Monthly Archives: June 2011

Leading with Wisdom: The Optimism Fallacy

Leading with wisdom isn’t easy to attain. Let’s talk about the five fallacies that stop smart leaders from making wise choices and actions (see my two previous posts here and here). In particular, this error struck me as important to executives (Sternberg, 2003): The unrealistic-optimism fallacy: believing only good things will result from one’s ideas […]
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Why Smart People Make Stupid Mistakes

In my post last week about executive wisdom, I mentioned that intelligent, well-educated people are particularly susceptible to five fallacies that stop them from making wise choices and actions. You can read more about these fallacies in Robert J. Sternberg’s book Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid (2003), but I will summarize them here: […]
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In Search of Leadership Wisdom: 5 Traps

When Socrates declared at his trial “that I do not think that I know what I do not know,” he set the stage for defining true wisdom in humans: recognizing the limits of one’s own knowledge. How many leaders in business demonstrate that? I’m currently reading an interesting book full of good stories about this […]
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How to Speak Up to the Boss and Be Heard

Speaking up to the boss is risky, especially if you don’t have a trusting relationship. If you’re not sure if you have the boss’ trust and respect, you’re going to need to work on this first. That’s where executive coaches can help. But even if you’re sure you’ve got his or her respect, you still […]
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Leading the Boss: 3 Questions to Ask

I’ve been thinking a lot about the problems that arise when someone has the courage to speak up to the boss. In some cases, actions speak louder than words. If you and your boss have established a trusting relationship, you can suggest and take actions that lead your boss to better outcomes. If you don’t […]
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Lack of Leadership Trust: What Can You Do?

I asked this question over on my Facebook wall: “Would you speak up to the boss about questionable practices?” Several people commented about how doing so cost them their jobs! I’ll bet this is more wide spread than imagined. No wonder people don’t speak up to the boss… I looked up some stats on lack […]
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Speaking Up to the Boss: Good Followers

Speaking up to the boss is risky, but necessary as a career booster. Good leadership takes two to tango. You can’t have effective leadership without courageous followers who take their position of power seriously by speaking up and asking the right questions. We’ve seen how failure to speak up over policies that seem questionable or […]
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Effective Followers: 4 Qualities to Strive For

Robert E. Kelley, in his landmark article for Harvard Business Review, “In Praise of Followers” (1988), describes the behaviors that lead to effective followership. Even though this was written over 20 years ago, the concepts are still relevant for anyone wanting to be more successful at their job. I find that in the new flatter […]
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Followers and Leaders: When the Boss Goes Nuts…

Have you ever listened to your boss and wondered if he or she’s gone nuts? Or maybe just a little off-track? Ever had the courage to speak up… and had it go well? It’s not easy to manage the boss, but they need your participation. The more I listen to the stories my clients tell […]
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Leadership Styles: It Takes Two to Tango

I’ve been doing some research on leadership styles and came across an interesting video on tango and leadership. It’s made by  Ira Chaleff, who wrote a book about the other side of leadership: The Courageous Follower. I think the dance of tango is a good metaphor for the close interaction between leaders and followers, and […]
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