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Tadej Pogacar and the Truth of Leadership

They call it the race of truth. Each Tour de France rider races alone along a set course. The person with the fastest time wins. That is how one day of each of the annual three week race is spent. Today, on the penultimate race day of this year’s three week race, Tadej Pagacar beat them all and earned the coveted Yellow Jersey of the overall race winner in a shocking finish not seen since 1989 when Greg Lemond beat Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds to win that year’s Tour de France. When the interviewers reached him, he immediately credited … Read more

Your Leadership Must Change: New Trends Becoming Clear

Trends are becoming clear six months into the pandemic about how digital communication patterns have changed—and it includes some surprises. You can take some leadership lessons from the first large-scale analysis just released by the Harvard Business School. Using aggregated meeting and email meta-data from over 3 million users, the study finds that the average number of meetings has increased. That’s not surprising. And neither is it shocking that more attendees are in each meeting and more people, on average, are copied on email messages. We might have guessed these results in the absence of face-to-face exposure and serendipitous meetings. … Read more

It’s Time to Up Your Empathy Game as a Leader

Employee engagement is a primary leadership challenge in this age of intense remote work. And your number one tool to meet this challenge is empathy. Empathy is touted a lot as a tenet of emotionally intelligent leadership, but it’s difficult to get a firm grasp on one’s ability to be empathetic. Now, more than ever, it’s time to figure this out. Leaders need to listen, understand, and, ultimately, care. A simple way to understand engagement Employee engagement is a series of questions any staff member can be expected to ask themselves. It’s intrinsic to work. We all wonder, “Do I … Read more

Why You Should Focus on Improving the Essential Leadership Skill of Reflection

Why You Should Focus on Improving the Essential Leadership Skill of Reflection

Four professors from world class business schools studied the impact of reflection on performance, and the results were amazing. The lesson for leaders is clear: grinding it out is far less effective than taking small amounts of time to reflect on and improve performance. Through a combination of field studies and lab experiments, the team of researchers from Harvard University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and HEC Paris (École des Hautes Études Commerciales) demonstrate that “deliberate attempts to learn from previous experience generate higher performance outcomes as compared to the accumulation of additional experience alone.” In other words, taking … Read more

Why Leaders Should Lead Like Teachers Teach

Explaining things is hard. But translating strategy into action is the number one responsibility of a leader. You must convey ideas in a way that everyone on the team can not only grasp the concepts but apply them to their individual roles and responsibilities. They need to internalize the ideas. Those ideas need to shape their thinking. And their thinking has to inform their many decisions and actions. This is a tall order, which is why so many leaders are bad at it. Fortunately, leaders can learn critical insights from the teaching profession. After all, the entire purpose of that … Read more

Humanizing Remote Work for Your Team

humanize remote work for your team

Remote work can be super productive, but it can also be lonely and stressful. Because it’s harder to collaborate, it’s more difficult to communicate, and it’s tougher to unplug than it is when working in an office.  That old-timey physical space, though limiting in many ways, helps establish certain norms and behaviors that build camaraderie. Hallway conversations, lunch with a coworker, and office banter fuel our sense of belonging. These and other informal pathways for communication and collaboration are what contribute disproportionately to results. And the truth is that you cannot easily digitize this secret sauce.  Maybe you don’t have … Read more

How to Become a Thought Leader in Your Company

It might be easier than you think for you to be a thought leader for your team. Because, with just a few simple steps, you can help see beyond the current situation and help create better solutions to today’s challenges. All it takes is a bit of stepping back from a narrow and near-term view that is too often a group’s default. Social science alerts us to the dangers of what they call groupthink where human dynamics create a natural tendency to reach a consensus without critical evaluation. A desire for harmony or conformity in the group leads to poor … Read more

How to Ask Better Questions

Why do you want to learn how to ask better questions? Walk me through the next steps of how that might help you? What else will have to be true for that to work out for you? Who will help you? Who is going to resist and prefer the status quo or some alternative? Questions like these will help you to find the best insights, which will help you to develop the best plans. Because if you want better answers, you should start asking better questions.  Fortunately, there are people who can help us to learn how to ask better … Read more

Winning Support for Your Project

Winning support for your project means becoming a change agent. Success comes from engaging people along the entire journey from idea to approval to implementation. Their interests and contributions need to be seen and incorporated into your plans, otherwise they will almost certainly derail your progress at some point. Get them on board early instead and you are well on your way to getting the green light.  What’s more, your proposal becomes stronger as you work this way. As questions, concerns, and ideas are raised, you can modify your approach to become more comprehensive and thoughtful. Along the way, people … Read more