We all want to be part of a great success story. To run, start, or play a senior role in a company that wins big or changes the course of its industry. To launch a brand that dazzles customers and dominates its markets. To be the kind of executive or entrepreneur who creates jobs, generates wealth, and builds an organization bursting with energy and creativity.
Which means that all of us, no matter where we are in our career, have to wrestle with the big questions of leadership: What is our personal definition of success? What does it mean to make a difference and have an impact? What is the best way to rally colleagues to our cause, to handle problems and obstacles that inevitably arise, to revise plans in the face of setbacks or to stand pat no matter the odds? How much do we rely on our own ideas and experiences, and how widely do we seek the advice and support of those around us? If we hope to succeed, we need to understand how we lead. Continue reading →
Though the writing has been on the wall for months—if not years—Yahoo has finally been acquired. Verizon has scooped up the company to the tune of $4.8 billion. For many, this is the beginning of the end of a years-long saga to fix a seemingly broken digital media company; Verizon says it will use the new assets to build a digital media empire. For others, it’s just another chance to pile on the blame game for CEO Marissa Mayer.
All the same, there’s one big question that hasn’t quite been answered, and perhaps never will be: What exactly went wrong? While there are hundreds of facets to this broad question, there’s one big strategy Mayer opted to take as chief executive: acquisitions. Over the course of her four-year tenure, she acquired more than 50 companies and spent more than $2 billion. Continue reading →
In online and real-world networking, the same principle applies: You never know when you might make a crucial connection.
Social networks are like any other social environment: No two have exactly the same standards of acceptable behaviour. For good reasons, most of us would think twice before granting a Facebook friend request from a stranger. And since the workplace tends to have more rigid social standards than other areas of life, people commonly assume that their cache of connections on LinkedIn – the leading internet venue for professional networking – should be similarly exclusive, if not more so. Continue reading →
To gain a better understanding of your leadership strengths and weaknesses, take a look at yourself through the eyes of others.
How we see ourselves is often very different from how we appear to others. Actions we believe reflect decisive or confident characteristics may come across as controlling or arrogant while attempts at openness may be perceived as being indecisive or weak. Understanding how supervisors, co-workers, direct reports and clients perceive us can give valuable insights into our leadership behavior and help us become more effective leaders, better able to embrace and adapt to change. Continue reading →
Many developing leaders start out with the goal of making an army of workers and junior leaders who are like the clone armies from the last set of Star War movies – where every soldier looks and acts the same as the leader they were created to emulate. Sounds cool, and boosts your ego, but it is not a very effective strategy for developing a healthy team of employees and supervisors who can accomplish significant goals.
Why? Because no one is all-knowing and has all the skills necessary to individually complete all aspects of the business (and even if you do, you will eventually hit the limits of your time and energy as the business grows.) Even if you have a group of “mini-you’s”, you will limit what your business can accomplish. Continue reading →