Surviving Leadership Chaos
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Surviving Leadership Chaos
" We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. " - Winston Churchill
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The 3 Most Valuable Things I Learned From My Favorite Boss

The 3 Most Valuable Things I Learned From My Favorite Boss | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

I recently sent a thank you note to a boss that I had back in 1995. I’ve had good bosses since then, but this particular person stands out as Number One for me. Working for him was an amazing learning experience, and when I reflect back on that time, I can readily say that what I learned from him I later used with my own teams.What makes him rise to the top of my list?

 

Here are three top-of-mind things that he taught me (from among the many I could mention):

 

 


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The Power of Negative Thinking

The Power of Negative Thinking | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Pop psychology tells us we can't go wrong with positive thinking. But new studies show that taking account of our obstacles is essential to success.

 

Gabriele Oettingen's psychology lab at New York University has showed that visualizing our aims as already achieved can backfire. The positive imagery can be inspiring at first but it also tricks the mind into relaxing, as if the hard work is done.

 

This means the more compelling the mental scene of success, the more likely it is that your energy will seep away.


In the study, volunteers felt de-energized after visualizing success in an essay competition. In another, participants who fantasised about their goals for the coming week felt less energetic and achieved fewer of their goals.

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Leaders: Are You Driving from the Back Seat?

Leaders: Are You Driving from the Back Seat? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Dusk was settling in fast as I drove along a winding road. Waves crashed on the rocky cliffs below. Why was I driving on the wrong side of the road?

 

Dusk was settling in fast as I drove along a winding road. Waves crashed on the rocky cliffs below. Why was I driving on the wrong side of the road? I couldn’t control my car and move into the correct lane. With my arms and legs outstretched from the back seat, I tried to grab ahold of the wheel and steer. My feet barely reached the pedals. Further on, I could see my destination, but had no confidence I would reach it in tact.

 

A lucid moment. What was I doing in the back seat? Poof. I woke up.

 

My dreams speak to me. When I wake up remembering my dream, there is something I need to learn. My subconscious has a way of reaching up through murky layers of my unconscious self, to grab my attention. The message is usually quite obvious if I don’t over-analyze and just take it at face value.


Via The People Development Network, David Hain
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The 9 Types of Collaborators

The 9 Types of Collaborators | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

If you approach your collaboration strategy with a “one-size-fits-all” mentality, your rollout is far more likely to fail. Within an organization, there exist all different types of users that each prefer to work in their own unique ways – some prefer to work in groups, others in silos, some on iPads, others on pen and paper.


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Liking Someone Affects How Your Brain Processes the Way They Move

Liking Someone Affects How Your Brain Processes the Way They Move | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Liking someone can affect the way your brain processes their actions, according to scientists.

 

Researchers said that watching someone else move usually causes a 'mirroring' effect. The mirroring effect is when parts of the brain responsible for motor skills are activated by watching someone else in action.

 

The latest findings, published in the journal PLoS ONE, shows that your feelings toward the person you're watching can actually affect the activity in the part of your brain responsible for motor actions, and can for example lead to "differential processing" like thinking the person you dislike is moving slower than they actually are.


"We address the basic question of whether social factors influence our perception of simple actions," researcher Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, an assistant professor with the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC and the Division of Occupational Science, said in a statement. "These results indicate that an abstract sense of group membership, and not only differences in physical appearance, can affect basic sensory-motor processing," she added.

 


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Demystifying social media for Leaders

Demystifying social media for Leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
As the marketing power of social media grows, it no longer makes sense to treat it as an experiment. Here’s how senior leaders can harness social media to shape consumer decision
making in predictable ways.

 

Executives certainly know what social media is. After all, if Facebook users constituted a country, it would be the world’s third largest, behind China and India. Executives can even claim to know what makes social media so potent: its ability to amplify word-of-mouth effects. Yet the vast majority of executives have no idea how to harness social media’s power. Companies diligently establish Twitter feeds and branded Facebook pages, but few have a deep understanding of exactly how social media interacts with consumers to expand product and brand recognition, drive sales and profitability, and engender loyalty.

 

We believe there are two interrelated reasons why social media remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle for many executives, particularly nonmarketers. The first is its seemingly nebulous nature. It’s no secret that consumers increasingly go online to discuss products and brands, seek advice, and offer guidance. Yet it’s often difficult to see where and how to influence these conversations, which take place across an ever-growing variety of platforms, among diverse and dispersed communities, and may occur either with lightning speed or over the course of months. Second, there’s no single measure of social media’s financial impact, and many companies find that it’s difficult to justify devoting significant resources—financial or human—to an activity whose precise effect remains unclear.

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Seven Power Tips for Spotting Future Leaders

Seven Power Tips for Spotting Future Leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
You’ll fail apart from surrounding yourself with talented people.

 

You’ll fail apart from surrounding yourself with talented people. This means:

 

"Great leaders identify and develop great leaders. "

 

One of my favorite Jack Welch quotes is,

 

"The team with the best players wins.”

 

But, how do you identify the best players? Look for those who are:

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Can You Take Your Strengths Too Far?

Can You Take Your Strengths Too Far? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The short answer is, no. Here's why....

 

For the past decade, leaders have been encouraged to focus on developing their strengths rather than always gravitating to working on a weakness. But is this too much of a good thing? Lately, a number of business thinkers have suggested so.

 

It's tempting for those of us strongly committed to developing leadership strengths to ignore such dissent on the grounds that any new practice will attract critics. But the debate has practical significance to leaders. How should a hard-driving executive respond when given high scores for his ability to drive for results but low scores on building strong relationships with peers and subordinates? Is this evidence that he's taken his strength too far?

 

We don't think so. We would absolutely advise this person to keep driving for results; we suspect that his intense drive is what got him this far in the organization. But we don't see this as a zero sum game — we don't think he needs to stop doing one thing to start doing something else. So we'd alsorecommend he develop additional strengths in relating to people.

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Take The Initiative And Be Successful

Take The Initiative And Be Successful | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
So what does it mean to take the initiative? Taking the initiative means making the first move of being willing to do what others don't want to do.

 

Have you ever been in a group of people where something needed to be done, but everyone was waiting for someone else to make the first move? 

 

Everyone in the group seems shy, doesn’t want to stand out, feels intimidated, doesn’t have the desire to make the first move, or has some other thing that keeps them from making a move.  Ultimately, however, there is an extreme lack of initiative amongst the group.  In situations like this, I have seen something very interesting happen. 

 

Because nothing happens, there is almost always one person that decides to do what is uncomfortable.  They take the initiative and get up to start working.  From there, many others follow suit and they too begin to work.  The person with the initiative usually ends up being the leader because they were the first person to act.

 

 

So what does it mean to take the initiative?  Taking the initiative means making the first move, being willing to do what others don’t want to do, or stepping up to make an introductory act or step leading to action. 

 

If you take the initiative, you are willing to be uncomfortable if it means the result is better than what you have to sacrifice or the discomfort you must go through when taking action.  Leaders constantly take the initiative to get things done.  They step up to make things happen.

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3 Secrets of Happy Employees

3 Secrets of Happy Employees | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Master these elements to cultivate a happier workplace and greater productivity.

 

Of course you don't want your employees to be miserable, but should you make your employees happiness a business priority? In a word, yes. In addition to creating a more pleasant work environment and reducing turnover, happy employees are more productive and collaborative, according to 2010 research by Harvard University business administration professor Teresa M. Amabile and independent researcher Steven J. Kramer.

 

On employees’ best days they reported making progress in their work (76 percent) and being collaborative (53%). Those numbers plummeted to 25 percent and 43 percent, respectively, on days when employees felt unhappy.

 

So, what makes employees happy? Jill Geisler examined that issue in her book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know (Center Street, 2012). Geisler, who is a senior faculty member in leadership and management at The Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school based in St. Petersburg, Fla, maintains that happy employees share some common traits.

 

Cultivate these secrets to employee happiness and reap the rewards for your business.


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4 outcomes of character-based leadership

4 outcomes of character-based leadership | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
"Leadership is Influence, Nothing more, Nothing less." -- John Maxwell As our world becomes more complex, with more activities and beliefs tugging for a...

 

As our world becomes more complex, with more activities and beliefs tugging for attention on the world stage, what difference does leadership make? And why would anyone promote a particular type of leadership?


I wrote a couple of years ago that there are only two sources of leadership: that which comes from our position and that which comes from our character, our “who-we-are.” Character isn’t a list of traits or behaviors. Character comes from a Latin word that means image. Our character is who we are on the inside.


A friend once said his training as a triathlete changed when his attitude changed from practicing for a triathlon to deciding he was a triathlete. There is a difference between attempting a triathlon and becoming a triathlete. There is a difference between teaching a lesson and being a teacher. And there is a huge difference between leading some group or activity and being a leader.


Being a leader produces four key outcomes that will help your team or organization thrive:


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Leadership & Courage

Leadership & Courage | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Courage is a trait possessed by all great leaders. So much so, that leadership absent courage is nothing short of a farce. Let me be very clear – I’m not advocating for bravado, arrogance, or an overabundance of hubris, but the courage necessary to stay the course and to do the right things.

 

Standing behind decisions that everyone supports doesn’t particularly require a lot of chutzpa. On the other hand, standing behind what one believes is the right decision in the face of tremendous controversy is the stuff great leaders are made of.

 

I believe it was Aristotle who referred to courage as the first virtue, because it makes all of the other virtues possible.

 

It takes courage to break from the norm, challenge the status quo, seek new opportunities, cut your losses, make the tough decision, listen rather than speak, admit your faults, forgive the faults of others, not allow failure to dampen your spirit, stand for those not capable of standing for themselves, and to remain true to your core values.

 

You can do none of these things without courage. Courage is having the strength of conviction to do the right thing when it would just be easier to do things right.


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Are You In Control Of Your Life?

Are You In Control Of Your Life? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
If you in control of your life by making your own choices, you will find greater happiness. You may not always get your desired outcome, but you will find opportunities to for growth

 

You can probably find many differences between these two people, but I want to focus on two key differences that are at the root of their decisions. The first man does not take control of his life. He gave control of his life to others. The second guy took complete control of his life.

 

He understood a long time ago that he could either wait for his life to happen or take control of his choices and make his life into what he wanted. He decided to take control of his life. If you are not proactive, it is very easy to sit back and wait for others to make the first move. When you make a habit of waiting for others to make decisions for you, you begin reacting to what they do and stop taking control of your life.


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Massive-scale online collaboration

Massive-scale online collaboration | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

After re-purposing a computer challenge-response test so that each human-typed response helps digitise books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for the greater good.

 

His ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately – all for free.


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Should Businesses Avoid Politics?

Should Businesses Avoid Politics? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
While there ARE reasons a business might decide to comment on something as controversial as politics, there are benefits AND potential pitfalls. What they are.

 

DO POLITICS AND BUSINESS MIX?

 

All that activity is bound to tempt at least some people who normally would never mix business with politics to forget themselves and tweet about it on Twitter or comment on blogs, Facebook or other social networks.

 

THINK CAREFULLY before discussing politics AS your business!

 

Even if you only comment as yourself, if you are the business owner or someone who has an online presence as a spokesperson or representative of your company that may still affect your business.


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10 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Brain While You Work

10 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Brain While You Work | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

In my last column, I wrote about how I lead groups of volunteers to work with the Kenyan Children Foundation in Africa, and how we all return home exhausted but with our brains refreshed and renewed. We take a break from our usual ways of thinking and open our minds to new ideas and experiences. But you don’t have to travel thousands of miles from home to recharge your brain.

 

As an entrepreneur, you probably work upward of 60 hours a week. Forbes interviewed 20 entrepreneurs about their work habits and found they worked an average of 60 to more than 100 hours per week. Most noted that weekdays were not much different from weekends, and that personal time off did not exist at all. One responded, “the concept of ‘work’ disappears–it is just what we do.”

 

As anyone who has crammed for an exam can tell you, usually the number of hours we work without interruption is inversely proportionate to how much we accomplish. So how do these entrepreneurs manage to work so many hours without suffering from brain fatigue?




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20 Blogs That Will Make You A Better School Leader

20 Blogs That Will Make You A Better School Leader | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
From the corporate workplace to the elementary school classroom, leaders are everywhere. Even born leaders need inspiration and practical tips to help them reach their highest potential.

 

From the corporate workplace to the elementary school classroom, leaders are everywhere. Even born leaders need inspiration and practical tips to help them reach their highest potential.

Thankfully, leaders and future leaders today live in a world where advice is readily available on the Internet. In particular, leadership and management blogs can offer the inspiration needed for success. These are our 20 favorite leadership blogs because they aim to inspire, teach, advise, coach and entertain.

 

Tweak Your Biz: Entrepreneurs, corporate managers and business owners contribute to and visit this business leadership site. Contributors with varied backgrounds in sales, marketing, finance and technology offer management tips, pointers, advice, case studies and lessons learned.


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Betrayed in the Workplace? 7 Steps for Healing

Betrayed in the Workplace? 7 Steps for Healing | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

A co-worker breaks a confidence. A teammate takes credit for your work. Your boss is chronically late. Another reorganization – and another round of layoffs – is impending.

 

It’s easy to see how business as usual can feel like betrayal as usual.

 

About 85 percent of workplace betrayal – a breach of trust or the perception of that breach – is unintended, however, says Dr. Dennis Reina, founder of The Reina Trust Building Institute. “These minor betrayals eat away at us, until one day we either mentally check out or physically walk out.”

 

While you can’t prevent betrayal among co-workers and colleagues, you do have a choice about how to respond and what to do when it happens.  Try the Institute’s seven-step process for working through betrayal.

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How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different

How 21st Century Thinking Is Just Different | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
In an era dominated by constant information and the desire to be social, should the tone of thinking for students be different?

 

In a world full of information abundance, our minds are constantly challenged to react to data, and often in a way that doesn’t just observe, but interprets. Subsequently, we unknowingly “spin” everything to avoid cognitive dissonance.

 

As a result, the tone of thinking can end up uncertain or whimsical, timid or arrogant, sycophant or idolizing–and so, devoid of connections and interdependence. The internet and social media are designed to connect, and with brilliant efficiency they do indeed connect—words and phrases, images and video, color and light, but not always to the net effect they might.

 

The nature of social media rests on identity as much as anything else—forcing subjectivity on everything through likes, retweets, shares, and pins. Instead, we might consider constant reflection guided by important questions as a new way to learn in the presence of information abundance.

 

But this takes new habits.


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How to Give Birth to Your Dream

How to Give Birth to Your Dream | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
It’s been over a year since I talked with my wife about a dream I have for enriching the lives of an exclusive group of highly dedicated college students. Recently, the opportunity arose to discuss...

 

Share your vision with committed individuals who already share your values. I have many friends who don’t value students the way I do. I’m not sharing this dream with them. They’re great people, but approaching them would be like pushing rocks up hill.

 

Leadership Lesson #1: If you have to convince others your vision has value, you may be talking to the wrong people.

 

Leadership Lesson #2: If you share your vision with those who share your values and they aren’t enthusiastic, re-evaluate your vision.

 

For example, ask:...(see article for more)

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Burger and chips: the real reason behind our national incompetence

Burger and chips: the real reason behind our national incompetence | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
David Mitchell: A study suggesting that junk food can lower your IQ perfectly explains Britain's slide into incompetence...

 

Last week three DfT officials were suspended for getting the maths wrong when awarding the new west coast mainline contract. On the same day, a study was published which claimed to show a link between eating a lot of fast food during childhood and growing up with a lower IQ. And that, before you point out the obvious flaw, is once they've already taken into account the effect of being born into the sort of socio-educationo-economic environment where eating chips for roughage is the norm. Even when contextually adjusted, this study seemed to show that consuming crap is actively enthickifying. It's a thickener, like flour. Hamburgers, it seems, increase density as well as mass.

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The Key to Reaching Your Potential

The Key to Reaching Your Potential | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Do you have a plan for your personal growth? In this guest post, bestselling author John C. Maxwell outlines 15 laws he has discovered in his own journey.

 

Potential is one of the most wonderful words in any language. It looks forward with optimism. It is filled with hope.


What about unfulfilled potential? That phase is as negative as the word potentialis positive. Most people desire to reach their potential. The question is, how do you do it? I have no doubt that the answer is personal growth.


I didn’t always know this. In fact, I discovered it during a lunch in 1972 with a man named Curt Kampmeier. He asked me a simple question: “Do you have a plan for your personal growth?”

My answer was, “No.” I had thought if I worked hard enough, I would grow. He looked at me and said, “Growth never just happens. You have to be intentional about it.”

 

That meeting was significant, because it set me on a journey of personal growth that changed my life. Right away, my wife Margaret and I scrimped and saved to be able to purchase a kit that taught me how to create my growth plan.


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12 Blogs Every Small Business Should Be Reading

12 Blogs Every Small Business Should Be Reading | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Not enough small business owners make the time to read material that can keep them informed and up to date with their industry, keep themselves abreast of business trends that will in one way or another eventually impact on their businesses, and feed their own creativity.

 

A big part of the reluctance to make time to read, is the challenge of knowing what to read, and perhaps more importantly what is not worth reading.

 

This good article, suggests that business owners should make blog reading a part of their day, and it suggests 12 specific blogs that offer much to small business owners.


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An Interview with John C. Maxwell About Personal Development

An Interview with John C. Maxwell About Personal Development | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
In this backstage interview at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast 2012, I ask John C. Maxwell about his new book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

 

His perspective on strengths is especially unique. He makes a distinction I have never heard anyone make. Though he believes as I do that you should focus on your strengths, he explains when it is absolutely necessary for you to work on your weaknesses.

 

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