Helpfulness is an admirable trait, but leaders can be so helpful at to remove an employee's agency, independence and, ultimately, productivity. "Being a little less helpful lets employees figure things out for themselves, struggle, fail (and even discover that it's not fatal), and come to depend upon themselves and their capacity," writes Julie Winkle Giulioni.
Frontline supervisors are often the most knowledgeable people in an organization, and getting to know them can help you discover solutions to long-standing problems, Dan Rockwell writes. He gives seven pieces of advice, including a list of questions to ask such supervisors.
When managing change in an organization, don't forget that management is receiving and processing information long before employees are, and that difference creates a lag between management explaining the change and employees buying in, writes John Vars, chief product officer at TaskRabbit. "When you leaders are feeling that urge to jump straight into action, I encourage you to try doubling down on the Why," he writes.
Managers who give regular feedback will sometimes find themselves delivering negative assessments. Research suggests that when feedback forces people to view their self-concept in a negative light, they tend to avoid the idea and the person supplying it.
There are myriad ways to make the hard stuff in your life easier or more appealing, but ultimately it comes down to putting in the work, Shane Parrish writes. "[Y]ou must figure out when and where the broccoli will get eaten, and understand that you will have to sacrifice something (even if it's just comfort) to get what you want," he writes.
For Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, one of the primary balancing acts for leaders lies in determining how much to do and how much to guide. "There's a difference between being a player, being a player-coach and being a coach," he advises.
Paleontologist Ji Qiang and his colleagues upended conventional thinking about dinosaurs when they announced in August that they had discovered a new type of Chinese ankylosaur. Though ankylosaurs are commonly thought to be herbivores, Liaoningosaurus had fish fossils in its belly, suggesting that perhaps dinosaurs didn't distinguish between meat and plants as strictly as we do.