I hope that at least a few of these recent posts will be of interest to you:
Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance
The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well
Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield
Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence: Selected Writings
a fine line: how design strategies are shaping the future of business
Resonant Leadership: Inspiring Others Through Emotional Intelligence (CD)
Terry Leahy (Tesco) in “The Corner Office”
The New York Times
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey‘s advice for entrepreneurs
THE NORMAL WELL-TEMPERED MIND: A Conversation with Daniel C. Dennett
with John Brockman
Kevin Cashman: An interview by Bob Morris
Simon Pont: An interview by Bob Morris
“Why the Publishing Industry Isn’t Doomed: Readers’ Control In the Future of Reading”
“How To Make Your Employees Happier”
“Five of Steve Jobs’s Biggest Mistakes”
“The Narcissistic Leader: Not as Good as He (Or You) May Think”
“Leadership lessons from the Royal Navy”
Andrew St. George
The McKinsey Quarterly
“10 Creative Block Breakers That Actually Work”
Susan K. Perry
“Several of the Major Business Challenges to Be Faced in 2013″
Gerard J. Tellis
“Preparing for a new era of work”
Susan Lund, James Manyika, and Sree Ramaswamy
The McKinsey Quarterly
“My Favorite Quotations About Women: Part 2″
“This Explains Everything: 192 Thinkers on the Most Elegant Theory of How the World Works”
“Who says it’s a man’s world?”
from Who Says It’s a Man’s World?
“The 5 rules of happy employees”
from It’s Always Personal
“How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries”
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Here is an excerpt from an article written by John Beeson for the Harvard Business Review blog. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.
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Many companies extol the value of work-life balance for their employees, but the reality for senior executives? There isn’t any. Frequently, stressed and harried managers look up the organization hierarchy and assume that they’ll have greater control of their time when they advance to the C-suite. What they don’t understand is that modern-day telecommunications, the hair-trigger requirements of financial markets, and the pace of global organizations create 24 x 7 work lives for most executives. So, forget work-life balance and think personal organization and finding ways to relax.
I see too many new and aspiring executives who are naïve about what it takes to succeed at the C-suite level and surprised by the withering demands placed upon them. The first step in dealing with the workload is putting in place the support structure that allows you to focus your energies on key priorities and issues where you can add the greatest value to the business.
Think for a minute. If your boss came and asked you to lead a major change initiative, your first questions would be about the budget and staff you would have at your disposal for the effort. The same logic applies to preparing to operate as an executive. At work and at home, who are the people who allow you to leverage your time and energy: your go-to staff members to keep track of major projects at work and those who help with childcare, eldercare, or managing a household?
In their drive to succeed, many new executives get caught up in a merry-go-round of business reviews, executive team meetings, e-mail, and late-night conference calls with colleagues around the world. At one large, global company, the CEO was known to keep his top 100 people on speed dial for impromptu phone calls at any time of the day or night. In many companies it can be difficult if not impossible to break away from this routine even for a long weekend, and the cumulative effects of stress and workload are damaging. We know a great deal about the long-term health dangers of prolonged stress. However, as described by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee in Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, the effects on executive effectiveness are just as profound.
Under continued stress an executive loses his or her perspective on issues and the ability to look at problems creatively. Molehills become mountains. Conflict with colleagues becomes personal. The “flat spots” of our personality — for example, arrogance, inflexibility, aversion to risk or a tendency toward negativity — become evident. And most of us revert to tried and true solutions — the enemy of breakthrough strategies and new innovations.
Say goodbye to the two-week vacation with the family. That’s history in most organizations. Instead, seek to find those activities that allow you to relax — even if only for 15 minutes a day. One CEO races performance sports cars on weekends. Another works out vigorously early every morning and adds a walk around Central Park on weekends. Yet another would end a grueling day of work listening to jazz on a professional quality sound system installed in the basement. Such executives recognize that these moments of relaxation are critical to maintaining resilience: their ability to rebound from obstacles and setbacks whether it’s an unplanned marketplace event, the resignation of a key staff member or a promotion decision that didn’t go their way.
Many managers are “sprinters” early in their careers. Recognition, rewards, and promotions come their way quickly. However, to succeed at the C-suite level where the pressures are greater and the consequences of failure more punishing, it’s critical to equip yourself for the long haul. And that means making sure you have the necessary support structure around you and those precious few moments of relaxation that help you maintain the bounce in your step and the optimistic tone required of a senior leader.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
John Beeson is Principal of Beeson Consulting, a management consulting firm specializing in succession planning, executive assessment and coaching, and organization design. He is also the author of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level (Jossey-Bass.).
This is one in a series of volumes that anthologizes what the editors of the Harvard Business Review consider to be the “must reads” in a given business subject area, in this instance self-management. I have no quarrel with any of their selections, each of which is eminently deserving of inclusion. Were all of these article purchased separately as reprints, the total cost would be $60 and the value of any one of them exceeds that. Given the fact that Amazon now sells this one for only $15.14, that’s quite a bargain. The same is true of volumes in other series such as “Harvard Business Review on….” and “Harvard Business Essentials.” I also think there is great benefit derived from the convenience of having a variety of perspectives and insights gathered in a single volume
Authors of several articles about self-management later developed their concepts in much greater depth. They include Stewart Friedman (“Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life” was followed by Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life) and Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee (“Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance” was followed by Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence). “Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey”?” co-authored by William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass continues to be the second most popular HBR article ever published.
The first article, Peter Drucker’s “Managing Yourself,” serves as an excellent introduction to the other nine in which their authors also address issues that remain compelling relevant to those who are struggling to manage themselves effectively. For example, “How Resilience Works” (Diane L. Coutu), “Overloaded Circuits” (Edward M. Hallowell), and “What to Ask the Person in the Mirror” (Robert S. Kaplan). I also appreciate the editors’ skillful use of two reader-friendly devices, “Idea in Brief” and “Idea in Practice,” both of which facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key points later.