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.

The difference between management & leadership

Dan Bobinski

It sounds great. “You lead people, and you manage things.” It’s salient. Even philosophical. But it’s wrong.

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.

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.

What makes a great leader?

Dan Bobinski

Whether you're already in a leadership role, want to aspire to leadership, or just want to be able to recognize a good leader when you see one, you need to remember that leadership involves its own skill set. So here's what I think are the main attributes of a great leader.

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.

Learning from Demosthenes

Wayne Turmel

If you’re looking for a role model for how to conduct yourself as a business person and a human being, my vote is for a lawyer who pounded the streets of ancient Athens 2300 years ago. Yup, Demosthenes is my boy.

The road to Rio: three powerful leadership lessons

John Blakey

The road to Rio represents four years of dedication, hard work and suffering for thousands of athletes from around the world. But working with Olympic sports coaches can also offer valuable lessons for those of us leading businesses.

The music of leadership

Michael Jones

Music is a powerful vibration. Too often our world seems filled with bits and fragments that don’t make sense. But then we hear the music that tells the story and our world feels coherent and whole again.

Choosing brave leadership. Blue pill or red pill?

John Blakey

Are you one of the 'old guard' dutifully propping up the creaking edifice of the blue pill world, comfortable in your sense of denial? Or are you one of the 'new guard' digging the foundations of the new red pill business architecture?

Truth, authenticity and leadership

Duane Dike

‘Authentic leadership’ is one of those phrases that gets tossed around so much that its real meaning is in danger of getting lost. So let’s take a look at ‘authentic’ in the context of leadership, music and tourism.

Which Steve are you?

John Blakey

Is it possible to be decent and gifted at the same time? Do you believe that nice folk never come first or that you need to be ruthless to get ahead? If Steve Jobs is your business hero, perhaps you need to ask yourself a few searching questions.

From leadership to 'communityship'

Michael Jones

Community lies at the core of human existence. Yet in our hectic, individualistic world, the sense of being in fellowship with one another has been lost and replaced with a language that implies that life is our adversary.

Evolving leadership in the digital age

Manfred Kets De Vries

The era of heroic leadership is over. Leadership has become a team sport - it is no longer defined by what a single leader does but by the ability to collaborate, motivate and manage networks.

Names without faces

Duane Dike

'Recognition', in its most basic sense, means being able to put a name to a face. But in the business world, names without faces are all too common. And the larger a company grows, the more likely it is that bosses don’t know the names or faces of the people who do the work.

A formula for trust

John Blakey

What do we mean by 'trustworthy'? Academics have been arguing for years about what makes a leader trustworthy, but trust can really be boiled down to three clear attributes: ability, integrity and benevolence.

Leadership and the art of minimum force

Michael Jones

Sometimes by forcing less, we accomplish more. It is when we are at ease that life rushes in. So for leaders, instead of trying to impose their will based on what they believe ought to happen, perhaps they'd be better off going with the flow.

Lessons in trust from the Panama Papers leak

John Blakey

Ever since the 2008 crash, public anger and scepticism has been running like a river of lava beneath the fabric of our societies. And the Panama Papers leak is yet another nail in the coffin of popular trust in those in positions of leadership.

Regenerative leadership: learning from craftwork

Michael Jones

Every leader has some sort of theory being the way they lead. For some it might be military strategy or competitive sport. But for others, it is the regenerative and transformational notion of craftwork.

Are you an alpha male leader?

Manfred Kets De Vries

Alpha male leadership comes with a hefty price tag. Fear, low morale, high absenteeism and stress. So shouldn’t we be looking instead for models of leadership that connect, build and nurture?

Leaders who can read collective emotions are more effective

Quy Huy

For leaders to be able to respond successfully to frustrations, hopes and fears of their organisation, they need to be able to read the patterns of emotions that signal the onset of different behaviours.

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.

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.

More Good Stuff

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 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.

Leading with grace

Jude Miller Burke

Newcomers in leadership positions often feel as if they’re wearing clothes that don’t quite fit. But the ability to mitigate this discomfort and to project a sense of calmness and clarity - even if you don’t feel it - is one of the keys to effective leadership.

A new leadership renaissance?

Michael Jones

As we move into a new year, we are also moving from seeing our world as a machine to seeing it as a garden - a living ecosystem. And that’s a shift of mindset that will bring with it a new leadership renaissance.

The buck stops with you

Graham Scrivener

If you aspire to be a leader, you have to accept that you are where the buck stops. If you’re not prepared to take responsibility and be accountable, look for another role.

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.

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?