We all have talents that can give us an edge, but the biggest reason some people are high performers is because they’ve formed good habits. In a recent survey of more than 1,800 workers by leadership training company VitalSmarts, 46% of respondents chalk up their career success to having the right habits, as opposed to those who credited natural talents or even wise decisions.
“When it comes to success, nothing trumps good habits,” says Emily Gregory, VitalSmarts lead researcher and vice president of development. “No amount of luck, talent, brains, or good decisions can compensate for your habits and your routines."
Writing in Fast Company, Stephanie Vozza cites several habits Gregory found that could help you move ahead:
What do you consider your most beneficial work habits? To join the conversation, click "comments" just under the picture above -- we'd love to get your feedback!
Relationships with our co-workers are important, but instead of characterizing them as “good” or “bad”, we should acknowledge that they are always shifting. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Professor Kerry Roberts Gibson of Babson College and Professor Beth Shinoff of Boston College discuss how to use “micromoves” to build the work relationships you want, instead of settling for those you have.
Micromoves are “small actions or behaviors that seem inconsequential in the moment but affect how we relate to one another.” They are like the steps that constitute a dance, and each step can change its direction. A positive microwave (like saying thank you or supporting a colleague’s comment at a meeting) can have a resonating beneficial impact, while a negative one (neglecting an email or excluding one colleague in a group lunch) has the opposite impact. The following principles can help you make positive micromoves:
Can you think of a positive or negative micromove you may have made lately, and the results of each? To join the conversation, click "comments" just under the photo above. We'd really like to get your feedback!
Leadership requires setting direction and then influencing people to follow. And moving a group of people collectively in any direction is difficult—especially since you are ultimately accountable for the way your team and organization perform.
Because you have to account to your boss, your customers, and your team, it’s critical to own up when things go wrong (as, inevitably, they sometimes will). Writing in Inc. , tech columnist Jason Ater says the five words that signal extraordinary leadership are:
“I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
Although apologizing can feel excruciating, it will be less so if you give yourself permission to be wrong, says Ater. That doesn’t mean you should strive to be wrong. It does mean purging “the visceral reaction inside your soul that recoils at the idea of being wrong …”
Sometimes the words you say may come out a little different, but despite exact content, the intent of your heartfelt apology should be the same: "I'm really sorry, I didn't handle that well," or "I'm sorry, I really dropped the ball on that."
Usually, there are other words that need to follow, like what you plan to do to make right whatever you were wrong about. But notice what words are not in there--namely an excuse, explanation, or reason for your mistake. A high-impact apology should be pure.
Do you agree that admitting mistakes is an important leadership skill, and can you offer an example? To join the conversation, click "comments" above, just below the photo. We'd really like to get your feedback!
Superstar employees, those who function at the highest level of productivity, are invaluable assets. And many companies go to great lengths to recruit and retain them. But, according to a Harvard Business School study, there is something even more critical: Avoiding and weeding out toxic employees.
The study quantifies its findings by noting that each superstar employee — defined as a "top 1 percent" worker — will save the average company $5,303. Yet avoiding a toxic employee -- defined as one that “engages in harmful behaviors to an organization, its property, or people" -- will save the average company $12,489. That figure doesn't even include "savings from sidestepping litigation, regulatory penalties, or decreased productivity as a result of low morale."
Overt underperformers may be easy to spot, but truly toxic ones may appear to do satisfactory work while actually slowly destroying the performance, attitude, and morale of other employees. According to the study, as reported in Inc. there are three key predictors of such insidious employees:
The bottom line: “Be thorough, thoughtful, and deliberate when you make hiring decisions. Be even more thorough, thoughtful, and deliberate about dealing with toxic employees.”
Is your organization vigilant about avoiding toxic employees? To join the conversation, click "comments" above, located just below the photo. We'd really like your feedback!