Leadership: Top Picks

Leadership: an evolutionary journey

Duane Dike

Have we learned anything new about leadership over the past few decades or are we just touting the same mantras over and over? To answer that, let’s take a journey through history.

12 differences between winning and losing leadership

James M. Kerr

Leaders can make or break an organization. Great leaders drive great organizations and great organizations produce great results. Less-than- stellar leaders usually deliver the opposite. So what characterizes winning and losing leadership styles?

The new language of leadership

Neil Cassie

A profound shift is taking place from predictive to non-predictive demand – from push to pull economics. And if organisations are to adapt to this, their leaders need to radically reassess their behaviour.

Wanted: more bad (as in good) leaders

Max McKeown

Sometimes, bad behaviour is inspirational. That's why great leaders need to be unreasonable. That's what leaders do. It's why the cool kids were the cool kids. It's what progress depends on.

True leaders are human

Duane Dike

True leadership is the stuff of relationships. Being a leader is much more complicated than simply acting leader-like. True leadership is quality-based. Fake leadership is leader-like-sound-bites of things leaders might say.

More on Leadership

Taking time for leadership

Duane Dike

Reflection is an essential part of leadership. Leaders who don't pause to reflect run into trouble because off-the-cuff decisions are often irrational, people-less, system-ignorant choices. In contrast, reflection brings new alternatives, fresh perspectives and creative solutions.

True leaders are human

Duane Dike

True leadership is the stuff of relationships. Being a leader is much more complicated than simply acting leader-like. True leadership is quality-based. Fake leadership is leader-like-sound-bites of things leaders might say.

When CEO narcissism spreads to the board

Guoli Chen

The push for better corporate governance has overlooked the problems that occur when narcissistic CEOs load their board with images of themselves.

Leading in an unpredictable world

Michael Jones

We can’t predict the future, but we can imagine and feel it. So rather than avoiding surprise, leaders can embrace uncertainty and learn from the unexpected by being open to subtle signals that they may not fully comprehend.

Respecting the moment

Michael Jones

Some leaders are so focused on outcomes that they can’t leave space to listen to other points of view. They could learn a lot from artists about respecting the moment and the importance of the spaces between the notes.

Leading through stories of place

Michael Jones

Too often, we try to change things without taking into account the narrative that holds everything together. At the heart of that narrative is a sense of place, because place is not an object or a thing, but a power and a presence.

Wisdom vs intelligence

Peter Vajda

Many business leaders are intelligent. But they're not wise, or even aware that they lack wisdom. And that's something that no amount of left-brain thinking, operations-focused education or experiential learning is going to change.

Horizontal leadership and the spaces in between

Michael Jones

Horizontal leaders don’t just think outside the box, they think outside the building, seeking answers and opportunities in the ill-defined, ambiguous spaces at the boundaries of sectors, disciplines and capabilities.

Five ways leaders can communicate change

Marcia Xenitelis

No matter what the issue - be it a merger, acquisition or and organizational crisis - there are five key ways that a CEO can communicate with employees and achieve positive outcomes each time.

Leadership and the art of the impossible

Michael Jones

In times of volatility and change, we need to dig deep for fresh responses. That is a leader’s work now, to master the art of the impossible and, in so doing, to achieve what we did not think it was possible for us to do.

When management meets emotional intelligence

Sandrine Frémeaux

The fine balance any emotionally intelligent leader has to strike is to take into account basic human needs without being tempted to institutionalise them. And the the most important element in this is the example set by a leader’s own actions.

Abolishing the myths of leadership

John Roulet

We tend to associate leadership with individuals who are visionary and inspirational. But this is a hopeless distortion. Leadership is about work, not personality traits or social behaviors Business leaders simply need to manage performance

The three legs of leadership

Duane Dike

Every move a leader makes affects someone and something else. So leadership effectiveness depends on three things: knowledge of the job, your place in the working environment and your ability to relate to others. Remove any of these and - like a stool - you're heading for a fall.

Four mythic leadership stories

Michael Jones

Behind our rational and analytical world, where everything is measured and quantified, there exist powerful archetypal narratives that shape who we truly are and offer us the the wisdom to wisely navigate a complex and changeable world.

Are you a builder or a climber?

Dan Bobinski

Over the years, dozens of different types of leaders have been identified. But as someone who believes that simpler is usually better, you can forget all of those because I've boiled down all those styles to just two basic types: Builders and Climbers.

Leadership and the curiosity quotient

Michael Hvisdos

Curiosity is one of the most vital - but least acknowledged - of leadership values. It is the catalyst for creativity and innovation, the building block of relationships and the magic ingredient that can lift a business from medocrity to wild success.

From factory to farm: the future of leadership

Michael Jones

Leaders often don’t have the answers we’re looking for. So what is leadership for and what should leaders think, do and imagine to address the new challenges we face? Perhaps the answer is not about knowing more, but about becoming more.

Bypassing your boss

Cindy Wahler

Getting held back by your boss is a dilemma many talented people face. So how can you advance your own career if you work for a boss with a big ego who may even see you as a threat?

Leading by candlelight

Michael Jones

The difference between management and leadership is like the difference between flashlight and candlelight. In the focused, flash-lit world of management, we try to bend others to our will. But in the candle-lit world of dialogue, we blend with others in order to see a greater whole.

Leadership, innovation and the future

Duane Dike

Leaders are critical to a climate of innovative thinking. Great ideas don't emerge from companies whose leaders try to control and micromanage. Innovation only thrives in organizations whose members are free to think and express themselves.

Leadership and the beauty principle

Michael Jones

For Steve Jobs, Apple's products had to be beautiful as well as functional. His pursuit of beauty highlights that while power may inspire the mind of a leader, it is beauty that inspires their soul, grips the imagination and inspires what needs to get done.

Leadership is a verb, not a noun

Duane Dike

Whichever way we look at workplace culture, critical elements such as productivity, job satisfaction and personal responsibility all boil down to one factor: boss behavior. Without knowledgeable and empathetic leaders, healthy cultures, work environments and systems can’t exist.

In praise of inconspicuous leadership

Duane Dike

Many so-called leaders have an unhealthy interest in the outward trappings of their position. But the problem with conspicuous leadership is that it’s usually only skin deep. Real leadership is inconspicuous - and it’s about far more than status or measurable achievements.

More Good Stuff

Are you a leadership lightweight?

Peter Vajda

None of us are perfect. All of us have blinds spots and areas where we need to raise the bar (sometimes a long way) to improve the quality and effectiveness of our work. Here are five common leadership pitfalls that can keep you stuck in the lightweight division.

What a difference a CEO can make!

Duane Dike

It might have been like something out of a TV soap opera, but the extraordinary saga of U.S. supermarket chain, Market Basket, is a powerful reminder of the difference that a CEO can make to a business and the value of mutual respect.

Paying lip service to leadership

Wayne Turmel

Leadership training is big business. But that doesn't alter the fact that most of it is hooey and it won't change a thing. So why do companies bother? Does the lip service they pay to leadership stem from corporate schizophrenia, hypocrisy, or just outright lies?

Does your behavior encourage happiness?

Duane Dike

Happiness is good for business and leadership behavior is what sets organizational mood. And nowhere is that more important than with front-line employees, who are possibly your organization’s biggest competitive advantage.

Avoiding the perils of an accidental leader

Graham Jones

Many people get promoted to leadership roles because they are good at what they do but soon find themselves out of their depth. But an accidental leader need not be an accident waiting to happen if they can be equipped with some of the skills of ‘real’ leadership.

Leading remotely is still leading

Wayne Turmel

Virtual teams may be shaking up organizational dynamics, but the fundamentals of how to lead a team are the same whether its members are all based in the same building as you or scattered across four continents.

Culture starts at the top

James M. Kerr

It’s more than just dodgy ignition switches, GM’s leadership has produced a real lemon. When we start to examine the culture that has led to this sorry state of affairs, it’s clear that the rot starts at the top. But all is not lost - at least, not yet.

Are you a firecracker or a dud?

Peter Vajda

On this holiday weekend in the midst of fireworks and fun, how about taking a moment to reflect on how you're doing as a leader, manager or supervisor. Are you a sparkling firecracker or a fizzling dud?

Leading when you're not the boss

Wayne Turmel

Most of what we hear about leadership is about leading people who work for us or with us. But what do you do when the people most in need of coaching and guidance outrank you? How do you do that in a way that ensures you will still have a job?

Leadership and a tourist map

Duane Dike

As I recently found out, relying on a free tourist map to get around an unfamiliar city is a sure-fire way to get lost. The same is true of leadership. Navigating intensely complicated human interactions is much more complicated than following a few easy steps to success.

Learning from horses

Lisa Brice

Horses are prey animals. Humans are predators. Our wiring is completely different. But horses can teach us an enormous amount about ourselves. And if we can build a rapport with such a different species, it becomes much easier to handle our human relationships.

Leadership lessons from Hector Berlioz

James M. Kerr

19th century French composer Hector Berlioz had a profound influence on the development of the modern orchestra. But apart from music, his life provides us with some valuable lessons on leadership, too.

How different is leading remotely?

Wayne Turmel

There's no doubt that leading a remote team is different to working with people in the same office. But for a competent team leader, the differences aren't as great as you might think.

Are women better leaders than men?

Mitch McCrimmon

With the modern work environment emphasizing feminine relationship-building skills to the exclusion of masculine competitive instincts, the idea that women make better leaders than men is gaining ground. But perhaps the reality lies somewhere in the middle.

What we can learn from awful managers

Gary Sheard

There are innumerable examples of awful management: the media is full of them. But rather than dismiss them, how about learning from them so that we can start to re-pot the seeds of human potential into more fertile ground.

Five core skills for remote leaders

Wayne Turmel

The demands of leading a team who don't share a common location or time zone are an order of magnitude more difficult than if they are in the same building. That calls for additional leadership skills on top of those normally needed.