"Vulnerability wielded wisely" builds strong connections

The road to feedback, belonging has no stop sign | practice (split each time) | "Vulnerability wielded wisely" builds strong connections
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May 6, 2024
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Leading the Way
The road to feedback, belonging has no stop sign
(Pixabay)
An organization that created an anonymous, online "Ask the Executive Leadership Team" tool was surprised when employee engagement rates increased but the quantity of concerns didn't decrease correspondingly. "[O]ne day, it struck me that [a]ddressing culture never ends ... [and] continually advancing the organization was my job," writes Suzanna de Baca, president of Business Publications, who noticed that the feedback kept getting more discerning -- and typically centered on belonging.
Full Story: Business Record (Des Moines, Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (5/3) 
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Put it into practice: "The fact we recognize and can express this lack of belonging says we are making progress even if it doesn't feel like it," de Baca says, noting that "issues of individualism and belonging" exist in every company. Even the most skilled leaders who want to ensure authenticity, visibility, civility, value and respect in the workplace have an uphill climb, "but addressing belonging may just be the key to your future success," de Baca asserts.
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"Vulnerability wielded wisely" builds strong connections
(VM/Getty Images)
Simon Bailey, a researcher on brilliance and author of "Resilience@Work," was nervous on stage, speaking after two well-known, excellent speakers, but as he threaded his personal anecdotes of loss into the speech, he saw he was forming a "palpable" connection with the audience. "For emerging leaders aiming to chart a successful course, remember that vulnerability, wielded wisely, is not your Achilles' heel but your strength -- fortifying you as you face the world head-on," writes Bailey, who offers seven ways to share the trait.
Full Story: Leadership Now (5/3) 
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Put it into practice: To start being more vulnerable, embrace visibility, solicit support and strive for open dialogue, Bailey recommends. Four other tips include reining in vulnerability so it's strategic, not an "unchecked floodgate of emotions."
Peer feedback reviews common in many companies can be gamed and thus flawed for a host of reasons, including a peer wanting to be helpfully critical -- but not so much as to prompt retaliation, write Helge Klapper of Purdue University, Henning Piezunka of INSEAD and Linus Dahlander of ESMT Berlin. Their research of Wikipedia employees shows that "candidates who behaved strategically ... significantly increased their chances of becoming an administrator," and they touch on ways to a peer review can be more fair.
Full Story: INSEAD Knowledge (5/3) 
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Put it into practice: Transparency in peer reviews can lead to machinations but, done right, can increase engagement, accountability, fairness. Acknowledge that strategic approaches are likely, and mitigate them by building in safeguards, the researchers advise.
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In Their Own Words
H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones insists employees share a quick personal or work-oriented check-in and check-out at every meeting -- because former Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski once told him that a team only comes together when the members are talking to each other. Jones' own leadership advice is a "fail fast" tweak: "If you know that failing is inevitable and that learning is the goal," use those opportunities to eventually "become better at learning how to learn."
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (5/3) 
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Daily Diversion
Tiny town embraces pink, quirky Blondies Butcher Shop
(Blondies Butcher Shop/Instagram)
When burned-out Bighorn Mountains paramedic Lindsay Loken got tired of putting people back together, she moved back home to Wanamingo, Minn., bought the small town's shuttered meat locker and learned how to take animals apart. Farmers helped the determined blonde master the trade so locals are happy with the local meat -- and amused enough by the Blondies Butcher Shop name, dozens of humorous signs and gallons of pink paint inside and out to keep coming back.
Full Story: CBS News/WCCO-TV (Minneapolis) (5/6) 
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Most Read by CEOs
The most-clicked stories of the past week by SmartBrief on Leadership readers
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As tax guidance related to the Inflation Reduction Act continues to be released from US government agencies, trends in how companies are leveraging certain incentives are beginning to emerge, according to Lauren Collins from Vinson & Elkins LLP. During this podcast, Collins discusses trends in tax credits linked to domestic content, energy community and hydrogen production credits. Collins also outlines the popularity of transferable tax credits and the uncertainty of direct pay incentives.
Full Story: Renewable Energy SmartPod (4/30) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
In the Herman's Hermits song "I'm Henry VIII I Am," Henry VIII was the eighth husband of the widow next door (not true in real life). How many of those husbands were named William?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew

I'm baaaack!

Many thanks to Diane Harrington and the crew for covering Leadership for me while I took a week off. They did a great job!

I'm not much on vacation-taking. I like the work I do, so it often doesn't occur to me to put in for time off. If you're like me, then I recommend taking some time away from your work. It's a refreshing experience.

I took a staycation, mostly, with the exception of a trip to the North Carolina mountains on Saturday to see my spouse's cousin get married underneath a waterfall. It was beautiful, and even one day spent in the mountains refreshed my body, mind and soul.

I got some writing projects done, but for most of the week, I simply "wasted time" and focused on self-care. I highly recommend a lazy week away from your desk, and you don't need a wedding excuse to spend an afternoon under a waterfall.

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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It's just something that's happening around us. It's a reminder of the pageantry of nature. It can be very beautiful if you allow for that in your heart.
Jonathan Larson,
entomologist

on the emergence of the double brood of periodical cicadas
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