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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3 Reasons "Balance" Has Become A Dirty Word At Work

3 Reasons "Balance" Has Become A Dirty Word At Work | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Recently, a skeptical senior leader asked me to explain the business case for why organizations need to take a more coordinated, strategic approach to work flexibility.

 

When Millennials say they want “balance,” they don’t mean work less. They mean work differently and more flexibly. There’s a big difference. My experience is that most Millennials are willing to work very hard when required; however, they might want to work from home or come into the office earlier or later then traditional hours. The problem is that outdated language limits their ability to describe accurately what they are trying to achieve.


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Key to career success is confidence, not talent

Key to career success is confidence, not talent | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The secret to career success is not talent, hard work or education, but sheer, unashamed confidence, a study has suggested.

 

Although workers with big egos will often perform poorly and make more mistakes, their colleagues consistently fail to spot their errors and continue to believed they are “terrific” or “beloved”.

 

Their personality means they are often promoted over those who are more competent, as colleagues mistake their confidence for talent.

 

A study of more than 500 students, academics and workers, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, showed that those who appeared more confident achieved a higher social status than their peers.

 

Within a work environment, higher-status individuals tended to be more admired, listened to, and had more sway over group decisions.

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9 Reasons He’s a Better Leader Than I Am

9 Reasons He’s a Better Leader Than I Am | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

It’s always good to surround yourself with people who challenge you to get better. My friend is one of those people.

 

You know how there are some people who are just really freaking good at certain aspects of their work? We all have strengths, sure; but some folks go a step further in one or two areas, right? It’s their sweet spot. Their thing. And when they’re doing that thing, it’s really a thing of beauty to watch.

 

You likely wouldn’t recognize his name right away, but he’s probably the best developer of people, the best coach, the best whatever-you-want-to-call-it I’ve ever seen firsthand. He’s simply way better at coaching than I am, which is great because I learn a lot from him and am better off for it. How he does what he does makes me want to keep pushing myselfto get better at it.

 

I want to be able to coach my team like I see him coach his. (And I’m not gonna lie–there are times he’s so good at it that it makes me want to punch him in the ear. Or maybe the tooth. But that’s what friends are for, right?)

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The “But” of Leadership

The “But” of Leadership | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
*Success is harder to handle than failure.

 

Yesterday, I reconnected with the Chief Security Officer at Microsoft, Michael Howard. I’m freakishly interested in leadership so I asked him about his own leadership journey. He said, “Things are going smoothly.”

 

I wondered how he was handling smooth sailing. He said, “We don’t want to get comfortable.”

 

 

“It’s good to have a battle, it gives you a goal.” - Mike Howard

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Passion and curiosity. Great leaedership traits.

Passion and curiosity.  Great leaedership traits. | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Passion and curiosity.  Great leaedership traits.


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Teamwork: Making Apologies Worthy of Acceptance | Kate Nasser

Teamwork: Making Apologies Worthy of Acceptance | Kate Nasser | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Teammates: we know an apology must be sincere to succeed. What frames it as sincere? Here's the 4 step checklist fr The People-Skills Coach™.

 

he basis of teamwork is respect. When diverse people come together on a team, respect weaves the thread of positive interaction in good times and bad.


Sounds obvious and simple? It can be if all teammates act in ways before and during the bad times that will make apologies worthy of acceptance.


Here’s a professional workplace relationship checklist for self-improvement and team development.

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How Leaders Can Handle the Pain of Change

How Leaders Can Handle the Pain of Change | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Connect Through the Pain of Change

 

You’ve seen it happen.  You may have even experienced it yourself.  The email comes out and some change is announced.  People didn’t know, don’t agree and aren’t happy. 

 

"Maybe it will change their job – but how?"

 

Reacting to Change

 

Very quickly, the people in an organization can go from positive and committed toactively disengaged.  Change will fail if it is executed by disengaged people who are going through the motions to collect a paycheck.

 

Leaders must connect with people and communicate through the pain of change to drive commitment.

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If You Want to Lead, Read These 10 Books

If You Want to Lead, Read These 10 Books | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Must-read titles -- by men and women -- for those looking to be both powerful and beloved in business.

 

Last week, John Coleman posted a list of recommended books, 11 Books Every Young Leader Should Read.

 

There were no books by women on the list.

 

While part of me cries "unfair" more than I would like it to, this is John's list, and he gets to recommend as he chooses. What actually concerns me — and I hope you as well — is that in his canon of leadership books there are no women's voices, at least not in the top 11 that he relies on and that inspire him to greatness. John's picks, however, are not an anomaly among men, or even really among women. When I recently asked a group of successful professional women to list their favorite books about entrepreneurship, the list skewed largely male. Not too long ago, my list did too.

 

And that is a problem. Unless of course, we believe women have nothing to offer as leaders.

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The Feedback Question that Changes Everything

The Feedback Question that Changes Everything | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
You don’t receive feedback because you don’t ask.

 

When was the last time you received useful feedback?

 

Everyone who craves excellence craves feedback. You need to know how you are doing and how to improve.

 

You’ll never reach excellence without feedback.


Honesty is problem one:


The higher you go the more likely people say what they’re expected to say, not what they believe. Honest feedback is rare.

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Don’t Confuse Activity with Accomplishment

Don’t Confuse Activity with Accomplishment | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Are you busy? Me, too. Unfortunately, activity is not the same as accomplishment. For some reason, I seem to forget this over and over again. I think busyness may be one of the most insidious and disruptive things leaders must guard against. Why is activity so dangerous? Here are a few reasons.


Activity can be addictive – Like other addictions, the previous level required to get a high no longer creates the needed buzz. So, we up the dose. What used to be exciting must be replaced by something even more exciting, demanding or challenging. If we’re not extremely careful, activity will beget activity… and we’ll love it!

 

Activity can be distracting – If we’re busy, we may not be aware of more pressing issues and challenges. The harder we work on the wrong things, the greater the danger. We’ve all heard about the airliner that crashed while the crew was focused on a 10-cent light in the cockpit that was malfunctioning.


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3 Ways Great Leaders Honor Success and Drive Momentum

3 Ways Great Leaders Honor Success and Drive Momentum | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Great leaders celebrate successes with their people. They honor them in public, they encourage them, they focus on victories and not failures.

 

Success breeds success.   It becomes habitual.   But it doesn’t just happen by luck or being in the right place at the right time.  Those are factors, but rare at best.   If you look closely at successful leaders, organizations and families, you will find clues.

 

Success Leaves A Trail


Success certainly leaves a trail.  The goal as a leader is to follow the trail and duplicate it.  Filter through it and utilize what works.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.    All of the successful leaders I know haven’t discovered a new law or principle on success or leadership.

 

They’ve simply applied timeless principles that work over a long period of time, decades in most instances.

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If it were just about leading, would you still want to be a leader?

If it were just about leading, would you still want to be a leader? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Imagine for a moment that you as a leader didn’t have all the perks that seem to accompany positions of leadership—no lease car, no reserved parking space, no special dining rooms, offices, furnishings or refreshments and certainly not the compensation that creates jealousies. Would you still want to be a leader? 

What if no one had to think that your way was always the best way? What if you had to ask as much as you told? What if being “in-charge” meant that it was your job to put others first? What if those you led got all the credit? Would you still want to lead? 

What if all you got were the intrinsic rewards of leadership—the satisfaction of seeing others grow to their potential, perform to their best ability and knowing that you enabled that to happen, knowing that you were the catalyst, the spark, the steady, guiding hand throughout the process? Would that be enough to motivate you to lead? To deal with the downside of leadership?

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The Joy of Quiet

The Joy of Quiet | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Trying to escape the constant stream of too much information.

 

The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.”

 

He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

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The Wickedness Behind Most 21st-Century Leadership Failures

The Wickedness Behind Most 21st-Century Leadership Failures | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
It's not typically the wickedness of leaders (or of boards, for that matter) that gets companies into trouble. It's their failure to effectively manage the wickedness of the problems they face — problems that resist obvious solutions.

 

It's not typically the wickedness of leaders (or of boards, for that matter) that gets companies into trouble. It's their failure to effectively manage the wickedness of the problems they face — problems that resist obvious solutions. Wicked problems are being tossed up by the exploding complexity of our modern world — complexity originating from the increasing interconnectedness of everything we do. Not only are there more of these problems, but the degree of their wickedness is increasing.


The race is on between the complexity that is confronting organizations and their ability to respond to it. Leaders are behind and need to catch up.

The hallmark of a wicked problem is that it cannot be reduced to a single-cause explanation. Complexity arises from the interconnections between things — how parts within a system interact via intricate feedback mechanisms. The information signals we need to make sense of complex things are buried in a lot of noise, and we, unfortunately, are not adept at digging for cues. We have been conditioned by thousands of years of evolution, as well as our daily routines, to draw speedy conclusions by picking out simple, linear, cause-effect connections. This approach works well with straightforward problems like securing food, shelter and sex, or crossing a busy street. But we are now living in a world where multivariate and non-linear causal connections hide below the surface of our immediate perceptions, and diverge to different possible interpretations. When our standard intuitions meet modern-day complexity, a brain-world gap arises.



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Is Some Laziness Okay?

Is Some Laziness Okay? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Tips to quell laziness and be more productive while doing less.

 

I have a confession to make.

 

I have not been as productive as usual lately.

 

I have set aside 35 hours a week to work, and I’ve written articles, consulted with clients, developed presentations, and done media interviews during approximately 25 of them. That means that I’m spending 10 work hours a week doing…not much.

 

I’ve never considered myself lazy. But well, here we are.

 

According to my friend Leo Babauta at Zen Habits, however, this is not the end of the world and I shouldn’t feel too guilty about it. “Lazy means that your body and mind are tired and want to rest. That’s a sign that you should actually rest. When you ignore these signs, it leads to burnout. So rest, and feel good about it!”

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Playing Back the Tape

Playing Back the Tape | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Do you apply the easiest, cheapest and most powerful learning strategy?

 

One of the most useful habits we can develop is the habit of reflecting on our days and actions.  Today’s quotation reminds us of that is a visual way – so I’ll share it in an image!

 

Questions to Ponder

 

- How often do I reflect on my day?

 

- What would my tapes tell me today?

 

- What did I learn today?

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The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior

The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior...

 

Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day, a trammeled existence fettered by the slow accretion of our previous actions.

 

But habits can be changed, as difficult as that may seem sometimes.

 

I’m a living example: in tiny, almost infinitesimal steps, I’ve changed a laundry list of habits. Quit smoking, stopped impulse spending, got out of debt, began running and waking early and eating healthier and becoming frugal and simplifying my life and becoming organized and focused and productive, ran three marathons and a couple of triathlons, started a few successful blogs, eliminated my debt … you get the picture.

 

It’s possible.

 

And while I’ve written about habit change many times over the course of the life of Zen Habits, today I thought I’d put the best tips all together in one cheatsheet, for those new to the blog and for those who could use the reminders.

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Vacation, Unplugged

Vacation, Unplugged | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
When Carson Tate tells clients to follow their bliss, she’s not invoking some new-age hooey.

 

When Carson Tate tells clients to follow their bliss, she’s not invoking some new-age hooey. Instead, the managing partner of Working Simply believes that BLISS--behavioral learning and integration support systems--can help improve corporate agility, employee engagement, productivity and effectiveness. And who doesn’t want to work smarter, not harder?

 

One facet to increasing productivity, she says, is taking time off--real time off, not a vacation spent with one thumb on the iPhone at all times.

 

“In the workplace, I think we are just assaulted by information, commitments, timelines, deadlines and what happens is our thinking is scattered and disconnected,” she observes. “Think about when you have your eureka moments. Some of the best ideas come when you are in the shower with bubbles in your hair.” Vacations not only offer a respite from the daily grind but the downtime offers opportunities to allow new concepts and strategies to marinate. “When you come back you are rested, you able to innovate, your passion is back,” Tate says.

 

Even now, as more companies embrace the concept of "unlimited vacation," engaged and productive workers are scarce, she says. Citing a Gallup Daily survey that found 71% of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged," Tate says people are just burned out. 

 

Here are some tips for making it happen. 

 

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15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders

15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Put another way, not all leaders are created equal.

 

It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Put another way, not all leaders are created equal. The problem many organizations are suffering from is a recognition problem – they can’t seem to recognize good leaders from bad ones. In today’s column I’ll address how to identify bad leaders by pointing out a few things that should be obvious, but apparently aren’t.

 

If I only had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked, “is there a simple test that can quickly determine an executive’s leadership ability?” The short answer is yes, but keep in mind, simple and fast aren’t always the same thing as effective. There are a plethora of diagnostic tests, profiles, evaluations, and assessments that offer insights into leadership ability, or a lack thereof. My problem with these efforts is they are overly analytical, very theoretical, and very often subject to bias. That said, they are fast, easy, and relatively inexpensive. The good news is, there is a better way to assess leadership ability. If you really want to determine someone’s leadership prowess, give them some responsibility and see what they do with it.

 

Leaders produce results. It’s not always pretty, especially in the case of inexperienced leaders, but good leaders will find a way to get the job done.

 

 

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How Are People Left When You Leave Their Presence?

How Are People Left When You Leave Their Presence? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
As leaders, we have an impact on others—whether we realize it or not. But that impact is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. It is either positive or negative. It is rarely neutral.

 

But that impact is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. It is either positive or negative. It is rarely neutral.

 

This means we don’t just mindlessly waltz into a meeting and waltz out. Everything we say has an impact.

 

When we leave, people are left either …

 

Energized or depleted

 

Encouraged or discouraged

 

Inspired to tackle the next challenge or wanting to quit

 

Even the things we don’t say—our attitude, our facial expressions, and our body language—have an impact.

 

How do you leave people?

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3 Questions to Help You Answer “How Effective Are You at Work?”

3 Questions to Help You Answer “How Effective Are You at Work?” | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Most people who succeed do not do so by accident.

 

Once a quarter or so, I find it valuable to step back and ask: How am I doing?

 

Otherwise, you can end up consumed by work for years at a time and not be really happy, or not be really getting anywhere. So it’s helpful to take some time to step back and check in with yourself.

 

Here are three (3) questions for success:

 

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Priority. Clarity. Capacity.

Priority. Clarity. Capacity. | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Life doesn’t always go smoothly.

 

Chances are that in the last few weeks, someone has let you down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider your needs or wants. It might be an employee, a friend, or even your spouse.

 

Anger is probably the first reaction. Then … some more anger maybe. Then maybe some hurt. Then, quite possibly, a healthy dose of passive aggression.

 

But before we get ready to call someone out who has wrongly slighted us, we should ask ourselves another question. Have I let someone down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider their wants or needs?

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How wasting time can build resilience

How wasting time can build resilience | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
As a game designer, I’m often accused of helping people waste substantial portions of their lives. And no wonder: worldwide, we spend 7 billion hours a week playing video games – 300 million minutes a day on Angry Birds alone!

 

As a game designer, I’m often accused of helping people waste substantial portions of their lives. And no wonder: worldwide, we spend 7 billion hours a week playing video games – 300 million minutes a day on Angry Birds alone! – with seemingly nothing to show for it.

 

But research suggests that engaging in some activities we assume are non-productive may actually be a smart way to spend time, especially at work. These practices can make people more resourceful problem-solvers, more collaborative and less likely to give up when the going gets tough. In other words, they can make people more resilient. That’s why I’ve made it a personal goal to waste at least four minutes every hour.

 

I began immersing myself in the science of resilience after I was laid up for three months with a traumatic brain injury. I was under orders to let my brain rest: no email, no writing, no running. Every night I went to bed feeling as if the day had been a waste, and that made me anxious and depressed. I realised that I’d go crazy being so unproductive unless I could redefine what productivity meant to me. I thought of activities that would speed my recovery – small things that would make me feel happy, connected and creative.

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How To Manage Someone You Hate

How To Manage Someone You Hate | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
From Mike Michalowicz: Conflict looms large in a small business. Here's how to cope with a direct report whom you can't stand, but who is too essential to fire.

 

Hate your co-worker or employee? Congratulations! Acknowledging you have a problem, after all, is the first step towards making things work out.

 

Ironically, teams in which everyone likes each other are typically weak teams. People (that includes you) have a tendency to like others who are similar to them. We revel in similarities. Grew up in the same town as me? You’re awesome! Went to the same college? Hot diggity dog! Enjoy the same TV show as me? You’re practically my twin. Gosh, you are amazing! With all those similarities, a team of copy-cats will have tunnel vision and won’t have complementary skills. Great teams don’t like each other nearly as much as they respect each other.

 

There is greatness in differences.


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