My twin sons are entering their 3rd year in the Army, and as a result, they are receiving their first glimpse of leadership. If they both properly prepare, they should both be selected for promotion to Sergeant within the following year. The Army first promoted me to Sergeant in the Army over 20 years ago, and now ten ranks later, I look back at all the experiences and lessons I chose to learn the hard way. Specifically, I think about how I can save my sons and other new leaders some bumps and bruises along the way. If I were to give my younger self a critical piece of advice, it would be to start reading early and often. In an article for Harvard Business Review, John Coleman discusses how reading can make you a more effective leader by increasing verbal intelligence, improving empathy, and understanding social cues. Though I’m…

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and having to balance home life and work simultaneously, leaders struggled to limit distractions. In 2019, Statista reported that workplace distractions involved where…

Weekly team meetings are a necessary evil for most organizations, both small and large. When leaders run them correctly, they can benefit and foster consistent progress and actionable items within the organization. Unfortunately, too often, they began to fall by the waist side as time goes on. However, here are a few tips that can help you breathe life back into that dying meeting. The way a leader handles the life cycle of the weekly team meeting is similar to how many of us handle our computer life cycle. When you first buy a new computer, everything runs smoothly, just as it should. The laptop starts up lightning-fast, your files are neat and orderly, and the programs perform at their optimal levels. Initially, you try to do all the little things to maintain this high level of efficiency. You regularly empty your digital trash, you keep your files and folders…

For those leaders who have teenage kids or big kids themselves, you probably remember the 2005 cartoon series, “The Avatar: The Last Airbender.” The cartoon’s main character was a young boy named Aang, who was destined to be the Avatar. The Avatar was to maintain harmony among the four nations and act as a mediator between humans and spirits. However, to succeed in this mission, he had first to master the ability to bend the elements from each of the four nations; fire, water, air, and earth. Like the Avatar, leaders must learn to master multiple leadership styles to effectively lead a diverse team of individuals. Diverse groups are not limited to race, gender, age, etc., but also personality types, education level, beliefs, and values. Therefore, successful leaders require a mastery of different leadership styles to maximize the workforce’s skills and potential toward accomplishing organizational goals. “Diversity: the art of…

How leaders can forget the importance of email etiquette You are fuming, and if you didn’t know better, you would think that your co-workers could see the smoke billowing from your ears. You’ve just finished reading an email from a partner organization that eloquently lays out how you and your organization are idiots. Of course, the individual wasn’t bold enough to flat out call you an idiot but instead utilized his or her written communication skills to manipulate the wording in such a way that anyone with half a brain could read in between the lines. At least that’s how you read the communication, and as a result, you are ready to give this individual an electronic piece of your mind, and you don’t care who the individual has cc’ed on the message. So you immediately press reply all and begin typing away. After an hour of research, quotations, reviewing…

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