Episode Focus Looking at several leadership articles from around the world including topics such as:
- Communication tips for millennial leaders
- What to watch out for when getting advice
- Leadership tips from a CEO
- The problem with TOO much talent?
- Leadership differences between Undercover Boss and The Apprentice
- Enabling potential in others
- Urgency in leadership
- 5 tips on being a more authentic leader
- The promises we make as a leader
- The difference between a boss and a leader
IntroSlight change to the file format if you’re downloading the show. I used to include links to each of the articles in the Lyrics section of the podcast, but I don’t believe that this is required anymore. All of the links (and text) show up in the Apple’s podcast app and the Podcast Box app (which also has the show notes in PDF format). Links will ALWAYS be listed on the website – I don’t want to take credit for other people’s work, plus I want to help you expand your leadership knowledge. VOCL is designed with YOU in mind, yet I am not you. I want to get to know you better so I can give you what you need. Let me know if there is something that you want more of or less of. Are there people you want me to reach out to for an interview? Is there a particular topic that concerns you? Let me know, and I can tailor the show to meet YOUR needs!
VOCL Resources and ArticlesThis week – a random selection of 10 articles on different aspects of leadership. —
7 communication tips for millennial leaders by Linsey Pollak at Smartblogs.comThe Millennial generation (or Generation ‘Y’ – born from the early 1980s to early 2000’s) has begun assuming (significant) leadership roles in today’s jobs and organizations. The author provides 7 tips to this generation to help them communicate more effectively:
- Watch out for speech patterns that make you sound too young (you want to be seen as credible)
- Communicate in your audience’s style (especially challenging since there are now four generations in the workforce – each has a preferred method/style of communication)
- Remember: shorter is better (I have trouble with this one, especially when keeping the second point in mind…)
- Don’t hide behind technology (I would suggest using the phone if it takes more than three lines to convey your thoughts to an individual.)
- Don’t assume it’s okay to text (this is really an extension of #2)
- Understand how to contact someone in a more senior position (again, this is really an extension of #2
- Give yourself time to practice (absolutely!)
Judging Good Advice from Bad: 5 Opinions That Will Undermine Your Leadership by Holly Hamann at LinkedInThe author makes the case that you need to be careful about taking advice from others – she sums it up nicely with the following quote:
The following are the five types of opinionated people to avoid:
Trust is a fragile thing; if you’re inconsistent in your direction and management techniques, employees will lose trust in your vision.
- The ‘play-it-safe’ guy
- The guy with no track record
- The guy with the hidden agenda
- Mr. Inconsistent
- The ‘yes man’
Leadership Secrets from Yum! Brands CEO David Novak by Kevin Kruse at ForbesSome of the best ways of discovering how to be a better leader involve looking at what other leaders are doing – in this case, the article looks at David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands. I almost skipped this article, but then the last of the three aspects really caught my eye:
- Put people first (this is self-evident – the author himself only devoted four lines to it)
- Constantly recognize achievers (I LOVE this aspect – it recognizes people for their quality efforts and creates a visual demonstration to others about what success looks like)
- Be self-aware and constantly grow.
Talent Acquisition: Sometimes Less Is More by Jane Williams at ForbesCan you really have too much talent in your organizations? In this case, and using professional sports for context, the author provides two related reasons on being cautious about having too many high-performing individuals:
- High-performing individuals may have a higher focus on self and therefore less on the team.
- High-performing individuals work better either alone or as a very small group.
Leadership lessons from The Apprentice and Undercover Boss by Patrick Wright at hrmagazine.co.ukAn interesting article that presents two models of leadership that are found on the television shows The Apprentice and Undercover Boss. What I like about this article is that it highlights personal growth, but that this personal growth seems to happen in two distinctly different directions based on the environment in which the leaders find themselves. The Apprentice is highly competitive, with only one winner – this may inspire a greater amount of self-serving behaviours. Undercover Boss has a leader that goes out to try to find out more about the company and the employees at the grass-roots level. I’ve never really liked The Apprentice (it’s okay), but both my wife and I enjoy Undercover Boss – his article made me think about why that is. The most compelling reason is that Undercover Boss (full disclosure: we actually watch Undercover Boss Canada) provides an environment that focuses more on servant leadership. (The link to the original article is no longer available) —
Leadership Is About Enabling the Full Potential In Others by Glenn Llopis at ForbesThis article is not about directly developing your leadership skills, but rather developing others to their potential – a responsibility of leadership. The author provides four methods to help develop your followers:
- Encourage them to think and act in ways that come most naturally to them (we’ve seen this in several other articles – you need to be authentic)
- Develop their decision-making abilities (help them learn rational decision-making skills, learn to become aware of potential blind spots, and being aware of potential follow-on consequences of those decisions)
- Expand their performance tolerance threshold (helping people take their skills to new levels)
- Strengthen potential by surrounding it with those even stronger (look at creating high-performance teams with complementary skills)
Can Leadership Urgency Be Taught? by Cindy Wahler at ForbesThis article is an interesting thought piece on whether “urgency” in leadership can be taught. The author defines urgency as being composed of a number of attributes – being a self-starter, passion, embracing change, demonstrating initiative and wanting to be first. People that have these attributes are able to take their companies/organizations to the top. Interestingly, the author assesses that most people can act (and even lead) with urgency for a limited period – I’d have to agree. I’ve seen it myself in different contexts. What is much rarer is for someone to do so for a prolonged period. If you watch them, they always seem busy and bustling yet seem to “come to life” and thrive during urgent situations. Bottom line – I agree with the author’s assessment that urgency cannot be taught. I do believe, however, that it can be motivated for short periods of time. What do you think? —
5 Ways to Lead More Authentically by Karin Hurt at letsgrowleaders.comThis is a great quick read about being an authentic leader. It provides several occasions on which you may have been “less than authentic,” yet highlights the need for being more consistent. This article is a quick read, so I’ll let you go to the source article for an expansion on the key themes below:
- Know yourself
- Be yourself
- Say what’s true
- Commit to the cause
- Connect with others
64 Promises That Every Leader Should Make by Todd Nielsen at toddnielsen.comIn this article, the author provides 64 promises that he makes as a leader. It seems like a rather large list, but it makes sense when you think about it. You may not fully agree with this list – you could remove some, add some, tweak some, etc. to fit your own values and beliefs. Thinking about it and coming up with your own list is what makes this powerful. Have a read of this article – I promise that it will make you think. (Original link has been deleted) —
Difference between a boss and a leader by Michael G. Keating at michaelgkeating.comThe author of this post, Michael G Keating, reached out to me because he thought this infographic would be of interest to you – he was right! Not only does it quickly summarize key differences between a boss and a leader, Mike has followed it up with an article that gives examples of each of the differences. Since he’s given me permission to use this info as I see fit, I’ll include the link here. Chances are, if the above graphic is of interest to you, you’ll want to read the entire article.
VOCL Closing Thoughts / Future Episodes / Call to ActionWhat’s been happening:
- Warren G. Bennis, a leadership guru, passed away on 31 July 2014 at the age of 89. For me, his key message was about being an authentic leader. You can find out more about Warren Bennis at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Bennis
- Charlotte back from camp! Interesting how she wants to become a Counsellor-in-Training.
- Several articles have spoken to the need for authenticity. Are you authentic in all that you do? If not, what steps can you take this week to be a more authentic leader?
- Many people enjoy watching TV – I know that there are a few shows that I really like. After watching an episode, think of some leadership attributes that you saw and how you can either incorporate them (if good) or how you would have behaved differently (if bad). Don’t do it in the middle of the show – I still want you to enjoy the show!
- Leaders are always trying to develop themselves, but they can never forget that they are responsible for developing others. What have you done lately to develop your followers?