Reading for Leading Archive

  • Ferguson collage

    5 Things Leaders Do When Emotions Are High

    Last week, I noted that any leadership problem that’s worth its salt will have emotion bursting through it. Whether that problem’s a “rebellious teenager,” the Israelis and Palestinians, employee layoffs, or controversial strategy. I asked your thoughts about what a leader should do with emotion, and […]

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  • Difficult Emotions

    If Emotional Leadership Isn’t an Oxymoron

    A week ago today a 20-year old man was found dead in a fraternity on campus.  I felt compelled to touch on it in my leadership class. All sixty of my students write papers weekly that reflect their desire to lead and grow as leaders. […]

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  • sergeant stripes

    Celebrating a Veteran – Questioning our Assumptions

    One of the favorite classes I teach is on giving feedback. It’s an art. And it’s a science, whose inner laws were taught me by my friend and mentor Mary Ann Hastings. I keep learning to “paint” with the feedback brush and to refine my […]

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  • funny_sign_10

    Stupid Rules – How to Figure if Yours Are

    A “Reading for Leading” reader — I’ll call her Ann — pushed back in a private email to me.  She wrote these two paragraphs: In a future newsletter, you may want to distinguish between rules to be broken and those that should be honored.  To […]

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  • caligulabjorklund

    Why is it so hard to get people to take initiative?

    I asked my students this question: “How many times were you told to take a risk or break a rule by a teacher in a classroom?” “Call it out,” I said, and I cupped my hand behind my ear and looked down to concentrate on […]

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  • Dialogue by Isaacs small pic

    A Simple Way to Simultaneously Learn More and Strengthen Relationships

    I’m reading a great book called Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together, by William Isaacs who teaches at MIT. (While Harvard has its big name and often big ego), I’ve always admired those MIT folks.  They tend to bring an underlying and wonderful scientific skepticism – and […]

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  • whoppers (2)

    Why Mistakes Can Be Great – Even Real Whoppers

    I had a perfectly good explanation. But I had NO EXCUSE. Professionals don’t show up late when they’re presenting – sufficiently late that the program had to be rearranged. I’d hurried in, plugged in my deck and was ready to go in 30 seconds, but […]

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  • Kates 25th birthday

    A Story of Human, Humbling, H-Amazing Everyday Leadership

    Longtime readers of Reading for Leading know that I tell (perhaps way too many) stories from my own experiences leading. Specifically, leading in the place that matters most to me — leading my children. I take consolation in the fact that I try to be transparent, especially […]

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  • house

    Practice Leading Where It Matters Most

    For the moment the furor has died down.  NFL players who abused their girl friends, spouses or children have been rightly suspended. For the moment my furor has died down. Once again last week I said things to one of my family members I wished […]

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  • 249

    Leadership and Seventh Grade – Are You Ready

    At the beginning of every class, I literally throw Kudos to students. (Tragically M&M Mars is discontinuing the not-so-tasty food bar, so I’m open to suggestions of new prize tosses.) I especially look for new insights or for people going outside the safety zones that […]

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