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: Would you rather have a larger leadership role on a smaller team or a smaller leadership role on a bigger team?

  • I want the larger leadership role on a smaller team: 79.09%
  • I prefer the smaller leadership role as part of a bigger team: 20.91%

The Head of the Dog. The preference is clear – people would rather be the head of the dog rather than the tail of the lion. Said differently, taking the larger leadership role is much more preferred even if it’s on a smaller team. This is a common dynamic that’s worth understanding in more depth. It’s only logical. As leaders, many of us seek to have as much impact as possible. (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: Which of the following team members would you prefer to coach?

  • One who generates tons of results but upsets people in the process: 68.91%
  • One who is liked but gets few results because of lack of focus on the right things: 31.09%

Results Count. The preference is clear – people are more concerned with the results they get than they are with how those results are achieved. It’s a tough tradeoff. The more critical aspect of this choice is how you reduce the friction caused by those “steamrollers.” The better you can assess the tradeoff between results your people deliver and they way they achieve them, the better you’ll be able to lead them to deliver results with less friction or be liked and deliver the results you need. (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 do you handle things when a team member disappoints you?

  • I provide pointed feedback: 83.77%
  • I avoid the conflict and keep it to myself: 3.51%
  • I withdraw from working with them: 6.36%
  • I ignore it and give them another chance: 6.36%

Tackle issues head-on. Feedback is a gift. Delivering clear messages when things go off-track is the key to preventing future issues. While it’s hard to deal with being disappointed by a team member and it’s uncomfortable to let them know they’ve done so, avoiding the issue just sets you up for future problems. There are huge benefits to providing prompt feedback. It’s encouraging to see such a large percentage of you subscribe to that line of thinking. (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 effective are you at driving innovation?

  • Very — I generate a ton of innovative ideas: 37.68%
  • Kind of — I’ll be inspired from time to time: 51.84%
  • Infrequently — Inspiration is hard to find: 7.65%
  • Rarely — I can’t remember my last great idea: 2.83%

Innovation takes Time. The day to day can consume us leaving us precious little time for innovation. And there’s a big difference between incrementalism and true innovation. To generate those truly big ideas, try carving out at least two focused hours per month for you and your team to ask some challenging innovation questions that will help you find those big ideas. Dedicated time and a rigorous approach to innovation will make all the difference between ideas and big ideas. (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: If someone on your team hates their job, what do you do?

  • Nothing — it’s up to them to find happiness: 7.24%
  • Point out the good things about their role: 27.35%
  • Change their role to make them happy: 7.81%
  • Encourage them to find another role: 57.6%

If you don’t like the job, take action. We’ll frequently have team members who aren’t happy in their roles. Your job as their leader is to help them find their passion for their job. One way to do so is to help them see their work through a different lens and point out the good about their role. The second is to encourage them to find a role that’s better suited to them. (read more…)