Getting candid opinions from your direct reports can be difficult. After all, no one wants to upset the boss.
Chris Shern's insight:
This may be true of a typical American workplace but in other cultures for example Denmark and to some extent other European Nordic countries it is encouraged from a very young age to question authority and have an opinion.
This can create quite a leadership challenge for an American manager working in Denmark, conversely many Danes I know who have emigrated to The US have done well because they are not afraid to voice their opinion and especially to the boss.
This was the mantra repeated by educators throughout my youth. None of them added "be happy" to the success equation.
But a growing body of research in positive psychology and neuroscience is demonstrating that happiness is the secret ingredient to success. It turns out, our brains are more engaged, creative, productive, and resilient when in a positive state.
All this unhappiness comes with a high price tag to businesses, costing more than $550 billion a year in lost productivity. In his book, Donovan identifies 60 simple steps individuals can take to improve their happiness and get back on the path to success. Here are six of the top things happy workers do:
Focus, clarity, creativity, compassion, and courage. These are the qualities of the mindful leaders. They are also the qualities that give today’s best leaders the resilience to cope with the many challenges coming their way and the resolve to sustain long-term success.
The real point of leverage — which though it sounds simple, many executives never discover — is the ability to think clearly and to focus on the most important opportunities.
"Sustainable competitive advantage no longer exists" Very insightful 3 minutue video emphasizing some of the challenges leaders and business face as some traditional business models will no longer apply in a digital and connected world.
Matthew Beason is a well-respected executive at a non-profit with a multi-billion dollar endowment. On top of continual domestic travel, countless dinners with donors, and constant planning meetings, Matthew is also a married father of four children.
Chris Shern's insight:
There is nothing new here, we all know the importance of regular excercise. People must simply find a way to prioritize and incorporate into their daily routines
Twenty years ago, on November 18th, 1993, the music band Nirvana agreed to an unplugged performance at the Sony Music Studios in New York City.
The natural flaws inherent in playing unplugged brought the performers and their audience closer, the imperfection created a new kind of bond, a new kind of sharing artistic expression.
The world of Leadership is ready for its very own “Unplugged” moment.
For centuries, we have held high the image of the perfect, charismatic, know-it-all leader, who excels in everything and in every situation. In this world, every act of communication gets rehearsed, polished, and re-mastered, so that messages become flawless, immune to criticism. Such a protective approach may work for stable organizations in stable times; in today’s volatile and fast changing world it puts leaders under an unbearable pressure to excel, and it detaches them from the world. And it creates an artificial barrier between those at the top and their teams, disinviting collaboration and engagement.
The actions of a business are its value statement. Actions speak volumes about what really matters most – not what should matter, not what we wish mattered, but what really does matter to us. They swamp mission statements, speeches or memos, and they eclipse intentions.
Having the kind of integrity that leaves no room between what we say and what we do is really hard work. It’s much easier to follow the words of JR Ewing of the TV series Dallas, who said: “Once you lose your integrity, everything’s easy.” Lots of people have chosen this path. Others find it to be too much work to align their decisions and actions with what they claim as priorities.
This was really a great and inspiring read! James Altucher in his writing just has a gift for describing the key trends that our shaping the world that influences what we do "to make a living". It is increasingly important that you hedge your bets on YOU and find your way to create value, find a purpose and secure a fulfilling work/life integration.
In the first five parts of this series, we have made the case that a nineteenth century management model is unsustainable in a twenty-first century world. The recent technological revolution has suddenly thrust us into a new world with a completely different set of rules. This new world is a hyper-connected global village where, for the first time in human history, we have the means to self-organize the work of large numbers of people without the need for central organizations. And what’s most amazing is that, as inconceivable as it may seem, we are learning that the new forms of self-organized networks that have recently emerged are often smarter and faster than their traditional bureaucratic counterparts.
Every day it becomes more apparent that the days of the traditional organization are numbered, in a hyper connected world that has the ability to organize itself, the power of an organization will not be in its ability to control but in its ability to connect.
When a lot of people are relying on you, it can be hard to admit defeat. A common reaction might be to cover for yourself and scramble to make the deadline without anyone else ever having been the wiser.
Chris Shern's insight:
An often misunderstood principal that when reporting to investors, boards or up in the organisation, you have to paint a rosey picture. Excercise transparency and use those above to collectively address concerns and issues.
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