former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, “If you cannot allow people to do their jobs…nobody with substance and creativity will work for you.”
Two Words That Kill Your Relationship With Employees by Jill Schiefelbein
If a person sees your words as a challenge and becomes obsessed with proving the statement wrong, you get an employee who is unilaterally focused on a task that you’ve already deemed non-essential. This takes productivity away from other tasks and can also upset the collaborative balance of workplace teams. You also run the risk of the employee looking for a new job—at a place where something IS possible and where management better encourages and supports innovation.
My Comment: Jill shares a personal experience with great application for your relationships with your employees. In fact, the employees most likely to be alienated by the words she urges you to avoid…are the ones you most likely don’t want to lose.
The Dynamic Duo of Vision and Strategy by Julie Winkle Giulioni
Some things just work better together: bread and butter, Batman and Robin, soap and water. In these examples, each item has value in and of itself. Yet combined, the pairs take on a more striking, pleasurable and powerful quality. The same holds true for vision and strategy: leaders who are able to master both and leverage them with their teams will drive unbeatable results.
But many managers and supervisors find they might be talented or effective at one and struggle with the other… which makes perfect sense. The two tasks require very different skill sets.
My Comment: I can’t agree more with Julie on this topic. To be as effective as possible and engage your team, you need both vision and strategy. However, if you’re like most people, you’re more talented at one than the other. The good news is you can augment your skills and work with others to make sure your team has both!
The Productivity Killers in Every Office Infographic by Chantal Bechervaise
There are no shortage of things that can decrease productivity in your office. From March Madness to Serial podcasts to chatty coworkers, a number of distractions can invade your office and decrease your employees’ output. However, blocking every website on the Internet and forcing everyone to work in soundproof cubicles probably isn’t the best way to increase employee efficiency. Instead, consider the connection between workplace design and productivity, and take a look at the design of your office to see where you can improve your colleagues’ effectiveness.
My Comment: There are some great items in this infographic – reducing noise pollution is almost always achievable. Natural light can be tougher to come by, but sure helps! Keep in mind that not every environment is conducive to every type of work.
Our Gift to You
For every copy of Winning Well that you pre-order, we will send you a free custom bookplate with your requested message.
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“I’d choose Winning Well as the top leadership book for the 21st century, full of actionable insights, practices, and principles for your lasting leadership success. Take charge of your team, your career, and your results. Read Winning Well with a highlighter and pen in hand, and then buy a copy for everyone on your team. Yes, it really IS that good.” -David Newman, author of Do It! Marketing