Weekly Business Insights from Top Ten Business Magazines | Week 330
Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Since September 2017 | Week 330 | January 5-11, 2024
Personal Development, Leading & Managing Section | 2
Eight Essential Leadership Tips for 2024
By Laurianne McLaughlin | MIT Sloan Management Review | January 04, 2024
Extractive Summary of the Article | Listen
As leaders consider which skills to focus on developing in 2024, change management and emotional intelligence might top the list. Even as leaders are called on to craft strategy around the use of artificial intelligence, the harder problems involve steering teams through all of the changes AI continues to bring.
To give you a jump-start on making even more progress as a leader in the new year, the author has curated these leadership tips from some of MIT Sloan Management’s most thought-provoking articles of 2023. (In other words, we’ve saved you from having to ask ChatGPT, “What should I work on as a leader?”) Consider which ones you can apply to your current — and upcoming — challenges.
- Flip the script on how you deal with pushback. “Effective leaders think of pushback as an opportunity to boost their team’s learning while moving their organization forward. The objective should be to increase people’s understanding and build support by tempering both advocate enthusiasm and constrain pessimism. This deeper level of understanding, while not necessarily satisfying to all in the moment, fosters a climate of candor, humility, adaptation, and trust, thereby subtly steering pushback away from latent disruptive tendencies.”
- Foster more intellectual honesty on your team. “Emotional intelligence includes four main elements: self-awareness (awareness of your emotions), self-management (regulation of your emotions), social awareness (empathy and the ability to see others’ viewpoints), and relationship management (the ability to find common ground and build rapport).
- Hold better one-on-one meetings. “There’s nothing more frustrating for a direct report than discussing an issue or opportunity with a manager who never follows through after the initial conversation. Managers should take notes, review them after the meeting, and complete any action items stemming from the conversation before the next weekly meeting. Managers expect this from direct reports but need to hold themselves accountable as well.” And while you’re at it, prioritize making more human connections in your meetings.
- Look at problem-solving through a new lens. “When relying on intuition, cognitive biases (such as overconfidence and confirmation bias) can muddle the decision-making process. The deep smarts that enable people to discern problems and propose instant remedies in their domain of expertise quickly become a liability outside of it. The French call this déformation professionnelle — the tendency to see any problem through the distorting lens of one’s professional experience. We overestimate the relevance of our experience and underappreciate what we don’t know. However, complex strategic problems require new perspectives and options, not just what has worked in the past.”
- Strive for equity on hybrid teams. “It’s important to realize that the conversation around remote work has evolved over the past few years. The transition from COVID-19 lockdowns to a ‘post-pandemic’ period with increased flexibility may lead to polarization and less understanding between employees with differing work preferences. Taking steps to eliminate an us-versus-them mentality will be critical, not only between managers and subordinates but also among members of the same team who choose to work in different locations. To that end, it may be useful to mix up teams and leaders in different locations.”
- Build better judgment muscles in a hyper-transparent world. “Let’s take as a given that the transparent nature of the world and workplace will only increase from here on out. In such an environment, your ability to quickly and sensibly decide what to do with a piece of information — your judgment — becomes a critical tool for survival and success. Leaders will want to consciously work on this skill themselves, but given that they cannot be in every one of a multiplying set of conversations all of the time, they’ll also want their teams to get better at judgment. …
- Find new ways to inspire during uncertainty. “Help each employee work toward their dream job. You can’t always guarantee someone a promotion (or, unfortunately, even job stability), but you can commit to giving your employees the kinds of valuable learning opportunities that will help them no matter what comes next. “To surface the experiences or projects your team members would be excited to take on, ask them to show you a job posting for a role they’d be thrilled to have in three to five years. Walk through the listed responsibilities together, and pinpoint any for which they think they lack the skills or compelling experience. Then commit to helping them grow in these areas by offering them relevant tasks or projects.”
- Improve your balance: Develop extracurricular coping strategies. “As leadership intensifies, the need for balance becomes paramount. Developing coping mechanisms outside the professional sphere is not a luxury but a necessity. Whether it’s through physical activity, putting pen to paper in a journal, engaging in creative outlets, or cherishing moments with loved ones, these pursuits offer an essential emotional reset.
2 key takeaways from the article
- As leaders consider which skills to focus on developing in 2024.
- To give you a jump-start on making even more progress as a leader in the new year, the author has curated these leadership tips from some of MIT Sloan Management’s most thought-provoking articles of 2023. (In other words, we’ve saved you from having to ask ChatGPT, “What should I work on as a leader?”) Consider which ones you can apply to your current — and upcoming — challenges: flip the script on how you deal with pushback, foster more intellectual honesty on your team, hold better one-on-one meetings, look at problem-solving through a new lens, strive for equity on hybrid teams, build better judgment muscles in a hyper-transparent world, find new ways to inspire during uncertainty, and improve your balance.
(Copyright lies with the publisher)
Topics: Leadership, Decision-making, Uncertainty