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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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Why Do Great Ideas Take So Long to Spread?

Why Do Great Ideas Take So Long to Spread? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Resistance and stubbornness from the old guard isn't slowing things down.

 

Just because a new fact or idea seems right, doesn't mean it will spread like wildfire. Evolution, hand washing in hospitals, the inevitability that personal computers were the future of technology — none of these ideas were accepted immediately, even though they seem obvious today. Change takes time. But why? 

The short answer is we're intellectually stubborn. We don't always weigh all the evidence before we make a decision, and this is especially true if a change of opinion requires a wholesale overhaul of our worldview. Usually, we're defensive in the face of change, spouting alternative theories and contradictory data. Although this type of resistance can help keep everyone honest, it can also produce very bad effects.

 

Just take Ignaz Semmelweis — a physician who recommended doctors clean their hands prior to delivering babies — who was ignored and essentially driven mad by his colleagues' refusal to accept the truth. But eventually, in the face of overwhelming evidence, the majority will generally accept the new theory, before their recalcitrance becomes too counterproductive.

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Getting Defensive at Work is Holding You Back

Getting Defensive at Work is Holding You Back | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

“You know that situation where you get an evaluation from your boss, and she tells you 37 things you do really awesome, and one thing – an ‘opportunity for growth?’ And all you can think about is that opportunity for growth, right?” says Brene Brown, professor at University of Houston, says in her TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability.

 

It’s that kind of obsession with criticism that stands between us and success. Dwelling on negativity – especially when the criticism is meant to be constructive – stunts professional growth and hurts happiness.

 

If you cannot face failure, you will not innovate, says Joseph Grenny, co-author of the New York Times best-sellers Influencer and Change Anything. And, he says, if you cannot embrace criticism, you will shut down feedback that’s essential for furthering your career.

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Why Accountability Is So Muddled, and How to Un-Muddle It

Why Accountability Is So Muddled, and How to Un-Muddle It | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Three reasons almost every organization is so bad at holding people responsible

 

One of the most sacred tenets of management is the need for clear accountability. As such, organizations spend enormous amounts of time and energy defining jobs, roles, and goals — and then figure out who to reward or punish when things go well or poorly. The assumption of course is that people will perform more effectively if they know exactly what they are supposed to accomplish and what will happen if they make or miss the target.

 

But the reality of organizational life is never quite so black and white. More often than not, accountability is muddled, rewards are misapplied, consequences are watered down or never occur, and people do not see the direct connection between results and recognition. As the senior manager of a large technology firm said to one of my colleagues: "If you work hard and get good results here, you'll be rewarded; and if you don't work hard and get mediocre results, you'll also be rewarded."

 

From my experience, there are three common reasons that organizations fall into accountability traps like these.

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Don’t spend all day on email

Don’t spend all day on email | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Constant email interruptions steal precious time from other tasks because it takes you several minutes to refocus on your work after each interruption.

 

Your move into management probably means a big jump in the number of emails you receive. It’s likely that you feel obligated to read emails as they arrive because you want to be available at a moment’s notice and to stay on top of everything, but if you aren’t careful, email can be a huge productivity killer.

 

Constant email interruptions steal precious time from other tasks because it takes you several minutes to refocus on your work after each interruption. Yet, if you neglect your inbox, you’ll create a backlog of messages and incomplete to-dos. It can be overwhelming, stressful and time-consuming to wade through all that email once you finally do tackle the daunting task, and you may find that some of your to-dos have slipped through the cracks because of your negligence.

 

Manage your email more effectively by following these tips:

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Development Deluge: Are You Working Too Hard?

Development Deluge: Are You Working Too Hard? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Bob (not his real name) pulled me aside after the meeting. "I've been reading your blog and all the books you talked about.  I went out and got 5 mentors, all of whom are giving me feedback.

 

Leaders must work on their development to grow.  Most folks I know don’t work on their development enough.  On the other hand too much development can be overwhelming, even paralyzing.

 

It’s like working on a marriage.  Sometimes you need to talk about stuff.  But sometimes, you just need to go throw a frisbee.

 

Back to Bob…. and so I asked him, “what if you just stopped?”

 

His shoulders relaxed.  I am pretty sure he started to breathe again.

 

“Development work takes time to steep. What if you just steeped in all this for a while?”

 

Bob is steeping now.  That seems to be working well.  The truth is, he seems to be growing more than ever.

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Striving to be a Real Leader

Striving to be a Real Leader | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Being a real leader will be stimulating, energising, and, perhaps most important, enjoyable.

 

The last couple of years have brought an intriguing quandary for senior leaders, and one that is probably here to stay. These are times when leaders have the option of keeping their heads down, staying out of the firing line, and playing it safe. The other option is to contribute to the current and future health of the organisation by stepping up to be real leaders.

The choices you make as a real leader Being a real leader is not easy, which is why too many incumbents of leadership positions - knowingly or unknowingly - go for the easier option of safe leadership. Although I am sure you have some friends who have gone for the safe option, you, of course, will have opted to be a real leader and, in doing so, have made a number of choices that you will need to remind yourself of from time to time.
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Starbucks Is Done With 'Coffee'

Starbucks Is Done With 'Coffee' | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Consumption is falling, and it's just not enough anymore.

 

YOUNGER Americans will have to take our word for it: there was a time, way back when Ronald Reagan was president, when your countrymen ordered coffee by simply asking for “coffee”. Ordering a “venti skinny chai latte” or a “grande chocolate cookie crumble frappuccino” would have earned, at best, a blank stare.

 

But that was before Howard Schultz took Starbucks from a single coffeehouse in downtown Seattle to a chain with more than 17,000 shops in 55 countries. The chain grew so quickly, and in some areas seemed so ubiquitous, that as early as 1998 a headline in The Onion, a satirical American newspaper, joked, “New Starbucks Opens in Rest Room of Existing Starbucks”. After suffering through lean years in 2008 and 2009, the company is again going strong. In the 2011 fiscal year the company served 60m customers per week—more than ever. It also had its highest-ever earnings-per-share ($1.62) and global net revenue ($11.7 billion).

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Fatigue Is Your Enemy

Fatigue Is Your Enemy | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Get more from people by giving them a break.

 

Two years ago, I began hearing the phrase "It isn't sustainable" over and over from senior executives. They were talking about the everyday demands at work.

 

The day of reckoning seems to have arrived. During the past month alone, no less than a half dozen senior executives have told me that fatigue, exhaustion and even burnout are the biggest issues they're facing both for themselves and among their troops.

 

Sustainable capacity — meaning sufficient fuel in the tank — is what makes it possible to bring one's skill and talent to life. Not even the most talented and motivated employees can run on empty.

 

One CEO of a multinational company told me that just dealing with time differences had left him so exhausted he was seriously considering quitting. Another CEO at a much-admired company told me that for the first time, he's losing truly valued employees who say they simply can't take it anymore. In a recent survey at a third organization, over 80% of the top 400 leaders reported they spend the majority of their days feeling negative emotions, fueled in large part by overload and overwhelm.

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Ways to Be Happy and Productive at Work

Ways to Be Happy and Productive at Work | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Employees who are the most productive are also the happiest at work. Here are five things organizations, bosses and individuals can do to have a happier and productive workforce.

 

What in the world is happening in the workplace? Economic data over the last couple of years shows a confusing picture of productivity. The U.S. reported a modest increase due to downwards wage pressure, while the U.K., outperformed by France and Germany, has reported more employment but less output.

 

South African productivity has hit a 46-year low, while even China and India which have been fueling their economies with cheap labor are seeing costs rise as investors eye up cheaper countries or territories in which it’s easier to do business.

 

Productivity is a combination of many things: traditionally it includes investment, innovation, skills, enterprise and competition. But there’s one key ingredient missing here.

 

The happiness of employees.

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To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose

To Create an Enduring Vision, Values Must Support Purpose | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Values must support your organization's purpose and desired future. Ask first, “What are our values?” Then ask, “Do our values enable us to fulfill our purpose and our potential?

 

Our values are our deeply held beliefs about what is right and good, evoking standards that we care deeply about. They drive our behaviors and decisions, trigger our emotions, and can fuel a passion that drives commitment, even in the face of obstacles and change.

 

An engaging vision, one that captures our hearts, does so because it clearly resonates with our core values. When a group of people discover they share the same values, there is a significant increase in energy, commitment and trust.

 

See also http://seapointcenter.com/staying-power-vision/

and  http://seapointcenter.com/vision-part-2/ ;


Via Ariana Amorim, AlGonzalezinfo, Anne Egros, Roy Sheneman, PhD
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Using Just 10% of Your Brain? Think Again

Using Just 10% of Your Brain? Think Again | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Popular neuromyths about how we learn are creating confusion in the classroom, write Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.

 

Pop quiz: Which of these statements is false?

1. We use only 10% of our brain.

2. Environments rich in stimuli improve the brains of preschool children.

3. Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic.

If you picked the first one, congratulations. The idea that we use only 10% of our brain is patently false. Yet it so permeates popular culture that, among psychologists and neuroscientists, it is known as the "10% myth." Contrary to popular belief, the entire brain is put to use—unused neurons die and unused circuits atrophy. Reports of neuroimaging research might perpetuate the myth by showing only a small number of areas "lighting up" in a brain scan, but those are just areas that have more than a base line level of activity; the dark regions aren't dormant or unused.

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10 Reasons You Should Stop Checking the News

10 Reasons You Should Stop Checking the News | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
We have become a news addicted society.

 

We have become a news addicted society.

 

Doubt it?

 

How many times did you read the news so far today?

 

How many more times will you check it before bedtime?

 

Reclaim some of your news time each day and you will be able to get to the things that matter.

So, stop reading the news… and instead go do something newsworthy.

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Getting fit to lead: Habits of successful leaders

Getting fit to lead: Habits of successful leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Do you have what it takes to be a leader in the businesses of the future? Plenty of companies are worried that the pool might not be big enough to pick from in the future, so check out this infographic by NowSourcing to see if you’ve got the right stuff to succeed.

 


Via Gust MEES
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Unselfish – Think of Yourself Less

Unselfish – Think of Yourself Less | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Recently I have had the opportunity to visit many different cities and organizations to share the principles of Love Works. Reviewing my presentation, the principle I spend the most amount of time covering is unselfish. Being unselfish has many layers and it doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself – it means thinking of yourself less.

 

At the personal level, it requires being unselfish with your time and treasure. Giving of yourself is not easy, but it is certainly worth it. The people and organizations you support certainly benefit from your gifts, but I would argue that your selfless giving benefits you even more.

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Understanding the Perils of E-Mail

Understanding the Perils of E-Mail | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

In this column I discuss a book called Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley, the deputy editorial page editor of The New York Times and editor of its Op-Ed page, and Will Schwalbe, the editor-in-chief of Hyperion, who is also my publisher and friend.

 

Send is a book that I highly recommend you buy for yourself – and for everyone in your company. I have been amazed at how many people in even the best companies don’t understand the power – and the consequences – of e-mail. Below are some questions and answers that may help you in your own e-mail future, courtesy of David and Will, who jointly supplied the answers – by e-mail of course!

 

One of the important points you make is that managers need to worry not just about their own e-mail but also that of their employees. Why?

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How to Calculate the Value of a Like

How to Calculate the Value of a Like | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Do the math....

 

Over my decade working in web marketing, I've spent a ton of time at various marketing conferences, and I've read countless books and blogs about new media. I've noticed a disturbing trend over the past few years in the social media end of the communications world. Much of the advice and strategy I hear boils down to little more than "unicorns and rainbows" superstitions like "engage in the conversation" and "be awesome." Not only has much of the industry ignored hard metrics and dollars-and-cents ROI math; there has actually been a vocal opposition to measurement and accountability.

 

Effective marketers expect to see clear cut, positive ROI for every other channel of online marketing including email, search, and display advertising. But for some reason, many seem to forget about return when it comes to channels like Facebook and Twitter.

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70 Ways To Be A Better Leader

70 Ways To Be A Better Leader | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

The 70 tips below make for a good list for learning how to become a better leader when you don't have a lot of time to read books about leadership.

And, if you've been a leader for a long time, how about taking a few minutes to run through the list and scoring yourself on how well you carry out each leadership skill?

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Five Leadership Keys to “Getting the People Right”

Five Leadership Keys to “Getting the People Right” | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Your “secret sauce” without a brilliant team will get you nowhere..

 

One theme that is always heard at CEO Connection Boot Camps is something that sounds like, “You’ve got to get the people right.”

 

After all, your people are your most strategic asset. Your “secret sauce” without a brilliant team will get you nowhere. But how do you make sure you actually are“getting the people right?’

 

From my perspective, these are the five keys for you as a leader to make sure you’re leveraging:


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Finding Focus: 12 Leadership Focal Points

Finding Focus: 12 Leadership Focal Points | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Achievement requires focus.

 

Ever end the day worn our but wondering what you accomplished. Coach Wooden warned, “Never confuse activity with achievement.”

 

Life without focus is wasted.


Worse yet, wrong focus guarantees wrong results.

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The Best Business Books Of 2012: Find Fulfillment, Get Productive, And Create Healthy Habits

The Best Business Books Of 2012: Find Fulfillment, Get Productive, And Create Healthy Habits | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Did we miss one of your favorites?

 

These 12 books have shaped not only the way we work this year, but how we think and the conversations we're having. Authored by luminaries like Nate Silver, Clay Christensen, and Susan Cain, these delightful-to-read tomes offer insight into the power of vulnerability, habit, social media, and more.

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Get Less Busy

Get Less Busy | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The irony is, that at this time, perhaps more than ever before, our leaders need to be making themselves much less ‘busy’, and focusing more than they ever have done on nurturing their workforce.

 

People in our workforces are under serious strain. They are constantly being asked to do more with less. Our businesses and government departments are responding to the austerity drives by trimming more and more from their budgets, which inevitably means fewer people are left to do the work. Meanwhile the demands are increasing. With everyone in the economy tightening their belts, company profits are falling, which means that a smaller and smaller workforce is being challenged to work smarter, harder, more innovatively and to ‘keep their chins up and stay engaged’.


Via The e.MILE Community
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The Four Powers of Gratitude

The Four Powers of Gratitude | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Gratitude enhances impact.

 

Show me a leader who is happy with everything and I’ll show you a loser. The gift of young leaders is unhappiness. The tragedy of old leaders is contentment.

 

Unhappiness and discontent ignite passion for change.

 

Warning:

 

Slime pits of ingratitude lie just beyond unhappiness. Nothing de-motivates like churlish ungratefulness. On the other hand, gratitude provides rich feedback that motivates forward movement.

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Great Leaders Are Deliberately Vulnerable

Great Leaders Are Deliberately Vulnerable | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Great leaders focus on the soft skills of leadership. They are intentionally vulnerable. Build trust and credibility. They are open with their people.

 

The stereotypical leader is tough, confident and never in doubt.  Criticism isn’t something they are used to or comfortable with.  A lot of leaders focus on the “hard skills” of intelligence, energy, confidence, responsibility and always being right.

 

But what about the “soft qualities” like sensitivity, openness, thoughtfulness andvulnerability?  Are these just as important?  Can a leader work hard at being a “soft” leader and succeed?

 

Excelling at soft leadership skills results in respect, trust, credibility, being open to change and giving the leader a human element.  Soft leadership does not mean weak leadership.  A leader that focuses on soft leadership qualities uses them as strengths.

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12 Things Collaborative Leaders Do

12 Things Collaborative Leaders Do | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Some of these behaviors could describe any leader. But when you look at them altogether, a pattern emerges that is quite different from traditional leaders.

 

Collaborative leaders create communities where people unite around a common purpose and values, working collaboratively to accomplish a shared vision that makes a powerful and positive impact.


Their job is to champion the vision, provide resources and remove roadblocks. How do they do this? Some of these 12 behaviors could describe any leader. But when you look at them altogether, a pattern emerges that is quite different from traditional leaders.

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Support Your Team... Quietly

Support Your Team... Quietly | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Don't let on when you're helping out....

 

Helping people deal with emotions is a key leadership skill, especially in times of crisis. Your tone may effectively quell negative emotions or promote beneficial emotions, and improve camaraderie, trust, and team performance.

 

But recent research into the field of social regulation shows us that how you support your people can make a real difference. It turns out that caring delivered in an indirect, implicit manner tends to have a greater positive impact than support delivered in a direct, explicit manner. In other words, people get more out of compassion when they don't know they're getting it.


Via Roger Francis
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