Dec 26, 2016 | Leadership

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. But before we dive into 2017, we took a look back at which of this year’s posts got the most social media traffic. The most popular posts covered how to leverage unconventional leadership traits like “4 Ways Introverts Excel As Leaders” and “The Servant Leader’s Dilemma”. Then there are the lists. Four out of the top ten are lists of things like leadership books, purpose-driven companies, and service-oriented employees.

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. 3 Biggest Myths about Strengths

3-myths-about-strengths-01One of the most dramatic changes in employee and leadership development programs in the last decade has been the shift from correcting weaknesses to enhancing strengths. Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is used by 1.6 million employees and 467 Fortune 500 companies every year. A Google search for “strengths coaching” yields over 27 million hits. Amazon sells over 35,000 books on the subject, including StrengthsFinder 2.0 which instantly became a Wall Street JournalBusinessweek, and USA Today bestseller, and was named Amazon’s bestselling book of 2013. [Read more]


9. Simon Sinek Explains the Trust Gap in Your Organization

simonsinektrustgap-webIn the third most popular TED Talk of all time, Simon Sinek inspired leaders to reconnect with their organizational why. In just 18 minutes and with a rough sketch of concentric circles on a flip chart, Sinek shared what he said was “probably the world’s simplest idea.” Most organizations focus on what they do and how they do it. But only the most inspired organizations have leaders who start with why they do it first. And for companies like Apple, and people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Wright Brothers, starting with why was the fundamental difference between success and obscurity. [Read more]


8. How to Give Thanks Like a Boss

givethankslikeaboss3-01We’ve all come across them. Those leaders who people naturally gravitate toward. Though it seems counterintuitive, the magnetic effect these leaders have on people is not because of how people feel about the leader. It’s because of how the leader makes people feel about themselves. These leaders have mastered two basic facts about people. Fact 1: Every person matters. Fact 2: Every person wants to feel valued. As Thanksgiving approaches, this is an excellent time to review the skills necessary to express meaningful gratitude to your team. [Read more]


7. 10 Leadership Books for Your Christmas Wish List

christmasbook-01Don’t get stumped when someone asks you what you want for Christmas this year. If you need some titles to add to your wish list, we’ve gathered our top picks. From memoirs to case studies to historical dramas, you’ll find inspiring accounts to satisfy your need to read. Some of the principles shared in these books you may already know but need reminding of. Here’s a list of books that we think are well worth the turn of the page. [Read more]


6. Doing Well By Doing Good: 12 Companies that Got it Right in 2016

doing-well-01The strongest organizations in the world achieve sustainable success largely because they understand the value of culture as a competitive advantage. 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 our monthly CEE News this year that show how doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. [Read more]


5. Leaders: Are You Called or Driven?

leaders_areyoucalledordriven-final-01-copyBy Dr. Tony Baron: Most of our seminal leadership theories have been developed around three significant streams: psychology, philosophy, and economics. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalytical theories on personality, focused on explaining human behavior around the concept of pleasure. Although he sexualized many of his theories, the business community recognized that the consuming public could be enticed to buy simply because of the pleasure that comes with instant gratification. [Read more]


4. 8 Must Read Books on Women in Leadership

8mustreadwomeninleadership_web“Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives.” That was the opening salvo in Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 best-selling book Lean In. The book sparked debate about gender equality and urged women to expect and demand more for their careers. [Read more]



3. 4 Ways Introverts Excel as Leaders

What do Charles DarwinCandice Bergen and Michael Jordan have in common? They’re all introverts. So are Bill GatesWarren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg. When we think about the personality traits that effective leaders need, we typically think of people who are charismatic, dominant, and outgoing. We think of extroverts. Especially in the U.S. [Read more]




2. Meet 10 Ex-Special Forces Operators Ready for Hire at Your Company

“Please let me know if you would have an interest in dropping into a room of Navy SEALs and coaching them.” That was the message I received on July 21, 2016, from someone named Philip Dana through a LinkedIn request to connect. “Hi Phil,” I replied, “You certainly know how to get my attention. Let’s meet for coffee.” That was the beginning of my journey this year into the world of The Honor Foundation. THF is a non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego that helps former Navy SEALs and other elite U.S. Special Operations Forces transition out of military service and into the corporate world. [Read more]


1. The Servant Leaders’ Dilemma

theservantleadersdilemma-01“How can I effectively use my leadership position to serve others without burning myself out?” The concept of servant leadership was originated by Robert Greenleaf nearly 50 years ago. Greenleaf was an 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, large and small, such as Southwest Airlines and Federal Express. [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 2017.

Question: What thought leaders did you follow most in 2016? Did you learn anything that helped you become a better leader?


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