Archive for December, 2009

Leaders: Have you made it safe to innovate?

In our featured Page to Practice book summary of The Leadership Challenge, there’s a section where the authors, Kouzes and Posner, challenge leaders to do three things, which create a safe environment for risk-taking and experimentation.  I love this section of the book because I think this is where innovation can flourish. Kouzes and Posner emphasize three practices that nurture experimentation.  1) Conduct post-mortems. After the completion of a project, ask the team a series of questions that tease out the good, bad and ugly.2) Conduct pre-mortems. In other words, try to understand why a project might fail–anticipate possible hiccups. 3) Strengthen resilience. Bounce back from failures by gaining perspective, taking charge of change by asking what new knowledge you need and engaging the support of others in the process. If leaders can put these three practices into play, they’ve created an environment where failure isn’t a deal breaker and risk-taking is respected rather than feared.

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Have the holidays got you fired up or burned out?

“Fired Up or Burned Out” is a great read this time of year because Michael Lee Stallard’s book discusses how to reignite your team’s passion, creativity and productivity.  Stallard feels that emotional connection is important for a team to the extent that he explains how to build a “connection culture.” I like this book in December because it’s a great foundation for New Year’s resolutions and new positive patterns–especially in the workplace. You can book shop till you drop at the NEW CausePlanet Store!

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The (new) Leadership Challenge

We’re delighted to feature The Leadership Challenge this month at This welcome fourth edition is about how leaders mobilize others to want to get extraordinary things done in organizations. Regardless of which industry or profession they are in, when they are doing their best, leaders exhibit certain practices – and these practices can be learned. The purpose of this book is to help leaders to further their abilities to lead others to get extraordinary things done. The authors outline The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and prescribe specific recommendations on what leaders can do to make each practice their own and to continue developing as a leader.

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