Top 10…

Here’s a list of my top blog posts for leaders that I came across in December.  I’ve included a few choice excerpts to whet your appetite.  Contributions range from Scholars, Writers, VCs, Executives, Bloggers and Students…great prep reading as we head into 2012.

  1. LEADERS LEAD.  Teresa Amabile & Steve Kramer @ HBR Blog Network: Start the New Year Off With Progress.  “To get yourself and your team off to a good start for the new year, focus on progress…1) Note progress made by your team over the past year — the major accomplishments and the small wins, too. And communicate the list broadly… 2) Celebrate that progress and recognize all those who contributed to it. People who work hard deserve the opportunity to celebrate and rejoice in what they have accomplished….3) Map out goals for progress in the upcoming year and say why that progress matters. Be sure to include both broad, aspirational goals and smaller, interim milestones. For people to be fully engaged, they must feel that they are making steady progress, not just slogging away in hopes of a major breakthrough…4) Finally, resolve to support people’s progress each day in the coming year. For the progress principle to work, people should experience progress more often than setbacks. Give them the goals, resources, and time they need to succeed, and remove or reduce any obstacles to progress.”
  2. LEADERS ARE STRATEGIC:  Joan Magretta @ HBR Blog NetworkStrategy Essentials You Ignore At Your Peril.  “…strategy is even more important — not less so — in turbulent and uncertain times…Competitive advantage is not about beating rivals; it’s about creating unique value for customers…No strategy is meaningful unless it makes clear what the organization will not do…There is no honor in size or growth if those are profit-less. Competition is about profits, not market share…Don’t overestimate or underestimate the importance of good execution…without it even the most brilliant strategy will fail to produce superior performance…”
  3. LEADERS PURSUE EXCELLENCE:  Nicholas Bate: 15 Reasons For Continuing to Be Excellent In All That You Do.  “Why would you do it any other way?”
  4. LEADERS WORK:  Matthew Swyers & Inc. Magazine:  Why You Should Work Smarter, and Harder.  “…Books that lead you to believe that you can achieve success simply working smarter and not harder are lying…the Secret to Success…WORK.  Be prepared to roll up your sleeves to see real results.”
  5. LEADERS EXCEL IN TIME MANAGEMENT:  Anthony K. Tjan @ HBR Blog Network: Make Time for Time.  “Most of us will spend more than one-third of our lives and more than half of our waking adult hours in our workplaces. A natural concern, and one worthy of a New Year’s reflection and resolution, is how can we be better, more honest and more efficient with that time…Are you working towards a purpose?…Are you running hard, but not getting ahead?…Have you Done a Calendar Audit lately?… Are you booking sufficient think time?…Are you multi-tasking your way to lower productivity?”
  6. LEADERS PERSEVERE AND ARE RESILIENT:  Steven Pressfield: Take What the Defense Will Give You. “…We’re pros. We’re not amateurs. We have patience. We can handle adversity. Tomorrow the defense will give us more, and tomorrow we’ll take it…We’re in this for the long haul…Our work is a practice, like one in martial arts or meditation. One bad day is nothing to us. Ten bad days is nothing. The amateur lets himself be discouraged by a tough day or a run of frustration. The pro sees the long term.  In the scheme of a year of work (or ten years, or forty) a day when we can’t gain yardage is just a speed bump. We’ll forget it by breakfast tomorrow and be back ready to hurl our bodies into the fray all over again…”
  7. LEADERS LEARN:  (A) Bret L. Simmons: Leaders Are Master Learners.  “…Kaki King…this is a woman that Rolling Stone Magazine named a ‘Guitar God” in 2006, yet instead of considering herself a master, she embraces the role of life-long learner.”  (B) Evan Sanders in The Better Man Project: Your Mind’s Gym.  “…What I always appreciate about life is the ability to learn something new every single day. Often of times you can learn multiple things in each day, things that can add to your ability to improve all the time…I think it is your responsibility as a human being to be improving upon yourself every single day. The attitude of “this is good enough” I feel is one of the most detrimental attitudes out there. Simply believing that things are okay where they are at only leads to mediocrity. How much can you push yourself today? I think we have all been guilty of making commitments to ourselves and others that we did not follow through on, but it’s about where your moral compass is pointed that will always keep you on track and trying…Set your resolutions, and keep them. You have every single day to work on yourself and to force yourself into scary and uncomfortable situations. If you are not scared, you are not trying hard enough to develop yourself. It is going to be one hell of a ride, but it is going to be amazing. Till tomorrow.”
  8. LEADERS MOVE: Larry Ringet: The 10 ANTI-Resolutions For the New Year.  “…Last year is OVER – let it go…Don’t whine…keep you problems to yourself…expect derailment…get over it and move on…don’t stop.”
  9. LEADERS DRIVE & RALLY:  Terry Starbucker: How to Use the January Effect to Make it Your Best Year Ever. “…January is THE month for summoning your best stump speech – that barn burner that you’ve been working on for months – and laying it out there.  With gusto.Yep, it’s time to BRING IT.  Your team is at their freshest, with the slate wiped relatively clean, and the challenges of the year dead ahead.  What better time to whip them up into a frenzy of execution?”
  10. LEADERS #10? (I thought there were 10.  Oops.  Sorry.  9 it is.)

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