WEEKEND READS – August 11, 2023

The Elite Leadership Insights newsletter publishes Weekend Reads each Friday with resources from some of the top academic and business leadership minds. It is a resource for you to utilize as you continue your leadership journey and packaged so you can casually read them over the weekend. Continuous learning is a critical part of leadership improvement. In each Weekend Reads you will find links to articles, videos, podcasts and other resources, as well as some recommended leadership books.

We curate resources from Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company,  PwC  strategy+business, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Kellogg Insight, Fortune, Knowledge at Wharton, MIT Sloan Management Review, Chief Executive Group, Korn Ferry and many others.

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Here are this week’s Weekend Reads. Enjoy and feel free to share this with your colleagues.

Emotional Intelligence In An AI World, Chief Executive Group, August 2023. If your business is like most businesses, you are likely currently experimenting with ways in which artificial intelligence can make you better. Maybe you are exploring how AI can analyze operational data to improve your decision-making, or perhaps you are testing out how AI-driven chatbots can streamline your customer service. There is a good deal of excitement about AI’s potential for boosting employee efficiency and effectiveness. But at the same time, there are concerns about the negative impact it could have.

Make Your Case for Communication Upskilling, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 3, 2023. Companies say they desperately want employees who can communicate effectively — leaders tell me that all the time in workshops — but how many of them really mean it? It’s hard to find a job posting that doesn’t mention the communication skill set as a key requirement. And yet, when faced with the skills that candidates actually have and those that they’re weak in, hiring managers find themselves making trade-offs, particularly to meet pressing technical needs. The thing is, communication skills can’t wait.

Are Middle Managers Your Next Ace in the Hole?, McKinsey & Company, August 1, 2023. Middle managers: they’re beleaguered. Maligned. Miscast. But new research reveals the clear competitive advantage the best middle managers bring—and the vital role they stand to play in the future of work. Business lore is freighted with misadventures in middle management. Yet middle managers are critical to organizational health and performance, and they are only becoming more so as work continues to transform.

The Real Reason You’re Having a Hard Time Getting Things Done at the Office, The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2023. If you still don’t have your office groove back, there might be a scientific explanation. Hybrid work arrangements mess with our brains. Frustrated bosses who survey their half-empty officescapes say it makes no sense that somebody who worked full time in an office before 2020 can’t show up like they used to. But neurologists and behavioral scientists say the collective amnesia for effectively working alongside each other makes perfect sense to them.

Overcome Mistakes Like an Elite Athlete, Psychology Today, August 3, 2023. For a perfectionist, there is absolutely nothing more stressful than making mistakes. Anxiety tricks them into thinking that making an error is the worst thing in the entire world. That making a mistake spells catastrophe. Elite athletes think differently. To play at peak level, you have to play aggressively. You have to take risks, and you are going to make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. Elite athletes understand that errors are part of high performance and a necessary way to learn new skills and strategies. Instead of spending time and energy trying to avoid mistakes, elite athletes learn how to bounce back quickly from errors.

How Outlawing Collegiate Affirmative Action Will Impact Corporate America, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 7, 2023. On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 in favor of outlawing the use of race and ethnicity as factors in college admissions. This was a momentous decision that stands to have widespread societal and organizational implications. Although the scope of the ruling was limited to college admissions, we can draw upon existing data to forecast the impact on corporate America. The evidence clearly points to two key outcomes: First, collegiate patterns of racioethnic diversity will change fairly dramatically; and second, these changes will have considerable downstream consequences for workplace composition as well as patterns of racioethnic inequity across a host of other measures.

Research Shows Effective Leaders Use These 3 Words to Improve Performance, Teamwork, and Buy-In, Inc. Magazine, July 31, 2023. In one study, simply adding one of the three words to a sentence increased productivity by nearly 50 percent. Clearly words matter, but if you’re a leader, research shows — especially if you hope to increase performance, build more effective teams, forge better relationships, and gain buy-in — some words matter more than others.


CEOs Can Make (or Break) an Organization Redesign, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 2, 2023. One of a CEO’s essential responsibilities is leading the effort to reconfigure their organization after recognizing that its structure is no longer optimal for creating and delivering value. Some redesigns are major companywide overhauls, such as Procter & Gamble’s creation of six industry-based sector business units in 2019, which its CEO described as “the most significant organization change we’ve made in the last 20 years.”1 Other redesign efforts have a narrower scope, focusing on a particular division, function, or issue.

Stephen Curry’s Remarkable Rise Will Inspire You to Dream Bigger, Inc. Magazine, August 2, 2023. Founders can learn three lessons from Apple TV’s new documentary about the NBA icon. As a sports fan, I knew that many people doubted Stephen Curry’s ability to compete in the NBA when he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors. But I didn’t know the rest of the story: the journey of a driven athlete with a remarkable resolve to prove his critics wrong–starting at the age of 9.

{The Elite Leadership Academy, the publisher of the Elite Leadership Insights Newsletter, is a privately funded leadership training and advisory organization dedicated to the improvement of leadership in all industries and organization levels using a personalized, process-based approach that is adaptable to almost any leadership encounter while producing measurable results.}



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