For many leaders, the end of the year represents a time to reflect and reset expectations for the year ahead.
Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich, for instance, takes time around Christmas each year to think about the big picture and draft professional and personal initiatives to focus on in the new year.
That’s why I decided to reflect back on some of the insightful lessons I learned this year on how to be a great boss, hire the best people, and achieve career success. Here are some of the top leadership tips of 2015:
The surprising secret to being a good boss: Provide “radical candor.”
Google and Apple alum Kim Scott says she learned the importance of providing honest feedback to employees from her former boss Sheryl Sandberg, who told her she sounded stupid in a presentation because she said um too much. The lesson stuck, reports First Round Review, and Scott realised the key to effective coaching is to care personally and challenge directly. “It sounds so simple to say that bosses need to tell their employees when they’re screwing up, but it rarely happens.” See the article here »
Don’t be yourself at work. Instead, experiment with your tone and leadership style to figure out what works best.
Herminia Ibarra, a professor at business school INSEAD in Paris, takes on the cult of “authentic leadership” in her 2015 book “Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader
“. She argues in The Harvard Business Review that being yourself can quickly backfire, since your growth could stagnate and you could get stuck in ineffective patterns. When you step up to a new role, Ibarra says you should adapt to what the situation demands and stretch beyond what may feel comfortable. See the article here »
Overusing the word “just” can damage your credibility.
Leadership strategist and former Apple and Google exec Ellen Petry Leanse noticed that women tend to use the word “just” — as in “I just wanted to check in on …,” “Just wondering if you’d decided between …” —more than men. She writes on LinkedIn that it is a “permission word” that sends a “subtle message of subordination” and deference. Striking it and other diminishing language from your vocabulary makes you sound stronger and more authoritative. See the article here »
Research suggests humility separates great leaders from average ones.
Leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman
looked at 360-degree assessments of 69,000 managers and discovered that leaders who underestimated their own competence were the most effective and had the most engaged employees. Meanwhile, leaders who overestimated their competence were the least effective. The researchers hypothesized that “a combination of humility, high personal standards, and a continual striving to be better” made the difference. See the article here »
Meaningful work and competent colleagues are the only two reasons great employees stick around.
Laszlo Bock, the SVP of Google’s People Operations and author of “Work Rules!“, said on a panel this year that “people don’t stay for the money.” Rather, they want to go to work every day and be surrounded by other smart, engaged people and do work that makes a difference. To recruit and retain top talent, it’s important to set a high bar for hiring and to communicate the organisation’s mission and impact. See the article here »
If you want to hire the best people, don’t rely on job postings.
Hannah Fry, a mathematician at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London and author of “The Mathematics of Love“, says exploiting the Gale-Shapley matching algorithm can help you hire the best possible candidates. Essentially, the algorithm proves that, in any relationship, whoever takes the initiative and approaches their preferred candidate will be better off. Thus, hiring managers who reach out to their top-choice people have a much better chance of securing someone great than if they passively look through the resumes that come to them. See the article here »
The key to achieving career success is to ask yourself what you want to ultimately accomplish.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said you can’t hope to achieve your objectives or maximise your success until you first ask yourself a key question: What is it you ultimately want to accomplish? Oftentimes, people get midway through their careers and are unhappy because “they have been swept up in a stream of opportunism, a hot job, or a promotion, or more money, as opposed to taking the time to ask themselves what it is that they want to do,” he said. See the article here »
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