It’s been another year marked by uncertainty and disruption. Much like the end of 2020, many of us may feel similarly in that we cannot wait for 2021 to be over. But before we dive into 2022, we took a look back at which of this year’s posts got the most buzz. Some of our most popular posts were book or video lists, whether you were interested in upping your leadership game through watching TED Talks or deepening your understanding of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through reading a fresh title on the topic. Other popular posts dealt with how to close the inclusion gap and make space for inclusive work environments, whether in-person or virtual.
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 work that day, or that might sharpen your skills as a leader.
Here are the top ten posts we shared to serve that purpose:
10. Are Your Employees Ready to Bailout From Burnout?
Last month, I called my go-to window washer to schedule a much-needed cleaning. I usually have this done twice every year, but…well, you know. He was booked solid for the next two weeks, but we managed to get the job scheduled. When he came to my house, I asked if he’d been extra busy with customers like me scheduling make-up window cleaning. “Yes,” he said, “I’ve had more back-to-back jobs in the last two months than I had all of last year.”
I had similar conversations with a landscaping crew, the dental hygienist, and the manager at my local dry cleaners. Everyone is happy to have plenty of work to do, but managing the sudden surge in demand while trying to deal with pandemic fatigue and get through the upcoming holiday season can set us up for a triple dose of mental drain this quarter. [Read more]
9. 7 of our Favorite TED Talks in Honor of Women’s History Month
Since 1987, March has been designated as Women’s History Month. This year, we are sharing some of the top TED Talks given by women leaders from a gamut of backgrounds. These women use humor, vulnerability, and wisdom to claim permission to step into power, validate women’s experiences, and change the world with their stories.
Here’s a look at seven of our favorite TED Talks from remarkable women around the globe.[Read more]
8. Leadership by Lincoln: 15 Steps to Lead in Turbulent Times
It’s been nearly eight months 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 show the worst of what can happen when we lack the kind of leadership that helps us navigate the path between chaos and control.
Before sitting down to write this dispatch, I picked up my copy of Leadership in Turbulent Times, to find inspiration and historical perspective. In the book, author Doris Kearns Goodwin profiles Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. [Read more]
7. Remembering Colin Powell’s 13 Rules of Leadership
Yesterday, America lost a legendary public statesman and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.
Since his retirement from public office in 2004, Powell spent much of his time sharing his leadership knowledge with the business community. In his 2012 book, It Worked For Me, Powell attributed his success to hard work, straight talk, respect for others, and thoughtful analysis. At the heart of the book are Powell’s “13 Rules” — ideas that he gathered over the years that formed the basis of his leadership principles. [Read more]
6. 5 Fresh Titles to Add to Your DEI Library
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, 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 perceptions of reality and value the voices of people who are not like us. Here are five new titles to add to your Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) library. [Read more]
5. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Quit Your Job
Since publishing Work On Purpose: How to Connect Who You Are With What You Do in 2014, I have had many opportunities to speak about its principles. The book opens with a story about how something I heard on the radio one morning became a career-changing wake up call. It led me on a journey to connect with my purpose, and find work that truly makes a positive impact in the world. In closing, I challenge others to connect who they are with what they do for a living. Then I take questions. Without fail, this question is always in the top three [Read more]
4. 3 Ways to Help Leaders Reflect and Refuel
During the 3 minutes it will take you to read this post, you’ll probably get an email, a text, a Slack message, a missed call, a social media notification, or some combination of all of the above. Let 30 minutes pass, and you could be swimming in unanswered inbounds. A steady diet of requests for your attention – both electronically and in-person – can leave you overwhelmed and intellectually and emotionally undernourished. You cannot lead effectively when your plate is full, but your cup is empty. [Read more]
3. The Leadership Legacy of MLK Jr. in 12 Powerful Quotes
Last week, Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 92. While it is customary to look to our elders for sage advice, King knew that he was walking a path of imminent danger, but that his words could not be silenced by a bullet. Before his assassination at age 39, King reached deep within himself to find messages that would ring as clear and true today as they did during the turbulent times in which he was called to lead.
Here are 12 quotes from 1960 (at age 31) to 1969 (the night before he was killed eight years later) that are part of Dr. King’s enduring legacy. [Read more]
2. Beyond the Basics: 2 Events to Help You Bridge the Inclusion Gap
Gay men are naturally fashionable. Black men are the best athletes. Asians are the model minority.
These are just three examples of positive stereotypes, or subjectively favorable beliefs about certain social groups. And, just as negative stereotypes can be harmfully inaccurate, so too, can positive stereotypes. The trope about Asians being the model minority, for example, largely stems from the idea that Asian Americans have achieved socio-economic mobility through superior education. The problem with this positive stereotype is that it undermines the Asian American and Pacific Islander AAPI community as a monolithic group protected from systemic racism in America. The inconvenient truth, however, is that the AAPI community faces discrimination and persecution while society falsely insists they are protected. [Read more]
1. Highlights from our DEI In Action Panel Discussion
So many superlatives come to mind to describe last week’s event, DEI In Action: A Panel Discussion with Practitioners and Leaders. With nearly 3,000 registrants, it was the largest quarterly DEI panel discussion we’ve hosted. The registrants ranged from some of the most recognizable organizations in the world (like FedEx, NASA, The Nature Conservancy and Nissan) to nonprofits dedicated to positively impacting their communities (like After-School All-Stars, Campus Election Engagement Project, and Leader Dogs for the Blind). Over 125 questions were posted in the Q&A, and the chat log was 45 pages long! The panelists were a Who’s Who of tenured practitioners in the DEI space [Read more]
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