Most Clicked SmartBrief on Leadership Stories

1. How to end your presentations on a high note

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 29, 2015

Great presentations and speeches can be undone with a weak or dull ending, writes Michelle Mazur. "When you nail your speech, your audience becomes your advocates and wants to spread and talk about your message. The last words you utter on that stage should enable them to do that with ease," she writes. Communication Rebel blog (07/28)

2. How to sharpen your communication skills

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 30, 2015

Presentation skills can be used to improve your executive presence, writes Stephanie Scotti, who offers advice on using them to your advantage. "I've observed that if you develop one area, then everything recalibrates and all your skills go up a notch. So don't try to do everything at once," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (07/28)

3. What drives you to be a leader?

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 28, 2015

Leaders affect individuals and the culture they operate in, and so knowing oneself -- your purpose, passions and boundaries -- is essential to success, Alaina Love writes. "Beyond the question 'Is what we're planning to do legal?' a strong value system will cause you to ask, 'Is this the right thing to do for our business and the promise of our brand?' " she notes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (07/27)

4. Why good leaders make certain promises to employees

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 27, 2015

Good leaders should make a "leadership promise" to themselves and their team that explicitly states core values, writes Randy Conley. Pick the values that matter most to you, such as honesty, openness or accessibility. "[O]nce you know what it is, there is only one thing that remains -- deliver on it," he writes. Leading With Trust blog (07/26)

5. You don't have to be aggressive to get ahead

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 31, 2015

It's tempting to buy into the idea that leaders must be aggressive and confrontational, but the truth is quite different, writes Keith Danko. Most successful leaders actually take a more conciliatory approach behind the scenes. "Understanding the limits of confrontation and seeing the other side of any issue are key skills that leaders must master," Danko writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (07/30)

6. Having a strategy requires saying "no"

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 28, 2015

Having too many goals is really a sign that your organization is unfocused and unable to say no, argue Randy Street and Alan Foster. "Given the mission and vision of what you are trying to do, what are the five priorities? If you fast-forward two or three years, and you are thrilled with what you have got done, what will you have delivered?" Foster says. Knowledge@Wharton (07/24)

7. 5 ways to make technology work for you

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 27, 2015

Technology is supposed to make your life easier, but the constant flow of e-mails and data can become overwhelming, writes Joel Garfinkle. He advises using technology more mindfully, as well as unplugging periodically. "Take advantage of technology. Make it work for you instead of driving your life," he advises. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (07/20)

8. Face your fears to lead your team forward

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 30, 2015

Good leadership begins when you face your fears and those of your employees, writes Dan Rockwell. The key is to distinguish between cowardice, which must be overcome, and reasoned resistance, which must be engaged with and navigated beyond. "Fearful leaders say, 'It seems like a good idea,' but won't commit," he writes. Leadership Freak blog (07/28)

9. How does a car thief stay alive? Guile and a case of mistaken identity

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 30, 2015

Dan Ott is one of northeastern Ohio's most notorious car thieves, with multiple prison stints during decades of criminal activity. His stories include stealing a cow on a whim and claiming to have stolen Elizabeth Taylor's car -- and her dog. But Ott is able to brag about his crimes, in part, because a hit man in 2006 killed an innocent man with the same name who also lived in Ohio. Cleveland Scene (07/29)

10. Real leadership is a state of mind

SmartBrief on Leadership | Jul 29, 2015

Leadership development isn't just about learning new skills -- it's about developing new mindsets and ways of thinking, writes Eric McNulty. Leaders need to understand the ways that individual organizational components work together as complex systems and to master the art of making decisions in dynamic environments, McNulty explains. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (07/28)

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