Most Clicked SmartBrief on Leadership Stories

1. How to be a lousy manager

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 14, 2015

Managers are often to blame for employee complaints because of the harmful behaviors they exhibit, Dan McCarthy writes. He catalogs 30 of the worst managerial offenses, including betraying confidences and sitting on the sidelines during moments of crisis. "Managers, do an honest self-assessment -- or better yet, get some candid feedback -- and if you are doing any of these things, make a resolution to STOP doing it!" he advises. (04/11)

2. How to get more from performance reviews

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 13, 2015

Smart bosses use performance reviews to help employees figure out where they want their careers to go, says Intel Chairman Andy Bryant. "[Y]ou start with what the person's looking for and add to it what you need, and then you get better work from the person," he says. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (04/11)

3. How to be better at critical feedback

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 17, 2015

Staffers can't improve if you don't know why you're unhappy with them, aren't clear in your expectations or don't offer the necessary resources, John R. Stoker writes. Leaders must also examine themselves. "If you repeatedly continue to not get the results that you want, then you need to explore how you contribute to your lack of results," he writes. DialogueWORKS blog (04/16)

4. The strange case of John Wilkes Booth's assassin

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 15, 2015

John Wilkes Booth met his end, 12 days after killing President Abraham Lincoln and fleeing Ford's Theatre, in a barn in Port Royal, Va. Booth was killed by Boston Corbett, an eccentric Union Army veteran who had castrated himself with a pair of scissors. Rather than being hailed as an avenging hero, Corbett was reviled, eventually institutionalized, and disappeared in 1888 after escaping. (04/12)

5. Why you shouldn't referee every disagreement

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 16, 2015

Leaders should be able guide employees through a conflict-resolution process without solving every problem personally, writes Mike Figliuolo. Frame conflict-resolution conversations as teachable moments, rather than as appeals for outside intervention, Figliuolo suggests. "You'll spend less time mediating conflict going forward and your team members will be able to focus more on execution than arguing," he writes. ThoughtLeaders blog (04/15)

6. Are you the new boss? Everyone's probably afraid of you

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 17, 2015

Naphtali Hoff discovered halfway into his first year leading a school that teachers were worried about their jobs and were fearful of as-yet-unannounced changes. Hoff realized he wasn't communicating enough or building the necessary relationships. "You may have been brought in to make changes and to evaluate the old guard," he writes. "Regardless, new leaders can take steps that will ease tensions and offer new co-workers more peace of mind." SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/15)

7. How to do strategic planning the right way

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 17, 2015

Running a strategic planning session is one of a leader's most important jobs, writes Patrick Thean, CEO of Rhythm Systems. Come to the meeting prepared and with a clear agenda, and wrap things up early rather than allowing the conversation to drag on for hours. "Tired people don't always make the best decisions," Thean writes. Great Leadership (04/16)

8. How to open the door to better communication

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 13, 2015

Leaders can use "question keys" to initiate communication at work, writes Kevin Eikenberry. Such questions are open-ended, and people should get the time to formulate and express a meaningful answer. "Ask, pause, and wait. If no answer comes, rephrase or ask the question again," Eikenberry writes. (04/13)

9. Should companies adopt a $70,000 minimum wage?

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 15, 2015

Gravity Payments' 120 workers will be paid at least $70,000 a year under a minimum-wage policy announced -- and funded by -- founder Dan Price. "This is more risky than genius. What happens if they grow from 120 to 1,200? Can you still sustain $70,000 for everyone?" asks Tim Sackett, president of IT staffing firm HRU Technical Resources. MarketWatch (04/15) New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (04/13)

10. Values are the key to preventing bullying

SmartBrief on Leadership | Apr 13, 2015

Workplace bullying often comes about because of a values vacuum, writes Chris Edmonds. When leaders focus on getting results over expressing and living organizational values, he argues, employees will default to bullying or overly brusque ways of achieving those goals. (04/13)

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