Whether you’re a manager, an executive, an entrepreneur, or just entering the workforce, leadership is a crucial skill at every rung of the ladder. Learn from leadership consultants and business experts how to create a positive work environment, how to enhance your employees’ motivation, how to mitigate risk, the difference between loyalty and fairness, and more.
What You'll Learn
How to encourage neurodiverse perspectives
How to avoid nepotism
How to spur collaboration
Katherine Maher's image was originally posted by VGrigas and the image has been changed. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
1. Create a Culture of Accountability: Lessons Learned from Wikimedia Foundation
The very nature of the Wikipedia project—an open-source encyclopedia—demanded from the very beginning transparency as a core value. This extends to Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that stewards Wikipedia’s mission. As a result, its executive director Katherine Maher has learned that radical transparency—while often difficult—has many surprising advantages.In a transparent organization, every decision, large and small, is subject to scrutiny and pushback. At Wikimedia, this means Maher often finds her decisions second-guessed, which pushes her to think more carefully about them. The end result? Better decisions.Go “all in” on transparencyBe open about decisions small and large.Allowing dialogue and assessment helps keep your organization on course.Treat mistakes as opportunities to learn, adapt, and change.Get through difficult conversationsBe transparent about your motivations, the information you use to make decisions, and the participants in the conversation.Transpar...
2. Transition into Leadership
As the creator of The New York Times’ Corner Office Column, journalist Adam Bryant has interviewed hundreds of top-performing CEOs. According to Bryant, CEOs have a reverence for employees who are fearless in their refusal to accept the status quo.Fearlessness, he says, is really about risk taking. After all, expressing views that challenge long-held organizational beliefs means putting your own neck on the line – but this is what separates true leaders from the rest of the pack.In this lesson, learn why demonstrating a sense of fearlessness is critical to advancing your career.
3. Lessons Learned: Steve Jobs Resurrects Apple
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and Great by Choice, has analyzed hundreds of successful corporations, past and present, studying traits like leadership and innovation. His research has found that breakthrough innovation occurs under the stewardship of leaders who embody a triangle of pragmatic but visionary behaviors: fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia.In this lesson, Collins walks you through the case study of how Steve Jobs brought fanatic discipline back to Apple, Inc., using empirical creativity and market validation to guide the resurrection of the company. By the end of it, you’ll have a three-part framework for leading the way toward breakthrough innovation at your own organization.Fanatic DisciplineSecure the fundamentals before tackling big, bold initiatives.Empirical CreativityTest the market. Begin by introducing small innovations incrementally.Follow the feedback of the market to guide each new iteration of your product.Be responsive...
4. Loyalty vs. Fairness: When Cronyism Corrupts Vision, Priorities and Alignment
5. Accelerate the Pace of Collaborative Learning: What Surfers Can Teach CEOs
John Seely Brown, one of the world’s foremost experts on collaborative learning, often finds best practices in unexpected places by looking at startling results. How did five friends from Maui, for example, all become world champion surfers—a statistic unprecedented in the sport? It turned out that through techniques like filming their practices, systematically studying films of their rivals, and adapting tricks from other sports, the group had created a community of practice that’s a model for collaborative problem-solving in any field. The underlying structure is simple:Create a learning community to study best practices.Create self-directed knowledge-refining groups.Study adjacencies, repurpose innovations.
6. Push Your Team's Thinking Outside the Box
In this lesson, Belsky shares his experience leading others in the process of creative destruction. You need to ask the difficult questions, act like a start-up, and follow the passion.
7. Teach and Learn Together
In this lesson, Belsky explains how collaborative learning and mentorship within teams can greatly enhance the commitment of teammates.
8. Embrace Neurodiversity: Bring Hidden Strengths to Your Team
In 1983, the psychologist Howard Gardner introduced the concept of multiple intelligences because the historically narrow definition of intelligence failed to account for valuable skills and talents like emotional awareness or kinesthetic ability. More recently, neuroscientists like the late, great Oliver Sacks have given us the concept of “neurodiversity”, which offers another framework for recognizing the value in our differences. Neurodiversity recognizes the fact that humans are differentl...
9. Practice Uncommon Service: Create Scalable Excellence
Real leadership isn’t about telling people what to do, or even about inspiring them from day to day. It’s about creating the conditions that will enable every person in your organization to thrive, then getting out of their way. Frances Frei of Harvard Business School has spent her career studying organizational excellence (and mediocrity), and has powerful advice to offer on how to to scale excellence and sustain it in your absence.Overcome the #1 obstacleHow do I get excellence in my absence...
10. Effect Change
In this lesson, Logica CEO Amanda Mesler offers advice to women in business on how to lead others while managing one’s own career.Learn to Be a LeaderBe a visionary.Follow through on execution.Have backbone.Advice for Women in BusinessBe tough and demanding, and realize labels will come with that.Do your job.Affect your shareholders, employees and clients positively.Get good mentors.Plug into women’s networks.Believe that you CAN go all the way to the top.The Work-Life BalanceLean on your supp...
11. Battling Cancer by Going to Work
12. Create a Positive Work Environment
In this lesson, Dan Shapiro describes the value of creating a positive and more productive work environment, and lays out five core emotional concerns of employees that need to be addressed in order to accomplish this.Shapiro tells us that people have the tendency in negotiation to focus on the facts and the figures, ignoring the emotional component. Together with his colleague, Roger Fisher, Shapiro boiled down an employee’s “complex sea of emotions” into a handful of things that matter most...
13. Positively Impact the Inner Work Life of Your Direct Reports
What motivates you to get up every morning and go to work? To earn a buck? Sure. But that is not always the most powerful motivator, says Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile, who studies the psychology of everyday work life.In fact, seemingly mundane events can either make or break an employee’s “inner work life.” In this lesson, Amabile argues that removing obstacles to progress, such as meaningless tasks and toxic relationships, are key to employee engagement and job satisfacti...
14. Catalyze Progress: Motivate Your Direct Reports
Catalyze Progress: Motivate Your Direct Reports, with Teresa Amabile, Professor, Harvard Business SchoolWe know that when people are happier and more engaged at work they are more creative and more productive. So under normal circumstances, what can be done to nourish employees’ work lives?In this lesson, Teresa Amabile, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who studies what really goes on inside the hearts and minds of people at work, offers her suggestions.
15. Surface Great Questions: Build Your Team's Capacity to Generate Bold New Solutions
Too often brainstorming meetings achieve the opposite of what they’re supposed to. Instead of a creatively free environment and exciting new solutions, you end up with the pressure to solve a high-stakes problem now and the same old handful of recycled ideas. Why?According to innovation expert Hal Gregersen, who has studied hundreds of government, corporate, and entrepreneurial innovators at work, all innovation begins with asking the right questions. There’s nothing more dangerous, Gregersen ...
16. Practice Servant Leadership: Let Your Audience Know They're Not Alone
On the stage, on the page, or even sitting around the table at a meeting, you want to be heard. You want to get your message across. And there’s no school for connecting with audiences more powerful or unforgiving than stand-up comedy. Lisa Lampanelli’s career has taught her a few basic principles—not tips or tricks, but guiding principles that you can use to connect with any audience, to any purpose. These include practicing servant leadership, choosing stories that fit your audience and lig...
17. Enhance Motivation: Develop Your Employees' Existing Interests
What makes a person thrive at work? Hint: it’s not the bonuses—nice as they may be. Happiness at work is about engagement, and engagement is about interest. If your job isn’t furthering your interests, immersing you in ideas and activities that are the right fit for your personal and professional growth, one of two things will end up happening: you’ll perform poorly or you’ll leave.From the employer’s standpoint, this is essential information. Rather than focusing on matching employees to ...
18. Mitigate Risk on All Sides: Solve for the Pyramid
In business (as in most areas of life) every negotiation, challenge, or risk involves multiple parties and perspectives. Yet fear can quickly turn these into life-or-death battles of will, with each party clinging desperately to a tiny piece of the puzzle.Former CIA clandestine operative Amaryllis Fox has engaged in complex challenges around the world, guided by something that happened around her childhood dinner table. Her father held a wooden pyramid in his hand, concealing it such that her br...
19. Elevate Your Leadership Skills with Continuing Education
Perhaps because it involves the exercise of power, the idea of leadership generates a lot of myths. Chief among these is the idea that leaders are born, not made. That they possess some mysterious powers of charisma or gravitas that automatically cause others to follow them. According to Sir Andrew Likierman of London Business School, many great leaders start out mediocre––but leadership skills training can make a serious difference.Adapt and learnAdapt. The world evolves too rapidly for anyon...