Leaders must excel at trend-spotting, customer interaction

3 ways to deftly handle a domineering boss | practice | Leaders must excel at trend-spotting, customer interaction
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November 9, 2023
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Leading the Way
3 ways to deftly handle a domineering boss
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Leaders can succumb to a "guru complex" when they become what Adam Grant categorizes as "preachers, prosecutors or politicians" who forcefully advocate for their ideas and discount (or disregard) the advice of others, writes Graham Ward, an adjunct professor at INSEAD Business School. Handle these leaders by setting boundaries, speaking up on your own behalf or alternately keeping quiet while you consider changing jobs if the boss refuses to change, Ward advises.
Full Story: INSEAD Knowledge (11/8) 
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Put it into practice: Look for early signs that your boss may be flirting with a guru complex, such as excluding those who once were included or monopolizing meetings and tolerating no dissent, Ward notes. "If we are to create healthy pro-social systems, we need to nip the genesis of guru-like figures in the bud."
SmartBrief on Leadership
Leaders must excel at trend-spotting, customer interaction
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A truly successful leader not only manages and lead wells but also monitors and forecasts trends with an eye toward innovation, resiliency and relevance, write the co-authors of "The Heart of Innovation." Another key challenge is staying in sync with customer concern, changes and "authentic demand," they say.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (11/8) 
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Put it into practice: Earn your customers' trust through face-to-face meetings, listening closely and humility rather than acting "as a cheerleader or deal closer," the authors write. "They must be psychologically acute," communicate well with workers and avoid employee triggers that might hamper innovation.
Smarter Communication
"In order to keep our audience's attention, all we have do during our next speech is pause," writes Jim Anderson of Blue Elephant Consulting, who recommends incorporating "the power of silence" into conversations, speeches and negotiations. Those few unspoken moments can calm you as well as prompt audience eye contact, which makes communication more successful, Anderson explains.
Full Story: The Accidental Communicator (11/7) 
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Put it into practice: Practice makes pausing easier. Avoid filling silent moments after making a proposal or before starting (and periodically during) a speech, Anderson advises. A pause before responding in a one-on-one conversation often encourages the other person to share more.
Future of Work
Your work future could include ...
In Their Own Words
When Andrew Thompson, managing director and co-founder of Spring Ridge Ventures, coaches leaders, he helps them focus on "who, what and how," where leaders set the goal, the team decides who is accountable and the leader does not direct how the work gets done. "You never interfere with how, ever. Because once you're telling people how to do their jobs, they're never going to do it," Thompson says.
Full Story: LinkedIn (11/8) 
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Daily Diversion
Study finds cat communication is complex
(Pixabay)
Like many pet owners, psychology professor Brittany Florkiewicz has always considered dogs friendlier and more expressive than cats, but after reviewing 150 hours of videos involving 53 cats, Florkiewicz and co-investigator Lauren Scott documented at least 276 different facial expressions made by cats. Expressions of happiness include moving their ears and whiskers forward and outward and closing their eyes, while unhappy expressions include moving the ears backward and flattening them, licking their lips and constricting their pupils, the researchers reported in Behavioural Processes.
Full Story: The Washington Post (11/7) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Industrialist Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose -- which flew one time and for only a mile -- was made to carry how many passengers?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
I've suffered under a couple of leaders in the grip of a "guru complex." They were often micromanagers who never quite trusted anyone else to do the job up to their standards. They were always right (even when clearly wrong) and had no use for your opinion.

Graham Ward's advice on handling them is solid, but the one that always worked for me was the third piece of advice -- staying silent until I could find another job.

How have you handled "guru complex" bosses? Have you ever been one and had to learn how to step away from such behavior? Tell me about it.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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At a certain point you know what you want to do. And you have no choice.
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