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Sunday, April 15, 2018

If You are Leading Anyone, Anywhere, You Should Read This

Whenever I run into an old friend (which happens often because I've lived in the same town since 1979...), I usually get "so-what-are-you-up-to?" question and I try to briefly explain this whole consulting and leadership development "thang" I've been doing for the last several years and more often than not I get a bit of a cocked-head look that says, "What exactly does that MEAN?"

If you are...
... an owner, executive, senior leader, supervisor of many;
... a (new?) manager leading a team of employees;
... a grad student / teacher / professor instructing and advising students;
... a coach guiding, training, coaxing, pushing athletes;
... a parent;
... a volunteer leading others at church, school, or non-profit...

Then YOU ARE A LEADER. And most leaders do not receive much training before they get thrown into the water to see if they can swim!

So I try to help with that process, mostly listening and empathizing a lot before I try to give any feedback to assist in their leadership development. Currently I'm working with college presidents, senior pastors, faculty, C-Suite executives, directors of non-profits, business owners, managers and really really nice people!

In the spirit of this glorious pursuit of leadership development, here are four useful articles. Bookmark this and read one each day this workweek. Share them with your colleagues. Discuss them around a table. Make it normal and transparent to talk about leadership development. There is ALWAYS more to learn. We can always get get better. Cheers!

HBR IdeaCast on Leading During a Time of Change. Harvard University's president, Drew Gilpin Faust, is moving on after being the president of Harvard for the past 11 years. This is a fascinating interview about how to get a whole bunch of moving parts in some sort of synchronization. (Pssst! The HBR IdeaCast is a good podcast to follow...)

How to Bring Out the Best in Your People and Company. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is a really good article. Take the time to work through it with your colleagues. The opening lines had me at "hello." (Perhaps because they quote Brene Brown!)
Connecting with others and belonging are basic human needs that are essential to being our best selves.
Social science researcher Brené Brown defines belonging as "the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance."
This is an outstanding how-to on the fundamentals of team-building and culture.

How to Recover from a Cultural Faux Pas. Admit it. We've all done it... either we're nervous or think we're funny or we're just CLUELESS and we put both feet and one of our hands into our mouth by saying something stupid (lame, insensitive, embarrassing, uninformed...). As our world grows and grows through technology, global economics, and ease of travel, we have even more chances to get it wrong. This is a good start. 

Using Multiple Trello Boards for a Super-Flexible Workflow. I know, I know, it feels OVERWHELMING to think AGAIN about how to manage your emails / projects / meetings / travel / appointments / etc etc. and you are so tired of all these productivity apps making promises they don't keep. All I can say is "I'm sorry" and "I understand." But a KEY PART of leadership development is keeping on top of all the crazy!! At least I can say that this article holds you gently by the hand and walks you into a possible plan for organizing all the details. That's all I'm saying...

Please let me know if one or all of these are helpful. I'm rooting for you!

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