Monday, July 31, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Become a More Effective Leader

There’s not one wise man among twenty will praise himself.
---Shakespeare

The subject of narcissistic leadership has received much press over the past year. On the other side of the coin, researchers such as Bradley Owens of Brigham Young University have been making important discoveries about humble leadership.


Owens’ empirical studies have found humble leaders to admit their own mistakes and limitations, to be “teachable” or open to learning, to showcase follower strengths, and to emphasize the developmental journeys of followers.

As these characteristics of humble leadership overlap significantly with empathy and trust, two important ingredients of high-quality relationships, it seems that humble leaders might be adept at developing lasting and meaningful relationships. These relationships play a protective role in shielding them from the hostile effects of loneliness.

These associations are particularly important as relationship quality is the strongest (negatively related) determinant of loneliness.

In sum, it seems that leaders are able to shield themselves from loneliness by being humble. Conversely, when leaders are aggressive, overly sensitive, and less empathetic toward others—the hallmark characteristics of narcissism—they isolate themselves from others and become increasingly lonely.

This loneliness is dangerous for all of us, as the lack of wise counsel and social support associated with lonely leaders can short-circuit their ability to make sound decisions.

This week, emphasize the strengths and accomplishments of your followers, admit one of your mistakes, and reflect on other actions you can take to integrate humility into your personal leadership style.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Smile, It’s Monday: Your Weekly Wake-up Call to Balance Work and Life

If youth knew; 
if age could.
---Sigmund Freud

It was a beautiful fall Monday morning. I would usually jump right into work, but I had presented at a conference the previous Friday night and all of Saturday. I needed a break.

I drove out to Great Falls, Virginia, a beautiful state park near Washington D.C. I was dealing with some difficult personal issues, and the walk under the iridescent, brightly colored fall leaves by the Potomac River was doing me a lot of good.

Every once in a while, I passed either a group of children on a school trip or an elderly couple walking together.

It dawned on me that the only people out in nature enjoying one of the most beautiful days of the year in Washington were children on school trips and seniors. Everyone else was busy working and being ‘productive’.

I thought about how ironic it is that we shut ourselves off from the inner guidance that is more readily available to us while walking in nature during the years when we most need it.

This week, get out your planner and start making meaningful commitments to schedule less work and more time for yourself and the people you love.

The only time you can influence your capacity to find balance is in the present moment. Embrace one of these moments now.
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Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday every other week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).