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11.30.16

LeadershipNow 140: November 2016 Compilation

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twitter Here are a selection of tweets from November 2016 that you might have missed:
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:17 PM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140

11.24.16

Gratitude is Good for You Too

Gratitude

WE KNOW GRATITUDE makes relationships thrive and makes trust possible. Gratitude encourages, clarifies, motivates, includes, and unifies.

When we show gratitude, people feel valued, they know what’s important, they want to do more, and they feel part of something bigger than themselves.

But gratitude is good for you too.

Gratitude puts you in the right mindset to lead. Gratitude and humility are interconnected. They reinforce each other. Gratitude says, “I didn’t do this alone.” French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville wrote, The narcissistic leader or “the egoist is ungrateful because he doesn’t like to acknowledge his debt to others and gratitude is this acknowledgement.” A lack of gratitude is at the core of narcissism. We alone are not responsible for who we are and what we do and that is the essence of leadership. We are never truly self-sufficient.

In a practical way, gratitude provides guardrails in our life. Gratitude helps us to protect from ourselves. It is amazing how much gratitude plays into avoiding poor behavior and wrong thinking. Gratitude sets a boundary on our thoughts by making us mindful of others. It helps us to avoid going where we should not go because we are more self-aware.

Gratitude requires that we slow down and reflect. Gratitude is the basis of emotional intelligence. It puts other people first. It says you know and you care. While empathy has been found to be essential to leadership, empathy is not empathy if it is silent. It must be expressed.

Gratefulness helps to curb unproductive emotions such as frustration, resentment, and revenge. Studies have shown that it is an antidote to depression. It has the power to heal and move us forward.

It improves relationships and is a remedy to envy and greed. Instead of trying to strive with others we are thankful for what they do. It eliminates a leader’s tendency towards entitlement. Grateful people find more meaning in life and feel more connected to others.

In these changing and uncertain times, gratitude is a leaders ally. Gratitude looks at the long term and doesn’t focus on the present situation. Life is a continuum. Gratitude allows a leader to appreciate where they are and the resources they have at their disposal to face what life throws at them. A habit of gratitude gives us perspective. It doesn’t blind us to the negative but it facilitates a solution.

Gratitude can’t just be something we do is has to be who we are as a leader. More than a behavior it must come from the heart. It must be the mindset we lead from, manage from, and make decisions from. Gratefulness is grounded in reality because ultimately we must realize that everything good in our life is a gift.

Leadership begins and ends with gratefulness.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:34 AM
| Comments (0) | Leadership Development , Personal Development

11.07.16

5 Leadership Lessons: To Pixar and Beyond

Pixar

FROM A PICTURE IN A MAGAZINE, Lawrence Levy was asked by Steve Jobs to become the CFO of Pixar and structure it in a way that investors could understand it. The trick was to preserve whatever it was about Pixar that enabled great stories to happen in the process. And he captures well how that was done.

5 Leadership Lessons
While the nuts and bolts of this story has been told before, Levy creates from his perspective, a very readable account by weaving his own growth along the way. To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History is a personal story. It's hard to put down. Here are some of the key takeaways:

1  There’s nothing you can do about where the pieces are. It’s only your next move that matters.

2  Corporations are like living creatures. They have personalities, emotions, and habits. The person at the top might seem to be calling all the shots but is often imprisoned in a culture he or she can do little to change. s corporations, succeed, they generally become more conservative. The flames of creativity on which a company is built can easily cool as pressures to perform mount. Success brings something to defend, something to lose. Fear can easily trump courage.

3  I felt really proud of our decision [to give control to the creative team and not the executive team]. We had chosen to truly empower talent, to send a signal to Pixar’s creative leaders that we trusted them. I cannot say this approach would be right for every company. But I can say that whether you’re making bottled water, mobile games, or computer chips, the decision of who has control over the creative elements is among the most important any team will make. Fear and ego conspire to rein in creativity, and it is easy to allow creative inspiration to take a back seat to safety. It is one thing to cite the adage “Story is king.” It is another thing entirely to live by it.

4  The natural tendency in negotiation is to engage in positional bargaining. This means taking a position knowing that it is not a final position, and holding in reserve a backup position. The danger of positional bargaining is that it forces you to think about backup positions, which weakens your conviction in your original position. It’s like negotiating against yourself. Plan A may be your optimal outcome, but inwardly you have already convinced yourself to settle on Plan B.

Both Steve and I had a strong distaste for approaching negotiations this way. We preferred to develop our positions without thinking through a backup… Once Steve decided what he wanted in a negotiation, he developed something akin to a religious conviction about it. In his mind, if he didn’t get what he wanted, nothing else would take its place, so he’d walk away…. The risk, however, was in so overreaching that we would end up with nothing. If we were not going to have a backup plan, we had to be very careful about knowing what we wanted.

5  We can build extraordinary organizations that foster creativity, dignity, and humanity while respecting business disciplines. We just have to be tuned to it; we have to be willing to balance bureaucracy with the depth and subtlety of creative inspiration, and awareness of the human dimension of our endeavors.

We humans do better when we have something to ground us, a deep source from which we can draw wisdom, insight, and inspiration. The goal of that source is to empower us, to bring depth and fulfillment to our lives, to give us the means to soar.
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:36 AM
| Comments (0) | Five Lessons

11.01.16

First Look: Leadership Books for November 2016

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in November.

  To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy
  Worth Doing Wrong: The Quest to Build a Culture That Rocks by Arnie Malham
  The Mosaic Principle: The Six Dimensions of a Remarkable Life and Career by Nick Lovegrove
  Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
  Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People by Alan Willett

To Pixar and Beyond Worth Doing Wrong Mosaic Principle Thank You for Being Late Rabbit Hole

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"It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little."
— Denis Parsons Burkitt


Posted by Michael McKinney at 02:02 PM
| Comments (0) | Books



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