30 simple leadership strategies that could quite possibly stop employees from quitting

    By Marcel Schwantes

While these strategies are by no means a be-all, end-all solution to your leadership challenges, they will shortcut your way to improving on specific situations.

Basically, if I could boil down most leadership books into a pithy collection of uber-practical tips you can apply over a month’s period, I would choose these thirty. Happy growing!

30 ways to improve your leadership in 30 Days:
1. Listen to everyone in your organization and figure out ways to get them talking, providing input and sharing/debating ideas.

2. Remember the people closest to the customer are the ones who know what’s really going on. Find out what they know.

3. Be willing to work across teams and gain the support of others. That means building relationships with people outside of your immediate network.

4. Make sure to line up your actions with your words.

5. Don’t favor certain people and ignore others. It creates division and opposition. Rather, leverage everyone’s strengths to achieve your team’s goals. Continue reading

7 steps to becoming a thought leader

By John Edwards

You’re the sort of person who likes to solve problems. Co-workers and colleagues come to you for advice, ideas, insights and solutions. You also enjoy being a mentor, someone who doesn’t mind investing his or her time in order to help people achieve their goals.

Congratulations. Whether you realize it or not, you’re a thought leader, an authority whose IT expertise is frequently sought and, sometimes, rewarded. Now that you’re aware of your distinct status, perhaps it’s time you put your talents to work in a way that will promote your organization — and yourself.

Positioning oneself as a thought leader opens the door to multiple benefits, says Patrick Turner, CTO of Small Footprint, a custom software development company. “While it can certainly help you find that next step up the career ladder, it can also help you build a great team in the recruiting process,” explains Turner, who has positioned himself as his firm’s top thought leader. “People today look to companies where they can learn and grow professionally, and seeing thought leadership in a company can be a big draw for good people.” Continue reading

How Your Network Can Help and Hurt You

by Martin Gargiulo

Your performance is dependent on the type of network you have.

Working for investment banks is not for the faint of heart. Workweeks of 100+ hours involving all-night sessions and meals at desks in order to complete heavy loads of difficult work have long been the lot of this industry’s professionals.

To thrive and not merely survive, however, junior investment bankers have to earn the trust and respect of colleagues and clients if they are to be given the chance to trade important stocks or to have their own customers.

A strong support network is vital in helping junior employees excel at their work and curb the risks of making mistakes as they learn on the job in a fast-moving business environment. The importance of this network is apparent in the career advice of a former head of proprietary trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch: “Ask every single other person on the planet for help before you go back to your manager.”

In my paper “Homophily and Individual Performance”, published in Organization Science, co-authored with Charles Galunic of INSEAD and Gokhan Ertug and Tengjian Zou of SMU, we find that building a support network of people like you can enhance your performance in such an environment.

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Why business needs a ‘moral revolution’

By Leigh Gallagher

Acumen founder Jacqueline Novogratz issued a powerful challenge to the roomful of CEOs at Fortune’s CEO Initiative conference on Tuesday: Business had the technology revolution; now it needs a “moral revolution.”

Describing her journey of leaving a successful career on Wall Street three decades ago to start a microfinance institution in Rwanda—which turned into more than $100 million in investment across 108 companies around the globe that has used entrepreneurism to bring services to more than 270 million people in the developing world—Novogratz shared lessons and advice for CEOs seeking to help solve the world’s most pressing issues.

Among Novogratz’s lessons: Empathy alone isn’t enough, she said, because empathy allows power dynamics to remain intact. “We don’t really have to change if we feel another person’s pain,” she said. Instead, solving the world’s problems calls for business leaders to channel their “moral imagination.”

Partnering, she said, is critical for scale. She cited Acumen’s eight-year partnership with global consulting firm Bain, which includes senior partners coming into Acumen’s offices and a total of 52,000 hours of pro bono consulting, but also “reverse apprenticeships.” These involve Bain embedding its young leaders in externships at Acumen initiatives in the field—in Ethiopia, say, or post-conflict Colombia—after which they come back with a different level of understanding of things like the supply chains in which their large-corporate clients are working in. “It makes them better leaders,” she says. Continue reading

Serena Williams’ Secret for Never Cracking Under Pressure Can Work for You Too

It’s used by sports stars and Zen masters, but it can help business leaders handle high-pressure situations too.

by Jessica Stillman

Watch Serena Williams play at Wimbledon today and you’ll no doubt be left in open-mouthed awe at the speed, strength, and precision of her play. But perhaps the most impressive thing about one of the best tennis players ever isn’t her incredible physical prowess, it’s her unshakeable concentration. The woman never cracks under pressure.

How does she shake off the incredible stress of a center-court match point? As David Robson recently reported for the BBC (hat tip Quartz), the answer is a powerful but little known technique called “the quiet eye.”
Control your eyes, control your stress.

If the term sounds a bit like something a meditation teacher would say, that’s no accident. The technique shares strong similarities with practices used by Zen masters, but the idea was brought to the world of sports by kinesiologist Joan Vickers. While studying exceptional sports performance for her PhD, Vickers hooked high-performing athletes up to a gizmo that tracked their eye movements. Continue reading