By Marcel Schwantes
Ever wonder if you're true leadership material? Perhaps you've been told you are, but the question is, by what standard? Thousands of leadership books are written each year, many of them with marketing agendas to rehash and repackage what has been talked about for decades.
What is true about leadership that will remain unchanged through the centuries is this: It's about people and relationships. And that requires that leaders have a natural bent for both. If you're not into either, you're not a leader.
And you can start with the proven fact that great leaders aspire to lead by serving the needs of their people. You don't need flavor-of-the-month books and expensive formal training to learn this concept.
But you do need to develop and measure yourself against the standards of great leadership (which I strongly propose to be servant leadership). Here are four top leadership characteristics I have witnessed that float to the top. Do any describe you?
FIND YOUR WAY Coaching cards offer guidance questions to help you discover your path in life.
All you need are the cards, a journal, and a little time set aside to deepen your self-awareness and design the life that you love. Surrender to the fun creativity that the cards provide, carefully contemplate and, write down answers to each question, be patient, take massive action, and then trust that you will find your way.
This inspiring 54-card deck does not follow any particular formula. You can use it any way you like. There are no rules, simply let your intuition and creativity guide you, and you will find answers and meaning.
by Thomas Oppong
You are most productive in the morning, according to research.
Your best work happens within a short time span of the day. And you should be making the most of it.
Instead of letting others dictate your priorities, give yourself at least an hour to focus without external distractions.
BY STEPHANIE VOZZA - 4 MINUTE READ
Ever have to psych yourself up to go to work? If that’s the case more often than not, your job might not align with your personal motives, says Carter Cast, author of The Right (and Wrong) Stuff: How Brilliant Careers are Made and Unmade.
Strengths are your natural skillsets, and motives are the place from which you draw energy, says Cast. They differ from values, which are what’s important to you. “If you ask someone what their values are, they can rattle them off quickly,” he says. “Motives are much harder to identify because we’re often not conscious of them. They’re the river that flows under us.”
A mismatch in job and motives will wear you down and eventually cause you to fail to live up to your potential, says Cast. “Currently, the assumption is that if you took this job, it’s the right job for you,” says Cast. “But people who are smart, don’t have a skill gap, and are good interpersonally will underperform if they don’t have energy for position.”
by Maktuno Suit - Leadership Consultant & Psychotherapist
Christine dreads going into work everyday to face her manager, Paula. She feels as though Paula is ready to criticise her for any mistake that she makes and hence tries to avoid her due to the anxiety that she feels in her presence. Christine spends excessive amounts of time trying to make her work ‘perfect’ before presenting it to Paula - fearful of the critique she will receive. Christine feels like she is constantly undermined and that Paula is threatened when she performs well. Christine describes her as a ‘bad boss’ who makes her feel unsafe and she is looking for a new job.
Recently, the notion of creating psychologically safe cultures and teams in the workplace has become central to our understanding of an effective organisational environment.
by Cayla Vidmar posted on Thrive Global
I lay in bed in the middle of the night, looking at the ceiling when my chest seized up in excruciating pain. This chest pain was something that had been going on for some time, but this was next level. At that moment I realized something was wrong: I hated my job, the one I had worked so hard to get.
My job itself wasn’t overly stressful, but I couldn’t shake the thought that my life still wasn’t what I thought it should be, and it was quickly ticking by, with every year being the same as the last.
The work I was doing wasn’t changing people’s lives, I wasn’t helping anyone, I didn’t feel like there was any meaning in my day to day life.
On top of that, I couldn’t figure out what my purpose was, or what I’d rather be doing. I was running in circles, consuming as much information as I could about starting businesses and flip-flopping from one passion to the next.
By Ellie Kaplan
Most people fail to achieve their goals and the success they want — here’s why.The classic “marshmallow test” proved the universal importance of delaying one’s gratification. The ability to resist immediate rewards in anticipation for much bigger things is a test of character that only successful people benefit from.
However, while you strive to reach your long-term goals, energy-draining struggles and challenges will come your way and affect your mindset. If you are not in your best shape mentally and physically, your performance will become compromised.
The good news is that Harvard Business Review found a solution to this dilemma through a series of extensive studies.
Read on to get some tips on how to properly motivate yourself over the long-term and crush your goals, without having to give up on what’s truly important in life.
Published by The Local
The number of sick days taken by Swiss people because of stress and other mental health issues has shot up by 35 percent in the last five years, new figures show.The data from health insurer Swica shows the number of days taken off by Swiss employees for health reasons has risen overall by 20 percent in the last half decade.
But a spokesperson for the company which provides pro-rata sickness indemnity to 30,000 Swiss firms said it was the skyrocketing number of sick days for mental health reasons that was particularly “alarming” given this is the health issue that companies can do most to combat.
“A lot of employees can no longer deal with rising work pressure,” Adrian Wüthrich of Swiss trade union TravailSuisse told the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, adding that flexible working hours and unpaid overtime were making the situation worse.
By Peter Barron Stark
On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your productivity as a leader? Many of us, if not all, wouldn’t rate ourselves as high on the productivity scale as we would like to be. Sometimes leaders feel like they are constantly busy but are somehow still unable to accomplish their goals. Have you ever started your workday with a list of things to do and at the end of the workday STILL had the same number of things to do?
If you are nodding your head in agreement as you read this, take a look at our recent blog post  which will walk you through conducting a time audit . Once you have completed at least one time audit, you will be able to take a more objective look at how you spend your time. Chances are good that you will have several tasks on your list that can be delegated to your employees, freeing up more of your time to work on higher level assignments that will help you and your team achieve the organization’s goals.
It’s important to remember that as we rise further up the ladder in organizations, our responsibilities change from less emphasis on the operational or the “doing” tasks and more emphasis on the leadership tasks (managing, planning, leading).
By Monica Torres
No good employer is going to outright say that they kill you, but new research finds that too many modern workplaces are grim reapers inflicting a fatal amount of stress on our bodies and minds.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford, is ringing the alarm that job stress and poor management is killing us — accounting for up to 8% of annual health costs and leading to 120,000 excess deaths every year in the United States.
In his new book, “Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance — and What We Can Do About It,” he explains how long hours, a lack of job autonomy through micromanagement, and unstable health insurance are making us sick to death.
He talked with Ladders about his research and what leads otherwise reasonable people to stay in toxic jobs: