The High Road

Managers who face:

▪ disrespectful emails from coworkers
▪ being patronized
▪ leaders who chose what rules to follow  (or not)
▪ assumptions of the worse

Take the high road. Communicate clearly.  Keep your standards high.  Be professional.  Live with no regrets.

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90% OF THE THINGS YOU WORRY ABOUT WON’T HAPPEN by Cameron Morrissey

“If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been.” ~Robert H. Schuller

“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t.” ~Henry Ford

There isn’t much upside to worrying. It’s stressful and typically unproductive. One of the big lessons I have learned over the years is that it also wastes time. It wastes time because most of what we worry about simply doesn’t end up happening. All that time spent thinking about what you would do goes to waste because it was unlikely to occur in the first place. Now let me draw a quick distinction. I’m not talking about worrying about getting the central functions of your job taken care of, that’s your job. I’m talking about all of those incessant and small negative thoughts that come into your head when you seemingly have any free brain space. It is these things that “might” happen or “could” occur that just add worry to your day. But if you think about these, how many of them came into being? Not many.

Read the rest here:  http://www.cameronmorrissey.com/blog/90-of-the-things-you-worry-about-wont-happen

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How to Read a Book a Week by Peter Bregman

It was the late 1980s and I was sitting in a university lecture hall listening to Abbie Hoffman, an author and an activist, ranting about my generation’s indifference. Next to me was Gloria Emerson, a brilliant and eccentric journalist and author. We were discussing Hoffman’s talk when I told her how much I loved being in the thick of all these ideas.

“It’s such a unique opportunity to be here,” I said to her, “to be part of these conversations with smart, thoughtful people.”

“Oh, don’t be silly,” she responded. “Anybody can be part of these conversations. Just read some books!”

Ironically, as a history major, I was reading three to four books a week. And Gloria was right: through these books, I had a seat at the table. I was part of a cutting-edge conversation that was going on between great minds.

Flash forward too many years, and I am now back in that conversation. Since I started my podcast, I read as many nonfiction books as I can — at least one a week. It’s a requirement, first, to decide if I want to speak with an author and share their ideas, and, second, to make the conversation valuable if I do decide to have them on as a guest. (This may seem obvious, but you might be surprised at how many times I have been interviewed by people who have not read any of my books.)

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I am richer for all this reading. I know more and take more risks as I apply what I’m learning. I also feel more confident in my own views and actions, as well as empathize and understand others better, since I have more context.

But reading is time-consuming. I was already over-busy before I started reading several books a week. And I am a slow reader.

I tried the traditional shortcuts, but none of them worked. Reading the PR materials is insufficient for understanding a book, and executive summaries are awful. I have never read an executive summary that came close to conveying what’s interesting and useful about an author’s work.

So how can we read a book or more a week? It turns out that what works best for me is following some advice I got while I was still in college. Michael Jimenez, a professor of Latin American history, was one of the best professors I ever had. One day I told him that I was struggling with the reading load.

“I hope you’re not reading these books word-for-word like they’re fiction books,” he told me.

I told him I was.

He looked around the room and the other students sheepishly nodded alongside me. So he pulled a number of us together and taught us how to read nonfiction.

“Listen,” he said, “you don’t need to read these books. You need to understand them.”

He explained more: Fiction demands that we enter a world of the author’s making, inspiring a more immersive experience. Nonfiction — at least the type we tend to read to support our work as business leaders — makes a point and asks us to learn from it.

As readers, we gain momentum with each book we read. The more we read, the more quickly we can understand their perspectives and where they fit into a conversation they’re having with other authors, and the more informed we are when we use their advice or incorporate their perspectives into our work.

In other words, the more books we read, the faster it goes.

Here’s Professor Jimenez’s advice on reading nonfiction, with a few additions of my own:

1. Start with the author.

Who wrote the book? Read his or her bio. If you can find a brief interview or article online about the author, read that quickly. It will give you a sense of the person’s bias and perspective.

2. Read the title, the subtitle, the front flap, and the table of contents.

What’s the big-picture argument of the book? How is that argument laid out? By now, you could probably describe the main idea of the book to someone who hasn’t read it.

3. Read the introduction and the conclusion.

The author makes their case in the opening and closing argument of the book. Read these two sections word for word but quickly. You already have a general sense of where the author is going, and these sections will tell you how they plan to get there (introduction) and what they hope you got out of it (conclusion).

4. Read/skim each chapter.

Read the rest here:  http://peterbregman.com/articles/how-to-read-a-book-a-week/#.VrpQGUlOkSZ

4 Behaviors to Implement into Leaders for their Effectiveness by Billy Martin

We all know nowadays that leadership drives organizational performance. It’s a bit like saying that oxygen is necessary to breathe. Most healthy organizations have or are planning to increase investment in leadership development because they see it as the single most important human-capital issue their companies face. 

However, the big unresolved issue is what sort of leadership behavior should organizations be identifying through this development process to help them generate long term benefits. Is leadership so contextual that it defies standard definitions or development approaches? Should companies now concentrate their efforts on priorities such as coaching, decision making, vision casting, and etc.. What virtues should they be stressing and looking for? There are 4 key behaviors an organization should be looking for as they develop and implement their intra-organization leadership program, this will help generate effective leaders for the company.

4 Behaviors to Implement into Leaders for their Effectiveness:

Solving problems effectively

This is simply all about someone who can take large amounts of data and filter it to come up with a solution in a timely manner. Leaders need to be able to take the information that is gathered, analyzed, and has already been considered and be able to make the hard decisions. Solving problems effectively is deceptively difficult to get right, it’s much easier said then done; yet it is a key input into decision making for major issues. Ergo it’s important that a leader be able to effectively solve issues.

Operating with a strong results orientation

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Great leaders can communicate vision and set objectives, but higher caliber and more exceptional leaders will follow through on the vision to achieve the results they’ve cast. Leaders who have a strong results orientation tend to emphasize the importance of efficiency and productivity and to prioritize the highest-value work.

Seeking different perspectives

This trait is conspicuous in managers who monitor trends affecting organizations, grasp changes in the environment, encourage employees to contribute ideas that could improve performance, accurately differentiate between important and unimportant issues, and give the appropriate weight to stakeholder concerns. It’s important that a leader seeks out opinions different from themselves, this will allow them to see a perspective from a different vantage point. Leaders who do well on this dimension typically base their decisions on sound analysis and avoid the many biases to which decisions are prone to be made by.

Supporting others

Read the rest here: