SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How involved are you with “more senior” conversations?

  • Very — I always have a seat at the table: 25.73%
  • Somewhat — they include me when I’m the expert: 51.19%
  • Rarely — I have to fight to be included in those discussions: 14.06%
  • Never — I’m always kept at the “kids table:” 9.02%

Earn your seat at the table. To be invited to the table and involved in senior level conversations, let people know what you’re bringing. If you expect to sit in on those discussions based on your title or role alone, prepare to be left out of the important discussions. If, however, you bring a perspective that drives someone else’s agenda or objective function, you’re much more likely to be invited. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well do you motivate your people?

  • Extremely — they’re constantly fired up: 7.74%
  • Fairly — they’re motivated most of the time: 78.64%
  • Somewhat — I have to push to motivate them: 9.6%
  • Not very — it’s a struggle to motivate them: 4.02%

They look to you for motivation. Motivating and inspiring your people is one of the primary services you provide to your team. Sure, their paychecks matter but they need to see where they fit in and how their work contributes to a greater goal Given that, learning new ways to motivate and inspire your people should be high on your list of skills to build. While “most of the time” is good, the incremental value of “constant” motivation makes the difference between “good” and “great.”

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.” (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: What best describes the mix of work you do?

  • I like every bit of my work: 15.18%
  • I like most of my work but dislike a portion: 70.68%
  • I like and dislike my work in equal proportions: 6.7%
  • I dislike most of my work but like some of it: 6.55%
  • I dislike all the work I do: .89%

A generally happy workforce. You spend more time at work than you likely do with your friends and family. Given that, you’d better enjoy what you do. We always hear about “work-life balance” but there’s also “work-work balance” – having enough work you enjoy doing to balance out the work you dislike. If you find yourself out of balance, realign your priorities, look for ways to eliminate unattractive work, and discuss your role with your boss. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How are you feeling going into 2015?

  • Very excited and optimistic — it’ll be a great year: 35.13%
  • Positive but apprehensive– there’s a lot of uncertainty: 46.71%
  • Very cautious — there’s a lot to be concerned about: 14.17%
  • Pessimistic — it’s going to be a very tough year: 3.99%

Gearing Up for a Better Year. It’s been tough being a leader in recent years. There’s been a lot of turmoil to overcome. Clearly there’s optimism in the air for 2015. Make sure your people feel the same way. Set clear goals and give them a vision of what your organization looks like by the end of the year. Tie that vision to their individual work. People want to know where they fit into the bigger picture. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well do you set aside time to do things for yourself?

  • Very well — I regularly carve out time for myself: 15.56%
  • Well — I carve out some time but could do more: 38.77%
  • Not well — I don’t often carve out time for myself: 30.12%
  • Poorly — I rarely set aside time for myself: 15.56%

If not you, then who? Almost half of you confess to not doing well taking care of yourself by carving out time for you. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s doubtful anyone else is. There are some easy ways to carve out time for yourself. It’s simply a question of having the discipline to do it. (read more…)