SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How frequently do you spend time writing (blogs, journaling, articles, etc.)?

  • Very — I write regularly every week: 16%
  • Somewhat — I’ll write occasionally as the mood strikes: 21%
  • Not at all — I’ll write only when absolutely necessary: 63%

Writing Makes You Better. Finding the time and a reason to write has many benefits – it makes you sharper, more articulate, helps you clarify your thoughts, and creates opportunities for you. It’s easy to rationalize you don’t have time or a reason to write. Reconsider that position and think through the many benefits of having a regular writing habit. Whether it’s journaling, blogging, white papers, or articles – writing will improve your skills and value to your company.

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…)

The cure for presentation writer’s block

When the pressure is on to deliver a mission-critical presentation, even the most experienced presenters sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to develop valuable content. Have you found yourself falling prey to these habits?

  • Staring a blank screen and wondering how to begin
  • Feeling stuck and frantically searching the Internet for something to help you get back on track
  • Obsessing over just the right wording and making no progress

Are you nodding in agreement as your recognize this familiar pattern? We’ve all been there. The good news is, you can kick that anxiety to the curb when you know how to craft a powerful presentation that achieves results. (read more…)

“Don’t make me think about it!”

That was some advice an executive I know shared with one of his direct reports. The executive was not being flippant, he was letting his more junior colleague know that he wanted him to come with well-thought out plans of action.

He was delegating decision making to his subordinate and wanted this individual to pick up the ball and run with it.

Such advice is the opposite of micro-management; call it “I trust you” management. It is something that every executive needs to instill in his or her people.

By permitting employees to think and do for themselves, you prepare them for greater levels of responsibility.


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. Also in 2014, named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. (read more…)

The 21st century is characterized by one dominant trait — self-determination. Gone are the days of mass production, economies of scale and standardization typical for last century. We, as a people, have a deep sense that it is our privilege to “make” ourselves.

Many times in my career, I tried to “make” myself only to be shunned. In 2000, for example, I jumped from Salomon Smith Barney to Merrill Lynch with the goal of dreaming a new dream. I wanted to challenge myself and grow but when I approached my managers about a new opportunity, they told me to stay put. So I switched firms.

By 2005, having been Institutional Investor-ranked for eight years straight, I again felt ready for a new learning curve. When I approached management, I heard the same script: “We like you just where you are.” This time, I took my dreams and walked out of the industry.

Much of the corporate world is not open to allowing us to work toward our dreams. (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.

If you enjoy this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our newsletters on small business and entrepreneurialism.

Q: What is one way I can practice becoming more empathetic as a leader?

yec_Ross Resnick1. Ask yourself how you would feel

Empathetic leaders do one thing really well: they see multiple perspectives with authenticity. One simple way to do this is to remember what things were like when you were an employee. How did you feel when management did to you the same things you might be considering doing to your employees? By always asking yourself this question without bias, you’ll become a more empathetic leader immediately. — Ross Resnick, Roaming Hunger

yec_Brittany Hodak2. (read more…)