WEEKEND READS – August 25, 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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Find bonus articles at the bottom of this post!

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

How to Shine When You’re Put on the Spot, Harvard Business Review, September 2023. Mastering the art of spontaneous speaking is important for leaders. They must do more than just deliver a good prepared keynote—they need to nail the Q&A and small talk afterward, or crush off-the-cuff toasts and speeches. Anyone can become proficient at this art using the right tactics and behaviors. Key strategies are offered that include avoiding conventional responses in favor of establishing genuine connections, and prioritizing brevity while delivering messages. Fear or nervousness need not deter anyone from communicating effectively on the spot.

How To Get Your Boss To See You As A Leader, Forbes, August 13, 2023. You want to be seen as a leader, but your job title and lack of direct reports seem to communicate low-rank status. Being recognized as a leader isn’t solely for those with VP, CXO, and Manager in their title. To get your colleagues and supervisors to recognize your leadership qualities, unlock these ten strategies.

A Simple Playbook for new Managers (or Anyone who Wants to Improve Their Leadership), Fast Company, August 20, 2023. For new leaders, whether you’re leading one person or many, you’re likely feeling the weight of responsibility in an entirely new way. The good news is that it can be extremely satisfying to inspire a team to achieve great things. The reality, though, is that many new managers fail within the first two years, due largely to the fact that they weren’t properly trained to be people leaders in the first place. Failure is totally avoidable—even if you haven’t had any formal training.

You Are a Work in Progress, Chicago Booth Review, August 8, 2023. We all need the capacity to learn from our experiences. This is not just learning from reading books or attending classes, but rather from interacting day-to-day with others. These experiences and the way we interpret them become part of our identity. I like to think of this as becoming your own playwright, composer, or storyteller.

Take 5: Not So Fast!, Kellogg Insight, August 10, 2023. In a world of immediate gratification, it can be hard to remember that good things come to those who wait. Yes, there are those rare moments when you need to act quickly on an opportunity, lest it pass you by forever, but most decisions aren’t like that. By slowing down, we generally gain valuable perspective and make better decisions.

Return to the Office Because…, Korn Ferry, August 23, 2023. The battle over when to come into the office continues to rage, with both company leaders and employees disagreeing about when in-person work is beneficial. And while there may never be an answer, new internal data from Microsoft offers some rare clues about the kind of work that is consistently beneficial in the office. The data comes down to three activities: onboarding (individuals or teams), kicking off a project, and strengthening team cohesion.


The 5 Coaching Questions Every Leader Needs To Know, Forbes, August 9, 2023. Command and control leadership has been replaced with the coaching model in forward-thinking companies, allowing for greater flexibility in creating new results. According to the Harvard Business Review, rapid change has disrupted the traditional top-down management model. Here are five coaching questions every leader needs to know.

Follow the Leader: How a CEO’s Personality Is Reflected in Their Company’s Culture, Stanford Business, August 1, 2023. There’s no ideal personality type for executives — but businesses need the right one for success. If you think about Elizabeth Holmes at Theranos, or Travis Kalanick at Uber, they are people who the press looked at and said, ‘They are transforming the world.’ But in fact, at the end of the day, they destroyed organizations and people’s lives.” These narcissistic CEOs may be outliers, but their high-profile scandals demonstrate just how important an executive’s individual characteristics and values are.

Leading Change: What We Can Learn From Bezos, Gates, Hastings, and Musk, Inc. Magazine, August 22, 2023. Change! Change! Change! In today’s fast-paced business environment, change is the only constant. It emerges from various directions: technological breakthroughs, shifting consumer behaviors, and unexpected market shifts, to name just a few. Leaders constantly find themselves at a crossroads, faced with a critical question: Should I drive change, adapt to it, or continue with business as usual?



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