Friday Five

The Friday Five, Blogs That Matter – October 31, 2014

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending October 31, 2014

5 blogs that matterEvery day I learn something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. 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:


David Grossman

Leadership Lessons From Preschool Story Time

David GrossmanDuring a recent trip to the local bookstore with my 4-year-old daughter, Avi, we sat down for a storytelling session in the children’s section. The facilitator, looking like a giant on a pint-sized, blue chair, began with a simple question: “What do we need to do to get started, kids?” she asked the preschoolers and kindergarteners seated in a semi-circle in front of her.

In unison, they responded: “Open our ears, close our mouths, eyes on me (the facilitator).” I thought to myself, “Holy cow! That can work for leaders, too!”

If you want to exude presence, improve how you communicate, which starts with really listening.  Leaders with that “wow factor,” that “je ne sais quoi” have learned how to be present.  They are in the moment and listen more than they talk.  Listening carefully helps them gather valuable information, demonstrate that they care, and ultimately draws people to them.

Read the post…


Rabbi Evan Moffic

3 Important Lessons From the Mark Driscoll Affair

Rabbi Evan MofficA recent headline in Christianity Today asked “Was Mark Driscoll’s board a problem?” The problem lies in the headline itself. It suggests the board belonged to Mark Driscoll. The board of a church or synagogue does not belong to its pastor or rabbi. It belongs to its members. It belongs to the community. Ultimately, it belongs to God.

The challenge is how to make this ideal real in an organization. Too often a weak board becomes subordinate to its pastor or rabbi. This is both a theological and practical challenge.

The theological challenge is that we are not ultimately in charge. God is. The practical challenge is one all non-profit organizations face. How do we operate efficiently without sacrificing our beliefs or core commitments? As one of my teachers, Rabbi Terry Bookman put it, how do we embrace “business-like” procedures without becoming a business? 

Three truths should guide us.

1. A church or synagogue is more like a home than a business. The non-professional leadership of our houses of worship…

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Verne Harnish

Five not-to-be-missed books

Verne HarnishThese gems got less press than ones by Ben Horowitz and Eric Schmidt, but they can help grow your business.

1) The small BIG, By Steve Martin, Noah Goldstein, and Robert Cialdini…

2) Rookie Smarts, by Liz Wiseman…

3) The Customer-Funded Business, By John Mullins…

4) Tilt, By Niraj Dawar…

5) 10% Happier, By Dan Harris…

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Karin Hurt

6 Ways to Create More Joy at Work

Karin HurtGreat leaders are joy inducers. Not the giddy kind of joy, but deep-seeded joy that comes from inspired and meaningful contribution. Inspiring joy is a pragmatic pursuit. I’ve yet to encounter a truly joyful poor performer.

Last week, I asked all my social media circles to identify three things they liked most about their job. There was a deep feeling of passion and joy throughout the comments. It’s not to late to contribute. The themes were remarkably consistent and a useful guide for leaders looking to inspire greater joy and higher performance on their teams.

For a more joyous, engaged and high-performing team look for ways to maximize these six aspects of the job design and interaction.

1.Meaningful Work

People long to contribute to an important cause that’s aligned with their values. Help your team understand the bigger impact they are making on the world.

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Sara Canaday

Emotional Intelligence: Cult or Competitive Advantage?

Sara CanadayA few weeks ago, a headline caught my eye on LinkedIn. Judging by the numerous comments and rebuttal responses, I wasn’t alone.

Clearly crafted to raise eyebrows (and clicks), it proclaimed, “Emotional Intelligence is Overrated.” After tucking away my initial skepticism and lowering my raised eyebrow, I read through the article to investigate author Adam Grant’s points. After all, I respect Grant and his work in the field of emotional intelligence.
The article tells a cautionary tale of a CEO who puts a good deal of faith in the importance of emotional intelligence, only to be “proven” wrong not once, but twice, by Grant and his team who conducted experiments with “hundreds of salespeople.”

We’re meant to see this story as proof positive that any intelligent corporate leader should abandon demonstrably high emotional intelligence (EI) as any sort of criterion, or at the very least, relocate it to the touchy-feely fields where “you have to deal with emotions every day, like sales, real estate, and counseling.

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Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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