Welcome to the Let’s Grow Leaders Frontline Festival Best of 2017 Edition. We asked thought leaders from around the world to share their very best post of the year. We strategically didn’t define “best of,” but instead let contributors choose their own criteria. Some submitted their most popular post in terms of page views or social sharing, while others submitted the post that had the most personal meaning for them.
It was interesting to see the themes that emerged. Thanks to Joy and Tom Guthrie of Vizwerx Group for the great pic and to all our contributors!
Next month’s Frontline Festival is all about strategy and alignment. New contributors are always welcome. Submit your relevant blog posts here!
“Not only are bloggers suckers for the remarkable, so are the people who read blogs.” -Seth Godin
Inspirational and Reflection
What we loved: First off, meeting Wendy at the SHRM conference, and experiencing her amazing energy and enthusiasm. I remember feeling that excited when starting my blog and seeing how quickly it attracted wonderful people to connect with. She’s doing a great job engaging her tribe. I loved how she takes her tribe with her to experience events.
Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer Leadership shares, “Some of the most popular pieces on my leadership blog revolve around stories I share that reveal a timely lesson on how to be better at leading others. It’s for this reason that my top post of 2017 revolves around a story – in this case, a story of one of my failures as a leader and the powerful lesson it gave rise to on the importance of effective listening.” Follow Tanveer.
What we loved: Tanveer’s vulnerability and sharing. No leader is perfect. Real growth comes from knowing that and working to improve.
Kaylee Riley of Patriot Software, LLC notes that 2017 had its ups and downs for many business owners. For inspiration and insight on leadership, motivation, failure, and more, check out these helpful quotes, and get ready to tackle another great year! Follow Kaylee.
What we loved: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” —J.K. Rowling, author
David Grossman of The Grossman Group explains, “In developing my thoughts on 21st century communications, I pulled together the best-of-the-best strategies that work from our clients who are leading in the global communications arena, and from my travels.” The results are these Top Ten Principles for leaders, organizations, and communication professionals. Follow David.
What we loved: Principle #6: There’s a greater focus on self. Before you can lead others, you need to first know and understand yourself.
What we loved: The ENTIRE list. We’ve seen every one of these derailers.
Julie Winkle Giulioni of DesignArounds asks, “What’s the alternative to micromanagement? Macromanagement!” It’s a way of dealing with employees and others that honors who they are and what they know, while at the same time driving engagement and sustainable results. Follow Julie
What we loved: Julie’s straightforward chart outlining the differences in behaviors of “micro-manager and a macro-manager.”
What we loved: The reminder that being nice can go such a long way when leading other human beings.
Jon Mertz of Thin Difference reminds us that inciting and supporting continued chaos is not a sound leadership trait. A return to calmness is a leadership imperative that we embraced in 2017 and will continue to embrace in the coming years. Follow Jon.
What we loved: We have enough chaos in the world.
- Odd, divisive presidential tweets slam early in the morning.
- Opioid and drug abuse rises. “Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.”
- Anxiety is up. “Over the past eight years, Google search rates for anxiety have more than doubled…”
We don’t need leaders creating chaos. We need leaders willing to solve the underlying issues to tame chaos.
Chip Bell of Chip Bell Group reminds us that after dark, all cats are leopards and shares what can a cat teach you about how to live life at the peak of success. Follow Chip.
What we loved: This one was just fun! What a clever approach to talking about confidence and other success-inducing behaviors.
Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited shares one of her most popular posts of the year–which happens to coincide with something leaders should be doing a lot of. Here’s How to Write a Meaningful Thank You Note. Follow Beth.
What we loved: Beth doesn’t just encourage us to write thank you notes; she gives a helpful structure on how to make them more meaningful.
Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding admits that marathons are hard. And marathons are far more of an individual challenge than a team activity. So what does running a marathon have to do with you leading your team? A good bit, actually… Follow Sean.
What we loved: As a marathon-runner I totally get this! I know my marathons have made me a more disciplined and supportive leader.
Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader brings to mind that leadership principles are timeless, and great principles transcend generations and cultures. He gives us some applications taken from what my kids learn from their martial arts Sensei. Follow Paul
What we loved: Heroic Courage. “Bushidos never waver in the face of fear or the face of compromise. They hold fast to Principles. Heroic courage is not a bravery to bend or break rules, but courage to stand for them…”
John Hunter of Curious Cat Management Improvement posits that it seems that if there were better ways to manage, people would adopt those methods. But this just isn’t the case; sometimes better methods will be adopted but often they won’t. People can be very attached to the way things have always been done. Follow John.
What we loved: His question: How often is your organization losing out because better methods are ignored?
According to Alli Polin of Break the Frame, it’s easy to look the other way and assume that someone else will step up and get involved. What sets people apart are these five simple rules for your life and leadership. Follow Alli.
What we loved: “Be someone who does what’s right, not only what’s easy.”
Jesse Stoner of Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership reminds us that just because someone has the title of “president” doesn’t mean they’re a leader. A leader is someone who people respect, who says, “Let’s go this way,” and people follow of their own volition. Follow Jesse.
What we loved: “A leader is the person who takes action. And others join in.”
Teamwork and Teambuilding
According to Paula Kiger of Big Green Pen, it’s an old cliche’ that “there is no ‘I’ in team,” but this version of the phrase, via a television reality show, brought humor to the idea. Turns out leadership shows up when something truly matters to us. Follow Paula.
What we loved: Paula’s starting question, “When does something stop being a drill and begin being ‘real life?’ “
What we love: His reminder that the crises we’re seeing with sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are not just with the rich and famous. “Incivility and disrespect play out every day in our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, politics, and social media networks around the globe.”
Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership offers that the conditions for trusting someone are very personal. In fact, despite how logical your assessments regarding trustworthiness may seem to you, it’s important to remember that not everyone takes the same approach. Follow Susan.
What we loved: #5 of her 9 Actions to Build Trust, “honor your promises.”
“I use the word “honor” instead of “keep” your promises deliberately, because no one keeps all of their promises. Stuff happens and we are, after all, human. So this means EITHER do what you said you would do OR tell someone in advance of the due date that you can’t deliver. When you can’t deliver and you tell someone in advance, you can figure out together how to deal with the potential breakdown. That doesn’t count as keeping your promise, but it does honor your commitment and your relationship.”
Jon Verbeck of JonVerbeck.com advises that all businesses big and small have great opportunities working with outside experts. We all develop our teams and being an outside expert, I understand it from both sides. This post describes some challenges and tips working with outside experts and consultants. Follow Jon.
What we loved: his advice to help outside experts feel like they are part of the team. No one wants to feel like a “vendor.”
Lisa Kohn from Chatsworth Consulting Group presents Conflict is good – Five Ways to Make it Even Better! on The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog where she presents a few simple, but not so easy, steps to take that can help make conflict more effective and productive. Follow Lisa.
What we loved: “We can get so caught up in the fight that we forget what we’re fighting for. And sometimes we’re fighting against each other, without realizing we’re fighting for the same thing.”
Won’t you join us?
We’d love to hear which posts resonated most with you (please leave a comment below). And we’re always looking for new contributors to the Festival!