Leadership in the news monthly review May 2016

Business leadership themes reported in the global newspapers in May 2016


Leadership Issues searches manually for articles of interest on business leadership in over 50 leading online international newspapers covering all continents, and posts links on the website and Twitter. At the close of each month, the articles are reviewed and clustered into key workplace leadership themes including: leadership characteristics, environment/engagement, development/succession, innovation/future, technology, practice/skills and diversity.

There were three dominant themes reported in the global news last month (May 2016):
1. The skills/practice of leadership (35% of the total assessed articles)
2. Leadership engagement (21% of the total assessed articles)
3. Leadership characteristics (15% of the total assessed articles)

Themes not included in the leader table were to do with leadership development, diversity, recruitment, innovation/future trends, technology and change (which made up the remaining percentage).

Key headlines:

Articles on the skills and practice of leadership increased last month and the theme leads for the second consecutive month

Leadership characteristics is back to being a top three leadership issue

Overall coverage in the international news on leadership increased by 33% last month
news coverage frequency may

Articles on creativity rose significanlty last month

2016 trend:


A few articles stood out last month:

Harvard Business Review´s article, Creative Job Titles Can Energize Workers, explores the impact a job title has on employee motivation levels. I would go one step further and eliminate job titles as they reinforce status and hierarchy; indeed, it was one of the first things that Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, did in his move toward holacracy.

Ramit Sethi, writing in Inc., explores the domino strategy in his article, Why Successful People Take 10 Years to ‘Succeed Overnight’. The idea of starting with small attainable goals and building a momentum of success is an inspiring message for new entrepreneurs and leaders.

Stoicism is the subject of Petrina Coventry´s article in The Conversation, Six ways the ancient philosophy of Stoicism can help business entrepreneurs. This unusual article explores how the ancient practice of Stoicism “transforms negative emotions into a sense of perspective and prepares you to have the right state of mind.” The article examines how modern business can benefit from this ancient philosophy.

There were two articles last month on shared leadership (the act of sharing vision, power, status, control and authority). In his article, The Surprising Reason Most Startups Fail (It’s Not What You Think), Marcel Schwantes, writing in Inc., looks at ways of building shared leadership into work cultures and Declan Fitzsimons explores in HBR´s How Shared Leadership Changes Our Relationships at Work how the shift from individual to shared leadership impacts relationships. Shared power suggests devolvement of power when, in essence, it is about leaders recognising that the modern knowledge worker responds less to coercive and legitimate forms of power and has the ability (agility) to motivate through a different mix of power, influence and authority.

One article published in last month`s HBR inspired an editorial point of view in the leading issues series. Jelena Zikie´s Being a Parent Made Me a Better Manager and Vice Versa, prompted the following point of view, Leading Issue: The Parent Boss

Look out for daily posts on leadership issues on Twitter and view the full May archive here.

Leadership Issues editorial  2016