April 20, 2021
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading Edge
Celebrating success can make leaders feel vulnerable or open to criticism, but not celebrating can create a culture where employees feel like money and promotions are the only way to win recognition, writes Ed Batista. "Celebrations aren't a substitute for such rewards, of course, but they can augment them by helping to create and sustain the fulfillment to be derived from group experience," he writes.
Full Story: Ed Batista Executive Coaching (4/17) 
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Empathy is only growing in importance at work, with managers increasingly working apart from their reports and employees expecting more support from their bosses with work and life matters, write Gartner HR experts Brian Kropp, Alexia Cambon and Sara Clark. They focus on the challenge facing midsize companies, whose managers retain individual workloads and don't have access to large learning budgets that big corporations possess.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (4/15) 
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Innovation Starts With People
When your mission is to protect the nation's industrial infrastructure from cyber attacks, you need smart, passionate people behind you. Tapping into Maryland's cybersecurity talent pool gives Dragos the edge it needs to complete its mission. Innovation lives here.
Meet our innovators.
Video Insights on Leadership
Skills, talent and performance are essential for career growth, but possessing executive presence with key stakeholders is the trait that helps people reach senior leadership levels, says Joel Garfinkle in this blog post and video. "You need to be the leader who commands respect and whose opinion everyone seeks out," he says.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (4/19) 
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Read more from Joel Garfinkle on SmartBrief on Leadership
Enter to win $50 for a charity of your choice
We are seeking input from those in foodservice and hospitality to better understand the current attitudes about the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry. Results will be included in a report that will identify action steps for the industry in exploring anti-racism initiatives and instilling sustainable programs. Take the survey.
Strategic Management
Too many parts of American society and government are operating on pandemic advice that was reasonable in March 2020 but has been displaced by further research, such as businesses spending precious time and money on deep cleaning surfaces, writes Derek Thompson. "In the pandemic and beyond, this might be the fundamental crisis of American institutions: They specialize in the performance of bureaucratic competence rather than the act of actually being competent," Thompson writes.
Full Story: The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (4/13) 
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Smarter Communication
Your writing can be effective and concise when you use simple words, tell short stories and refine the message to its essence before sitting down to write, writes Josh Spector. "You can't write clearly until you're clear in your own mind about what you want to say, why, and who you want to hear it," he writes.
Full Story: Josh Spector (4/13) 
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How do you handle a situation where someone backs out of a commitment they made to do some work for you?
It doesn't bother me unless it's a huge deliverable that will fail
I accept it, don't say anything, but then don't give them work again
I express my dissatisfaction, pull the work and don't give them work again
I try to hold them to their original commitment and make them back out of others
A variety of ways to deal with missed commitments. There seems to be no clear consensus on how respondents deal with someone backing out of a commitment to deliver work. Some of you aren't bothered, while others directly express dissatisfaction or try to hold to original commitments. The bigger question here is how to make sure you don't end up in this situation in the first place. Some suggestions include understanding their workload fully before asking them to commit and pushing back if it seems like they're overextending themselves. Also, make it clear it's acceptable to ask for assistance and that it's best to do so early in the project rather than later, when it's harder to recover from missed commitments. Finally, establish regular communication to stay on top of progress, and identify risks early so you can act on them sooner.

-- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm's e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
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In Their Own Words
The Parkinson's Foundation was careful not to make deep cuts in 2020 because leaders were optimistic that growth would return if they could just hang on, says John Lehr, president and CEO. "No one has a crystal ball, and economic downturns happen, but planning for better days should always be worked into your strategy," he says.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (4/19) 
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Daily Diversion
Jesse Larios is walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco while wearing a teddy bear suit under the persona Bearsun. Larios, who ran a marathon in the outfit last year, has been sharing the latest journey on his Instagram account.
Full Story: CNN (4/15) 
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About The Editor
James daSilva
James daSilva
Hi, it's your SmartBrief on Leadership editor! I've had the great fortune of editing this email for nearly 10 years. Before that, I was a copy editor, including at a small daily newspaper in upstate New York.

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