To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well

HBR.com

Given the extraordinary low levels of engagement in the U.S. workforce — a recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work — many leaders are looking for solutions. Some turn to material perks (bonuses, game rooms, free food) in the hopes of making employees happier. However, research suggests that these efforts, while appreciated, do not address more effective drivers of long-term well-being. Instead, leaders should be mindful about giving their employees three things:

Inspiration. Kindness. Self-care.

The best leaders are able to take a step back and maintain a human touch in the workplace by inspiring employees, being kind to them, and encouraging them to take care of themselves.

7 Leadership Mistakes To Avoid In 2016

Forbes.com

We’ve compiled a list of mistakes you won’t want to make next year if being a better leader is on your list of resolutions, and we challenge you to avoid these seven leadership mishaps throughout 2016.

#1: Only focusing on the big picture.

#3: Failing to applaud small wins.

#7: Forgetting to celebrate the milestones.

The 5 Daily Habits of Really Successful People

Inc.

Inc. writers are creatures of habit. We work hard to consistently deliver compelling material that will entertain and inform you despite challenges behind the screen. Who better to share their approach for consistent delivery then those who continue to attract your attention? Consider the following daily activities:

Set everything up the night before; pick the people you would like to interact with during the day; make it all about a prioritized to-do list; establish a daily routine; take a long walk.

Is Employee Morale More Important Than the Bottom Line?

Switch & Shift

Employee morale has a direct impact on the bottom line. Columbia University found that companies with a positive culture have a fourteen percent turnover rate vs a forty-eight percent turnover rate for companies with negative culture. Companies with satisfied employees outperform the competition by twenty percent. A company with engaged employees outperforms one with disengaged employees by two-hundred percent.

You can tell how successful your company is by looking at your employees’ faces. Don’t tell them to smile. Encourage them to smile through your interactions and the atmosphere you create.

6 traits of up-and-coming IT stars

CIO.com

What qualities put IT pros on the fast track? Here’s what five rising stars have done to set them apart—and what you can do to make your star rise, too:  Take on big, gnarly projects; build and lead high-performance teams; live and breathe business strategy; learn from failure; lead with humility; love the work of IT—for real.

"I truly, honestly believe in my heart that if you don't love what you're doing, people can sense that. It especially doesn't work in leadership—if I'm asking employees to be productive, seek out challenges and collaborate, I need to be all-in and right there with them"—Kirsten Wolberg, vice president of technology, PayPal

10 Mindsets of a True Winner

Entreprenuer

A mindset that leads to action is the mindset of a winner:

If I’m not the best, someone else is.

Success is a marathon, not a sprint.

I listen to others but only trust my gut.

There’s no value in telling people what they want to hear.

Ideas I don’t execute don’t exist.

If everyone’s doing it, run the other way.

By following others, I give up my chance to lead.

Customers don’t value concepts or content; they value real, innovative solutions to their problems.

I’m never satisfied with my own accomplishments.

Failure sucks.

Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs' Reading Lists

BusinessInsider.com

Check out the 17 books Bill Gates thinks everyone should read, from Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises, The Man Who Fed the World and How to Lie with Statistics. Contrast Gates’ list with the 14 books that inspired Steve Jobs, from Moby Dick to Diet for a Small Planet, Autobiography of a Yogi, and The Innovator's Dilemma.

How Super Confident People React to Bad News

Inc.

When you receive bad news, the test of your confidence is really all about your reaction. Getting angry and even verbally abusive reveals a lack of confidence in yourself. Instead, use the bad news as a springboard and move forward: Don't take it sitting down—calmly present a clear counterargument; Jump into action—it will have an amazing effect on your attitude; Ignore half-truths—it's OK to focus on the part of the half-truth that's true; Flip the bad news into good news—confident people embrace their failures and learn from them; Stay happy—don't put 100 percent of your confidence in what you do. Put it in who you are.

Leadership Lessons from Turning the Worst Ship in the Navy into the Best

Farnam Street

Michael Abrashoff was in his mid-thirties when he took command of the USS Benfold, a guided missile destroyer and one of the worst performing ships in the navy. By the time he left, less than three years later, Benfold had become the highest-performing ship and retention was amazing.

It’s Your Ship details the ideas and techniques that Abrashoff used to win trust, create an environment where people felt accountable, and gain commitment.

What Amazing Bosses Do Differently

HBR.com

My research into the world’s most successful bosses has unearthed some common practices that make work much more meaningful and enjoyable. If you supervise others, make sure you do the following:

Manage individuals, not teams—make sure you understand what makes them tick and customize your interactions with them.

Go big on meaning—you’ve got to inspire them with a vision, set challenging goals and pump up their confidence so they believe they can actually win.

Focus on feedback—even if your organization sticks with traditional annual performance reviews, you can still supplement that with the kind of continuous, personalized feedback that the best bosses employ.

Don’t just talk… listen—the best leaders pose problems and challenges, then ask questions to enlist the entire team in generating solutions.

Be consistent—in your management style, vision, expectations, feedback and openness to new ideas. If change becomes necessary, acknowledge it openly and quickly.

No behavior a boss adopts will guarantee happy employees, but managers who follow these five key practices will find that they will help improve well-being, engagement, and productivity on any team.

11 Ways Successful People Overcome Uncertainty

Forbes.com

As we face uncertainty, our brains push us to overreact. Successful people are able to override this mechanism and shift their thinking in a rational direction. There are proven strategies that you can use to improve the quality of your decisions when your emotions are clouding your judgment. What follows are eleven of the best strategies that successful people use in these moments.

#1: They quiet their limbic systems (areas in the brain controlling emotions and drives).

#3: They embrace that which they can’t control.

#9: They have contingency plans…

#10: …but they don’t ask, “What if?”

And…

“Negotiation is about finding a solution to your counterpart’s problem that makes you better off than you would have been had you not negotiated”—Margaret Neale, Stanford Business School

“I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work ... I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself”—Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook

“In our modern era, top down, formal top down authority does not work in any industry. For all that we want to be able to resolve conflict by fiat, listening is much more effective”—John Halamka, CIO, BIDMC