Leadersayswhat Celebrates Its First Year!

Last week, leadersayswhat celebrated its first year. With approximately 185 articles and over 1,500 subscribers, I am humbled and appreciative to everyone who has taken time out of their hectic day to read these articles.

There are few topics as personal (and universally impactful) as the way you lead others. Thank you for trusting me to help guide you in your effort to guide others. There’s much more to come so keep coming back.

Mailbag: You Have Questions, I Will Attempt to Have Answers

mailbagTo mark the first annual anniversary, I’d like to respond to a few of the more common questions received. If you have one, feel free to write.

Why does leadersayswhat focus on popular culture when describing leadership stuff? Why not just summarize the ideas?

Besides this being the entire premise of leadersayswhat, we learn new information more effectively when 1) it’s interweaved with things we already understand, 2) teaching is presented with an aspect of entertainment, and 3) what we are learning is shown to be practically applicable.

For instance, I could write a well-researched, informative article on the widely-used personality assessment, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI). I’d break down each function, how they interrelate, and the multiple ways to utilize the results. OR, I could show the diagram below which assigns the MBTI personality types to characters on the Walking Dead. You tell me which article you’d rather read.

Walking Dead MBTI

What books would you recommend to someone who wants to be a better leader?

I could give an infinite list, but here are three of my go-to’s:

Lincoln on Leadership. This was my first book on leadership and remains a paradigm on how to make leadership relatable.

Good to Great. There’s a reason so many people suggest this book. It has the perfect blend of research, case studies, and applicable information.

Think Like a Freak. This is a new favorite. From the authors of Freakonomics, this book shows how to most effectively solve problems and make organization-wide improvements.

Where did you come up with the name leadersayswhat?

The movie Wayne’s World. They did not use the word “leader,” but the joke always makes me smile.

Are your articles oversimplifying complex ideas?

This is a fair question, but let me ask you,

If a study is conducted and no one learns from it, what was the point of conducting the study?

There is an overwhelming amount of data on what makes a great leader, ways we can be a better leader, how we assess the effectiveness of leaders, etc. If this isn’t enough, there’s new research and theories coming out daily. The press reports on some of these findings, but much is lost in the academic abyss or presented in a manner that is not accessible to non-scholars.

I consider this a disservice to those who have dedicated their lives to researching a topic that affects all of us. When leadersayswhat presents an idea, it is simplified, not oversimplified. Research findings are broken down into consumable chunks, non-tangible theories are given practical applications, and links are always included for anyone interested in reading the original studies.

 

As always, please continue to send me suggestions on future articles, aspects of leader that could use more attention, and general feedback. And, if you feel so inclined, recommend leadersayswhat to a colleague or friend.

Thanks again for a great first year.

David