“Leadership qualities” vs. competence: which matters more?

Sarah CliffeBy Sarah Cliffe

There’s sometimes a disconnect between how we talk about leadership qualities (we tend to use words like authority, power, and emotional intelligence) and what we actually require from the people leading teams and other working groups (arguably, competence and a deep knowledge of the specific work that needs to get done).

In a forthcoming Journal of Applied Psychology article, researchers from Stanford and Erasmus University explore which set of qualities matters most to team performance. The paper also looks at when power differences contribute to team success, and when they damage it.

I spoke with Stanford’s Lindred Greer about the research; an edited version of our conversation appears below. The other authors on the article are Murat Taraki (lead author) and Patrick Groenen, both at the Rotterdam School of Management. Continue reading

Stop Playing the Victim with Your Time

by Elizabeth Grace Saunders

It’s just not fair. There’s always too much to do. Everyone just keeps piling more work on me. I feel so helpless.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Many people feel like they have a crushing number of requests coming at them from every side that make them a victim to their circumstances. They see forces outside themselves as the reason that they don’t have time to exercise, can’t leave work at a reasonable time, or just generally struggle to get everything done. Although there are occasionally situations that are outside of your control — that recent bout with the flu, for example — most aren’t. And even though it can feel gratifying in the short term to blame others for your situation, this attitude toward your time investment will leave you truly powerless in the long run. Continue reading

Three approaches to employee development that sound like great ideas, but really aren’t

by Melissa Janis


 With employees feeling overwhelmed by ever-increasing task demands, it’s harder than ever to make employee development a priority with its longer term, often “squishy” topics. Fortunately, there are leaders who understand the value of focusing on employee development and look to leverage it to boost productivity, engagement and retention for today as well as to build for the future. Continue reading