Leaders whose ideas and style shake up the status quo are most likely to succeed when they are respectful, on message and act in the best interest of the team and organization, writes Scott Cowen, president emeritus of Tulane University. "Whether it's in a team meeting or the board room, organizational mavericks won't get very far if they fail to build human relationships and articulate their divergent views in ways that invite others to listen," Cowen writes.
Leaders need to practice what they preach, but they should also avoid lengthy or complex value propositions, says Chris Barbin, former CEO of Appirio and chief culture officer at Wipro. "Generally, there's a perception gap between what the leadership believes they are doing and representing and what the actual employee base believes and sees," he says.
Manage change in an organization more effectively by sparking intrinsic motivation instead of coercion and enforcement, writes Carsten Tams. He provides nine rules for change management, including recognizing employee "intellectual capital that is worth tapping into for solving the complex puzzles organizations face."
We all gesticulate, so it's smart to have a plan for pointing at objects, clenching your fists or holding your hand out in a "stop" stance, among nine gestures Stephanie Scotti discusses. Avoid pointing at people, folding your arms or gestures that may be offensive to people from other cultures, she writes.
Effective leaders should consistently tell organizational stories, such as where the company has been, its values and strategy, as well as share how they think as leaders, writes Michael McKinney about "The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell" by Paul Smith. "Every company says they are great to work for, but a story about why it's great to work for you is persuasive in a way that no list of great qualities could ever do," McKinney writes.
Keeping track of how much time you spend each week on activities such as working, reading, relaxing or commuting can help you use your time more effectively, writes Laura Vanderkam. "If you want to spend time better, you need to figure out where the time really goes," she writes.
Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang says he is "very nice to people" and soft-spoken but demands results from employees once a direction has been identified. "That's why people at Alibaba always say it's very difficult to deal with me in business meetings, because [in that context] I am always trying to get to the substance of the matter and drive people to make progress," he says.
MIT engineers, searching for a way to enhance the electrical and thermal properties of carbon nanotubes, instead discovered a material that absorbs 99.995% of incoming light. "Someone will find a blacker material, and eventually we'll understand all the underlying mechanisms, and will be able to properly engineer the ultimate black," says MIT professor Brian Wardle.