Reading for Leading Archive

  • one in a hundred

    PROVE or IMPROVE – My pride in the 99

    You can make the same shift as 99 students of whom I am greatly proud. They inspire me to make the same choice that I commend to you today. They chose to improve, rather than to prove. I’ve had a 100 undergrads this semester. I […]

    Full Story

  • Ready for Christmas

    Leading — Into the Holidays – 5 Simple Tips

    Leaders always lead in context. But context we forget. So, here are 5 simple reminders as our context is shorter days, dropping temperatures, and some mounting pressures. Finish strong by clarifying realistic yet stretch goals. Re-read that sentence and say out loud the most important […]

    Full Story

  • Fannie-Lou-Hamer-Poster

    Leading and Bias

    As I thought about Reading for Leading this week, I asked someone, “Is there anything else to say about Ferguson?” They said, “No!” We’re weary, aren’t we? Weary of the ripping story we’ve had with us since the ’60s, since, well since the Civil War, […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story

  • 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. […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story

  • 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 […]

    Full Story