When leaders blow up, lose their tempers or let their emotions get the better of them, they can quickly develop a reputation as volatile, moody, defensive or having a lack of leadership presence.

Unfortunately, all it takes is one public outburst. When coaching leaders who have received negative 360-degree feedback about composure, I’ll ask them when the last time they lost their cool was. In most cases, it’s on a rare occasion, maybe months ago. However, people remember, and it becomes a tough reputation to overcome.

Maintaining your composure can be hard! Emotions serve us well, especially in dangerous situations. Chemicals are triggered that enable us to run away from or fight an angry bear. Which serves us fine if we are in the woods confronted by an angry bear. Not so good when confronted by an angry co-worker in a meeting.

So what can you do to overcome the urge to throttle your co-worker that says something that sets you off? (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. What is your favorite tool, question or review style to determine overall employee happiness and engagement at work?

yec_Joshua Dorkin1. Taking regular walks with staff

One of the easiest ways to get a pulse on your team is to talk to them one-on-one. I like to take time at regular intervals to go on a walk with my team members to see how things are going for them and to find out if there are any issues we can work on. Employee happiness is essential for a successful business, and regular conversations like these help you to nip any potential issues in the bud. (read more…)

What do you think the biggest problem facing leaders today is? Sanjog Aul, host of CIO Talk Radio, asked me that question during an off-air discussion.

The answer is that leaders need to find ways that they deliver value to their stakeholders.

So consider this word equation as a value proposition: Intention + Diligence + Attentiveness = Leadership Value

Intention is what you plan to do.

Diligence is what you do to carry it out.

Attentiveness is the vigilance you apply to process and more importantly to people.

A leader’s value proposition is ever-changing, and as a result a leader must question himself to ensure that he is delivering what he is supposed to be doing. Everyday.


John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. (read more…)

71AQj8xHouLThe Simplicity Cycle” provides a roadmap to help people make good decisions about complexity in the things we design and use. One of the ways it does this is by examining the different phases of a project and highlighting different tools for each phase. In this lesson, we’ll look at four key verbs to be aware of as our projects move through the typical stages of development.

1. Start

At the beginning of a project, the key verb is “to start.” That is neither as obvious nor as easy as it sounds. Instead of taking a first step, we sometimes distract ourselves with superfluous activities that prevent rather than support stating.

We procrastinate and hesitate, unsure where or how (or whether!) to begin. We may feel overwhelmed or unprepared, so we spend our time and energy doing something else, anything other than starting. We optimize our paperclip collection. We shuffle documents around. (read more…)

At the end of my first year as school leader, I met up for breakfast with someone who was very instrumental in developing school leadership talent, and had founded a graduate level program in educational administration that I attended. He had also been a board chair for multiple area schools.

I had asked to meet with him so that I could let him enjoy the fruits of his labor (his graduate program had helped me secure my leadership position) while also gleaning from his wisdom and experience as I planned for Year 2.

As we ate we talked about the various challenges and successes of the previous year. At one point the topic shifted to the school board. It was then that he looked me straight in the eye and emphatically said, “You need to own your board.” By that he meant that I need to develop them and their thinking in a way that would position them squarely behind me to advance my agenda. (read more…)