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 balance the workload among the members of your team?

  • Very well — work is allocated fairly and effectively: 28.57%
  • Well — work allocations are fair for the most part: 61.9%
  • Not well — work allocations are often unfair and ineffective: 7.79%
  • Poorly — I have a great deal of difficulty allocating work: 1.73%

5 Considerations for Work Allocation. Balancing workload across your team is tricky business. As you do so, you need to consider 5 major aspects of workload distribution before you dole out assignments: priority, skill, availability, professional development, and personal interest. In considering all five of those elements you’ll not only allocate work more efficiently and effectively but you’ll also be building the skills of the members of your team in the process. (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 take to being “just a team member” and working alongside your team?

  • Very well — I easily transition into the role of team member: 58.76%
  • Well — sometimes I transition easily but other times I’m challenged: 34.4%
  • Not well — I have difficulty changing my mindset and being a team member: 5.77%
  • Poorly — I actively resist situations where I have to work alongside my team: 1.07%

Welcome to the team. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a team member when you spend most of your days leading that team. If you have difficulty stepping into a team role and letting someone else lead, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. (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: Do you prefer leading “staff” teams or “line” teams?

  • Staff — I like leading a function across the organization: 66.46%
  • Line — I like being directly involved in our front-line operations: 33.54%

Cross-functional leadership is exciting. The overwhelming majority of you clearly prefer leading a “staff” team versus a “line” team. These results are somewhat surprising. If “the line” is where the business executes, it would seem that people would gravitate toward leading those teams. One could argue the cross-functional roles give leaders a broader perspective and greater ability to drive impact across the company, but it’s hard to argue the excitement and importance of leading a line team as well. So why do you prefer a staff or a line leadership role? Share your thoughts in this poll’s comments, as this is definitely an interesting line of inquiry. (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 good are you at motivating yourself through challenging times?

  • Extremely — challenging times simply aren’t challenging for me: 8.95%
  • Very — I’m able to easily motivate myself through challenges: 53.04%
  • Somewhat — I can get through tough times but it takes work: 33.11%
  • Not very — I struggle through challenging times: 4.39%
  • Not at all — I need a lot of help from others to overcome challenges: .51%

Leaders must lead themselves. We’ll all face adversity on a regular basis. As leaders, there aren’t many people there to pick us up and motivate us through those challenges so that task falls on our own shoulders. The fastest way to pick yourself up is to establish a touchstone phrase or memory that can quickly reorient your thinking from “woe is me” to “let’s get moving.” The faster you’re able to reorient yourself, the faster you can get your team moving in a productive direction as well. (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 prevalent is the use of buzzwords in your organization

  • Extremely — it seems like everything we say is a buzzword: 25.69%
  • Very — buzzwords creep into normal conversations: 40.39%
  • Somewhat — the occasional buzzword gets thrown around: 27.06%
  • Not at all — we rarely use buzzwords: 6.86%

Words with no meaning. Sure, buzzwords sound great but they get in the way of communicating clearly. At worst, using buzzwords makes you sound silly or arrogant. If you want to get your point across, speak simply and directly. Leave no room for interpretation. There are some horrible phrases we tend to use and the worst of those buzzwords can make us sound ridiculous. Find better alternatives. Your team will appreciate it and you’ll make a much better impression upon those around you. (read more…)