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My top 10 blog posts of 2021


The past year forced many of us to rethink our fundamental beliefs about work, leadership, and culture. 

In the complicated year that was 2021, plenty of well-worn wisdom and familiar lines about what it takes to be an effective leader faced a reckoning.    

Look on the bright side? Well, not always. Buck up and be resilient? It’s not that simple. We’ll see you back in the office soon? Not so fast. 

As the pandemic stretched into its second year, leaders found themselves grappling with a need to shift from crisis-management mode to more-stable footing. Guiding their workplaces into a differently shaped world meant looking for new leadership approaches, new takes on familiar management advice, and a willingness to leave behind what no longer worked. 

The following list of my most-popular blog posts of 2021 reflects this need to rethink what we thought we knew. 

  1. Toxic Positivity: When Optimism Goes Too Far. When optimism starts to feel compulsory, it can turn into toxic positivity, which is a kind of relentless pressure to think positive, to look on the bright side, and to count your blessings. In this post, we share how leaders can bring the spirit of realistic optimism to the team.
  2. Resolve: When Resilience Isn’t Enough. You need both resilience and resolve to get through tough times. Here, we discuss what’s going on in the leadership trenches and share some strategies to strengthen personal resolve so leaders can continue to lead their teams at this critical time.
  3. Pulling Yourself Out of a Leadership Funk. According to The New York Times, “languishing” was the dominant emotion of 2021—another word for it might be a “funk.” We share some ways to pull yourself out of a leadership funk.
  4. CEOs Must Lead on Diversity: Lead the Future with Laura Liswood. In this article, we discuss how a lack of diversity affects leadership. This article is based on the Lead the Future podcast with Laura Liswood.
  5. Learning to Be More Optimistic Could Save Your Life. Mental health has become a critical issue as we continue to deal with the global pandemic. Here, we dig into the impact of optimism on mental and physical health, and we share some things realistic optimists do to cope.
  6. How Strong Is Your Network Effect? A strong network can and should be something much bigger than a group of people who will scratch your back if you scratch theirs. The true value of a strong network emerges when that network becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
  7. 2021: Our Year in Review. Bearing in mind the importance of reflection for leaders, we share a few of the things we accomplished in 2021.
  8. How to Lead Your Team in a Hybrid World. At some point over the past two years, many leaders have been forced to figure out on the fly how to lead virtual teams. Many leaders have learned valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t.
  9. What ‘The Great Resignation’ Means For You as a Leader. Labor economists are calling the current period “The Great Resignation” because of the many employees who are leaving their jobs as they reevaluate their career goals during the pandemic. Should leaders be concerned?
  10. Building a High-Trust Community in the Age of Hybrid Work. Every organization’s culture has been put to the test over the past two years. Some have found that their employees will pull together in times of crisis—while others have not. In this article we share four things to think about as you work to build community within your organization.

As you reflect on 2021, in what ways did you do a rethink about your leadership role?  Let me know. 

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