Effective leadership isn’t about who you know, or what your job title is. It’s about inspiring greatness by creating a clear vision and aligning your team to achieve results. Great leaders, by definition, take matters into their own hands to drive their success, and this means actively continuing to invest in self-improvement and personal growth.
We know you’re busy, and don’t have time to scour the Internet for the best leadership articles, so we did it for you. We searched high and low for great leadership reads and carved them down to our top 10, and wrapped them up with a big bow! This compilation of the ultimate leadership articles of 2014 is our gift to Boston’s incredible community of achievers, creators, and builders. Happy New Year, and we’ll see you in 2015!
1. The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2014: Fast Company
This one’s thrown into the mix to inspire you. As you wrap up 2014, think about who you want to become as you move on to 2015. This list of creative people in business includes founders, Fortune 500 presidents, Hollywood actresses, and everyone in between with motivating stories of success to learn from.
2. How Great Leaders Inspire Action: TED, Simon Sinek
In this TED Talk, author Simon Sinek communicates his model for inspirational leadership, all stemming from the question, “Why?” He uses real-world examples to help his audience become motivating, action-oriented leaders. At Intelligent.ly, we believe in the power of giving people a compelling reason to back up their actions, and Simon generously shares this perspective in his electrifying talk.
3. 7 Things Great Leaders Always Do (But Mere Managers Always Fear): Inc., Bill Murphy, Jr.
This article reinforces the fact that managers and great leaders have different skillsets, both of which can be taught. Leaders value honesty and transparency, as well as building relationships with team members, seeing them as people rather than job titles. They understand that team dynamic is just as important as driving results.
4. Leading Your Team into the Unknown: Harvard Business Review, Nathan Furr & Jeffrey H. Dyer
As companies transform in size, location, and scope of services, it’s up to team leaders to provide a sense of stability. As a leader, you are the Indiana Jones of this operation, leading your team into the dark unknown and maintaining focus to come out the other side. Clarify a vision, set challenging yet attainable goals, and take risks.
5. This Unusual Startup Strategy Led to a $200 Million Acquisition by Microsoft in 18 Months: Inc., Larry Kim
In this Inc. article, Wordstream founder and CTO Larry Kim interviews Acompli’s co-founders about their startup strategy that resulted in a crazy lucrative acquisition in record time. For them, it was as simple as defining the vision and focusing all of their priorities on achieving (and maintaining) that vision.
6. The Boring Trait Google Looks for in its Leaders: iDoneThis, Walter Chen
Nobody does leadership like Google. In recent years, Google has been focusing on developing Project Oxygen, their own analysis of what makes their managers successful. The verdict is in, and according to Google’s findings, predictability is among the traits most heavily associated with fantastic leaders. We never would’ve predicted that!
7. Proven Ways to Earn Your Employees’ Trust: Harvard Business Review, Carolyn O’Hara
When managing individuals, establishing trust should be one of your top priorities. In this Harvard Business Review article, Carolyn O’Hara maps out the do’s and don’ts of building relationships with the team. Spoiler alert: you don’t need to do trust falls in the breakroom to facilitate great working relationships.**
8. I Sold My Google-Backed Startup for $75 Million Yesterday– and I’m Scared to Death: Inc., Dave Balter
In this Inc. article, serial entrepreneur (and Intelligent.ly founder!) Dave Balter provides a candid look into the challenges that come with a rapidly expanding business and gives advice to leaders managing teams during these tumultuous times. For Dave, it was all about clarifying the vision and then driving it home. We think he’s an all-star genius…but we may be biased!
9. Being a Good Manager: Overcoming 5 Common Myths: Huffington Post, Sara Hershfeld
According to Certified Behavior Analyst Sara Gershfeld, becoming a great leader is about catching yourself in the act of unproductive behaviors and correcting them. She provides guidance on how to handle leadership challenges in a way that promotes team success with just a few simple behavior modifications.
10. 10 Fastest Growing Companies in Boston: Inc., Anna Hensel
Boston is one of the most talented and rapidly expanding startup communities in the country and we’re honored to be a part of it. Growing by 3,860%? This list of 10 fastest growing companies is equally impressive as it bewildering.
** Intelligent.ly does not promote, facilitate, or otherwise endorse any office horseplay, including, but not limited to, trust falls.