As we race through early 2018, we look back at ten significant leadership articles from the past year. Twenty-Seventeen was a whirlwind politically, economically, and socially—locally and internationally. As world events rage on, we’ve tried to keep you informed of how to operate your business with excellence under every scenario.
We’ve also looked at some of the more important leadership issues of our day, like the modern recurrence of antisemitism and the necessary response, in the workplace and in every domain. This week again reminded us of our responsibility as leaders, of the dire consequences of inaction, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day was marked around the world.
1. Take Five and Outlast the Competition
A leader’s Work-life balance is something we all know is important, but all too often the busyness of life, making deals and completing projects place family and relationships on hold. We squeeze out even downtime with a book or a stroll through downtown because we think our stress will only be eliminated if we just press on and work harder. But the research shows otherwise. See how you can do better by making time for things that matter.
2. The Myth of the Ideal Customer
There have been both helpful and unhelpful trends in every era of market strategies, and sometimes it’s important to step back and ask some basic questions about the validity of how we reach real people and solve actual problems. We’ve all heard people tell us about the great relevance of targeting the all-important idealized customer for our products. Is the approach legitimate?
3. Don’t Just Dream Big
In a year of big promises and big problems, we wrote about the need to do more than just dreaming great big dreams. The world needs more people who can connect their dreams to reality.
4. High Performance Entrepreneurship
It’s a wonder business schools don’t have required courses to study the musician’s approach to high-pressure performance. Leaders have much to learn from musical artists about how to do excellently, consistently.
5. How Not to Over-Promise and Under-Deliver
It never ceases to amaze how many people are experts at promising the world and amateurs at delivering. It doesn’t have to be that way. And it shouldn’t. Little erodes trust more in a business relationship than the inability to achieve the minimum results agreed to in a deal.
6. Holocaust Remembrance and the Leadership Dilemma
In 2017, this article was posted for Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. Only this past week, with the marking of the international remembrance ceremonies, politicians and celebrities like Israel’s own Gal Gadot took to social media with the #WeRemember hashtag. It’s critical to learn, to remember, and to educate others about the leadership role in such dark events.
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) January 27, 2018
7. Tesla’s Value Proposition is a Lesson for the Airlines
Time will tell the ultimate outcome, but when the United Airlines debacle unfolded last year, CEOs of major companies the world over were trying to determine how to position their own customer service levels and commitments. Even now, this article is one of our more read pieces. Is it because of the challenges airlines face? Is it because of the continued excitement around Tesla? Let us know what you think.
8. How to Find a Great Domain
While the world faced many challenges in 2017 one thing was steady and strong—since 2014 the number of new founders has increased substantially and going into the last year the Bureau of Labor Statistics put the number of self-employed workers at 8,602,000 in the US alone. That activity is mirrored in Canada and elsewhere around the world, especially with the growth of several new industries (see our piece on 10 Emerging Markets as Big as the Internet). One of the greatest founder challenges is naming a firm or product and choosing a web domain. So we produced this article to help with searching for and finding a gem worthy of your brand.
Succeeding in 2018
Take the best lessons of the past year and apply them in 2018 as it unfolds. Remember to be diligent, but take the time to reflect and regroup. Lead with character, insight and wisdom. Avoid the sinkholes of moral and political dilemmas and build a brand your grandchildren would be proud to call their own.
Learn, teach, lead, adapt, and share the road ahead.