Most Clicked SmartBrief on Leadership Stories

1. Remembering SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg

SmartBrief on Leadership | May 04, 2015

SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg died Friday, prompting a flood of tributes from Silicon Valley peers. Goldberg was a longtime entrepreneur and investor who was famous both as the husband of Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and as a tireless innovator and friend. "It is that charm, that warmth, and that sense of doing the right thing that lingers when thinking about the legacy of Dave Goldberg," writes Dave DiMartino, who worked with Goldberg for more than a decade. Yahoo (05/03) Fortune (05/02)

2. The leader's self-improvement checklist

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 28, 2015

Leaders need to get a grip on the small things -- such as using a smartphone effectively or learning to run routine meetings -- to have a chance to progress and become truly great, writes Wally Bock. Among those 13 skills: "Master the reading habit. Leaders are readers, plain and simple. Read." Three Star Leadership blog (04/23)

3. How to turn managers into leaders

SmartBrief on Leadership | May 01, 2015

Senior leaders often rely on young, energetic managers to handle the operational side of their business, but it's important to take time to help them learn how to lead, write Ellen Bailey, Rob McKinney and PJ Neal. "New managers -- with their enthusiasm, energy, and fresh ideas -- can be positioned to become effective as leaders if they’re properly developed from the beginning," they write. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/30)

4. How to wake up on the right side of the bed

SmartBrief on Leadership | May 01, 2015

Leaders who don't sleep soundly often wind up unfocused and grumpy the next day, writes Michael Hyatt. He shares nine things he does for a clear, soothing bedtime routine that disconnects from the day's stress. "[Y]ou'll probably discover you're more rested, creative, energetic, and productive the next day," he writes. (04/29)

5. Cold weather reveals Lake Michigan's shipwrecks

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 29, 2015

A combination of no ice and a lack of algal blooms in Lake Michigan has left the water so clear that shipwrecks lying on the lake bed can be seen from the air. U.S. Coast Guard employees have photographed numerous wrecks, including that of the James McBride, which sank in 1857. National Public Radio (04/20) OnEarth Magazine online (04/21)

6. Ways to deal with a difficult employee

SmartBrief on Leadership | May 01, 2015

Dealing with troublesome employees is no fun, but it's a vital part of a leader's job, writes Beth Armknecht Miller. An effective strategy includes establishing a performance plan, setting consequences for failing to measure up and refusing to let the problem employee swallow up any more of your time. "Constantly dealing with difficult employees and poor performers sends the wrong message to those team members who perform well and have a strong sense of what it means to be a team player," Miller notes. (04/25)

7. Give people permission to be "good enough"

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 28, 2015

Urging employees to shoot for the stars isn't always a good way to inspire and motivate them, writes Wendy Axelrod. Sometimes it's better to focus on defining what kind of performance would constitute "good enough," and then helping employees over time to use that benchmark as a propellant toward improvement. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/27)

8. Don't assume everything's fine because nobody's complaining

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 29, 2015

Don't assume that employees can't do tasks without your explaining them or that they are content just because they aren't complaining, writes S. Chris Edmonds. The key in either situation is to say less and ask them for feedback, using multiple approaches. "Before assuming everything is fine, try the counterintuitive approach," Edmonds advises. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/28)

9. How to start listening better

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 28, 2015

Would-be servant leaders may understand the importance of listening but aren't sure how to improve, writes Jason Brooks. Techniques such as waiting a few seconds before replying to people, or saying nothing more than "thank you" when given feedback, can help to make you a better listener. "First, people will be shocked with your short response. But then, you'll be amazed at how quickly they open up and share," Brooks writes. O.C. Tanner (04/27)

10. What U2 can teach business leaders

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 30, 2015

U2's success goes beyond music to encompass its members' loyalty to one another and their shared belief in a common cause. "Their passion for excellence is also reflected in relentless arguments over their music. Bono has stated that this approach can be slow and frustrating at times, but the members of U2 believe it is necessary to achieve excellence," Michael Lee Stallard argues in this book excerpt. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/29)

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