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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.

Five simple steps to good leadership

C of E by Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Whatever type of company you are running, the basics of good leadership remain the same.

Sophi Tranchell, CEO of UK-based social enterprise Divine Chocolate, and Bill Sandbrook, CEO of US based producer of mixed concrete and aggregates, US Concrete, are two CEOs from different backgrounds and companies who turned out to have a lot more in common than you might think. “Their insights...

Three key ways to mastermind digital transformation

Carpet by Scarlett Hooft Graafland

As the digital world romps ahead at incredible speed, leaders need to be sure they harness the best and most relevant developments.

Technological innovations shake up the industrial globe every day. Keeping track of these – and understanding which ones are essential for your organisation – is becoming a priority for most CEOs.

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It’s time to get real about leadership

office

Aspiring slavishly to contemporary ideals is a sure route to failure

Can you tick all the boxes on the popular checklist of attributes for successful leaders? Over the past few decades the qualities prescribed by the corporate training industry have focused on authenticity, trustworthiness, modesty, empathy, emotional intelligence and a desire to serve others – especially your employees...

How to become a chief executive

Ben Rosett

If becoming a CEO is one of your ambitions, what is the best path to take? Writing on Raconteur, Peter Crush draws from a variety of sources to show how the nature of the job and the criteria for choosing candidates are changing.

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Three things that make you a great boss

Aatik Tasneem

Share a vision, drive results and help employees achieve their career goals for a happier and more productive workforce.

Most leadership advice is based on anecdotes and common sense. Stanford professor Kathryn Shaw took a different approach: data-driven analysis. She discusses her findings with Beth Rimbet and Steve Hawk in a recent article in Stanford Business, and shares three...

12 ways to manage for trust

John Kirby

Build trusting relationships with your employees to improve productivity, accountability and company performance.

Less than half of lower-level employees trust the companies they work for. And the problem’s getting worse: according to the PwC Annual Global CEO survey, three years ago 37% of CEOs were concerned about a lack of trust in businesses; today, it’s 55%.

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Leadership: no style fits all

clothing rack

Being dominating and being likeable can both be good qualities in a boss, and often a hybrid is even better.

In a New York Times article Phyllis Korkki explores the advantages and disadvantages of two key styles of leadership – the dominant leadership style where the boss is in control of everything, and the prestige style where the boss’s main motivation is to be liked or admired....

Surprising strategies of successful leaders

It’s the company you keep – in work and out – that colours your journey to the top.

The tactics most likely to increase your success as a CEO are not what you might expect.

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Four ways to recognise executive hubris

eagle

There’s a fine line between confidence and hubris in a CEO. Spot the early warning signs to avoid disaster.

Most incoming chief executives have pride and self-confidence above normal levels, with good reason. The problem comes when the CEO crosses a line from responsible risk taking to recklessness.

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Four secrets of CEO selection

graffiti

Why are some boards great at hiring company leaders, while others get it wrong? Make the right choice by following these four key principles.

Some boards still pick chief executives who aren’t right for the job – repeatedly. Make the right decision by following the example of successful boards.

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How to move from firefighting to fire prevention

fire hydrant

Are you and your employees stuck in a vicious circle of firefighting?

Workers’ compensation business illustrates the cycle of rework – and more rework – that comes from not doing jobs right first time. Despite knowing that legal processes and costs could be slashed by contacting workers within 24 hours of injury, staff were too busy to do so.

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Make troubleshooting no problem

It’s likely that you spend a fair proportion of your time problem-solving. What’s the secret to overcoming hurdles swiftly so you can get on with the important stuff?

Whether you are a homegrown startup or a multi-million multinational, obstacles will always be thrown in your path. As you try to concentrate on productivity and innovation, fresh difficulties are always around the corner...

Lead like a warrior for a fighting chance

Business can be a minefield, which is why employing a military mindset can be one of the most effective ways to direct your teams.

Strategies from the battlefield don’t sound like the natural choice for top-level business leaders, but successful companies actually share more common ground than you think with the US Marines Corps.

How to assess, communicate and increase your value

Bernard Cohen

How well does your employer understand your role and the value you bring to your organisation? And do you fully understand it yourself?

Beneath your job description lies a “hidden curriculum of work”, or a “job-within-the-job”. Its unwritten challenges include continuous change management and workplace politics, for example.

Creativity is king

crayons

The noise of modern life can distract marketing teams from creating their best work.

Whether you head up the marketing department for a lean, energetic startup or a powerful blue chip corporation, it is important that your team is consistently creative. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your team is able to do its best creative work in an “always on” environment.

How to kill bad products

packaging products

When a product fails, should you improve it or kill it? Senior managers are best placed to make the right choice – quickly.

Your engineers and managers work for months, often years, to develop and launch new products. They invest significant resources in research, marketing and distribution. So to see those products go down in flames creates a difficult choice: do you try to improve the...

How to build a winning workplace culture

office

There are many guides to the three, five or seven steps to an ideal culture. But only one golden rule: don’t mess it up.

As a leader, you must watch everything you say and do – because everyone else will, and they’ll put a lot of weight on it. That means it’s easy to mess up a workplace culture – even with the best of intentions.

Improve employee engagement with ‘constructive nonconformity’

Employee engagement is a problem. To fix it, let your workers rebel, break the rules and be themselves.

Throughout our working lives we’re taught to conform. The pressure only grows as we climb the career ladder. Workers and their organisations both pay a price for this: decreased engagement, productivity and innovation.

Eight key skills for today’s leaders

notebook and fountain pen

As the business world changes with increasing pace, leaders need to develop a new set of core skills if they are to keep up, write Louise Axon, Elisa Friedman and Kathy Jordan for the Harvard Business School of Publishing.

The business environment is more complex and volatile than ever before thanks to:

How to make better decisions

reading glasses

The success of your organisation depends on good decision making, a key requirement of good leadership.

The human brain has evolved to make most decisions automatically. Behavioural and neuroscience shows that our brains struggle with information overload, especially when multitasking, leaving them susceptible to subjectivity, bias and errors.

 

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Six steps to getting a seat on the board

chair on beach

If landing a seat on a board is one of your goals, you need to do some serious preparation to make it happen. Writing for Forbes, Stuart R. Levine sets out six actions to increase your chances of success.

“It’s critical that you take smart steps to develop your resources and skills into assets that will showcase your credentials and position you for success,” Levine advises.

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Why you should have a code of data ethics

Ilya Pavlov

Digital technology has put a wealth of human data at our fingertips. How can we be sure we are using it responsibly and ethically?

There’s no doubt that facts and statistics offer valuable insights that can be employed to boost business. But it’s vital to lay down ground rules as a company before using personal information to our advantage, says Paul Daugherty, writing for MIT Sloan....

Five breakthrough leadership lessons

John Kirby

Five key leadership behaviours lay behind rare ‘breakthrough’ success in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) business.

‘Breakthroughs’ are products that expand or create new product categories – often required to maintain or grow a company’s market share. In the CPG market, 80% of growth comes from 1% of brands. Breakthrough success is so rare that of 3,500 new brands only 18 made the...

How to lead from the front

Julie Cockburn

Shift your mindset from your business to your staff to create competitive advantage.

You need strong leadership teams to develop your business. Yet leadership is more difficult than ever because of a shift in focus from the business to individual employees. Writing for Entrepreneur, Glen Llopis says business model evolution is influenced by two factors.

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