5 Top Leadership Articles for the Week of June 26, 2017

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This week I was in Columbus, OH and Nashville, TN sharing Winning Well programs with motivated leaders from around the world. I heard from a several of you about how you’re using these weekly leadership tips. One leader shares them with her management team and they discuss the concepts together. Another manager picks one tip each week and focuses on using it in his daily leadership. I’d love to hear how you’re using these selections of leadership wisdom!

Each week I read a number of leadership articles from various online resources and share them across social media. Here are the five leadership articles readers found most valuable last week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think, too.

6 Steps for Turning Your Employees Into Intrapreneurs by Jill Schiefelbein

In creating a culture of innovation within an organization, you want to make sure you have the ability to not only highlight people and bring their ideas to the surface, but also have a process in place so you can escalate those ideas up the chain to get action taken. Creating systems for intrapreneurship is a key success factor in many of today’s successful companies.

An intrapreneur is someone who thinks like an entrepreneur but is an employee within an organization. They get that steady paycheck, but they want to bring ideas to the surface and know they can impact decisions and the trajectory of the business. Your intrapreneurs are entrepreneurial thinkers who drive organizational change and are motivated by creation.

Squashing attempts at innovation is an easy way to kill employee morale and experience high-talent turnover. To avoid this, develop an internal process that all employees can use to bring ideas to the table and communicate them to the right people within your organization. This will encourage your intrapreneurs to contribute and think about ways to make the business better.

My Comment: I regularly hear from managers who want their team members to be more creative and solve problems on their own. But when you look more closely, it’s easy to see how employee’s motivation gets stamped out. If you want innovation or problem solving, you’ve got to create room for your people to suggest ideas that have already been attempted and not shoot them down as “we tried that.” You’ll want to reward effort, not just success. Innovation means taking a risk – and not all risks pay off. Use Schiefelbein’s process to make it safe for people to try.

Success Quotes that Pack the Biggest Punch for Entrepreneurs Like You by Christina DeBusk

Success. It’s one relatively simple word, yet it is large in concept because it signifies what every entrepreneur wants to achieve. To attain. To sustain.

The problem with success is, no matter what your definition, it isn’t always that easy to find. The path is long and winding, and the temptation to give up can be found around every corner.

So how do you keep going when all you really want to do is quit? You continuously seek to find motivation. And one place that I regularly find mine is in success quotes.

My Comment: This one was funny – I shared this list of quotes because three of them are ones I contributed to the list. Someone recently shared it again on social media and I read through the list, having forgotten what I had contributed. Wow – sometimes you can surprise yourself. The third one I listed was something I really needed to hear this week. I’ll share it here for you as well:

From French philosopher, Albert Camus: “They say I’m active. But being active is still wasting one’s time, if in doing one loses oneself. Today is a resting time, and my heart goes off in search of itself.” To Dye, this means that “productivity does not equal happiness or health. It is too easy to be consumed by the achievement of conquered to-dos and forget that life is meant to be lived. Keeping perspective, health, and relationships is vital.

May this and the other quotes on this list inspire you on your leadership journey.

Resilience: It’s All In Your Head by Mary Schaefer

I remember sitting on the edge of my bed crying. I have a variety of issues with my back. A few years ago they were acting up. One day I rolled out of bed about 4 pm because I couldn’t get up any sooner.

I had a “why me?” moment. “Why is this happening to me?” “I’m not the type of person this happens to.” (What does that even mean?) “This is never going to get better.”

Beside my bed is a bookcase. As I leaned over, feeling sorry for myself, a book caught my eye. The title doesn’t matter much. I chose what you would call spiritual or self-help material.

I slid onto the floor and started flipping through the book. I was reminded that I had more control over my situation than I was admitting.

I started with the main flaw in my thinking: “I’m not the type of person this happens to.” Self-pity raised its head, with a touch of entitlement and resentment sprinkled in.

After doing some reading and soul searching, I realized I was arguing with reality. Tip: Reality always wins…

My Comment: Every leader I’ve ever known is either in the middle of adversity, just recovering, or preparing to face the next one. Resilient leaders provide people the strength and focus they need to get through whatever circumstances may happen. Schaefer’s observations about how to maintain your resiliency through a neutral mindset are essential if you want to be a leader people respect and trust – no matter what is happening.

Are You a Boss Who Plays Favorites by Joel Garfinkle

We all have some working relationships that just work better than others. It can be tempting to latch on to what has been successful for us in the past, whether that’s a certain style, a certain personality type or even a specific person or group. While it’s good to play to your strengths, there’s a difference between sticking with what works and being stuck in a rut.

Playing favorites leads to missed opportunities for you and your team. You lose out on new perspectives, new ideas and unique problem-solving techniques. The company can hardly benefit from the skills of staff that are never given the chance to shine, and staff that is never given a chance to shine may soon leave. Take a look at your leadership style and see if any of these habits describe you. Read on to learn how to break up your “inner circle” and build a better team.

My Comment: This is an excellent list of leadership traps to filter your own performance. This isn’t playing favorites in the sense of overt preferential treatment. In fact, I know I’ve had every one of these habits at different times in my career. When you avoid these habits, you diversify the strength of your team and create a more robust group capable of creating breakthrough results.

How to Help a Task Master Focus on People by Karin Hurt

“I’m just not a people person.”

“I hate this touchy-feely crap.”

“See that! I’m a ‘C’ on the DiSC assessment this just doesn’t come naturally to me. Now let me get back to work!”

Of course, all this may be true, for you, or for a manager that you’re working to develop. It’s also true, that if you want results that last, you can’t ignore the human side of teams.

So how do you help a task master focus on people? The short answer…

My Comment: Karin and I work with many managers who have a natural inclination to tasks and may even be exhausted by people. (There’s nothing wrong with these folks, it’s how they’re built and if that’s you, you bring natural leadership strengths to your team.) The good news is that if you’re not much of a people person (or you have one on your management team), you can definitely leverage your natural abilities to start building the relationships you’ll need to succeed.

We’re booking corporate leadership development and association events for 2017 fall and 2018 spring. Email or call to bring us and Winning Well to your leaders. Invite David and Karin to help your leaders transform their results without losing their soul (or mind)

To see David in action, check out this demo video.


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