the ceo magazine, soft skills,
Andy Lothian, CEO, Insights Learning and Development

According to today’s business experts, the less tangible qualities of ‘soft skills’ do not make them less important. In a recent article Seth Godin argues the term ‘soft’ makes it easy for “us to move onto something seemingly more urgent.” He suggests we call them ‘real skills’, not ‘soft’.

In fact, ‘soft skills’ have been proven to be tied directly to hard business results. In 2013, a study by Korn Ferry confirmed the “direct relationship between leader self-awareness and organizational financial performance” through an intensive multi-year study. Similarly, a 2010 study found that bullying, “results-at-all-costs’ executives actually diminish the bottom-line.

the ceo magazine, innovation,
Randy Salzman, Co-author, Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector

In researching design thinking for a decade, one interesting outcome is the counter-intuitive observation that upper management may offer less hindrance to innovation than mid-level management and peer groups.  The “easy” reason large organizations often lose their edge, after all, is that the C-suite is too centered on command and control to allow innovators to try, and potentially fail.

the ceo magazine, risk taking,

In December of 2014, Discovery Channel aired a special called “Eaten Alive.” The program featured Paul Rosolie, a “naturalist” who planned to don a snake-proof suit and live through getting swallowed by a 20-foot-long anaconda. Apparently, the goal was to provide Rosolie the insider (pun intended) perspective of a snake’s digestive processes.

the ceo magazine, stress management,
Denise R. Green Founder, Brilliance Inc.

Your people are suffering -- but they won’t tell you until it’s too late.

Recently, a CEO received public praise when he tweeted his appreciation and approval to an employee who announced to her team that she’d be taking two days of sick leave for her mental health. While the news article focused mainly on the CEO’s admirable response, the more amazing story was the manager’s honesty. 

Leaders aim to make their mark on business operations, imprint their philosophies on their staff, leave their legacy on the organization.  They hope the team will remember their leadership as unique, profitable, and pleasant.  Understandable goals.

But all too often, new leaders start out with similar clichés and concepts—lines that set their staff members up for disappointment, if not downright disengagement, rather than the intended productivity boost.

Do these new-leader clichés sound familiar?

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