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Top 5 Leadership & Culture Posts This Month

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February was short, sweet and full of great web content about enhancing creativity and optimizing performance in the workplace. Punxsutawney Phil (the most famous of all groundhogs) may have seen his shadow on February 2nd, but a little cold weather wasn’t about to slow us down.

Once again we have put together our list of top reads to help you stay focused, inspired, and warm as we look forward to the third and final leg of Q1.

1.  Why You Should Let Your Employees Do Whatever They Want

By Michael Schein
Competition is fierce. You might reinvent the wheel, but so what? Someone else will reinvent it right after you. Hackdays are not enough to prevent a disruptive and innovative company from devouring your market-share. Schein recommends becoming an Innovation Machine by giving up control and allowing every employee to spend time on any creative project they choose. You will compile a library of creative ideas and obsolescence will never be a concern again.

2. An Oft Unspoken Key to Success: Put Aside Your Ego and Be Vulnerable

By Catherine Clifford
For entrepreneurs, hard work is a given. But to be a leader and a catalyst for change in society, entrepreneurs must get over their fears and learn to be vulnerable. Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise (a nonprofit that builds schools for underprivileged children) could not let go of his ego to ask for donations. By overcoming his personal fears, Braun was able to grow as a person and grow his company to over five million dollars in donations last year.

3. Flow States: Answers to the Three Most Common Questions About Optimal Performance

By Steven Kotler
In the 1970s, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, circled the globe to interview people about the times that they felt and performed their best. He compiled this data into the best-selling book Flow. Kotler is dedicated to refining the science behind optimal human performance and answers three questions about flow: who can enter into it, how do the different on-ramps work, and is the state the same for everyone? The application of this research is vital for entrepreneurs and startup teams because the more flow they create, the higher their chance of success.

4. Why Autocratic Bosses Are a Dying Breed

By Morgen Witzel
Contrary to popular belief, people don’t just want to be led. Many leaders believe that success is due solely to their own power and wisdom, and followers must simply obey orders. Henry Ford was such an autocrat and as a result he was forced to resign. To be successful, today’s leaders must employ humility, gentle persuasion, and offer their employees a sense of ownership in their own decisions and actions.

5. From Enron to Advocacy: How Women are Transforming Corporate Culture

By Nicole Alvino
While women are still underrepresented in the executive world, they are outpacing men by creating entire marketing, sales, HR, and customer service strategies grounded in social connectivity. By enrolling customers and employees as vehicles for company appreciation, they are recreating brands as a source of community and inspiration. In doing so, women are transforming company culture. Values such as sharing and transparency are enhancing companies internally, but also serve to transform how brands build a loyal community among consumers.

How does your leadership inspire your team to be more open and creative? Leave us a comment below!