The end of summer and the return to school. The end of wearing white. Football begins, while baseball enters the stretch run. All of these things are part of Labor Day, but none of them should be the (sole) focus for leaders and managers this weekend.
Instead, I suggest two things. First, take some time for yourself for rest, relaxation, friends and family. Second, reflect on how your employees are doing. Are they receiving a well-deserved break this weekend? If not, is the time being made up? Is this weekend merely a blip in a trudging, difficult year for employees? If so, what are you doing to improve that situation? Are vacation and time to recharge considered important? Are you acknowledging the labor your employees are putting in, and are you doing so in meaningful ways?
The answers will be many, and there might be other questions you want to ask. (read more…)
Michael O’Malley and William Baker are the co-authors of “Every Leader Is An Artist,” which proposes a template of baseline leadership qualities and shows just how interconnected they are with the qualities of great art. I recently asked them about their book, the lessons within it and the state of leadership today.
For all the scandals and failures, many fallen leaders are not held fully to financial and legal account, and the golden parachute has not been eradicated. Are bad leaders — such as Mr. R [Editor's note: the book's composite "bad" leader] — winning the fight?
We think that there is a tendency for boards and executives to temporarily overlook a person’s failings as a leader when they have generated short-term results, whether it was through their efforts or good fortune. So, we think there may be a tendency to accept more problematic behaviors than we should. We also think that leadership development should be elevated as a priority in more companies. (read more…)
SmartBrief is partnering with Big Think to create a weekly video spotlight in SmartBrief on Leadership called “VIP Corner: Video Insights Powered by Big Think.” This week, we’re featuring author and business professor Leslie Perlow.
Many people take their work home with them, checking e-mail at all hours and doing so while believing that the client is demanding such effort, but it’s often a self-inflicted burden, argues Leslie Perlow of Harvard Business School. There are real concerns about clients’ expectations of the workforce, but these are often heightened and exaggerated by the fears and habits of individuals, teams and companies, leading to a “culture of responsiveness” that never allows a worker to turn “off.”
Perlow studied Boston Consulting Group, whose work by design does involve levels of round-the-clock service, to see how such a firm could meet client needs while also respecting the need for employees to occasionally switch their minds and bodies off of work. (read more…)
BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog, with thousands of everyday leaders. Unique voices and informed opinions abound on BlogHer’s website, on the 3,000 blogs that make up the BlogHer Publishing Network, and on the Twitter, Facebook and other social media realms where members interact.
BlogHer ’12 felt like an entire case study on women’s leadership and the power it possesses. Here are five leadership-focused lessons that stuck with me.
- Strength comes in numbers, but it only takes one voice to lead. One of the most powerful panels at BlogHer ’12 featured BlogHer’s International Activist Scholarship recipients, an award designed to “both recognize and magnify the impact of women bloggers living outside the United States.” This year’s recipients detailed the connections they have forged to illuminate marginalized voices. The panelists included Maha El-Sanosi, who writes about Sudanese politics and culture and was recently arrested for protesting, as well as Fungai Machirori (blogs at Fungai Neni and Her Zimbabwe), who lives in Zimbabwe and has created a forum that promotes critical thought.
Last week, we asked: How easy is it for you to “manage up” and lead your leaders?
- Very easy: they encourage it: 4.86%
- Easy: they expect and accept it: 27.08%
- Not easy: I have to work at it: 35.59%
- Difficult: they aren’t accepting of it: 22.57%
- Very difficult: they actively resist me: 9.9%
Bosses are tough to manage. Clearly, 70% of you are having a tough time managing up. Either you have to work really hard at it or it’s like talking to a brick wall. Instead of trying to tell your boss what to do, instead try to position things as, “Here’s the help I need from you so my team and I can be successful. Can you help us out?” When you position it as a request only they can fulfill, hopefully, you’ll get a more supportive response. (read more…)