If there’s one thing 2020 has given to leaders, it’s a wealth of opportunity to put our leadership advice into action. For months on end, leaders at every level have faced an unprecedented need for on-target communications — in many cases via new virtual platforms. Leaders have gotten intentional about developing diversity initiatives centered around inclusivity. And to survive it all, they’ve had no choice but to develop resilience for themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

As we assess 2020’s most consequential events, we pause to reflect on the words of wisdom from our researchers and development facilitators that kept you going even in the most challenging times. Read on for our best leadership advice from some of our most popular articles in the past 12 months.

Top Leadership Advice: Our Most Popular Articles

woman speaking in office answering the question, what is psychological safety at work?10. Boost psychological safety at work.

When people feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions, and disagreeing with the status quo, they also feel comfortable taking risks and exchanging innovative new ideas. A psychologically safe environment starts with a feeling of belonging, where people feel assured their perspectives are valuable.

Learn how to move your team through the 4 stages of psychological safety. Read What is Psychological Safety at Work?

Co-workers talking together in an office space9. Be honest and sincere.

Authenticity is the cornerstone of good communication. Not only is it important to show up, it’s important to speak from your heart. In a year where communications have expanded to include virtual meeting platforms, the need for authentic communications is more important now than ever.

Get 5 tips for how to communicate more effectively — through your actions and your attitude. Read Why Communication Is So Important for Leaders.

a strategic leader talking to colleague8. Practice strategic leadership.

In the past few months, you’ve likely thought about how best to adapt to the current environment. Designing a plan for “the new normal” required strategy and goal-setting. But the next phase is equally challenging, and our best leadership advice urges leaders to move toward an ongoing process of transforming.

Learn how to think, act, and influence strategically. Read How to Become a Strategic Leader.

The Core Leadership Skills Needed for Every Role7. Hone the “Fundamental 4.”

Even as your roles and responsibilities evolve, you must master 4 core leadership skills: self-awareness, communication, influence, and learning agility. As you grow in your career, identify where you have the potential to develop, and you’ll be more prepared for new challenges.

Ready to strengthen your most important leadership skills? Read The Core Leadership Skills You Need in Every Role.

5 Powerful Ways to Take REAL Action on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and answer the question What is DEI?6. Ensure equity and inclusion.

For diversity initiatives to result in real change, leaders need new skills and organizations need tools to sidestep common mistakes. Our leadership advice: Implement the REAL framework (Reveal, Elevate, Activate, and Lead) to move past acknowledging social inequities and into initiating lasting change.

It’s time to fully appreciate and engage all your talent. Read 5 Powerful Ways to Take REAL Action on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion).

What Are the Characteristics of a Good, Great, and Strong Leader5. Good leadership starts with integrity.

Based on our research, we’ve found that great leaders consistently possess 10 qualities. From integrity to gratitude, courage, and respect, these character traits are associated with leaders who are willing to make tough decisions that protect their people and advance their organizations.

Learn how you can intentionally develop these skills with the help of strong mentors and leadership development. Read What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?

pattern of eggs one of them golden representing the unexpected benefits of online earning4. Embrace virtual development.

Effective leadership training doesn’t require a physical classroom. Our clients tell us they’re delighted by the unexpected benefits of virtual learning, as long as it incorporates deliberate design, authentic connection, and vibrant experiences to ensure lasting outcomes.

See why virtual training produces results. Read 8 Unexpected Benefits of Online Learning for Development.

A group of spheres around a single red sphere on a pedestal representing communicating in a crisis3. In a crisis, focus on communication.

When people feel overwhelmed with the amount of information coming their way, they look to leaders to filter the essentials with brief and candid communication. As information comes to you, share what you know — and be honest about what you don’t know.

When stress is high and there’s a lot at stake, crisis communications can help you connect with your team. Read Communicating in a Crisis: What, When, and How.

image of blocks representing when inclusive leadership goes wrong2. Learn what inclusive leadership means — and how to get it right.

Inclusive leadership starts with empathy, our ability to connect with each other. When organizations commit to merging empathy and inclusion, they adopt inclusive leadership. These superpowers have the ability to change lives, open doors, and build bridges.

Engage in 7 acts of inclusion to reinvent your relationships and organization. Read Inclusive Leadership: Steps Your Organization Should Take to Get it Right.

Portrait confident female shop owner with clipboard1. Build your resilience.

When things feels unstable, we often put pressure on ourselves to work longer and harder. But rather than enhancing performance, that leads to stress, which narrows your thinking and increases the likelihood of mistakes. Our leadership advice: build your resilience to perform at your best.

Get our top 4 tips for increasing your resilience and managing your energy. Read How to Increase Your Resilience as a Leader.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

One other piece of leadership advice: Whether you’re looking for virtual programs, a customized online training, virtual executive coaching, or a mix of self-directed and moderated options, we can partner with you to create a leadership solution designed to fit your schedule, your style, and your organization’s unique needs. Explore our online leadership development options for leaders at every level.


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