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To kick off 2015, we discussed Adam Bryant’s The Corner Office to identify a series of leadership and management topics of interest for further discussion in subsequent sessions. This will help us move to a rotating structure of responsibility to leading and documenting sessions. Our discussion was focused on a few key questions:

  1. What are the top 3 leadership lessons you took away from the book?
  2. What are 3 top techniques / tools suggested that you’re excited to adopt?
  3. What should our topics be for the year and what topics would you like to lead?

Notes from our discussion are as follows:

1. What are the top 3 leadership lessons you took away from the book?
  • Communication – face, attitude, boiling it down, and the need for repetition, and considering that everything is magnified when you’re the leader, people reading into everything, consistency is key, the importances of feedback and trying thing out and finally, to use questions rather than statements
  • Transparency
  • Alignment is everything
  • Impact of space, symbolic (door’s always open)
  • Leadership vs. management
  • Getting the best from your people
  • Characteristics from the book (a bit too simple, limiting?)
    • Passionate curiosity
    • battle hardened confidence
    • team smarts
    • simple mindset (clear vision, clear communication)
    • fearless
    • missing: something bigger than business > sense of mission
2. What are 3 top techniques / tools suggested that you’re excited to adopt?
  • Clarifying the 3 types of decisions (me only, me with input, group by voting or consensus) and setting expectations
  • Interview questions (tell me what this job is about…?)
  • Bias toward customer
  • Defining leadership: get people aligned and enable them to perform at their best and grow (as individuals and teams) in service of a larger purpose, mission, or set of goals
3. What should our topics be for the year and what topics would you like to lead?
  • How to wear and alternate between hats (leader vs. manager vs. doer)
  • Decision-making (how and when….), the role of data (vs. personal experience / intuition and bias), and how it connects to execution
  • How to appropriately challenge clients (since the customer is not always right)
  • Connecting people to mission and purpose
  • Asking good questions (for example, non-directive coaching – when you don’t have the expertise in the field…)
  • Learning how to position the leader as coach (have the answers vs. lead people to them…)
  • Early client diagnostics to understand what they are looking for and what they value (Do they want an expert or a coach? What team members fit best)
  • How do we as leaders get coached (mentorship, book club, etc) and how to take and filter advice
  • Strategies and tactics for recognition and reward
  • Selling and sales (elevator pitch, up-selling, PR)
  • Financing growth
  • Impact of physical office environment
  • Encouraging diversity (race, gender, class, ethnicity)