Sally Helgesen

Overconfidence should actually be viewed as a warning sign that someone will turn out to be a poor leader — immune to feedback, resistant to change, and unlikely to consult others when making key decisions.

Can you master the inner game of leadership?

Conflicting demands and challenges must be managed. Here’s how to do it.

What Kind of Leader Are You? How Three Action Orientations Can Help You Meet the Moment

Executives who confront new challenges with old formulas often fail. The best leaders tailor their approach, recalibrating their “action orientation” to address the problem at hand, says Ryan Raffaelli. He details three action orientations and how leaders can harness them.

Harrison Monarth

It’s not enough to make sure the right people are on the bus and in the right seat on the bus, as Jim Collins enlightened us in his book Good to Great. Great leaders understand that even the best players on their team need coaching and inspiration.

Scott Keller

The best CEOs don’t just tell people, “This is where we’re going,” and expect them to follow. They understand the underlying psychology at play. For example, researchers have done experiments where they give lottery tickets to a group and half get a ticket with an assigned number and the other half gets a blank piece of paper where they write their own number. Then, before … [ Read more ]

Robert Werner, Henning Streubel, Deborah Lovich,  Joseph Halverson

Instead of asking [executive leadership team (ELT)] members to summarize how they are doing (which usually only yields positive reports), one CEO we know focuses the conversation on “What keeps you up at night?” At executive team meetings, she asks her direct reports to share their biggest challenges. Then as a team ELT members help one another by sharing ways they have successfully overcome such … [ Read more ]

Kip Tindell

One of our foundation principles is that leadership and communication are the same thing. Communication is leadership.

Haruki Murakami

Always remember that to argue, and win, is to break down the reality of the person you are arguing against. It is painful to lose your reality, so be kind, even if you are right.

A CEO’s First 1,000 Days Begins with the First 100

The initial 100 days are a time for boldness and clarity—a time when CEOs can express the purest form of their vision for the company.

  • CEOs should create an integrated narrative that lays out their ambition as well as their plans for transformation, stakeholder management, talent assessment, and communications.
  • In addition to laying out their ambition and plans, they also have an opportunity to step outside their

[ Read more ]

Jan-Benedict Steenkamp

In order to disrupt your own frame of reference, you have to be willing to treat your accumulated experience as sunk cost, to be discarded as circumstances require. It’s a psychologically difficult thing to do. Moreover, ordinary daily pressures make it difficult to find the time to really think about, and thoroughly analyze, environmental trends. Many people, managers among them, suffer from cognitive myopia, the … [ Read more ]

The First 90 Hours: What New CEOs Should—and Shouldn’t—Do to Set the Right Tone

New leaders no longer have the luxury of a 90-day listening tour to get to know an organization, says John Quelch. He offers seven steps to prepare CEOs for a successful start, and three missteps to avoid.

Liz Wiseman

The best leaders cultivate a climate that is both comfortable and intense. They remove fear and provide the security that invites people to do their best thinking. At the same time, they establish an energizing, intense environment that demands people’s best efforts.

What occurs when you create only one of these conditions? What happens when you stretch people without first building a foundation of safety, trust, … [ Read more ]

Stephen Bungay

Leading and managing do not describe the activities of different people, but are different roles carried out by the same people. All executives have both to manage resources judiciously and to lead their people to motivate them. Some are better at one than the other, but every organization needs both.

Sally Helgesen, Fred Kofman

One of the hard problems of leadership is that an organization is only as strong as its weakest leader.

Russ Laraway

Nobody ever applies for a job called ‘leader.’ The job is usually called ‘manager.’ We have to restore dignity to the office of the manager. I’ve found that folks are too focused on finding really complicated, cool leadership-y things for their unique environment, instead of just focusing on the stuff that works pretty much everywhere.

Bruce Craven

We rely upon persuasion when an objective, inarguable truth isn’t available, when the facts can be interpreted in different ways and judgment is required. Then the persuader, instead of arguing to prove a truth, must enable the listener to accept a mere possibility – to accept the idea that another explanation might be viable and begin to consider it.

Bruce Craven

The pressures of day-to-day leadership can trigger conflict between colleagues, even if they have been through strong mutual experiences, feel extensive mutual goodwill, trust one another, and have common goals. If we make assumptions about personal values, we can make devastating mistakes. For example, if we assume other people need to prioritize their values in the order we prefer, we can deceive ourselves about other … [ Read more ]

Douglas Conant

As a leader, you’ve got to live in three time zones simultaneously, the past, the present, and the future. Everything you do has got to honor the past, deliver in the present, set the table for a more prosperous future. And as you think that way, that’s why trust building becomes mission-critical.

The Five Cs Of Trust

Creating a high-trust environment isn’t easy, but applying these five principles on a day-to-day basis will get you there—and closer to real resiliency.