Since its launch in August 2014, Leadership Issues checks daily for articles of interest on business leadership featured in 40 leading online international newspapers across all continents. This is not done by feeds but by manually searching the news and posting all stories/links on the Leadership Issues website under ‘latest headlines’ or in the archive section. Recently Leadership Issues has launched a Twitter account and also tweets the leadership headlines.
At the close of each month, the editing team review the monthly stories and cluster them into key workplace leadership themes including: competences, environment/engagement, development/succession, innovation/future, practice/skills and diversity. Each month a leading trend emerges. This month there were over 100 articles. Here is a summary of the leader topics in 2015 (you can search back in the monthly editorials for a fuller break-down/assessment):
Three key themes were widely reported in the global news last month (November 2015):-
1. Diversity in the workplace (29 articles)
2. The skills/practice of leadership (28 articles)
3. What makes a leader (20 articles)
Themes not included in the leader table were to do with leadership engagement succession/careers, training, innovation/future trends.
Diversity in the workplace has topped the leader board for the first time in 9 months. In a tight contest, it superseded the skills/practice of leadership to become the top reported topic on leadership featured in November´s international press. There was a dramatic increase on articles about gender equality: a number of end-of-year statistics were released indicating a continued global disparity of pay/senior jobs between men and women and this was widely reported in the global press; also, the issue of generational conflicts in the workplace received high coverage as the 2015 millennial student generation entered the workforce for the first time. There was a slight increase in the number of articles published on the skills/practice of leadership (tips, lessons, examples on ways leaders can improve) but it wasn’t enough to retain the leader position. The number of articles on the traits of leadership increased significantly last month and the topic moved up the table to third place (as we draw toward the close of the year commentators are clearly reflecting more on what makes a leader). Leadership career development saw an inevitable increase in reportage, a trend set to continue in December and January. A surprising absence from the top three most reported leadership issues in November was the topic of engagement in the workplace which has been a leader three times in 2015 and has consistently been in the top 3.
Every month Leadership Issues highlights articles that stand out from the crowd.
Eileen O’Mara writes an experiential piece in The Guardian, Nice girls don’t finish last: why empathy isn’t a business liability. In the article, she recasts negative stereotype of females into the leadership qualities of empathy and authenticity. O`Mara concludes that young women should not change to suit the business; business needs to accommodate diversity. A powerful piece on diversity was published last month in BMW. In What target fatigue? Clever employers see opportunity where others see disability, Fiona Smith case studies organizations that have gone beyond quotas and benefited from employing “people with disabilities”. Two great articles featured in HBR last month that profiled potential leadership tools. John Coleman writes about storytelling as a tool to help build motivation and define organizational purpose (Use storytelling to explain your company´s purpose) and Art Markman writes a scholarly article, The problem-solving process that prevents groupthink in which he explores how a basic understanding of the problem-solving process can help generate fresh ideas. Both are practical tools for a leader to connect more powerfully with their teams. Finally, Vikram Bhalla gives a concise view on core leadership traits in high performing companies. Most articles in this genre focus on character traits (honesty, authenticity and the like). Bhalla’s article, Outperforming in turbulent times published in Business Standard, is more technical seeing the leader’s role as simplifying, contextualising, empowering, connecting and challenging.
Leadership Issues editorial 2015