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05.31.20

LeadershipNow 140: May 2020 Compilation

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twitter Here are a selection of tweets from May 2020 that you don't want to miss:

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Grace to Show Respect Downstream World



Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:18 PM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140

05.28.20

Leading Thoughts for May 28, 2020

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Chief Technology Officer at Better.com, Erik Bernhardsson on ruthless prioritization:

“What I have come to believe is that: prioritization is the most value creating activity in any company. Generating ideas and executing things is of course also important! But what I've seen to set apart great teams from good is a brutal focus on prioritization. This means generating an absurd amount of ideas and throwing 99% of them out of the window, to focus on the 1% that have the highest impact.”

Source: Never Attribute to Stupidity That Which Is Adequately Explained by Opportunity Cost

II.

Alex Kantrowitz on the burden of execution:

“Drowning in execution work, today’s companies devote themselves to refinement, not invention. Their leaders might desire to run inventive cultures, but they do not have the bandwidth. So they deliver a limited set of ideas from the top, and everyone else executes and polishes.”

Source: Always Day One

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:37 PM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts

05.21.20

Leading Thoughts for May 21, 2020

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

The New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks, on educating yourself:

“The biggest way most colleges fail is this: They don’t plant the intellectual and moral seeds students are going to need later, when they get hit by the vicissitudes of life. If you didn’t study Jane Austen while you were here, you probably lack the capacity to think clearly about making a marriage decision. If you didn’t read George Eliot, then you missed a master class on how to judge people’s character. The wisdom of the ages is your inheritance; it can make your life easier.

My worry is that, especially now that you’re out of college, you won’t put enough really excellent stuff into your brain. I’m talking about what you might call the “theory of maximum taste.” This theory is based on the idea that exposure to genius has the power to expand your consciousness. If you spend a lot of time with genius, your mind will end up bigger and broader than if you spend your time only with run-of-the-mill stuff.

The theory of maximum taste says that each person’s mind is defined by its upper limit—the best that it habitually consumes and is capable of consuming.

In college, you get assigned hard things. You’re taught to look at paintings and think about science in challenging ways. After college, most of us resolve to keep doing this kind of thing, but we’re busy and our brains are tired at the end of the day. Months and years go by. We get caught up in stuff, settle for consuming Twitter and, frankly, journalism. Our maximum taste shrinks. Have you ever noticed that 70 percent of the people you know are more boring at 30 than they were at 20?”

Source: A Commencement Address Too Honest to Deliver in Person

II.

Management consultant and educator Gary Hamel, on seeing the future:

“Companies fail to create the future not because they fail to predict it but because they fail to imagine it. It is curiosity and creativity they lack, not perspicuity. So it is vitally important that you understand the distinction between “the future” and “the unimagined,” between knowing what’s next and imagining what’s next.”

Source: Leading the Revolution

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:57 PM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts

05.20.20

No Brilliant Jerks: How to Deal with Maverick CEOs

No Brilliant Jerks

BOARDS and executives are feeling an unusual amount of pressure these days. And it’s not from covid-19—the squeeze started several years ago. Witness that the average cost of directors and officers insurance has almost doubled in the past two years and experienced a 70 percent jump in the 2019 third quarter.

There are many underlying sources for the increased stress and skyrocketing insurance rates. But these days a maverick CEO is often at the center of board and executive consternation and investors’ claims that leadership failed to protect the company. Elon Musk’s various Twitter meltdowns have created significant indigestion among stakeholders and in May, Tesla disclosed that Elon Musk would provide personal liability insurance for the company’s directors and execs to offset the increased costs and strain from legal challenges.

Increasingly, investors’ challenges come from allegations of an unhealthy workplace climate because a strong-willed CEO who created a corrosive corporate culture. Travis Kalanick's brash operating style and the toxic working environment he created led him to be tossed out of the company. After reviewing the culture created by Kalanick and seeing employee and shareholder reactions, one exasperated Uber board member proposed adding “no brilliant jerks allowed” to Uber's list of cultural values.

Adam Neumann's actions at WeWork are classic brilliant jerk moves. He is a smart, entrepreneurial visionary with great charisma. But he also established a corporate culture that was filled with large doses of alcohol and drugs (according to employees). Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s CEO, was fired because he created an extreme company culture—described by Der Spiegel as “North Korea without labor camps”—that drove employees to create and install illegal software that cheated on vehicle emissions tests.

Companies will always embrace visionary leaders that challenge the status quo and create great companies even if they create a hard-driving culture. Steve Jobs, an obstreperous CEO, returned to Apple after his ouster by the board to create a trillion-dollar giant. Reed Hastings created a powerful no-holds-barred Netflix culture, navigated through tough competitive challenges, and changed the entire media industry. Jeff Bezos envisioned and created Amazon—a company with an intense culture and an immense competitive footprint the likes of which no one has ever seen before.

To maintain company vitality, guide the creation of a healthy culture, and head off pressure from stakeholders, leadership needs to up their game with a maverick CEO to simultaneously support the game changing talent of the hard-driving visionary and maintain the structure, systems, and guidance required for effective corporate governance. To understand how that balance is struck, we talked with experienced board members and senior executives to capture the hard-won lessons of successfully working with a rule-breaking visionary.

Here are several of the lessons learned.

1. Close the door. Executive sessions with the CEO out of the room are essential. The SEC mandates these closed-door meetings, but they take on critical importance in a brilliant-jerk scenario. Executive sessions are the times when the board grapples with if, when, and how to get involved.

2. Curate the culture. Cultural erosions at VW and Uber were not detected early enough, and destructive behaviors spread throughout the company. To give culture the attention it deserves and head off corrosive environments, boards establish a committee to actively oversee goals, incentives, practices, and processes that drive behaviors and the company culture.

3. Mind the gaps. One of the most important functions of the board is supplementing the change maker’s managerial gaps. Whether the founder is young and inexperienced, or just has not been exposed to key functions, the board has the responsibility to provide guidance to the CEO on how to supplement their leadership toolbox. Consider adding a senior executive that can join and balance out the leadership role like Schmidt did at Google.

4. Be contrarian. The CEO’s brilliance generates the electricity that energizes a company’s success, but not everyone can be right all the time. Challenging ingenious leaders and keeping them focused on the critical activities is one of the leaderships most important jobs. “Often the board does not act sufficiently suspicious. Only a small percentage of directors are good at pushing back. They tend to trust the CEO too much” was the observation of a seasoned board member.

In the course of our discussions with leaders we identified three framing principles you need to embrace to put the best practices to use.

An authoritarian trailblazer requires special handling. Traditional corporate governance principles are needed but must be supplemented with additional practices. With an inspired and highly controlling powerhouse at the helm, boards, investors, and employees need to be ready for a different kind of journey.

Your actions depend on the type of visionary you are dealing with. Dominant, disruptive visionaries are not all the same. With some, there is a risk of getting in the way and curtailing the value they could create—you need to use the best practices to help them attain their vision. With other types, complacency is a huge mistake. Left unsupervised, their behavior could obliterate value and possibly destroy the company.

The best defense is a good offense. Boards and executive leaders should act to avoid the pressures that can be generated from a disruptive CEO—not wait until they are feeling squeezed.

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Leading Forum
Rob Shelton is a globally recognized Silicon Valley–based consultant, author, and speaker on entrepreneurial excellence, breakthrough innovation, and scaling to drive rapid growth. Over the past 40 years, Shelton served as trusted partner and adviser to board members, CEOs, and senior executives at leading organizations in the valley and around the world. Connect with Shelton via theconundrumpress@gmail.com.

Marc J. Epstein, PhD was, until recently, Distinguished Research Professor of Management at Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, Texas, as well as a former professor at Stanford Business School, Harvard Business School, and INSEAD. Dr. Epstein has written extensively on corporate and nonprofit board governance, and the role of boards of directors. Connect with Epstein via theconundrumpress@gmail.com

Rob and Marc are coauthors of The Brilliant Jerk Conundrum: Thriving with and Governing a Dominant Visionary.

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A Brief Interview with Ram Charan 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask



Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:04 AM
| Comments (0) | General Business

05.18.20

Maintaining Social Interactions with Your Teammates

Long Distance Leader

IN The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership, we included 19 Rules for remote leaders to follow. The first rule was the foundation for everything else: “Think about leadership first and location second.” The principles for successful leadership are the same, whether you are down the hall from your team, in the cubicle next to them, or they are working remotely.

The practical application of leadership first, location second, is to adapt what has worked in the past to the new remote working situation. One of the big changes as we move to a remote working situation is maintaining social interaction. We’ve been asked to practice social distancing. While physical distancing has been needed, we want to promote social closeness and interaction even at a physical distance. Making this happen will require you to be intentional and creative.

Replacing the Spontaneous Interaction

Much of the successful social interaction at work comes from spontaneous conversations that happen throughout the day. It includes peeking your head around the corner to share a joke with someone nearby, sharing your weekend activities with a colleague while waiting for the pot of coffee to brew, and sharing a cup of coffee on a short break. Interactions like those help transform a group of individuals into a team united in reaching a common goal.

When teams work remotely, however, those spontaneous conversations can no longer happen organically. Yet that social interaction is still critical to team development. How do we replace that when we are working remotely?

Using Technology to Help

Technology can be part of the answer. The communication platforms you are using can be used to create the same kinds of conversations we had at the office. What is required is awareness and permission. Most people think those tools are for work purposes. The fact is that the social interaction we are talking about is actually a part of the work itself! While we must value productivity, we must also let team members know it is still ok to reach out, share a joke, or just catch up. In fact, it may be more important than ever.

Some Simple Examples

Here are three simple examples. While you can use any or all of these, the purpose is to kickstart the creation of what will work for your team in your situation.

  • Recreating the watercooler. We have a channel on our instant messaging platform (we use Slack) dedicated to non-work talk. Called the Watercooler channel, it is a place for the kinds of conversations that would happen spontaneously in a traditional work setting. We talk about sports (when they are happening), our weekend, the exploits of our kids, the latest meme we enjoyed ... anything but work.
  • The virtual coffee-break. If Bob and Larry liked to share a cup of coffee during a break, they can still do that remotely. Bob just needs to reach out to Larry and invite him to have a conversation using the webcam. They can chat about how their homebrew is better than the office and all the other things they used to talk about in the break room or in their offices.
  • Virtual lunches. As a remote team before the shutdown happened, we have long used our webcams for meetings, lunches, and celebrations. Why not have people grab their lunch and eat together? We have done this with people, having lunch (or breakfast, depending on the time zone) and enjoying each other’s company. With 12 members of our team gathering, in some ways, these lunches are better than face-to-face because there are few side conversations.

Use these as your starting point, not a complete list of strategies to maintain social interaction and closeness, even while you and your team are physically distancing. Share this article with your team as a way to jumpstart a conversation about what you can do as a group to stay together while working apart.

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Leading Forum
Kevin Eikenberry is a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning and is the Chief Potential Officer of the Kevin Eikenberry Group. He is the creator of the Remarkable Leadership Learning System and the co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. He is the coauthor with Wayne Turmel of The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership. He is also the author of the bestselling books, Remarkable Leadership, and Vantagepoints on Learning and Life, and coauthor with Guy Harris of From Bud to Boss: Secrets of the Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership.

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Remarkable Leadership Eikenberry From Bud to Boss



Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:40 PM
| Comments (0) | Communication

05.15.20

Innovate Forward

Innovate Forward

INNOVATION has always been important. In a world of pandemic, it’s the only way forward.

Technology is the raw material that 21st-century innovators need to build new business capabilities, to develop exciting new products and services, and to create workarounds for the physical distancing measures we will likely endure for the foreseeable future.

Six powerful new technologies, all reaching maturity simultaneously in the early 2020s, will each act like a new color in the palette of creators, designers, and innovators. Leading companies will combine these technologies in creative ways to solve business problems that couldn’t be solved using traditional digital technology. They will use them to develop new products and services, to build new channels, to elevate their talent, to increase their business resilience, and to develop entirely new business models along the way.

In no particular order, these six technologies are:

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Rather than needing to be programmed to solve problems, AI learns from examples. It creates its own rules based on training data. That means AI can be used to solve problems that we don’t know how to solve ourselves. AI has led to breakthroughs in machine vision, voice interfaces, next-generation robotics, predictive analytics, sensing, business optimization, and a variety of other tasks. It is used to boost the capabilities of employees by augmenting their creativity, intuition, decision-making, and other capabilities, essentially giving them superpowers. What business problems will you solve using artificial intelligence? What new products and services will you create with it?

Sensors:

The digital world is becoming ever more intimately connected with the physical world that we inhabit. SAP estimates that by 2030 the world will be filled with over 100 trillion sensors: Cameras, microphones, temperature, pressure, moisture, and other sensors that allow the digital world to understand what is happening in our world. Sensors are used to make products, infrastructure, and environments, more intelligent and more responsive to human needs. Smart objects and wearable devices bristle with sensors. Sensors coordinate the activities of humans and machines as they work together, semi-automating business processes. How could you use sensors to get eyes on your business and develop exciting new products and services?

5G and Satellite Networks:

As we have all experienced during pandemic-enforced captivity, broadband bandwidth matters. This decade, two networking technologies will bring broadband internet to every corner of the earth. In cities, new 5G wireless networks will be the first generation of cell network designed to connect more than just phones. Parking meters, factory equipment, self-driving cars, and many other devices will be connected. Outside cities, 5G won’t be widely available. For rural areas, new low-earth-orbit satellite constellations will blanket the globe in high-speed connectivity. By the end of the decade it will be possible to connect every person and everything on earth. What will that mean to your business? How will you reach the next 4 billion people as they come online?

Autonomous Machines:

This is a catch-all term for robots, cobots (collaborative robots), drones, self-driving cars, and other autonomous vehicles. A new generation of smart robots use sophisticated sensors and AI to navigate the same spaces as humans, safely. That means business can use them to solve a new set of problems. Robots don’t get sick like humans do, and autonomous delivery vehicles don’t carry disease like a human driver can. Autonomous machines will take on repetitive, dangerous physical tasks and provide a new way for brands to reach consumers. Why expect customers to visit your store when you can send your autonomous mobile store to them?

Blockchain Technology:

This is one of those technologies that is much-hyped, poorly understood, and whose time has yet to come. Early technology issues limited blockchain’s utility—it wasn’t scalable enough and consumed too much energy. Those problems are now largely solved, and Blockchain will soon start to solve real business problems. Blockchains create trust digitally, so strangers can do business without needing a third-party intermediary. Blockchains also introduce the idea of token economics, a mechanism for aligning the motivations of many parties involved in a value chain. Expect blockchain to underpin brand-oriented supply chains that give brands more control over their suppliers. Supply chains will also use blockchain to meet consumer demand for proof over how and where products were made. Be ready.

Augmented Reality:

Virtual reality (VR) is fun for playing games. But beyond simulation, training, and a few important medical applications, it has few practical business applications. VR headsets immerse people in a 100% digital world but cut them off from their physical surroundings. VR’s big cousin, augmented reality (AR), blends digital objects and information into your view of the world. You remain connected to your surroundings and so AR is better suited to business applications. The technology is not quite ready for prime time yet, but a few years from now it will create an entirely new class of worker, the augmented worker—a hybrid of human intelligence, experience and manual dexterity combined with machine intelligence that is connected to the incredible resources of the cloud. AR will provide a new computing interface for the 80% of workers that work with their hands or who work in highly mobile environments, and for whom computing is not a part of their everyday work lives today.

The current crisis requires us all to think and act differently. The best way to catapult ourselves out of recession and to build resilience into our businesses is to embrace technology innovation. New technology will change the way we work. It will transform how we develop, market, sell, distribute, support, and monetize products and services.

Great leaders will inspire their teams to embrace innovation at every level of their organization. To streamline operations and control costs. To build new channels and ensure your customer journey is 100% digital, end-to-end. And to develop exciting new products and services that reignite demand and catapult you out of the economic downturn on a growth path.

Innovation is the best and only way forward.

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Leading Forum
Steve Brown is a futurist, author, and executive consultant with over 30 years of experience in high tech. He is the former futurist and chief evangelist at Intel Corporation. Steve’s consulting practice helps companies to be more prepared for the future, to become more resilient, and to drive innovation into every aspect of their business. He helps leaders to improve their technology literacy, create a thoughtful digital strategy, and inspire business transformation that leads to improved profitability. He is the author of The Innovation Ultimatum: How Six Strategic Technologies will Reshape Every Business in the 2020s, a how-to guide on innovation and digital transformation. Steve holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Micro-Electronic Systems Engineering from Manchester University. He was born in the U.K. and became a U.S. citizen in 2008. He lives with his wife in Portland, OR.

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What Kind of Innovator Are You History Speaks on Change and Innovation



Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:08 PM
| Comments (0) | Creativity & Innovation

05.14.20

Leading Thoughts for May 14, 2020

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Kevin Kelly, the founder of WIRED magazine, recently turned 68 and offered 68 lessons on life. Here are six:

“Learn how to learn from those you disagree with or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they believe.

Being able to listen well is a superpower. While listening to someone you love, keep asking them, “Is there more?” until there is no more.’

The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it. Good habits can range from telling the truth to flossing.

Separate the processes of creation from improving. You can’t write and edit, or sculpt and polish, or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invent, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creator mind must be unleashed from judgment.

If you are not falling down occasionally, you are just coasting.

Over the long term, the future is decided by optimists. To be an optimist, you don’t have to ignore all the many problems we create; you just have to imagine improving our capacity to solve problems.”

Source: 68 Bit of Unsolicited Advice

II.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour on not comparing yourself:

“You are driven by your heart, you’re driven by your talent, and you’re driven by your instinct. And if you start to question and look at what people are doing to the left of you or to the right of you, you are going to lose that clarity of thought. Listen to the information. In the end it has to come from who you are. Own your decisions and own who you are but without apology.”

Source: Anna Wintour MasterClass: Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:15 AM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts

05.13.20

How Do You Create A Sense of Belonging at Work?

Belonging at Work?

IN a Cigna Health report from 2019, 61 percent of people in the study reported feeling lonely. Why? According to the findings, Americans felt that they don’t have enough social support, not enough meaningful interactions, struggle with physical and mental health issues, and can’t find a way to balance the demands in their personal and professional worlds. Well, with a global pandemic and shelter-in-place orders, employees are working from home and are forced to limit their physical interactions with colleagues, family, and friends. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are quite common today. However, companies and their leaders can do something to counteract the deleterious effects of loneliness. In the context of the workplace, loneliness undermines performance and productivity, at a minimum. Leaders can turn to a solution that costs little and has major dividends: a sense of belonging.

Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. Throughout human history, a sense of belonging has been ingrained into our DNA. The comfort of friendships and the safety derived from being part of a community have always been one of the most powerful forces shaping our human experience.

What is belonging at work? It’s the experience of feeling valued, wanted, and welcomed.

Feeling valued at work: When employees believe their contributions, effort, and personal sacrifices are expressly appreciated.

Feeling wanted at work: When employees believe their boss and the organization care about them as a whole person and not simply as a means to an end.

Feeling welcomed at work: When employees believe they have a place in their team When leaders can shape the experience of belonging, employees are positioned to drive better business results. What’s more, in this era of working from home, belonging helps combat feelings of loneliness. My research on belonging in high-performing companies like the Container Store, LinkedIn, and Barry-Wehmiller show that relating to employees as people – and not just resources to get work done – can lead to tightly-knit teams that deliver breakthrough performances and astonishing results.

So how do you create a sense of belonging at work? Here are things to think about:

  1. Make them feel valued. An employee’s curiosity to learn the nuances of his or her job should be treated with the utmost respect. It needs to be encouraged – and required – in any team seeking astonishing results. Also, in these times, when most employees are working from home, leaders need to be intentional in expressing their gratitude for employees’ hard work. Without feeling valued by our coworkers, the story we tell through our performance will be disappointing, and we leave our gumption, passion, and commitment behind. When contributions go unacknowledged, no one shows up to work feeling enthusiastic.
  2. Give them autonomy. To feel valued and believe that we are right where we need to be can bring a calming influence on how we work. While doing research for Work Tribes, one employee at Barry Wehmiller, a global manufacturing company, observed how influential feeling valued is to his performance: “[It] lets people flourish in their own way. I think it’s so easy for a leader of people to impose their will (and push employees to do things) their own way.”
  3. Give voice to appreciation. More employees put in work hours at home, on vacation, on weekends, and during family outings. For this reason, employees need to be recognized when they put the company’s or the team’s interests over their family or personal life. It costs the company nothing and is invaluable when that appreciation is genuinely communicated.
  4. Make it contagious. Positive feelings are infectious. When employees have a sense of wellbeing, their cognitive thinking and creativity are improved, and they are better equipped to respond to stress and setbacks. In the end, a virtuous cycle envelops more people when the focus is on renewing how they are led and creating a place where they feel valued, wanted, and welcomed. Such a workplace is one where talented people will want to be.
  5. Help them be self-aware. In the context of the workplace, jelling with others is honoring a code of conduct that contributes to an unflagging vitality in relationships. Employees that are more self-aware can better connect with others, they are more supportive of their team members, and they are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness can help a team bond more deeply and enable them to quickly learn from disappointments and move on from them rather than wallowing in stress and blame.
  6. Work it. Every team player must do his or her part to help the team achieve success. This means that they quickly clean up any relationship discords, regularly discuss their purpose, focus on what’s possible, and constantly create clarity. Quite simply, it’s about doing the work, investing the time, and being committed to creating astonishing outcomes.

Let me be clear about one thing: We don’t need to make belonging a strategic initiative. It is always available to use in those micro-moments or grand gestures in workplace experiences. And when it comes to feelings of loneliness, leaders simply need to increase their one-to-one interactions with employees who are working remotely. Simple gestures like calling and checking to see how people are doing make a difference. What’s more, when leaders set aside time to talk about non-work-related matters with employees, it signals that their wellbeing is important.

Still, because of human tendencies to make messes, companies do need to be intentional about shaping belonging. The whole of the workforce is likely unaware of how their life is influenced by it. When you decide to co-create a sense of belonging, some might be skeptical. But remember, belonging is something that everyone craves. In a way, that makes it priceless – and a good reason to create experiences for it.

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Leading Forum
Shawn Murphy has nearly 30 years of consulting experience and advising companies on implementing organizational change and culture change. Central to his efforts is applying human behavior and needs to help achieve business results and create a satisfying work experience for employees. Because of his extensive experience and keen insight, Shawn was handpicked to be part of IBM’s elite New Way to Work futurist group. Shawn is currently the Director of Organizational Development and Workplace Trends at a Silicon Valley startup, Bluescape. He is the author of Work Tribes: The Surprising Secret to Breakthrough Performance, Astonishing Results, and Keeping Teams Together, and lives in Northern California.

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4 Design Thinking Tools Responsive Leadership



Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:32 AM
| Comments (0) | Human Resources

05.11.20

4 Tips For Giving Great Feedback

4 Tips For Giving Great Feedback

A S CHALLENGING and vulnerable as receiving feedback can be, giving it can also be quite difficult. And for us to be successful leaders, teammates, parents, friends, spouses, and human beings, it’s important to give feedback effectively to those around us.

According to a study conducted by psychologist Tessa West of NYU for the NeuroLeadership Institute, we have an automatic fight-or-flight threat response in our nervous system when we’re receiving feedback, which exists just as significantly when we’re giving it. So, it’s essential to have some compassion for ourselves when we’re in situations where we have to give feedback to others. And it’s also important that we enhance our capacity—emotionally and practically—for giving feedback.

There are four key things to remember when giving feedback to others. Keeping them in mind can help us get past the defensiveness and self-criticism that is often triggered by feedback so that it can be well-received and have the positive impact we’re intending.

1. Intention

It’s critical to check in with ourselves about the intention behind our feedback. In other words, why are we giving it in the first place? Do we genuinely want the other person to be more successful? Are we annoyed with this person and want to let them know why? Do we have any conscious or unconscious bias? Are we trying to prove something or defend ourselves? Do we want to control them or the situation?

There are all kinds of reasons why we give feedback to others, and sometimes there is more than one. But being real with ourselves about our motivation can help us determine whether it’s even going to be helpful. Assuming we decide that it is, making sure our intention is genuine and positive will make it more likely that the person will be receptive to it. And by giving feedback to others on our team with positive intention, we set the tone for our culture in this regard.

2. Permission

Unsolicited feedback, even if it’s spot-on and valuable, can be hard to take and even disrespectful. Asking someone if they’re open to our feedback, while sometimes stressful, is important to do and much better than just launching into it. This is true even if we’re their boss, parent, or mentor, or in any other type of relationship where permission for our feedback may seem implied. Making sure that we have explicit permission to give feedback shows that we respect and value the person to whom we’re giving it. It also usually makes feedback feel less like judgment and more like help, allowing the person to be more receptive to what we have to say. Creating a team standard that we have permission to give each other feedback is also important. And, even if we do that, asking someone for specific permission in the moment before giving it is essential.

3. Skill

Giving feedback effectively takes skill. And even though it can be challenging, it’s definitely something we can improve upon the more we practice and dedicate ourselves to doing it. Because giving and receiving feedback can be a vulnerable experience for everyone involved, it requires attention, commitment, awareness, and courage to do it well. It’s often the hardest type of sweaty-palmed conversation. The more willing we are to do it, the more we can develop our skill of giving feedback successfully. And there are, of course, different ways to give feedback effectively. Oftentimes, we may give it directly and explicitly as part of a review, development conversation, or team debrief. Other times it may be subtler and not even seem like feedback at all, but more of a question, suggestion, or conversation.

4. Relationship

The most important aspect of giving effective feedback is the relationship we have with the person or people we’re giving it to. We can have the most positive intention, explicit permission, and a lot of skill in how we deliver it—but if our relationship isn’t strong or it’s actively strained, it’ll be very difficult for us to give feedback to someone and have them receive it well. I could get the same exact feedback from two different people but react to it quite differently depending on my relationship with each of them. Let’s say, in one case, I know the person cares about me, appreciates me, and believes in me. I’m much more likely to be open to their feedback and to take it positively. Therefore, making sure the relationships we have are strong and authentic helps us ensure that we can give feedback effectively when we need to do so. If the person giving feedback is someone I don’t know as well or may have some unresolved issues with, it’s less likely that I’ll be open and take their feedback well. If we find ourselves in a situation where we have to give feedback to someone with whom we don’t have a strong relationship, it’s important to know that this will definitely have an impact. Anything we can do to acknowledge this in an authentic way and work to enhance or improve the relationship will bene t our ability to provide feedback to them in the present moment and in the future.

All four of these things—intention, permission, skill, and relationship—are important to remember when giving feedback. And they’re also important to think about from a growth mindset perspective when receiving feedback. We want to be sure to check in with and pay attention to what the other person’s intention might be with their feedback for us, to explicitly grant others permission to give us feedback, to communicate about how we like feedback to be given and to proactively work to strengthen our relationships with the people around us.

Giving and receiving feedback isn’t easy, but it’s so important for our growth and development, as well as that of our team. Being able to embrace and even enjoy the sweaty-palmed nature of feedback is something that can allow us and our team to perform our absolute best.

* * *

Leading Forum
Mike Robbins is the author of five books including his latest, We’re All in This Together: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging. He’s a thought leader and sought-after speaker who teaches people, leaders, and teams to infuse their lives and businesses with authenticity and appreciation. As a leadership expert, he partners with some of the top organizations in the world helping enhance performance, trust, and belonging including Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Schwab, eBay, Genentech, the Oakland A’s, and many others.

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Feedback Can Be Fun Feedback

Posted by Michael McKinney at 03:00 AM
| Comments (0) | Personal Development

05.08.20

The #1 Leadership Skill for the “Covid19 War” – Inner Peace

InnerPeace

COVID19 is a health crisis; an economic crisis; a social crisis; a political crisis; and a geopolitical crisis. It is a crisis dominated by unknowns and huge downsides. It is an existential crisis — life or death. It generates personal fears, insecurities, and stress, all of which can inhibit high-quality thinking, decision making, and effective collaboration, which is mission-critical in such times.

How does one lead on a daily basis in an environment which is volatile, uncertain, and constantly changing?

How does one lead in an environment where the trade-offs could be stark: human life or human financial survival versus organizational financial losses?

How does a leader keep his or her emotional balance in order to role model the desired behaviors needed to enable the highest levels of organizational — human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral performance?

Such an environment requires leaders to be the best thinker they can be, the best compassionate listener they can be, and the best collaborator that they can be. That requires leaders to manage their fears, insecurities, and ego in a way that enables Hyper-Learning — the continuous ability to learn, unlearn and relearn by adapting to the reality of the world as it evolves overcoming the natural human reflexive way of being that values efficiency, speed, confirmation of what one believes, the affirmation of one’s ego and cohesiveness of one’s mental models.

Leaders will need to bring their “Best Self” to work every day — to bring your Best Self into every meeting and into every conversation. Being your Best Self requires you to be more “selfless’’ and more “other” oriented. That requires “Inner Peace, which is having a Quiet Ego, a Quiet Mind, a Quiet (calm) Body, and a Positive Emotional State.

How well one leads, thinks, and engages with others depends on how well one manages and optimizes what’s going on in one’s mind, brain, and body. Inner Peace is based on science and ancient philosophies and is a state of inner stillness and calmness that enables you to embrace the world with your most open, non-judgmental, fearless mind with a lack of self-absorption. Inner Peace helps you reduce internal noise and distraction and helps you align your mind, body, brain, and heart — so you can better engage with the outer world.

Inner Peace enables heightened awareness, reflective listening, and high emotional engagement with others and the highest levels of critical, innovative, and emergent thinking, all of which are needed to lead in disruptive times.

Inner Peace does not come easily. It requires the daily use of practices. It requires rigor and self-discipline and acceptance of the science which clearly states that we are suboptimal learners and thinkers who are “wired” for speedy efficient processing; seeking confirmation of what we believe; affirmation of our egos; and maintaining cohesiveness of our mental models — none of which enables the highest performance in volatile and uncertain situations which require Leaders to “be good at not knowing” and at enabling the highest levels of collective intelligence within their teams.

Personal Daily “Inner Peace” Practices

Achieving Inner Peace takes deliberate daily practice. Here are some practices that have worked well for leaders that I know well and for myself.

Start each day with a 3-5 minute Mindfulness Meditation Practice building up over months to 20 -30 minutes each morning. Then do a 5-7 minute Deep Breathing Practice (such as Coherent Breathing); then review your list of Daily Intentions (a short list which you need to create of how you intend to behave each day in each human engagement) and visualize yourself behaving in those ways.

For example, here are some of the behaviors in my Daily Intentions List: “Be Kind; Be Caring; Be a Positive Life Force, not a Negative One; Smile; Maintain Inner Calm via Deep Breathing; Be Really Present; Really Listen; Don’t Rush to Judge; “Yes, and” not “Yes, but”; “My hypothesis is”; Listen to learn not to confirm and “Slow Down” to be totally present. Mentally visualize yourself behaving in your desired ways. Visualize, for example, how you would behave to be kind.

During your day, be very aware of your heart rate, your body- feeling hurried or rushed or stressed so that you can take a couple of minutes to “Slow Down” via deep breathing to become calm before each meeting. Be disciplined and schedule four 10-minute breaks in your day to be alone and just to calm your mind and body — to re-center yourself. Get yourself into a positive emotional state where you can enable others appropriately. Do not go into a meeting carrying emotions or thinking leftover from your last meeting. Take 2-3 minutes and regain your calmness — your inner stillness — your Inner Peace before you start each meeting.

At the end of your day, reflect on your performance using a Journal. Where did you lose your Inner Peace? What triggered that? How can you prevent that happening again? What could you have done differently? Where did your behavior hinder the highest levels of team performance? How could you have behaved differently to enable others? Is there someone you need to make amends with?

And before you go to sleep every night, do a 3-5 minute Gratitude Meditation where you visualize people in your life that helped you along the way to become who you are, including your closest loved ones.

The Inner Peace Invitation

I invite you to embrace Inner Peace — the daily foundational Journey to becoming your Best Self. The Journey is not linear. The Journey is not one of perfection. The Journey is both hard and joyous. You will be amazed at the impact that it can have on you, your organization, and your home life.

* * *

Leading Forum
Edward D. Hess is Professor of Business Administration, Batten Fellow, and Batten Executive-in-Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business and is a top authority on organizational and human high performance. His studies focus on growth, innovation and learning cultures, systems and processes, and servant leadership. He is the author of Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change,” which will be published by Berrett-Koehler in August 2020.

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Humility Is New Smart Learn or Die



Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:57 AM
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05.07.20

Leading Thoughts for May 7, 2020

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Lance Secretan on doing the hard thing and playing to people’s strengths instead of complaining about their weaknesses:

“We cannot guide the brilliance of others by getting everyone to do something the same way; we guide the brilliance of others by playing to their strengths, teasing greatness from them by honoring their gifts, and making it as easy as possible for them to be brilliant at what they do. Sameness and conformity are easier to manage, but their price is mediocrity and demotivation. On the other hand, even though guiding brilliance sometimes feels like putting sock on an octopus, it is a gift to the soul—inspiration.”

Source: Inspire: What Great Leaders Do

II.

English journalist and author Clifford Longley on the purpose of life:

“Western civilization suffers from a strong sense of moral and spiritual exhaustion. Having constructed a society of unprecedented sophistication, convenience and prosperity, nobody can remember what it was supposed to be for. Just enjoying it does not seem to be enough. Indeed, enjoyment as an end in itself quickly turns to ashes in the mouth. Not only is it boringly bland, it is even more boringly purposeless. There is more to human life than comfort, entertainment, and the avoidance of suffering. Or there ought to be.”

Source: From the introduction to Faith in the Future by Jonathan Sacks

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Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:53 AM
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05.06.20

Is Your Thinking the Best Way to Think?

Success Mindsets

RYAN GOTTFREDSON begins his book Success Mindsets, with the question, “Is your thinking the best way to think?” It is an extremely important question to ask and one that rarely gets asked. It’s easy to overlook this question because if I thought something was wrong in the way I thought, I would change it—maybe. After all, we’re pretty comfortable with our own thoughts. We all think we are right.

While you may be reluctant to see to admit it, the thing that stands between where you currently are and the greater success in your life, work, and leadership is yourself—in particular, your thinking that your thinking is the best way to think. But the reality is that if you want to go from your current state to a more successful state, you must think about and see the world in new, different, and better ways.

How we show up in the world, how we experience the world, and how we respond to it is a reflection of our thinking. When we think differently, we behave differently. Behind our behaviors is our mindset. It comes down to our mindset. Our mindset is the filter through which we view our environment and, subsequently, what is going on inside of us—our thinking and emotions.

Mindset PyramidAs the pyramid at the right suggests, “if our current thinking, learning, and behaviors are not generating the success we want, we need to shift our focus from ‘fixing’ or changing our thinking, learning, and behaviors to the level below: our mindsets.” We have to get behind what drives everything we think and do.

So, if mindsets are so powerful, Gottfredson asks, “What mindsets do I need to have to be more successful?” He relates an example of dissatisfaction in his own life and concludes with an understanding that his mindset was largely negative. He began to realize that his general “funk and perceived lack of success was not because of the organizations that I worked for and the people within. Rather, I had negative mindsets that were driving me to operate in ways that limited myself.”

Gottfredson provides a framework for us to begin thinking about our own mindsets. By bringing together research on mindsets from various sources, he has assembled four sets of mindsets that we need to be aware of and evaluate our place along the continuum of each. They are fixed/growth mindsets, open/closed mindsets, prevention/promotion mindsets, and inward/outward mindsets. (Each are describe in more detail here.)

4 Mindsets

Success Mindsets covers each of these in detail and explores ways to improve in each area. In addition, he has developed an assessment to help you better understand each of these mindsets, find out where you stand on each, and ways to improve.

An unhealthy mindset is at the core of most of our issues. If we are “blind to our mindsets, we will misdiagnose our problems, treat them only at the surface level, and continue to be frustrated.”

Think of some of the most common organizational problems:

• Poor leadership and management
• Inability to effectively initiate and navigate change
• Lack of inclusion
• Low employee morale and effectiveness

At the root of each of these issues lies negative mindsets.

For most of us—of the thousands of people that have taken Gottfredson’s assessment, that’s about 95%—we tend to function on the negative side of at least some of the four sets of mindsets. But we can improve—change our mindset—with some conscious effort.

We come by our mindsets for the most part unconsciously. From our experiences, our mind automatically forms conclusions about the world and how we should react to it. Those conclusions are not often logical or as informed as they should be. Over time we develop a mindset—a way of looking at the world—that is based on those assumptions repeated over time. Depending on our environment those habitual ways of thinking become our mindsets that either do or don’t serve us well. It is in our best interest to look at our mindsets and ask if they reflect the kind of person we wish to be going forward. Success Mindsets helps us to do just that.

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Key to Effective Leadership Reinventing You

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:02 AM
| Comments (0) | Personal Development

05.04.20

5 Tips for Pitching Investors Remotely in the Time of Coronavirus

Pitching Remotely

NOW that almost everyone is working from home, startup founders looking to raise money from investors will need to do so remotely. In fact, in-person pitches may now be a thing of the past.

As both an individual investor and venture capitalist, I’ve taken a lot of remote pitches since the shelter-in-place order started. My impression is that most entrepreneurs aren’t always putting their best foot forward.

Here are five seemingly contradictory tips to keep in mind while pitching remotely.

Tip #1: The Slides Aren’t the Pitch

The first tip will be relevant for both in-person and remote pitches but is doubly important when you are pitching remotely: the slide deck isn’t the pitch. The pitch is the story that you are telling.

So, what do I mean by the story? This is a sequential narrative that captures the main reasons why an investor might want to invest in you. It doesn’t matter how good your slides look; it matters how compelling your story is.

Just like story beats in a movie script, which is meant to evoke responses from the audience, a story in the context of pitching to investors should consist of certain beats that are meant to elicit their reaction.

Paradoxically, the better the story, the worse the slides can be. When I was an entrepreneur raising money, one of the most effective pitches was for the Tap Fish video game.

I only had simple black and white slides with text and no images. If that seems like it violates everything you’ve read and heard about putting together pitches—you are right! Our story was great, so the slides didn’t have to be.

Here is an outline of the basic story, along with the ER (expected reaction):

  1. Mobile gaming is new and taking off
      (ER: Nodding/agreement)
  2. We have a million daily active users
      (ER: Surprise and/or impressed)
  3. Our users love our games
      (ER: Nodding)
  4. We’re making quite a bit of profit
      (ER: Surprise, because most startups aren’t profitable so soon)
  5. Look how much money we’re going to make if we follow our plan
      (ER: Greed and excitement)

A few years later, I was raising a subsequent round for my next video game startup, Midverse Studios. By then, we had a more experienced team thanks to the success of Tap Fish. We had flashier games that were based on the TV shows Penny Dreadful and Grimm. We also had marquis investors, who put money into our seed round, and we had a more impressive set of slides.

Despite the flashy slides, we found it difficult to raise money. The fact of the matter was that the slides were better, but the underlying story wasn’t nearly as good. This was because the market for mobile games had become more competitive, making it difficult to acquire users cheaply. We also didn’t have nearly as many users, and we certainly weren’t even close to profitability. We needed a new story that would captivate users and investors.

The real takeaway from my experience is that before you assemble your slides, make sure to articulate your skeleton of a story that will evoke the desired response from investors.

Tip #2: Use Your Slides in the Remote Pitch

Now, this might sound contradictory to Tip #1, but going through some slides is even more important these days when pitching remotely than before the current health crisis.

In recent times, it seems the trend is that entrepreneurs will email me their slides before the call. But then, during the call, they completely ignore the slides. It’s as if they expected me to have memorized the slides for the call.

Instead of being able to focus on their message with the guidance of slides, I found myself rifling through the collection of slides to find the right one.

Out of my last five entrepreneurial pitches, all five had sent me the deck beforehand. Yet only one actually brought up the slides on the Zoom call and went through them with me. The rest just wanted me to look at them sitting on their desks at home, not wanting to “bore me” with the slides. This was a mistake.

Now I’m not saying you need to go through every single slide on a remote pitch. You can certainly economize and jump around. But the visuals are actually important when you are trying to make a point to an investor who is attempting to understand your story and has been listening to a multitude of pitches. For one thing, it’s harder for an investor to figure out what the heck your product actually does on a remote pitch.

I’m more likely to remember you if there is a catchy visual that illustrates an important point, as opposed to just telling me that point.

So, if you have a deck, bring up the slides while talking to investors on Zoom. Otherwise, they’ll just remember you as another face on a screen.

Tip #3: Don’t Spend Too Much Time on the Product

Traditionally, entrepreneurs love to talk about their product, but investors need to know about more than just the product - the market, the team, competitors, business model, etc.

Recently, I saw an entrepreneur’s deck that was 30 slides long, with 10 slides about the product (features, roadmaps, videos, and screenshots). This was too much. Try to keep your deck to 10-15 slides (with extras you can draw upon if necessary).

Some pitches have too little about the product, and some have way too much. The best pitches have “just enough” so that an investor can understand what their product offers and why it might be special.

One or two slides about your product are enough if you do it right. Then it’s time to move on to why it’s better than other solutions, followed by the business model and how you are going to make money.

Tip #4: Explain What Your Product Does

Some entrepreneurs go too far in the other direction and make it really hard for the investor to figure out what their product does clearly.

This has led to pitches that are “market heavy,” such as many slides of data about the market. To be honest, if I took your pitch, I am probably already interested in the market. So the market slides are somewhat important, but you don’t need more than 2 slides on the market, so don’t dwell on them.

For example, if your startup is in esports, you’ll have the obligatory slides talking about how many hundreds of millions of viewers of esports there are. However, as an investor, I probably already know this, or I wouldn’t have taken the pitch.

What I really need to know is your segment of the market, what your product is, and why it’s better or different than others.

If I had to pick the one thing that takes the most time in remote pitches, it is figuring out what the heck an entrepreneur’s product actually does! Many entrepreneurs get to 2/3 of the way through the slides and start talking about the business model and financial projections while I’m still wondering exactly what their product does and what makes it unique. Having a screenshot or two displayed while you explain your product helps tremendously.

So remember Goldilocks—having too little or too much on the product can both be big problems—you have to get it “just right.”

Seems obvious, right? You would think so.

Tip #5: Identify a Killer Slide Investors Will Remember and Repeat

I always tell entrepreneurs whether they are conscious of it or not, an investor leaves with a positioning in their mind about you and your company. This is how the investor will position your company to their partners (if they are a VC) or to other investors, or even to their spouse (if they are angel investors).

If you aren’t clear on what they positioning will be, it’s likely you aren’t clear on your story, which brings us right back to Tip #1.

The best positioning is usually the single strongest point that you have in your presentation. Typically, it is about your team, market opportunity, technology/product, or market results/ traction.

You can go through 15 slides, but in the end, there is one slide that will get an investor. I call it the killer slide.

If you are in a new market and don’t have anything to show yet, but have a team that has had real success before (by selling a company), or you are a team that worked together at Google, then the killer slide is the team slide.

These days it’s become fashionable for entrepreneurs to put the team slide at the very end of the presentation, which is great for Demo days. But if the team aspect is your biggest strength, then you need to be sure that you establish your credibility up front, so put that first. Because up until that slide, the investor is thinking: “Who are these yahoos, and why should I care about what they say?”

If your biggest strength is your technology or IP differentiation, you better have a simple visual, which makes it easy to understand while also hammering home your IP is so important. It’s important is that the investor remembers the “gist” of why your IP is so special after your conversation. Spend more time on this “killer slide” and hammer in the point.

Sometimes, the “big strength” is a product demo, which isn’t in the slides at all. I recently invested in a VR company whose founder told me that the way he sells investors is to get them to put on VR glasses and meet him “in world.” In this case, it is necessary to get people over the hurdle because the VR market is not as “hot” as it used to be when it was seen as the “next big thing.”

All investors have to justify their actions to someone else (partners, LPs, spouses, etc.). This is why it’s extremely important to not just convince an investor, but to arm them with a positioning they can take to others to justify their investment.

Conclusion

There is, of course, no one way to do a good pitch remotely during these trying times. But for many startups, it’s even more critical that you raise money quickly, at a time when investors are growing more and more cautious.

Almost all good pitches have a good, solid story behind the slides. Moreover, guiding the investor to the right slides is even more important when you are pitching remotely rather than relying on the investor to “get it.” You aren’t there to just chat—you are there to pitch.

Remember to keep a “just right” approach to all the sections of your pitch: market, product, competitors, business model, and team. Ensure that you don’t have too much or too little on any one section.

Most importantly, think about what the investor will say about your company after the pitch. If it’s not what you want them to say, then your pitch needs work!

* * *

Leading Forum
Rizwan Virk is the founder of Play Labs @ MIT and author of Startup Myths & Models: What You Won’t Learn in Business School, Zen Entrepreneurship, and The Simulation Hypothesis. He is also a venture partner at several VC firms. For more information, please visit ZenEntrepreneur.com and follow him on Twitter.

*Atmos is a text-based, mentor management, and retention platform, that accurately connects university students to mentors in a more personalized and efficient way than ever before. From BlueSkyAI.

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How to Get Venture Capital Dear Founder



Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:06 AM
| Comments (0) | Entrepreneurship

05.01.20

First Look: Leadership Books for May 2020

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in May 2020. Don't miss out on other great new and future releases.

9781642796919Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership by Ryan Gottfredson

“Mindsets” is a word that is used quite frequently, however, many of those who use it are unaware that mindsets are foundational to and dictate one’s success in life, work, and leadership. They are also unable to identify specific mindsets that are necessary for success. Ryan Gottfredson has created a comprehensive and research-based guide, Success Mindsets, that is designed to awaken readers to: the power of mindsets, the four mindsets they need to have to be successful, and the mindsets they currently possess through personal mindset assessment

9781982113636Bezonomics: How Amazon Is Changing Our Lives, and What the World's Best Companies Are Learning from It by Brian Dumaine

Jeff Bezos is the business story of the decade. Bezos, the richest man on the planet, has built one of the most efficient wealth-creation machines in history with 2% of US household income being spent on nearly 500 million products shipped from warehouses in seventeen countries. Amazon’s business model has not only turned the retail industry and cloud computing inside out, but now its tentacles are squeezing media and advertising, and disrupting the state of technology, the economy, job creation, and society at large. Amazon’s impact is so pervasive that business leaders in nearly every sector around the world need to understand how this force of nature operates. Based on unprecedented behind-the-scenes reporting from 150 sources inside and outside of Amazon, Bezonomics unveils the underlying principles Jeff Bezos uses to achieve his dominance—customer obsession, extreme innovation, and long-term management, all supported by artificial intelligence—and shows how these are being borrowed and replicated by companies across the United States, in China, and elsewhere. Brian Dumaine shares tips for Amazon-proofing your business. Most important, Bezonomics answers the fundamental question: How are Amazon and its imitators affecting the way we live, and what can we learn from them?

9780062887757Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely by Don A. Moore

Decades of research demonstrates that we often have an over-inflated sense of self and are rarely as good as we believe. Perfectly Confident is the first book to bring together the best psychological and economic studies to explain exactly what confidence is, when it can be helpful, and when it can be destructive in our lives. Moore reminds us that the key to success is to avoid being both over- and under-confident. In this essential guide, he shows how to become perfectly confident—how to strive for and maintain the well-calibrated, adaptive confidence that can elevate all areas of our lives..

9780062916594How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom by Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley argues in this book that we need to change the way we think about innovation, to see it as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan. Innovation is crucially different from invention, because it is the turning of inventions into things of practical and affordable use to people. It speeds up in some sectors and slows down in others. It is always a collective, collaborative phenomenon, not a matter of lonely genius. It is gradual, serendipitous, recombinant, inexorable, contagious, experimental and unpredictable. It happens mainly in just a few parts of the world at any one time. It still cannot be modelled properly by economists, but it can easily be discouraged by politicians. Far from there being too much innovation, we may be on the brink of an innovation famine.

9780525575665Leading Without Authority: How the New Power of Co-Elevation Can Break Down Silos, Transform Teams, and Reinvent Collaboration by Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich

When external pressures are mounting, and employees are working from far-flung locations across the globe, says bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi, we can no longer afford to waste time navigating the complex chains of command or bureaucratic bottlenecks present in most companies. But when we choose the bold new methodology of co-elevation as our operating model, we unlock the potential to boost productivity, deepen commitment and engagement, and create a level of trust, mutual accountability, and purpose that exceeds what could have been accomplished under the status quo. And you don’t need any formal authority to do it. You simply have to marshal a commitment to a shared mission and care about the success and development of others as much as you care about your own. Regardless of your title, position, or where or how you work, the ability to lead without authority is an essential workplace competency.

9781633698703Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos by Darrell K. Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steven H. Berez

In this clear-eyed, indispensable book, Bain & Company thought leader Darrell Rigby and his colleagues Sarah Elk and Steve Berez provide a much-needed reality check. They dispel the myths and misconceptions that have accompanied agile's rise to prominence--the idea that it can reshape an organization all at once, for instance, or that it should be used in every function and for all types of work. They illustrate that agile teams can indeed be powerful, making people's jobs more rewarding and turbocharging innovation, but such results are possible only if the method is fully understood and implemented the right way.

For bulk orders call 1-626-441-2024

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Build your leadership library with these specials on over 32 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
— Walt Disney

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Whats New in Leadership Books Best Books of 2019



Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:16 AM
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