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No Time Like The Future

This week’s compilation focuses on three themes rather than a single unified theme. We will address:

  1. The need for self-awareness into our leadership blind spots and practical tips to mitigate them, including leveraging your existing strengths
  2. The importance of strategic, thoughtful, and audience-specific communication, including tips specific to the COVID pandemic, as well as an array of pragmatic advice, models, etc. for increasing our messaging effectiveness and value delivery
  3. Final thoughts and mental models for knowing when to stop vs. push on, advice on further exploring ideas vs exploiting what you already know about them and the fallacy of sunk costs and how they can limit our opportunities.

Articles

Don’t Get Blindsided by Your Blind Spots. “By shrinking their leaders’ blind spots, companies will increase their ability to thrive in an uncertain, interdependent world.”

How to Play to Your Strengths. “Used correctly, the RBS [Reflected Best Self] exercise can help you tap into unrecognized and unexplored areas of potential. Armed with a constructive, systematic process for gathering and analyzing data about your best self, you can burnish your performance at work.”

What Inclusive Leaders Sound Like. “When leaders commit to building an inclusive organization, they tend to start with the company mission, vision, values, and a promise to ensure everyone in the organization has a voice. But if they don’t change the way they communicate every day with their employees, leaders are missing a crucial piece.”

5 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis. “…As a leader what you say and how you convey it will play a significant part in determining how your organizations perform during these difficult times and after.”

Storytelling Can Make or Break Your Leadership. “Storytelling can make or break any initiative…It will take practice, but when done well, good storytelling can make a major impact on your team, your organization, and your entire career.”

Write to Reward Your Reader. “You can craft a winning communication strategy that specifically taps the reward circuit embedded within our hunter-gatherer brains. Here are five tactics.”

4 Quick Tips to Improve Your Business Writing. “This shift, to what I call ‘audience-centric writing,’ takes time and effort…But mostly it is a shift of mindset; because good professional writing is empathetic to readers. And this type of writing is more apt to be read and, by extension, create the change the writer desires.”

Start Stopping Faster. “…Businesses must evolve to match their acceleration muscle with faster stopping and turning skills. As they do, their hunt for growth will grow more fruitful, their competitive capabilities will strengthen, and their position in the food chain will climb.”

TED Talks/Podcasts

WeWork cofounder Miguel McKelvey: blind spots in leadership. “What we can learn from WeWork about building diverse, equitable, and inclusive company cultures.”

TEDxBerkeley: Erika Cheung: Theranos, whistleblowing and speaking truth to power. “In 2014, Erika Cheung made a discovery that would ultimately help bring down her employer, Theranos, as well as its founder, Elizabeth Holmes…The decision to become a whistleblower proved a hard lesson in figuring out how to do what’s right in the face of both personal and professional obstacles. With candor and humility, Cheung shares her journey of speaking truth to power — and offers a framework to encourage others to come forward and act in the service of all.”

Charlie Mackesy’s lessons in kindness. “In a quaint barn in the English countryside, there’s a man, with a dog, documenting the human condition in its simplest form, through sketches about kindness and empathy, as we all navigate this new world.”

Blog Posts

Farnam Street Blog: Explore or exploit? How to choose new opportunities. “One big challenge we all face in life is knowing when to explore new opportunities, and when to double down on existing ones. Explore vs exploit algorithms – and poetry – teach us that it’s vital to consider how much time we have, how we can best avoid regrets, and what we can learn from failures.”

Seth Godin: The thing about sunk costs. “It’s easy to focus on the problem right in front of us, and to decide that this problem, and only this problem, is the problem for us to solve. But there’s a cost to everything, and the opportunity lost when you’re doing this is just as real, even when you don’t notice it.”

James Clear: The 1 Percent Rule: Why a Few People Get Most of the Rewards. “The 1 Percent Rule states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accumulate to the people, teams, and organizations that maintain a 1 percent advantage over the alternatives. You don’t need to be twice as good to get twice the results. You just need to be slightly better.”

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

When It Comes to Living With Uncertainty, Michael J. Fox Is a Pro. “In his fourth memoir, “No Time Like the Future,” the actor and activist opens up about his newfound, uniquely upbeat brand of pessimism.”

Aimee Mann on the Music That Made Her. “The incisive singer-songwriter talks about the artists and albums that have meant the most to her—from Steely Dan to Sharon Van Etten to They Might Be Giants—five years at a time.”

The Great American Rebrand. “We invited one of the world’s leading ad agencies, Wieden+Kennedy, to give us some ideas on how the USA might restore luster to the brand.”

Reflections

“Weakness can be coached to average, but strength can be leveraged to the moon.” – Laurence Endersen

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan a senior advisor for Consultants Collective. He is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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