From hero to zero – when leaders turn bad: Manfred Kets de Vries

Ted Talks is a non profit that gives are specialists in their field a stage and talk about their self-chosen topic. Topics range from psychology, nutrition, science, leadership, etc. Manfred is a psycho-analyst that does a lot of executive coaching. In his talk he talks about the pitfalls of leadership and how to become an authentic (and effective) leader. Manfred explains that many leaders struggle because of the power they receive. Their ego grows, people around them say what they want while at the same time they start listening less to others. To avoid becoming a leader like this he proposes in trying to be an authentic leader that fights narcissism and hubris. Get to know yourself and ask what meaning and legacy you want to leave behind he suggests. His advice? Improve emotional intelligence, stimulate your creativity, and create a culture of honesty and listeners.

Blinded By Belief (Article)

INSEAD Knowledge is the expert opinion on and management insights portal of INSEAD Business School. Writer of this article, Manfred Kets, works with business executives and has written and spoken a lot about leadership and working in teams. In this specific article he addresses signs of people suffering from”denialism”; refusal to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence. Manfred explains that denialism comes from a defensive mechanism built in stress where people have learned to say or do whatever is needed to disarm the opponents logic. We all have met someone like this (or maybe you are one of them?!), but how do you work with them? Manfred explains that you need to first acknowledge when the defense mechanism flares up. Once realized try to ask open ended question to explore what they are running from and to arrive at self-understanding instead of having it imposed on them. Make sure you’re clear in saying that no one has the answers and try to go from there. More information and detail in the article!

Mind Fitness: How Meditation Boosts Your Focus, Resilience, and Brain (Video)

Big Think aims to help you move above and beyond random information, toward real knowledge, offering big ideas from fields outside your own that you can apply toward the questions and challenges in your own life. Have you, like me, heard about meditation a million times? And does it feel like everyone around you is doing it, yet you might not be convinced? This short 8 minute video gives more scientific consequences of meditation. Psychologist Daniel Coleman explains the behavioral, cognitive, and neuroscientific changes long-term meditators go through. Coleman goes further and talks about improving resilience, minimizing mindwandering and more.

Still not convinced? If you’re like me and  want more scientific proof on the benefits of breathing exercises (which is probably the main focus when meditating) then perhaps you like this video. Here Neuroscientist Alan Watkins talks about Heart Rate Variability and how breathing exercises can improve resilience, strengthen your heart, help your digestive system, and more!

Better Decisions (Article)

McKinsey is the world’s leading management consulting firm serving 70% of the Fortune 1000 and has produced more CEOs proportionally in large scale corporations than any other company in the world. Their website also provides articles, insights, and case studies on topics such as leadership and  organizational structure. In this case, have you ever wondered how to avoid poor decision maker as a leader? This insight provides a 5 minute read on the main issues that has an influence on decision making: bias, deciding types, deciding behavior, and organizational decision making. With each issue they provide a short infographic and/or explanation. In addition, for every issue they provided a link to a case study explaining it’s importance when making decisions as a leader within an organization. This is why they call it a quick briefing in five, or a fifty-minute deeper dive!

Ray Dalio; the Steve Jobs of Investing (Podcast)

Tim Ferris, best-selling author and investor, deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas in his podcast to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. Ray Dalio is founder and CEO of one of the biggest hedge funds Bridgewater Associates and author of the book Principles. In this podcast Ferriss and Dalio talk about a wide variety of topics. The conversation starts with talking about Dalio’s background growing up in New York and how he was interested in finance from a young age. Part of the conversation is about the book “Principles” Dalio wrote and why it has been crucial for his success. One of the principle Ferriss and Dalio discussed extensively is ‘pain+reflection = progress’. Bridgewater is known for a meticulous and specific culture in which Dalio explains their meritocratic environment and its tools + protocols the 1000+ employees comply and adhere to. The conversation switches into a more personal topic where both Ferriss and Dalio share their experience with depression. The final parts of the conversation center around Dalio’s idea of what generates happiness and his approach to investing.

Leadership with a Smile Managing Our Emotions as a Tool of Enacting Leadership (Article)

TThe European Business Review is the leading business intelligence magazine provides readers with indispensable insight, current best practices and breakthrough ideas. The writer, Dr. Marian Izatt-White, focuses her research around successful leadership on a day-to-day basis. In this article she writes about the balance of being authentic, while managing your emotions for effective leadership. The article provides real-world examples of instances where managers needed to control their emotions (such as in redundancies and disciplinary conversations) and when they effectively allowed for authentic emotions to surface. Preparation, having an outlet, and exercise are among the advises to control your emotional outlet in a professional setting.

Sheryl Sandberg; Lead, Lead Again (Podcast)

Masters of Scale is a podcast in which LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman sets out to describe and prove theories that explain how great entrepreneurs take their companies from zero to a gazillion in ingenious fashion. This episode is with COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. During their conversation they talk about Sheryl’s background and how she eventually got to Facebook after working at Google and the US Treasury Department. They discuss the environment of working in a fast-paced environment, what qualities as a leader are important during in such a phase, what you should look for when hiring, being an effective leader with making or braking a plan, importance of repeating the values and mission, and more.

Leadership Is a Journey, Not a Destination (Article)

INSEAD Knowledge is the expert opinion on and management insights portal of INSEAD Business School. Author, Ian Woodword, writes about the importance of being able to adjust your leadership qualities depending on the context rather than using the same skills for every situation. Disruption, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and diversity can change the type of leader that is needed for any given moment. Woodword provides the 6 A’s insightful leaders have which can help them adapt in a given context. Woodword also provides 6 capabilities the leaders, their team and the entire organization can benefit from to keep all who are involved focused and motivated.

Ray Dalio’s 5 Most Valuable Principles (Video)

Ray Dalio is the Founder and CEO of the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and is widely seen as the most successful investor in the industry. Recently Dalio published a book called “Principles” which he believes “are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life”. In this video he describes one of his 5 most valuable principles, recognize your two barriers, that he has used in his life (understand your ego barrier and your blind spot barrier)

Leo Messi and Larry Ellison Have More In Common Than You Think (Article)

The European Business Review is the leading business intelligence magazine provides readers with indispensable insight, current best practices and breakthrough ideas. This article discusses the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and how Leo Messi (Barcelona striker) and Larry Ellison (CEO Oracle) both use it though one is for sport and the other for business. Explains HRV’s physical and emotional advantages. Heart Rate Variability is used for recovery, energy efficiency, program/work tailoring, and stress management.