Dec 25, 2018 | Leadership

It’s been quite a year and it’s hard to believe 2018 is almost over. But before we dive into 2019, we took a look back at which of this year’s posts got the most social media traffic – a combination of likes, comments and shares. The most popular posts covered how to lead yourself, either by communicating with curiosity or keeping your ego in check and being aware of your own triggers. Then there are the lists. Two out of the top ten are lists of leadership books (even one from children’s classics!) that we thought were worth the turn of the page.

Regardless of the nature of each post, we tried to find a lesson or two that you could take away in 750 words or less. Something you could apply at the office that day, or that might slightly sharpen your skills as a leader.

Here are the ten posts that we hope served that purpose:

10. Doing Well By Doing Good: 12 Companies that Got it Right in 2018

The best organizations today understand that culture is their strongest asset and can be the glue to retaining top talent. Whether you nurture it or not, you have a culture. It may be empowering or toxic. Either way, the results are showing up on your bottom line. Here are the 12 companies we featured in CEE News this year that show how doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive… [Read More]



9. 7 Leadership Books to Add to Your Holiday Wish List

The dizzying news cycles and political divisiveness of this year can be enough to leave the strongest among us searching for answers. Turning to a meaty book on leadership, culture, or how to maintain clarity in a world of toxicity can be an excellent way to recharge your leadership batteries. If you’re not sure which books to add to your holiday wish list this year, here are some fresh titles to consider… [Read More]



8. The Culture Equation: 3 Critical Factors You Can’t Ignore

Though many have tried, no one has ever landed on a fixed, universal definition for organizational culture. The subject has been vigorously debated from the pages of the Harvard Business Review to the halls of MIT Sloan. What is not debated is that culture is part of the DNA of every organization. Whether your organizational culture is empowering or toxic depends greatly on two factors: shared experience and modeled leadership. If the leaders of the organization are fixated on business development, channel expansion, and market domination, they are not likely spending any time intentionally trying to shape the culture. Unintentionally, however, they are sending very clear signals about what is important to them. They are the cultural architects of your organization and contribute these three very important things to the culture equation… [Read More]


7. 5 Takeaways After 5 Years as CEO of a Leadership Consulting Firm

Taking you from what is to what is possible. That has been our core purpose since Center for Executive Excellence was founded on this day in 2013. Since launching our firm five years ago, we have served more than 300 clients, built a social media following of over 20,400, posted 155 blogs, and published 30 articles in Forbes and Huffington Post. If you’ve been part of our journey over the years, thank you. We have been honored to provide you with information and insights along the way to help you grow yourself and your team. While our firm’s numbers are impressive, it’s the numbers that I have logged in the role as CEO of Center for Executive Excellence that I want to share. As I reflect over the past five years, here are some nuggets that I have collected in my role… [Read More]


6. Herstory: 4 Women Who Changed the World

Picture a leader. Do you see a woman? If not, you aren’t alone. A recent study published in the Academy of Management Journal confirms that getting recognized as a leader is more difficult for women than for men. Yet, history is filled with women who defied the norms, like the four women below who persisted in claiming their leadership role – though you may have never heard of them. 1. Eliza Scidmore, First Female Writer, Photographer and Editor of National Geographic. When she began her career as a journalist, Eliza Scidmore (pronounced “Sid-more”) submitted articles using only her initials to avoid the common bias of her day against female journalists. Her passion for travel took her to the Alaskan frontier in 1883… [Read More]


5. 6 Lessons From Children’s Books to File Under “Leadership”

Just because we get older doesn’t mean that the lessons from the pages of children’s books are any less relevant. In fact, re-reading some of those passages may prove more poignant and fitting in our adult years. Here are six children’s books worth turning back to for lasting lessons in leadership. 1. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. What it’s about: The Velveteen Rabbit, a newcomer to the nursery, begins his journey to become real – through the love of a child. The leadership gem: “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or who have to be carefully kept.”… [Read More]


4. Stone Brewing: A Case Study in Culture and Values Alignment

When organizations underperform, leaders often try to fix the problem by shuffling people around or investing in new technology. But when its culture and values are misaligned, no amount of shuffling or software will address the underlying problem. So, how do you create a set of core values that will help align your employees and drive performance? In 2015, Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, the Co-Founders of Stone Brewing, came to us after enjoying 20 straight years of success. After hearing us speak at a leadership event, they realized that they had been so focused on survival followed by scalable growth that they had neglected their culture. “We needed our inside to match our outside,” as Steve Wagner put it. Here’s how we worked with Stone Brewing to create a culture of performance… [Read More]


3. Triggered? Rewire Your Brain in 3 Easy Steps

Power causes brain damage. If you’ve ever had a former friend get promoted then develop a case of colleague amnesia, you know this to be true. Or, if you saw the sorry, not sorrycongressional hearing of now-former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf for failing to stop some 5,000 employees from setting up phony accounts for customers, you’ve seen it in living color. At times like these, you may wonder, “What was going through their head?” Research suggests that the better question may be: What wasn’t going through it? Historian Henry Adams described power as “a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.” According to research by Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at UC Berkeley, that’s not far from the truth… [Read More]


2. 3 Ways Humble Leaders Keep their Egos in Check

Today’s leaders face increasingly complex problems. No one person can have all of the answers. That’s why leaders of the 21st century must have the humility to encourage feedback. To step back and create space for others to show you your blind spots and help you make improvements that count. Harvard Business Review contributors John Dame and Jeffrey Gedmin called this intellectual humility. “Without humility,” the authors argue, “you’re not able to learn.” Here are three principles of humility that will help put you in a feedback frame of mind… [Read More]


1. 10 Ways to Talk to Someone You Disagree With

Unfriend anyone on Facebook lately? Avoiding someone because you’re afraid that the subject of politics, religion, or even the weather will come up? In a world that is growing more polarized by the day, there may be no more important skill than being able to hold a meaningful conversation with another human being. In order to free yourself from filter bubbles, radio host and TEDx speaker Celeste Headlee suggests ten ways to improve your conversation skills… [Read More]


It’s been an honor to share our thoughts with you this year. We truly appreciate your comments, your likes, and your shares. We look forward to continuing the conversation in 2019.

Question: What thought leaders did you follow most in 2018? Did you learn anything that helped you become a better leader?



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