If you’ve been to our website or met our founder, Tom Greenwood, you’ll know his favorite saying: “If your business doesn’t EVOLVE, it will die.” While it may sound like a catchphrase, there’s a weight of truth behind this statement. With each new generation, innovation, discovery, and in 2020’s case, pandemic, the world changes drastically. These changes not only affect lives, but also the economy, trade and business.
Unfortunately, a lot of leaders tend to rely only on their experience and think they already know everything. Or even worse, have a false perception of their leadership skills. If this year’s taught us anything, it’s that business leaders need to know how to pivot and adapt to changes quickly in order to ensure the continuity and longevity of their organizations.
But where to begin? The first step is to educate yourself. No matter what level you’re at in your organization, always strive to improve. Seek knowledge and try to implement what you learn. Practise what you preach.
To help you on your journey, we’ve rounded up some interesting, enlightening, and useful content across management, leadership, building effective teams, and creativity that are definitely worth taking a look at if you’re looking to improve your organization. Here we go:
- Literally anything by Adam Grant. If you haven’t heard of Adam Grant, you need to look him up. Adam’s an American psychologist, author, and also a professor at an Ivy League (UPenn). He’s authored numerous books and articles about leadership, organizational psychology and business which were featured in leading publications such as the New York Times and The Washington Post, to name a few. He’s also done some thought-provoking TED talks. We recommend starting with Adam’s TED Talk on “Are you a giver or a taker?” and some of his articles:
- The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. Susan Cain is the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” At Evolve, our team is a mixed bag of introverts, extroverts and ambiverts and they all excel in their areas of specialty. Susan’s insight into the performance and leadership ability of introverts is quite enlightening and can teach you to appreciate the strengths of the quiet ones in your office. Her TED Talk provides a glimpse into her book.
- Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert. You might know her as the writer of Eat, Pray, Love but she has other great creative writing under her belt. Elizabeth’s ability to translate emotions clearly into words makes her stand out among writers. You can learn more about how to unleash your inner creativity by reading her book “Big Magic” or watching her TED Talk.
- The Leader as Coach by Herminia Ibarra and Anne Scoular. A long time ago, leadership was authoritarian and it’s still the common practice these days. But, leadership is so much more than that. It’s about being able to guide your team to solve problems on their own and cheering them on to succeed at their tasks. This article in the Harvard Business Review provides good insight into the role of a leader.
- Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg. If you’re a woman, you might have already read this book or at least heard about it. Sheryl Sandberg is known for her role of Chief Operating Officer at Facebook. At a time when women are still a minority in leadership positions, she’s a role model. In this book, she empowers other women to aim high and go after their dreams.
- Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. New York Times bestselling author Brené Brown has redefined the meaning of courage in her various books, changing millions of lives worldwide. “Dare to Lead” is no different—she emphasizes that good leadership is not about authority or power, but the ability to stay curious, vulnerable, and building skills based on the qualities that make us human. This is a must-read for leaders! Brown’s other works include “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection.”
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Angela Duckworth is a psychologist, author, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in grit and self-control. In this New York Times bestselling book, she discusses her research on grit and how success doesn’t necessarily come from talent, but reslience, tenacity, and passion. It’s the boost of motivation you need to head your organization into success. Alternately, you can catch a glimpse of Angela’s book in her TED Talk.
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek. You might have already come across Simon Sinek’s works on the internet (like this viral video on millennials in the workplace). In this TED Talk, he discusses his simple yet powerful model of effective leadership, which revolves around the question “Why?” It’s definitely worth watching to better understand your purpose and what drives you to do the things you do. Sinek has also published some bestselling books, including “Find Your Why,” and “The Infinite Game.”
We hope this list gives you some insight and perspective to improve your leadership style and organization. If you think you need a mentor to guide you or a coach to help you be an effective leader, reach out to us at Evolve. Maybe we can help.