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Golden Oldies: The Abuse Of Authenticity

January 23rd, 2017 by Miki Saxon

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

“…that’s the way I am” How many times have you heard it? How many times have you said it? Is it valid? How much damage does it do?

Read other Golden Oldies here.

no-excuseMAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™) is a wonderful thing, encompassing as it does everything that makes you you.

MAP is also the great excuse, the adult version of the “because I said so” people use on their kids.

How often, when asked why you do X, have you responded “because that’s the way I am.”

Organizations have two versions, “not-invented-here” and “we’ve always done it that way.”

Whether individual or company, both use them to avoid innovation, change and disturbing their comfort zone.

But at what cost?

Marshall Goldsmith calls it an excessive need to be me and tells the story of a CEO who was lauded in other areas, but refused to provide positive feedback because it wasn’t him and would, therefore, be phony.

The example isn’t as extreme as you might think. I’ve talked with many executives, managers and workers who use authenticity as their reason not to change their MAP.

And because authenticity is hot, it’s the perfect excuse for not tackling the root causes of whatever needs to change, although, as with most excuses, it doesn’t hold up well to the light of honest, intelligent analysis.

But what do you analyze; how do you know what to change?

Take feedback from your colleagues, team and customers; then take a hard look whenever the answer to “Why?” is some variation of the reasons mentioned earlier.

Then think it through; ask yourself if there is a real, rational reason to stay that way or if it’s something that would be better to change,

And remember, whether individual or company, the most powerful reason for changing MAP is that doing so pays off handsomely, as the CEO in Marshall’s story learned.

Image credit: pattista on flickr

If the Shoe Fits: Answer 5 Questions To Boost Your Management Skills

January 20th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here.

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mDid you start this year with a promise to yourself to be a better boss?

If you didn’t you should have , because no matter how good you are you can always improve — but that’s true for everything.

In December I gave you 56 words that would change your life and at the start of the year three steps to being a better boss.

Today I’m providing five questions to ask yourself.

  1. How well do you delegate, AKA letting go/loss of control.
  2. Is your self esteem tied to your Klout score or your team’s accomplishments?
  3. Are you so tied to your vision that you’re blind to your market’s response?
  4. Do you practice culture by design or by accident?
  5. Do you want to get things done or just done your way.

Next, query five trusted colleagues for objective, outside input.

Compare the responses.

Depending on you’re your goals, adjust your attitudes and actions accordingly.

Image credit: HikingArtist

Ryan’s Journal: How Does Culture Impact You?

January 19th, 2017 by Ryan Pew

http://www.flickr.com/photos/charliellewellin/3413568618/I was thinking throughout the week about culture again. Obviously, that is a theme, but I was thinking about it from a self-centered perspective. How does the culture of a company impact me personally? I am sure you have thought similarly in the past as you have dealt with different organizations in your day to day activities.

I read a book recently by Tony Hsieh, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose.”  This book is written by Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, and highlights the growth of a fledging company that was eventually acquired by Amazon for nearly $900 MM.

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see how a radical pursuit of culture can drive a company to immense growth. Now I have not had the pleasure of meeting Tony personally, but just reading that book made me feel like I could speak to him on a first name basis if I met him on the street.

One takeaway I had from the book was the fact that Tony truly wanted his employees to feel happiness and joy while they were at work. He did and continues to do this in a variety of ways.

He hosts epic parties, they have a relaxed work environment and they pay people to quit during the on boarding process. That last part may seem a bit radical, but they basically offer on boarding employees the opportunity to take a severance package if they don’t feel like they are a good fit.

This has a two fold impact; it weeds out those who probably shouldn’t be there and it prompts those writing a blog to mention it in their blog.

Even though Zappos has been around for a while and I am technically a millennial, I had never purchased shoes from the website before. I tend to be a tactile guy who wants to hold something in my hands before I buy, so the concept seemed at odds with my buying style.

After I read the book I decided that I needed to at least try out the service and see what I thought. I chose some shoes that I have worn in the past (I don’t want to dive head first here) and placed my order. Typically you get delivery in two days so before I knew it I had a box on my doorstep. I eagerly opened my box, discarded the paper and put on the shoes… and they didn’t fit.

So at this point I have a conundrum, I never order online for this very reason. Well the book did mention that they offered free returns as a part of their culture and that they actually preferred for you to call, so they could speak directly with you.

Tony has a 24/7 operation where you can call and place orders, make returns and so on. I decided to follow this experiment to its natural conclusion and make the call. This is the opportunity to learn how Zappos’s culture would impact me personally.

I made the call and explained the issue of the shoes being a bit too large. The person I spoke with was nothing but kind. He talked about the weather and things that were going on in his neck of the woods, which happens to be Vegas.

He also placed an order for a smaller size to be sent, as well as a return label so I could ship the other shoes back for free. Now this may sound like standard fare, but the entire call was relaxed, personable and memorable.

Now I am by no means a frequent customer of Zappos, but I know I can rely on them for a quality experience and they are no longer this faceless entity swallowing up my money.

At the heart of it, that is culture’s impact on you and I. We interact everyday with companies and people and we have a takeaway from those interactions.

Sometimes its not a science, its a feeling.

Image credit: Charlie Llewellin

Interviewing Fly-On-The-Wall

January 18th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

https://hikingartist.com/2015/10/21/cutting-of-the-branch/

This is a short post, because you need time to read the links.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a CEO building an executive team or a newly promoted supervisor, interviewing is critical to success — the team’s, the company’s and, especially, yours.

The most important things to learn from your interviewing aren’t about hard or soft skills.

The truly critical factors are

  • how they think; and
  • their attitude.

That should be the “make or break” information you come away with.

There’s a lot of help to be found here; look in the hiring category and use the various interview* tags — and, of course, today’s links.

Asking slightly off-the-wall questions that candidates can’t prepare for is a good technique as long as you have a valid goal in mind — one that is well beyond just being discomforting.

The technique is used by CEOs from companies diverse companies, including Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Stormy Simon, president of Overstock and Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop.

Use them as a guide, because the same questions probably won’t work for you. First, they will become well-known as they are passed around the digital world, and second, because they won’t be relevant to your particular situation.

Now, a moment of interviewing levity, better know as “candidates say/do the strangest things” or  WTF?????

“It’s hard to say why a candidate would do some of these things,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider. “Maybe he or she is nervous, thinks an employer would find it funny, or perhaps the candidate simply has no boundaries.”

More than 2,600 hiring managers and employers shared with CareerBuilder the most memorable job-interview mistakes candidates have made. Here are 25 of the most unusual things that happened:

I sent this link to several friends; here is the response of one who is a senior manager at a large industrial enterprise in the southeast.

I’ve been offered a blow job, been asked out, been introduced to the “cruising” area of my city, threatened with a sexual harassment suit and shouted at. Interviewing is no joke…

Managers are still sticking their respective feet in their respective mouths.

Don’t be one of them.

Image credit: Hiking Artist

The Proliferation Of Narcissism

January 17th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

http://quoteaddicts.com/topic/you-are-the-center-of-universe/

Have you noticed that people in general are more wrapped up in themselves than ever before?

Whether in words or pictures, they document and share what they eat, where they go, what they do and with whom they do it, not just with their friends and known acquaintances, but with the world in general.

An article in the Harvard Business Review caught my eye and, in view of the recent election, resonated.

…narcissism levels have been rising for decades, which means that our world is increasingly self-centered, overconfident, and deluded.

And the next sentence really rang a bell.

Furthermore, these increases appear to be exacerbated among leaders, since those in charge of judging leadership potential often mistake confidence for competence.

Our politicians aren’t the only place where narcissism is running wild.

Narcissists are found at the helm of more and more companies of all sizes, but are especially prevalent in the financial sector and in tech.

In 2008 financial bosses with more confidence than competence brought the global economy to its knees.

Tech abounds with narcissistic founders and very few of them will stand the test of time, as have Jobs and Bezos.

Nor is narcissistic behavior limited to top bosses; it is found at every level of management, as well as every level of contributor — from new grads through the most senior contributor.

And lets not forget kindergartners through college.

We cannot make it alone, but we care too much about ourselves to genuinely care about others. This tension between our desire to get along with others and our desire to get ahead of them represents the fundamental conundrum of human affairs.

Much as I loathe the hype around “leaders,” it’s up to the positional leader to manage the get along/get ahead dichotomy if they are to have a successful organization.

I find it ironic that so many of those who preach the importance of data sets and evangelize data-based decisions, again, especially in tech, manage to ignore the hard data on what type of leader succeeds best.

Unfortunately, our admiration for charismatic leaders comes at a price: perpetuating the proliferation of narcissistic leaders. And while the existence of incredibly successful CEOs, such as Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos (and Rockefeller, Ford, and Disney before them), may suggest that narcissism is a beneficial leadership quality, most overconfident, entitled, and egotistical CEOs are not just ineffective but also destructive — even when they manage to attain a great deal of success. For example, narcissistic CEOs overpay when they acquire firms, costing their shareholders dearly. Their firms tend to perform in a volatile and unpredictable fashion, going from big wins to even bigger losses. They are often involved in counterproductive work behaviors, such as fraud. They are also more likely to abuse power and manipulate their followers, particularly those who are naïve and submissive.

Whether you are a boss or a worker, read the article; it’s short and will provide insights into your own actions, as well as those of your boss or the boss with whom you are interviewing.

Image credit: QuoteAddicts

Golden Oldies: Book Review: Managing Leadership

January 16th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

managing-leadership

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

I’m not a fan of the leadership industry; I think it has corrupted the whole notion of leadership. Anybody/everybody can be leaders at a given moment. Life changes and Jim Stroup, who wrote Managing Leadership, one of the best blogs on that subject stopped writing a couple of years ago. But all his wonderful posts are at the link and he also wrote an excellent book on the subject.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

During a conversation about positional leadership Richard Barrett said, “Reminds me of a Seinfeld joke. He pointed to professional sports teams and asked about team loyalty. The players change, the coaches change, and sometimes even the stadium changes. So, the people are really loyal to the logos on the team uniforms, just a pile of laundry. Maybe positional leadership is just laundry leadership?”

I like that—laundry leadership. Great term.

So what’s available instead of laundry leadership, especially these days when so much of the laundry is dirty?

Why not organizational leadership? Leadership that percolates from every nook and cranny of the enterprise driving innovation and productivity far beyond the norm.

Following this to its natural conclusion makes leadership a corporate asset and one that needs to be managed for it to have the highest possible impact.

Jim Stroup, whose blog I love, is a major proponent of this idea and defines and explains it in his book Managing Leadership: Toward a New and Usable Understanding of What Leadership Really Is And How To Manage It.

Of all the leadership books, Managing Leadership is the first book I’ve seen that breaks with the accepted idea of the larger-than-life leader whose visions people embrace and follow almost blindly.

Stroup says today’s corporations are far too complex for one person to know everything; that, given a chance, leadership will come naturally and unstoppably from all parts and levels of the organization making it a characteristic of the organization, rather than one person’s crown.

Sadly, fear makes the idea that leadership comes from all people at all levels and should be managed to make the most of it anathema to many senior managers; they consider leadership a perk of seniority and prefer squashing it when the source doesn’t occupy the ‘correct’ position.

I highly recommend Jim’s book. Even if the management above you doesn’t embrace this paradigm, you can within your own group. Encourage your people to take the initiative, guide them as needed, then get out of the way and watch them fly.

If the Shoe Fits: Keep The Best — Get Rid Of The Rest

January 13th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here.

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mAs I’ve said before, Steve Jobs may be a good role model for building a company, but not for building a culture.

Just think what would you could build if you combined the best of Apple’s culture with the best of cultural benchmarks — the way Pearl Automation is doing.

Founded in 2014 by three former senior managers from Apple’s iPod and iPhone groups, Pearl has tried to replicate what its leaders view as the best parts of Apple’s culture, like its fanatical dedication to quality and beautiful design. But the founders also consciously rejected some of the less appealing aspects of life at Apple, like its legendary secrecy and top-down management style.

Pearl’s cultural focus is totally inclusive, based on the idea that, since, every employee is contributing to its success, every employee has a “need to know.”

The start-up, which makes high-tech accessories for cars, holds weekly meetings with its entire staff. Managers brief them on coming products, company finances, technical problems, even the presentations made to the board.

Of course, the first thing you need to do is accept that you are not Steve Jobs.

The next thing is to understand that both creativity and failure are necessary to succeed.

Eswar Priyadarshan, who sold his mobile advertising company, Quattro Wireless, to Apple in 2010 and stayed for four years, said that he learned about design and aesthetics during his time there. But he noted that Apple’s high compensation, focused product mission and top-down decision-making tended to damp the risk-taking necessary to start a company.

Mr. Priyadarshan, who is now chief executive of BotCentral, a six-person start-up, compared Apple to a community of warrior monks. “Warrior monks don’t talk and do whatever is asked,” he said.

The actual question you need to answer is: do you want to lead a team of warrior monks or are you more excited about herding a team of innovative, quirky, creative cats.

Image credit: HikingArtist

Ryan’s Journal: Why Does Culture Matter?

January 12th, 2017 by Ryan Pew

http://www.fairwarning.com/For those of you who may have read my introduction I stated that my main question I want to always ask is ‘why’.

I learned this mostly through trial and error as I entered the workplace. I had the opportunity to see this inside of companies and organizations and better understand what made them succeed, or fail. The simple answer was and continues to be culture.

Why have some companies with all the talent in the world failed? Why do some people address hardships with a will to succeed rather than sit back and wallow? Why do those who have made it to the top of their profession continue to push themselves? I think it boils down to the mindset of the individual, who then influences the greater group.

I work within the MedTech industry, specifically within the cybersecurity sector. My company, FairWarning, looks at user behavior to determine who the bad actors are, so that you can have confidence that when you seek treatment your records will remain confidential.

You would expect that due to the fact that our mission is to determine who is stealing data and identify it our leadership would treat most people with suspicion. It is only natural, we see bad actors everyday! However, that could not be further from the truth.

I had an opportunity to speak with our leadership about why that is. How is it that the organization which only exists to prevent abuse and misuse of confidential materials can not have a negative outlook on life and people?

The answer surprised me. My company is privately owned by our CEO who founded it. He has the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps through hard work” mentality. He told me that his outlook on life stems from the fact that as an individual you can always make a choice to do the right thing moving forward.

A person always has the opportunity to start today with a clean slate moving forward. The expectation is that every day should be better than the last. Now this doesn’t mean there are no consequences for actions, but it does mean that there are no lost individuals. That at the root of it is the culture of my company and it influences every action I and my teammates make everyday.

Why does that one mindset impact the rest of the group?

Part of it, of course, is the fact that he started and led the company successfully. The other part though, which, in my opinion, matters more, is that he has remained consistent and transparent.

If he only applied that mindset to people selectively or didn’t live it himself then it would not truly be culture. It would be some mission statement that sounds great but has no impact.

As I continue exploring this topic I will speak to others about what influences their decisions and how they came to those conclusions.

Until next week continue asking and seeking.

Image credit: Marko / Zak

Bill O’Reilly On Loyalty

January 11th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/5335084162/

There is much talk about Megyn Kelly’s announced move from Fox News to NBC last week, but that’s not what this post is about.

It’s about Bill O’Reilly’s twisted thoughts on what constitutes loyalty.

“I’m not interested in making my network look bad.”

Later that day, he continued the thought in a commentary on his own show in which he appeared to question Ms. Kelly’s loyalty to Fox by saying, without naming her: “If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave.”

Agreeing with O’Reily means that if your boss hits, grabs, gropes, insults, harasses, etc., your only recourse is to tell a person/department that too often has little-to-no power, and sometimes no interest, in fixing the problem or get out of Dodge — even if it means breaking your contract.

Read anything about professional loyalty and you’ll find that it is the company’s responsibility to give people a reason to be loyal.

Reasons include a workplace that don’t tolerate any type of harassment no matter who it is from — up to and including the CEO.

Additional reasons include fairness and respect, although there are many others.

We do owe loyalty (and protection) to ourselves, but I don’t believe anyone owes loyalty to a a person or company where they have to constantly look out, whether for a knife in the back or death by a thousand cuts.

Flickr image credit: DonkeyHotey

January Dose Of Leadership

January 10th, 2017 by Miki Saxon

The monthly Leadership Development Carnival provides you with two useful things.

First, good info on a variety of “wetware” (AKA, people) issues, such as culture, leadership, management, etc.

Second, it introduces you to solid sources on these subjects with whom you may be unfamiliar.

So dig in and garner the intel that will help make 2017 a banner year for you.

So without further ado, here is the January 2017 Leadership Development Carnival.

leadership-development-carnival

Art Petty submitted Leveling Up to Change is THE Issue. Art summarizes, “For all of us, the need to help our firms navigate change while doing the same in our careers defines our level-up challenge.” Follow Art on Twitter at @artpetty.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited provided The Day I Messed Up. Beth recaps, “This post elaborates on some thoughts about when the mistake is your own.” Find Beth on Twitter at @bethbeutler.

Chris Edmonds of the Purposeful Culture Group contributed Culture Leadership Charge: The Right Culture Matters. In this post, Chris shares a real-world example of a client that did some “culture refinement” to improve employee engagement and customer service. Follow Chris on Twitter at @scedmonds.

Dana Theus of InPower Coaching contributed Workplace Advice-Why Should I Bother Feeling Grateful For a Crappy Boss?. Dana writes, “When you have a tough work situation, finding ways to feel gratitude and appreciation can go a long way to turning the situation around, but is it really the best strategy? Often gratitude is the last thing you feel. Here’s how effective leaders approach gratitude in tough situations.” Find Dana on Twitter at @DanaTheus.

David Dye of Trailblaze submitted How to Lead When Everything Goes Crazy. David summarizes, “People act irrationally, circumstances change, and the truly unforeseeable happens. The good news is that you don’t need a specific step-by-step plan for the infinite number of problems you might face. David shares a better way to meet your leadership challenges.” Follow David on Twitter at @davidmdye.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group shared 7 Things Every Employee Wants from Their Boss. David writes, “What do employees want? While the answer varies by employee, our research and work reveals a collective ‘wish list’ every boss should know. Best of all, everything on the wish list is free.” Discover David on Twitter at @thoughtpartner.

Jill Malleck of Epiphany at Work contributed Everyday Recognition Matters Most. Jill shares, “At year-end leaders often think about how to thank their teams. The best leaders weave recognition into every day so that no one feels undervalued.” Find Jill on Twitter at @epiphanyatwork.

Jesse Lyn Stoner of the Seapoint Center shared Do an Ethics Check to Navigate the Gray Zone. Jesse Lyn recaps, “It’s easy to know what’s ethical when your choices are clear-cut. But there’s a huge gray zone where the choices are not so clear. Ethical decision-making can be challenging in our personal lives. And, when you are in a role that impacts others, it becomes even more critical. Use these 3 questions to provide ethical leadership through the gray zone.” Follow Jesse Lyn on Twitter at @JesseLynStoner.

Jim Taggart of Changing Winds provided Why America is Good and Great. Jim shares, “I chose this particular post because it’s about personal leadership and ordinary people stepping up to do good for society with no expectation of any form of remuneration. The setting happens to be the United States for my post, from the perspective of a Canadian. Given all the negativity in the media, we need to reflect on the good acts that people do each and every day.” Find Jim on Twitter at @72keys.

Joel Garfinkle of the Career Advancement Blog submitted The 16 Ways to Improve Your Work Performance in 2017. Joel recaps: “Learn the 16 ways to improve your work performance in 2017. These tips will help you start 2017 with a great year.” Discover Joel on Twitter at @JoelGarfinkle.

John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog shared Podcast: Increasing the Capability of the Organization. John summarizes, “Changing how organizations are managed makes a huge difference in people’s lives. When this is done well people can go from dreading going to work to enjoying going to work, not every single day – but most days.  And it can change our lives so that most of the time we are doing things that we find valuable and we enjoy instead of just going to work to get a paycheck so we can enjoy the hours that we have away from work.” Find John on Twitter at @curiouscat_com.

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference contributed Join One20: A Day to Do Good. Jon shares, “Our country is divided. It’s time to heal our wound. On election day we need to show our good side, our good character, and do some good in our communities.” Follow Jon on Twitter at @thindifference.

Jon Verbeck of JonVerbeck.com provided The Key is Profit. In this post, Virtual CFO Jon Verbeck helps readers get back to basics—explaining that we’re in business to make a profit (which can help us do good things). Business owners must not ignore the goal of making a profit. Find Jon on Twitter at @jonverbeck1.

Julie Winkle-Giulioni of Julie Winkle-Giulioni provided The Magic of Making an Effort Julie recaps, “In a world where perfection and achievement are the eternal standard, effort might count for a lot more than many of us realize.” Find Julie on Twitter at @julie_wg.

Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders contributed 5 Questions to Help You Resolve Your Conflict. In the post, Karin reflects on a conflict that happened over the holidays, and what she and David Dye learned from it. Follow Karin on Twitter at @letsgrowleaders.

Linda Fisher Thornton of Leading in Context submitted Ethical Leadership is a Fear-Free Zone. Linda summarizes, “Fear is the toxic ingredient in many failed leadership strategies. In a fearful mode we may ‘rule out’ positive strategies that would help us solve collective problems – including dialogue, cooperation, long-term thinking and listening to understand.” Follow Linda on Twitter at @leadingincontxt.

Marcella Bremer of Leadership and Change Magazine provided The 21 Best Articles on Positive Leadership, Culture, and Change. Marcella recaps, “I support positive organizations where both people and performance thrive. Positive organizations are better at change, more innovative, competitive, profitable, and they contribute to the world – while engaged people spread their positive vibes everywhere. Here’s a list of my best liked 21 articles to date- which do you like best?” Find Marcella on Twitter at @marcellabremer.

Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC submitted Ten Daily Practices that Show Respect to Your Team. Mary Jo summarizes, “Showing respect for your team helps them to be motivated, dedicated and loyal. The word gets out and you become a talent magnet. Here are some great ways to show your respect on a daily basis.” Follow Mary Jo on Twitter at @mjasmus.

Mary Ila Ward of Horizon Point Consulting contributed Bridging the Divide… Education for the Future. She recaps, “A country divided is what we are all hearing. I’m tired of hearing it, aren’t you? But as I examine the problem, I realize, like we all are, I am a part of it. So let’s do something about it! The solution is education!” Discover Mary Ila on Twitter at @maryilaward.

Mary Schaefer of Artemis Path, Inc. submitted One Way to be the Change You Want to See in Your Life. Mary summarizes, “You want to eliminate an unhelpful habit, address a hot-button issue or negotiate a change at work. You can take charge. Practice making a challenging change. There’s no substitute for firsthand experience.” Follow Mary on Twitter at @maryschaefer.

Miki Saxon of MAPping Company Success contributed 56 Words That Will Change Your Life. Miki writes, “The best advice isn’t complex or filled with multi-syllabic words. It is simple to understand and takes hard work to implement it consistently. However, the payoff is definitely worth the effort.” Discover Miki on Twitter at @optionsanity.

Neal Burgis of Burgis Successful Solutions submitted Happy New Year 2017: A Change to Be Creative in Your Business. Neal recaps, “With the New Year, change takes place. Here is your opportunity to boost your idea for creating and producing a breakthrough result of your own. These tips will help you move forward in your creativity and profit from what you create.” Find Neal on Twitter at @exec_solutions.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader contributed 20+1 Thoughts for Reinventing Your Leadership. Paul summarizes, “Even leaders can get stuck in a rut of ineffective and stale leadership. Here are some quick thoughts to turn yourself around and reinvent your leadership impact.” Follow Paul on Twitter at @paul_larue.

Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen submitted Six Lessons from Six Years. Paula summarizes, “Although Rakan Stormer did not reach adulthood and become a leader in business, public service, or the arts, his life taught lessons every leader should heed.” Follow Paula on Twitter at @biggreenpen.

Randy Conley of Leading With Trust shared Too Many Priorities? 3 Tips to Focus on What Matters Most. Randy writes, “The excitement of starting off a new year can cause us to set too many goals that we don’t have a realistic chance of completing. That leads to us feeling ‘over:’ overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overstressed. To avoid feeling “over” in 2017, Randy Conley offers 3 tips to focus on what matters most.” Find Randy on Twitter at @randyconley.

Russ White and Jay Anderson of Development Dimensions International (DDI) shared Agile Ready Leaders Get Their Start in Kindergarten. Russ and Jay write, “To lead a cultural transformation to Agile, leaders require a very specific mindset. In this post, we discuss the four tenets of leading in an agile environment: Be Honest, Be Kind, Be Responsible, and Work in Small Increments.” Find Russ and Jay on Twitter at @ddiworld.

Shelley Row of Shelley Row submitted Come Out of the Closet: 4 Ways to Talk About Intuition at Work. About this piece, Shelley says, “We sometimes look down on ‘intuition’ as a reliable way to make business decisions, but intuition is an important part of the process.”  Discover Shelley on Twitter at @shelleyrow.

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership provided How to Find a Mentor. Susan explains, “Potential mentors are all around you. You may even have one or more, and simply have not recognized them for their role as a mentor in your life. If you are in search of a mentor, often all you need to do is look around you and ask for the support you need.” Follow Susan on Twitter at @susanmazza.

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer submitted A Year-End Note Of Inspiration To Keep Pushing Ahead. Tanveer explains the post is “an end-of-year note to inspire leaders to challenge their outlook and understanding for how they will empower the best in those they lead.” Discover Tanveer on Twitter at @tanveernaseer.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership submitted Learning to Lead. Wally recaps, “Learning to lead isn’t easy or automatic and it’s sometimes painful. But that’s the only way to get better.” Find Wally on Twitter at @wallybock.

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