When it comes to leadership style, avoid being a Scrooge

When it comes to leadership style, avoid being a Scrooge | practice | Benefits that help create a family-friendly work culture
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December 20, 2023
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Leading the Way
When it comes to leadership style, avoid being a Scrooge
A man is dressed as Scrooge, the protagonist of the Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol," during an annual Charles Dickens festival in the Dutch city of Deventer. (SOPA Images/Getty Images)
Classic holiday movies such as "A Christmas Carol" or "It's a Wonderful Life" can provide guidance on the success or failure of leadership styles, such as the farthing-pinching Scrooge, the tightfisted banker Henry F. Potter or the more generous banker George Bailey, write Katharine Stallard and Michael Lee Stallard of the Connection Culture Group. The best leaders, they note, create a culture of connection that values employees, inspires them to do their best work and encourages them to share ideas and opinions.
Full Story: Michael Lee Stallard blog (12/14) 
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Put it into practice: Avoid Scrooge-like tendencies in your leadership by treating employees as valued individuals instead of as a "mere means to an end," the Stallards advise. Do that by "developing plans with measurable goals and reviewing them on a frequent basis to see if the organization is on track to meet the goals or if actions need to be taken to get back on track."
 
SmartBrief on Leadership
Benefits that help create a family-friendly work culture
(ljubaphoto/Getty Images)
During the pandemic, 2.3 million mothers left the workforce due to an inability to obtain child care, and -- while the situation has improved -- it still is a problem today, Call Emmy CEO Arezou Zarafshan writes. "Intentionally fostering a mom-friendly workplace culture is a proactive step in supporting and retaining the invaluable contributions of working moms," asserts Zarafshan, who explains several ways companies can help working mothers.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (12/19) 
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Put it into practice: Flexible work arrangements and fair compensation that lays waste to the "motherhood penalty" are two strong ways employers can help improve the workplace culture for working mothers. Zarafshan also recommends adding child care as a service at conventions, meetings and events.
Smarter Communication
"Bare minimum Mondays," "Lazy girl jobs" and at least five other phrases such as "body doubling" and "hey hanging" have joined the workplace lexicon in 2023, sometimes related to younger professionals trying to widen the line between work and personal time. Content creator Marisa Jo Mayes explained in a TikTok post that she helped eliminate the stress and dread of work by granting herself "permission to do the absolute bare minimum" on a Monday and was surprised that "everything felt different [and the] pressure was gone."
Full Story: HuffPost (12/15) 
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Put it into practice: A manager who foists a task on you without asking has "voluntold" you. "Quiet cutting" is the Machiavellian reverse of quiet quitting, where the boss reassigns you to a unfavorable or lesser job or similarly changes your title -- generally a sign you should start job-hunting. "Post-work restraint collapse" marks the end of a day's worth of bottling up your frustrations as you scream into a pillow once you get home.
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In Their Own Words
Robinhood CEO on the "fool's errand" of leadership
Tenev (Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Vlad Tenev, CEO, president and co-founder of Robinhood, who was born in Bulgaria and lived there until he was five, says he remembers his mother meticulously going through the bills, which led him to become a detail-oriented leader, who isn't too concerned with the opinion of others. "Depends on the people," says Tenev. "It's a fool's errand to try to make everyone like you."
Full Story: Axios (12/18) 
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Daily Diversion
We LOL in the US, but other countries may die laughing
(Pixabay)
In the US, we know that "lol" or "lmao" means we're laughing at something, but the message is conveyed differently in other languages -- and often connotes deadly consequences. For example, in Nigerian Pidgin, it's "lwkmd," or "laugh wan kill me die," the French use "mdr," meaning "mort de rire," or "dead with laughter," and similarly, in Mandarin, it's simply "xs" to represent "xiaosi" or "laugh to death."
Full Story: Rest of World (12/18) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
The house in the holiday movie "Home Alone" last sold for $1.5 million in 2012, so says Zillow.com, but you can opt for the $299 Lego replica that has how many pieces?
Vote947
Vote1,715
Vote3,955
Vote8,765
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
I've worked for several Scrooge-type bosses who were not just stingy regarding fair compensation but also with their time, mentoring and helping advance your career. One radio station boss was only concerned with a wardrobe makeover for me (I admit, I'm the jeans and t-shirt type) than she was helping me hone my skills as a news reporter and anchor. One boss in the PR department at a Georgia university was a relentless seat-checker and made the Grinch seem happy-go-lucky. There were other micromanagers and one TV station boss who told me I was lucky to have a job (I quit two weeks later because I was inundated with job offers).

This makes it so refreshing when you finally hit upon a George Bailey-type boss who is generous with their time and wisdom and genuinely concerned with how they can help you advance your career.

All the Scrooge bosses drove away their best talent, while the George Bailey bosses drew top talent toward them. Which kind of boss do you prefer? Which type of boss do you aspire to be?

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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One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.
Gertrude Stein,
writer, poet
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