Leadership in the news monthly review January 2015

Review of articles on leadership in the major international newspapers


Every month, Leadership Issues intends to review highlights/trends from features/articles on the subject of leadership appearing in major global newspapers. Today we are reviewing the month of January.

The main themes of the January global press on leadership were to do with new resolutions, new goals and fresh approaches in the workplace. The top 5 themes for January (in order) included:

1. Women in the workplace
2. Recruitment and retention
3. Building a good working environment
4. Attributes of Good and bad boss
5. Setting goals and priorities

There were a few articles that stood out and are worth profiling.

The Canadian national, The Globe and Mail, had two article of interest in its regular leadership lab series. The first was a feature by Justin Weinhardt from the University of Calgary entitled Exploring the Dark Side of Leadership (yes that is referencing StarWars) where he profiles four dysfunctional leadership behaviours – Machiavellian, psychopathic, narcissistic and self-promoting. The lightsaber that overcomes this darkside (the “bright side of leadership”), so says Weinhardt, is the force of humility and he goes on to outline the characteristics of a humble leader. May the force be with you… The other interesting Globe and Mail article from the Leadership Lab series was an excerpt from from Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom-Line Results and the Power to Deliver Both by Tasha Eurich. In this article Eurich explores the middle ground between a people pleaser and a task driver – she calls it bankable leadership (the ability to focus on people and results). This ability, according to Eurich, is a learnable skill.

The Wall Street Journal frequently turns up thought provoking and scholarly articles on leadership (including a leadership podcast series) and Joann Lublin’s article Restarting a Stalled Career was no exception. In this article Lublin looks at the inevitable downturns of even the star performer’s career and how it is important to take control and ownership of putting yourself back on track rather than sitting back and hoping it will resolve itself. The point is to keep pushing and challenging yourself and taking career risks which broaden your experience and perspective. The article touched on a very important phenomena in professional life –colleagues categorize you and it is necessary to break these entrenched views and perceptions in order to progress. For me, this is essential. If you stay within an organisations and take on greater leadership roles, it is vital to reinvent your own mindset regarding your new leadership AND help others reinvent their mindsets and (old) perceptions about you.

The Guardian publishes some great articles on leadership and has a dedicated Women in Leadership series. This month it published a terrific article by Robin Alfred’s entitled Does My Shadow Look Big In This in which he uses the analogy of a shadow to illustrated the tone and legacy that leaders cast on organisations. He quotes from Carl Jung and Robert Bly to illustrate his theory of leadership and shadow but neglects to quote Emerson whom I think comes closest to making Alfred’s point when he wrote, “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.”

The Huffington Post is another journal that regularly publishes leadership development articles and posts on its blog. A nice little article appeared at the end of January,We All Can Transform Culture Through Resonant Leadership. The article maintains the position that effective leaders never say “I” but “we” (from Peter Drucker, of course) and case studies President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally who changed the company’s fortunes around by steering his leadership team toward openness, appreciation and teamwork so that they could flag issues early and work on them together in a climate of trust and support and is a good example of how you build resonance with your direct reports.

Click Here for a full list of titles and sources from the January archive and remember to check the leadership in the news section everyday where daily articles on leadership are posted.