Show Summary: A review and discussion of thirteen interesting leadership-related articles featured in the media.
Hi there! Welcome to the Voices of Canadian Leadership podcast.
- Still in Ottawa, so limited to making leadership article-related podcasts. I have quite a backlog of material!
- I’ve been working on the website for VOCL. One of the areas that I have improved is making the links easier to get to (links are now deleted)
- I am working towards getting the artwork complete for submitting my Android app.
VOCL Resources and Articles
This week – a random selection of thirteen articles on different aspects of leadership, but several with a specific focus on self-improvement.
“Leadership takes many forms” by Laura Rance at Globe & Mail
An article about inductees to the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. Although different approaches to leadership are conveyed, there are several common examples of having a vision and being willing to lead a cause about which they are passionate. They mention there is some concern about whether “the industry’s leadership pool is running dry.” Personally, I’m not worried about the farmers’ abilities to grow leaders and harvest the benefits thereof.
“Leadership And The Periodic Table Of The Elements” by Scott Edinger at Forbes
Much like the periodic table of the elements remains a (relative) constant, so too are the principles of leadership. Regardless of how we can try to modernize terms, he suggests that the core values are, “…kind of like the eight elements that make up 98% of the earth’s mass.”
* Inspiring and Motivating
* Results Orientation
* Communication Skills
* Strategic Focus
* Professional and Functional Expertise
* Interpersonal Skills
* Leading Change
“Why So Many Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail” by Peter Bregman at Bloomberg
Although set in the corporate world, this article is a great read on why just learning about leadership skills isn’t enough – you have to be able to act on that knowledge, regardless of the setting. Two key suggestions provided by the author include integrating leadership development into the work itself and to teach leadership in a way that requires emotional courage.
(Original link has been deleted)
“Leaders Read and Readers Lead: A Guest Leadership Post by Ben Eubanks” by Ben Eubanks at WHNT 19 News
The author makes a compelling case for the value of reading books on topics that are of interest to you. For me, I’m interested in leadership (hence this podcast) and I end up reading many articles on leadership so that I can present them to you. Although I can’t guarantee you an hour of reading material a day, this will certainly help out. Plus, if you’re listening to the podcast, you can listen while driving the car, whereas driving and reading aren’t recommended as a concurrent activity…
“The business of belief” by Michael McKinney at Leadshipnow.com
A book review of Tom Asaker’s “The Business of Belief.” The writer specifically focuses on Tom’s writings regarding effective leadership is about understanding people – their perspectives, their behaviours, their motivations, and their beliefs – and being able to take them to the next level.
“Leadership Rehab” by Chris Barez-Brown at Huffington Post
An article from the author that is an extract from his book, “Shine: How to Survive and Thrive at Work”. A quote – “I am a great believer in regularly going to leadership rehab.
This is a process by which we re-engage with who we really are, what is most important to us in life and what makes us unique and special.” Can we sometimes become so mired in the details that we forget who we are, or what it is that has gotten us to where we are today?
“4 Assumptions That Erode Your Leadership” by Jeff Brodie at Jeffbrodie.com
A Canadian blogger introduces 4 assumptions that leaders make that can have a harmful effect on their leadership:
1. Assuming that your good intentions count for something
2. Assuming that your answers, not your questions, define your organizational success.
3. Assuming that you have rarely have a “filter”
4. Assuming the worst about people and possibilities.
For me, I really liked the subtitles for each of the four points – they clearly depict the issue at hand. If you want to read these, make sure you go to the author’s blog…
(Original link has been deleted)
“Why Leadership Training Doesn’t Work” by Erika Anderson at Forbes
The title of the article is a bit of a misnomer – leadership training is actually only the first part of becoming a better leader. The author uses the analogy of her granddaughter learning how to put on socks and shoes. Becoming aware of the benefits of leadership (or socks and shoes) is the first step, but for that training to become effective it must be followed by some other steps:
– You must think through and understand WHY those skills will be of benefit
– You have to see the desired behaviour in action or deconstruct your own actions when things have gone well
– You must think through various situations (mental rehearsals)
– Finally, you should try the process in various situations, starting with those situations involving low risk
Think about your business training (or even the things you learned when growing up, such as riding a bike) – what strategies did you use and were they successful?
“Leadership: A sense of purpose” by Lolly Daskal at lollydaskal.com
I have read several of Lolly’s articles and decided to settle on this one since it speaks to having a sense of purpose. VOCL listeners will recall that in episode 18, we discussed an article about Saundra Pelletier, and the question that she asks of prospective employees, “If money, time and talent were no obstacle and you could be anything you wanted to be, what would you be?” That question was also your homework!
Assuming that you have answered that question, this particular blog is a logical next step. This blog article will help you visualize how you can be a leader in the area that you have chosen to be the best you that you can be. It also asks you to do an inventory of all of your resources, skills, experiences, beliefs, etc. that you can draw upon.
Leadership Development “Moneyball” by Dan McCarthy at smartblogs.com
An article that uses the “Moneyball” book/movie to set the stage for some statistics on leadership development. He cites several different sources to show some interesting aspects, including where the greatest personal leadership development comes from (hint: it is job changes and stretch assignments). I like numbers, so I liked this article – you might, too!
“8 Ways to Spot Great Leadership” by Mike Myatt at Forbes
Just like the title says, the author provides eight tips on spotting great leadership, not just the “peacock” mannerisms that you may have seen in some media personalities and politicians:
1. Not about the platform
2. The art of “and” not “or”
4. Not tone-deaf
5. Willing to take the hit
6. Understand compromise
7. No paralysis
Originally, I wasn`t going to include this article since many of the points have been raised before. Number 7 (No paralysis) made me stop. The first line states, “Leadership begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Funny enough, I’ve just finished listening to two podcasts on back to back days with that very theme.
The first is a podcast called “Career Joy” by Alan Kearns, and it features a guest by the name of Launi Skinner. (http://www.careerjoy.com/podcast/launi-skinner-on-6-keys-to-career-success-from-the-2008-canadian-career-summit ). In this podcast episode, she talks about her 6 keys to career success – the main theme I heard is that of stretch goals. At the time of the interview, she had just left as the U.S. President of Starbucks to become the CEO of 1-800-Got-Junk? (currently, she’s the CEO of First West Credit Union).
The next podcast was Fitness Behaviour, a fitness-based podcast from Bevan James Eyles. This episode features psychologist Carol Dweck – she mirrors the points provided by Launi and Mike.
(Original link has been deleted)
“Snapping out of your leadership struggle” by Mary Jo Asmus at smartblogs.com
Things aren’t always rosy for leaders – there are times that EVERYONE struggles. The author provides ten areas that can help you get back on a positive step:
1. Take a break
2. Learn something new
3. Create support
4. Hire a coach
5. Find a mentor
6. Take a baby step
7. Take care
8. Ask others
9. Observe others
“Leadership Lessons From Improvisational Comedy” by Elizabeth P. Cipolla at The Post-Journal
The author encourages the use of improv comedy (an innovative and creative process) to develop leadership skills. The title caught my eye, but her three reasons kept me reading. The first, “Accept the offer” – she highlights that you have to be willing to face new challenges to grow and develop. The second, “Listen in the moment” speaks to the need of communication – really listening to what the other person has to say and considering your response (albeit in perhaps a more accelerated fashion). Finally, “Go with your gut” discusses the importance of having faith in yourself and your abilities in unfamiliar situations.
(Original link has been deleted)
If you have any suggestions for the resources and articles section, please let me know.
VOCL Listener Feedback
I did get one email (possibly website generated) from George Bradt about an article that he had written for Forbes titled, “Changing Thymes: How To Know Exactly When To Evolve Your Organization”. At initial glance, it would appear that the article speaks primarily to organizational management changes that are required as businesses grow. However, there is a section at the end that mentions where leaders need to change how they communicate within the organization.
VOCL Closing Thoughts / Future Episodes / Call to Action
Takeaways and introspection
- “Why So Many Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail” by Peter Bregman. Learning isn’t enough – what are you doing to take what you have learned and put into practice?
- “Leadership: A sense of purpose” by Lolly Daskal. If you’ve done your homework in VOCL 018 (what would you be), I want you now to start visualizing that person that you want to be and to conduct an inventory of resources that can help get you there.
- “8 Ways to Spot Great Leadership” by Mike Myatt. Remember that growing as a leader involves pushing the envelope of your comfort zone. What have you done to successfully stretch that zone in the past, and how can you do that again, now and in the future.