Laurence Endersen

Weakness can be coached to average, but strength can be leveraged to the moon.

Admiral John Richardson

When I was chief of naval operations, we gathered the senior leadership together to discuss the importance of taking a real break. The science is clear! Then we made it a policy that everybody would take 10–14 continuous days of vacation each year—off the grid. And we monitored that closely. So, come August, if a leader hadn’t taken their days, we had a pretty serious … [ Read more ]

Maria Konnikova

Over and over, people would overestimate the degree of control they had over events — smart people, people who excelled at many things, people who should have known better… The more they overestimated their own skill relative to luck, the less they learned from what the environment was trying to tell them, and the worse their decisions became… The illusion of control is what prevented … [ Read more ]

Dutta Satadip

Companies need to ensure people know what to expect once they sign on and become customers. One way that companies can set meaningful expectations is to provide a comprehensive menu of services. Many companies provide a list of product features, but what I am suggesting goes further, to also include the terms of the services that will be provided. This provides transparency for customers, and … [ Read more ]

Sam Altman

You should trade being short-term low-status for being long-term high-status, which most people seem unwilling to do. A common way this happens is by eventually being right about an important but deeply non-consensus bet. But there are lots of other ways–the key observation is that as long as you are right, being misunderstood by most people is a strength not a weakness. You and a … [ Read more ]

Roger L. Martin, Peter F. Drucker

Business schools do not teach the fundamental problems of business. What they teach are finance, what they teach is marketing, they teach us HR. As the greatest management thinker of all time, Peter Drucker said, “There are no marketing problems, there are no finance problems, there are no accounting problems, there are only business problems.” These are problems that sloppily span across a bunch of … [ Read more ]

Roger L. Martin

A great leader’s first reaction is, hmm, say more. Tell me more. … Because it has this super big knock-on effect. One, it causes your subordinates to all think that if you’ve got an interesting thought, I’m open to hearing it. I’m not going to just shut that down because it disagrees with me. Everybody is more inclined to think about things and think about … [ Read more ]

Roger L. Martin

We are not taught how to take advantage of a diverse thought—diverse in the sense that your thought conflicts with mine—rather than saying, “I have an idea. Yours is different than mine. I must make sure mine triumphs,” which is generally what we’re taught to do, to advocate for our point of view. We’re not going to get where we need to be on diversity … [ Read more ]

Celia Huber, Sebastian Leape, Larissa Mark, Bruce Simpson

Organizations that define their purpose and use it to guide their activities see a clear upside in improving company reputation, alerting management to risks early, establishing the organization as a leader in raising industry standards, and enhancing business performance.

Thomas A. Stewart, Patricia O’Connell

Enhance the employee experience by making sure employees have not only the right tools and equipment but also the right information, the right level of empowerment, and the right access to colleagues and higher authority.

Thomas A. Stewart, Patricia O’Connell

Tools such as customer journey maps can be turned inward to chart the steps employees take to get work done: who assigns them work, what tools and resources they need, whom they hand work off to. You can also use process maps, which more typically measure the flow of material or paperwork, to show what people have to do at each point in a process. … [ Read more ]

Thomas A. Stewart, Patricia O’Connell

High-performing cultures have one thing in common: They highlight what employees can control and do rather than stressing what they cannot or should not do. That is, they give employees clear expectations and the power to meet them. That combination drives both productivity and satisfaction.

Thomas A. Stewart, Patricia O’Connell

What’s too often missing is an overarching plan to design a better employee experience. That broad term encompasses daily activity (what it’s like to work somewhere), productivity (getting things done), values and culture (what makes work meaningful), and career (learning, advancing, growing).

Paul B. Thornton

Leadership starts as an inside job. First, you need to:

  • Clarify your beliefs and values
  • Focus your message
  • Find your courage

Then it’s an outside job. Speak up. Take action. Influence and inspire others with your words and actions.

Paul B. Thornton

The best managers and leaders help people become more independent, more capable, and more confident.

Steve El-Hage

If you want to quit because you want to do something else or it’s not for you anymore, that’s a good reason. People aren’t going to work at your company forever. But if you’re quitting because the environment is driving you crazy, as CEO that’s something I can control and shape.

Steve El-Hage

Be very thoughtful about who’s in the interview loop, and make sure everybody in the loop has veto power. If you don’t care what somebody thinks, don’t put them on the panel. And if you do care what they think, make sure that you empower them to have responsibility in the process.

Adam Bryant

The key differentiator of leaders for me is whether they are selfless or self-centered. Do they see the people who work for them simply as assets to help them achieve their own goals, or do they consider it their responsibility to help their team grow and develop? […] To be clear, I’m not suggesting business leaders are entirely selfless. They are not volunteers, and many … [ Read more ]

Robert K. Greenleaf

A fresh critical look is being taken at the issues of power and authority, and people are beginning to learn, however haltingly, to relate to one another in less coercive and more creatively supporting ways. A new moral principle is emerging which holds that the only authority deserving one’s allegiance is that which is freely and knowingly granted by the led to the leader in … [ Read more ]

Sunita Mohanty

Stepping back to understand deeper context and underlying motivation is important because people are notoriously bad at predicting what they want.