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Leadership

"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things." – Peter Drucker. We bring together the best leadership thinking from around the world. These leadership articles provide the knowledge and inspiration you need to be a great leader.

The essential principles of leading your people by example

The best leaders and managers lead by example. It’s a popular aphorism, but what exactly does it mean? The answer is addressed by James M. Kerr, writing for Management Issues.

Kerr believes it is essential for leaders to demonstrate the desired qualities and behaviours to their teams through their own actions and conduct.

Is there a crisis of trust in leadership?

Trust in business leaders is at an historic low, observes Damien O’Brien, writing for Management Today. He cites the Edelman Trust Barometer, which revealed that in 2013 a mere 18% of respondents said they trusted business leaders to be truthful.

Five ways consultants get it wrong for your business

Every business leader needs help at some time in their career. A view from an outsider can throw a new light on a tricky problem, and the right consultant can mean the difference between success and failure.

How great leaders maintain their composure under intense pressure

Change management requirements, increased marketplace demands and intensifying competitive factors all mean that leaders need to show more composure than ever before in the workplace, writes Glenn Llopis, writing for Forbes.com.

The perils of long CEO tenures

Company leaders who stay too long at the helm ultimately damage their organisation’s performance, according to Chad Brooks, writing for Business News Daily.

Brooks cites a study by researchers at Temple University and the University of Missouri which revealed that longer CEO tenures often produce negative results.

How to get results from your leadership development initiatives

Despite the time and money organisations devote to improving the capabilities of managers and nurturing new leaders, a survey by a UK business school reveals that only 7% of senior managers believe their companies develop global leaders effectively.

How to transform your employees into smart risk takers

Business leaders strive for positive cultural change and innovation, resulting in happy, fulfilled employees creating value throughout the organisation. Writing for Strategy+Business, Lisa Bodell observes that “the journey is just as critical as the destination” when a culture is being reshaped.

How to establish your startup’s culture

You might assume that, early on, startups don’t have a defined culture – but that’s not the case, according to Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, writing for Fast Company.

The author insists that the founders probably set the organisation culture from the very beginning, whether defined in a formal company document or not.

Are you a family-friendly manager?

According to Scott Behson, writing for the HBR.org Blog Network, many managers believe in giving more employees the flexibility to balance their needs and responsibilities at home while minimising disruption of the workplace.

Want your business to grow? First you must break through these barriers

The majority of businesses fail to grow, observes Verne Harnish, writing for Fortune. But although most are only small ventures, unlikely to become the next Google or Amazon, there is still plenty of potential going to waste.

According to Harnish, to become a thriving, mid-market company, it is necessary to overcome the following three barriers to growth:

Are you comfortable with your strategy? You shouldn’t be...

Strategy is important, as every executive knows. But some are frightened by it because it requires them to make decisions that cut off other possibilities and options – so they fear that making the wrong decision could potentially wreck a career.

Is this the way to stop your organisation’s hierarchy killing innovative ideas?

Does the hierarchy of your organisation stifle innovation? That’s the question posed by David Burkus, writing for management website ChiefExecutive.net.

Five guidelines for new chief executives

Writing for the HBR.org Blog Network, Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in Canada, reveals that an executive on the verge of promotion to head a large global company recently approached him for advice on how to be effective as a new CEO. Martin offered the executive five recommendations.

Are you leading your employees or obstructing them?

Are you your employees’ worst enemy? That’s the question posed by Kannan Ramaswamy and William Youngdahl, writing for Strategy+Business. The authors insist that many leaders are inadvertently an obstacle to superior performance.

Transforming your culture: the five guiding principles

Companies such as Facebook, Google, Cisco and IBM not only offer shining examples of innovation – they are also models for strong corporate culture, writes Kispert for Chiefexecutive.net.

Kispert comments: “Leaders at these companies and others like them recognise the role culture plays in their success.

Why you need to change the way your organisation relates to people

The majority of organisations are operating according to practices designed in the industrial era to maximise standardisation and top-down authority – and all of that has to change, according to Gary Hamel, Polly LaBarre and Michele Zanini, writing for Fortune, via Management Innovation eXchange.

The art of minimally invasive management

According to Randy Komisar, writing for the HBR.org Blog Network, most of the time the best thing a manager can do is to get out of the way of the people actually doing the work. This is the principle behind what he calls “Minimally Invasive Management”.

The things bosses think but can’t say

Being a leader often means keeping some of your feelings and thoughts to yourself instead of sharing them with your employees, according to Geoffrey James, writing for Inc.com.

The author explores some of the most common thoughts that bosses frequently have but are best left unspoken:

Plan your first 100 days as boss

The first three months for a new boss is a critical period, writes Matt Regan for Management Today. As the author points out, first impressions count, and a clear and realistic 100-day plan can help you prioritise your time in a key period.

How leaders can focus on the things that really matter

One of the fundamental aspects of leadership is directing people’s attention – and to do so effectively, leaders first need to focus their own attention.

Influencing behaviour to shape corporate culture

Jack Smith, Summer Sensation, Flowers Gallery

You might not be able to dictate corporate culture, says Ron Ashkenas on his HBR.org blog, but he insists you can influence it.

Ashkenas shares an old joke about a CEO who attends a presentation on corporate culture and then asks his head of HR to "get me one of those things".

The lessons not to learn from Steve Jobs

Michael Kidner, Lilypond, Flowers Gallery

The world mourned the passing of an iconic innovator when Apple’s Steve Jobs died in October 2011. There has been no shortage of articles on how business leaders can emulate the great man. But is that really possible, and will mimicking Jobs’ management style change your company for the better?

Why digital communication is no substitute for face-to-face management

Eduardo Paolozzi, Landscape, Flowers Gallery

With the business environment now relying heavily on digital technology for communication, the importance of face-to-face management is emphasised by Jerry S. Wilson at Businessweek.com.

Were you born to lead or trained to lead?

Steve Pyke, Jason Stanley, Flowers Gallery

On Forbes.com, Sangeeth Varghese talks about the physiological aspect of leadership.

Varghese believes that leadership is not a trait one is born with, but instead is a skill that is built through a series of decisions made in response to defining moments.

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