The Friday Five, Blogs That Matter – November 15, 2013

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending November 15, 2013

5 blogs that matterContinuing in my new tradition, here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:



Susan Mazza

A Positive Perspective on Breakdowns

Susan MazzaWhen breakdowns happen consider it is NOT a sign that something is wrong, but rather that you have simply bumped up against the limits of your current ways of working or thinking.

Nothing is wrong. No one is at fault. It’s just that even though something was working, doesn’t mean it will work forever. This includes our habits and behavior as individuals, as well as the more complex processes and systems in an organization.

Whenever you try to grow, expand, or change you are likely to break something.

In a growing system, both the system itself and the individuals in it will  naturally bump up against their own limits…

Read the post…



Guy Harris

Four Ways to Improve Your Communication

Guy HarrisIf you want to become more effective as a leader, more successful in meetings, or more confident while resolving conflicts, become a better communicator.

On the high end of the communication skill spectrum, you find that great leaders — like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr — are often great communicators. On the low-end, research indicates that poor communication skills can contribute to family disputes escalating to domestic violence.

Evidence from research, experience, and anecdotal observation points to higher levels of success and satisfaction and lower levels of stress and frustration as your communication skills improve.

Read the post…



Todd Nielsen

Imagine Leadership

Todd NielsonNitin Nohria and Amanda Pepper of Harvard Business School’s Leadership Initiative collaborated with XPLANE to create this video in order to generate a discussion of the value and importance of leadership to address some of societys most pressing problems.

“It is my desire to inspire people of all ages and social demographics to think about leadership on a broad level, contemplate what it means to them and what individual impact they can have when it comes to leading,” says Nohria.

Watch the video…




Michael C. Mankins

The Five Traps of High-Stakes Decision Making

Michael C. MankinsAt some point most executive teams will make a bet-the-company decision.  Sometimes they’ll make the right one and will be handsomely rewarded.  Southwest’s decision in 2007 to hedge against increases in the price of jet fuel proved remarkably prescient. But sometimes the big decision will go horribly wrong. In 2007 AOL and Time Warner finally pulled the plug on the $350 billion 2001 merger that Time Warner chiefs Jeff Bewkes and Gerald Levin later called “the biggest mistake in corporate history.”

In the popular mind, there’s a lot of luck and inspired leadership behind successful choices like Southwest’s. But if you look closely, that really isn’t true.  The leadership teams at AOL and Time Warner were hardly boneheaded. To be sure, luck does play a role, but then many companies have enjoyed a quite remarkable run of it, far longer than you might expect if success really is all about luck.

Read the post…



William Powell 

Why Culture Feels “Judgy”

William PowellCulture elicits an emotional response. We aren’t always aware of the emotional response, but it’s there. If the emotion is one of contentment, it feels so neutral we barely perceive its existence. When the cultural norm is in our face and it flips our switches – for good or bad – then the emotion is much more obvious. It depends on which side of a culture you stand as to which emotion you may experience.

I have lived internationally for five of the last eight years. This journey has had me living in three very different countries, other than my country of origin. The cultures of each country couldn’t have been more different from one another. Each one of them elicited a different emotion around various social aspects and behavioral norms. Some differences I liked; others made me what to tear my hair out (to coin a phrase).

Read the post…



Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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