Dec 28, 2020 | Leadership

It’s been an unprecedented year marked by uncertainty and disruption. Let’s face it, many of us cannot wait for 2020 to be over. But before we dive into 2021, we took a look back at which of this year’s posts got the most buzz. Some of our most popular posts were book lists, whether you were interested in upping your leadership game or deepening your understanding of racism and inequity in America. Other popular posts dealt with how to lead yourself and your team through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 in your office (virtual or in-person) that day, or that might sharpen your skills as a leader.

Here are the top ten posts we shared to serve that purpose:

10. 15 Steps Lincoln Took to Lead a Divided Country

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It’s been just over two weeks since George Floyd called out for his mother as his life was callously drained away by a white police officer in broad daylight on a Minneapolis street. Mr. Floyd’s death ignited a powder keg in America that spread around the world. Images of his murder, followed by buildings in flames, followed by national guard troops positioned on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial showed the worst of what can happen when we lack the kind of leadership that helps us navigate the path between chaos and control. [Read more]

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9. 6 Books to Read During this Era of Isolation

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You know the expression found money? When you put on a jacket that you haven’t worn in a while and find a $20 bill in the pocket? There is such a thing as found time too. Millions of people now have extra time on their hands during this era of isolation. You can choose to spend yours toggling between 24-hour “Breaking News” reports, or taking advantage of the opportunity to read a good book. We’ve gathered six titles for perspective on leading through a crisis, and beautifully written prose that is once both personal and profound. Spend this found time wisely to help you fend off a mindset of isolation and focus on a good read. [Read more]

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8. 3 Things You Should Be Doing Right Now to Lead Your Team Through This Crisis

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You’re probably getting flooded with free advice right now. You suddenly have access to everything from ways to indulge yourself without breaking the budget, to virtual art and culture exhibits to unlimited, free training and development during the coronavirus. The options for what to do during this unprecedented time in history can be overwhelming. If you’re facing a deluge of distractions right now, chances are that your team members are too. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that you lean in and take some basic steps as a leader to keep your team focused and productive. [Read more]

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7. Servant Leadership: 50 Years After Greenleaf Penned the Essay

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The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the origins of servant leadership. Robert K. Greenleaf was a mid-20th century iconoclast who argued that leaders should use their positions of power to help their teams succeed rather than for self-interest and personal glory. It’s a powerful concept that has been put to the test by many organizations, including Southwest Airlines and WD-40[Read more]

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6. 5 Resources To Help You Develop A More Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

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No matter who we are or where we come from, our assumptions and beliefs are shaped by our experiences, our upbringing, our race, our gender, religion, and culture. Those beliefs help us navigate and make sense of everyday life. But they can also mean that we believe that there is no difference between our perceptions and reality. For leaders, that means we must continuously question our assumptions and value the voices of people who are not like us to help us assess reality correctly. [Read more]

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5. 10 Ways to Improve Your Conversation Skills When You Disagree

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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]

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4. 6 TED Talks from 2019 to Share with Your Leadership Team

It’s time to decide how you want to lead your organization in 2020. How did your leadership team impact organizational culture, and, ultimately, performance, in 2019? Were they too busy focusing on daily demands to read case studies and dig through reports about the latest leadership topics? Since 2006, TED Talks have provided accessible content on topics that stimulate new ideas about unexplored topics. [Read more]

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3. 7 of the Best Leadership Books to Add to Your Wish List this Holiday Season

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In a year marked by disruption and uncertainty, this holiday season is the perfect time to read and reflect. We’ve selected a list of seven titles – from nature to biographies, from history to current events and re-imagining capitalism itself – these works are original, enjoyable, and provocative. [Read more]

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2. 8 Books that Deepen Our Understanding of Race and Racism in America

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This year has given Americans the opportunity to face some ugly truths about our country. The torch that was lit when George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day continues to burn day and night. Under that light, American citizens are daring to step out of the protection of their houses and step into the public square to debate issues such as freedom, patriotism, policing, and racism. [Read more]

 

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1. Meet 5 Graduates of an Elite Program for Transitioning Special Ops Team Members

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For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a pro bono coach for a San Diego-based nonprofit called The Honor Foundation. The program offers a 120-hour, MBA-style curricula that serves as a bridge for members of the Special Operations forces of the military to transition from service and discover what’s next on their career path. Thanks to The Honor Foundation, these men and women have the tools they need to confidently enter the workforce with pride and a sure footing. They are prepared to take the leap of faith that the civilian world will honor their service, embrace their elite training, and place them in positions worthy of their talents. [Read more]

Question: What thought leaders did you follow most in 2020? Did you learn anything that helped you become a better leader?

 

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!

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