June 2011

Leadership as the 'Norm, not the Exception'

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading is an article from the May 11, 2011 issue of Knowledge@Wharton – “Leadership as the ‘Norm, not the Exception'” <http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2771>, a report on a speech at Wharton by Barry Salzberg, who became global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited on June 1, 2011.

In his remarks, Salzberg identified ten leadership lessons for the next generation of leaders:

Why Leaders Play Chicken

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s Reading “Why Leaders Play Chicken” comes to us via the HBR Blog Network and is from the pen of Ron Ashkenas.  Ashkenas is managing partner of Schaffer Consulting and author of the recent book, Simply Effective.

In this piece, Ashkenas reminds us of the game of chicken that most of us played when we were children.  It was a foolish, immature way of showing who had the most guts, the most nerve, and the most will-power.  And, the winner became the respected dominant leader of the group.

The War on Interruptions

By: Jim Bruce
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One of the most consistent findings in psychology is that people behave differently when their environment changes.  When we are at a place where people are quiet, say a church or a library, we’re quiet;  when we are at a sporting event where it’s loud, we’re loud.

Why then, when we try to make changes at work do we, almost always, focus on people changing rather than on changing the environment.  Often, changing the environment is the easiest way to effect meaningful behavioral change.

Lessons of Fort Sumter

By: Jim Bruce
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Joe Urich from the University of Iowa shared this piece with his on-campus cohort last month and I thought it was worth sharing with everyone.  “Lessons of Fort Sumter”was published in early April in the Wall Street Journal.  The author is Bret Stephens, a columnist for the Journal.

In the short piece he distills from the battle for Sumter five important leadership lessons:

1.  Listen to many opinions.  Don’t just listen to the loud voice, seek options.