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 much professional reading do you do each month?

  • A ton — more than 5 books per month: 3.82%
  • A lot — 2-3 books per month: 13.25%
  • Some — 1 book per month: 24.5%
  • Little — a book every few months: 42.57%
  • None — I don’t have time for it or interest in it: 15.86%

Reading is Fundamental. It’s a bit surprising and somewhat distressing that leaders are reading so little with almost 60% of you stating you do “little” to “none” in terms of professional reading. Time sounds like a convenient excuse but I’ll challenge that assertion. If you add up the time you spend watching TV, cat videos, and being on social media, I’m sure you can carve out a portion of it for reading. (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 effectively do you resolve conflict with others?

  • Very — conflicts don’t last long as I resolve them quickly: 32.83%
  • Somewhat — some conflicts are difficult to resolve: 62.92%
  • Not very — I have more conflict than I can handle: 3.04%
  • Not at all — my work life is nothing but conflict: 1.22%

Guiding versus driving conflict resolution. While none of us enjoy conflict, we have to resist the urge to resolve it. Your job as a leader is to teach others to resolve conflict on their own. If you’re constantly mediating disputes, you’re an enabler of bad behavior. Everyone will keep arguing and coming to you to solve their problems. They’ll never learn to resolve things themselves. (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 valuable are your organization’s board meetings?

  • Highly — we get a great deal of value from our board: 21.89%
  • Somewhat — board meetings deliver some value but not a lot: 39.3%
  • Not very — the meetings are more of a formality: 24.38%
  • Not at all — the meetings simply consume time and energy: 14.43%

Stop telling and start asking. The board is tired of hearing you talk and likely frustrated you’re not asking them for more guidance. Spare them the business unit updates. They can read those on the plane on their way to the meeting. Instead, use your limited and valuable time with them to get their perspectives on issues they can help you work through. (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 effectively do you get your team the resources it needs?

  • Extremely — they always have everything they need: 8.7%
  • Very — I get what they need most of the time: 49.13%
  • Somewhat — I get them the most important things they need: 26.52%
  • Not very — I have trouble getting them resources: 13.91%
  • Not at all — I hardly ever get them what they need: 1.74%

Making a Case for Resources. Asking for resources simply isn’t enough. You need to make a compelling case for getting them. This means laying out the list of your organization’s priorities first and getting your boss’ agreement on the priorities. Once you have that, articulate the resources needed to accomplish those goals. (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 effectively does your organization manage reorganizations?

  • Very — our reorgs are smooth and effective: 6.44%
  • Mostly — our reorgs go well but not without issues: 35.25%
  • Somewhat — we don’t do a great job with reorgs: 27.12%
  • Not at all — our reorgs are painful and problematic: 31.19%

Disorganized Reorganization. Why are we so bad at this? Organizations need to change and people need to be put in new roles. Those shifts turn into disasters for several reasons. First, poor communication. The rationale for the change and everyone’s new responsibilities aren’t clearly articulated which leads to confusion and frustration. Second, poor talent assessment and role definition. Reorgs can be a great opportunity to put talent in bigger roles but more often than not, we fail to assess talent properly and instead frustrate some of our best performers. (read more…)