If our Leading Effectively articles were bound in a book, some pages would be dog-eared, worn, and highlighted — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. (Don’t get our Leading Effectively insights delivered to your inbox every month yet? Visit the Email Preference Center to subscribe!)

As we look ahead toward 2019, we pause to reflect on the advice that you turned to most in your journey to become a better, stronger leader this year.

Without further ado, here’s our countdown of the Top 10 most popular articles in the past year.

Our Most Popular Articles


effective, routine feedback is a quick win for talent development10. Give effective feedback regularly.

As a manager, you have an intimate knowledge of your employees’ strengths and weaknesses — and you hold the power to shape their performance. Maximize this opportunity for talent development by offering regular, constructive feedback.

Set the stage for impactful “talent conversations” with our 3-step model.

Read The Key to Immediately Improve Your Talent Development.


6 ways to stand out as a leader9. Stand out as a leader.

Most organizations are struggling to address complex future challenges, and they need skills (think: inspiring commitment and change management) that many of their leaders just don’t have.

This article reveals the gaps in the leadership pipeline and suggests 6 actionable tips for sharpening your skills to set yourself apart.

Read 6 Ways to Succeed as a Leader.


key competencies for leading the function8. Learn functional leader competencies.

Functional leaders manage departments, divisions, business units, and regions of more than 500 people. Typically, their budgets exceed $500 million.

These big roles require specific leadership competencies. Learn how to develop these competencies — without losing sight of other key leadership skills.

Read The 5 Most Important Competencies for Function Leaders.


7 active listening skills for coaching conversations7. Hone your active listening skills.

Good coaching doesn’t have to be time consuming or formal. But it does require active listening, which starts with being present, attentive, and asking probing questions.

Discover 7 techniques that can help you turn even a casual conversation into a coaching opportunity.

Read Coaching Others: Use Active Listening Skills.


make leadership happen with direction alignment commitment6. Know the formula for executive development.

You’ve probably heard the secret to meaningful executive development: a combination of challenging assignments, learning from other people, and coursework. But what’s the right mix?

Learn why the classic formula has a huge impact on executive development.

Read The 70-20-10 Rule for Leadership Development.


communication tips for leaders5. Communicate better, and with ease.

When it comes to communicating effectively, remember that authenticity always trumps eloquence.

You don’t have to be a great orator to master the required skills. This article explains why effective leadership depends on good communication — and gives actionable tips for communicating more effectively.

Read Why Communication Is So Important for Leaders.


fundamental 4 leadership skills4. Develop the fundamentals.

The challenges faced are unique, of course, but everyone – from individual contributors and first-time managers to the most seasoned senior executives – needs the same 4 leadership competencies to be truly effective.

Learn what they are and how to hone these critical and fundamental leadership skills.

Read The Core Leadership Skills You Need in Every Role.


strengthen your ability to influence others3. Strengthen your influence.

No one can go it alone, and skilled influencers understand the power of networks. They also understand that getting buy-in isn’t a matter of shouting commands.

It’s a subtle art of inspiring, persuading, and encouraging. Find out how to build the skills you need to maximize your influence.

Read 4 Keys to Strengthen Your Ability to Influence Others.


characteristics of a good leader2. Succeed in your leadership role.

All great leaders possess these 10 core leadership traits. Some (good communication skills, ability to inspire) won’t come as a surprise, but others aren’t as obvious.

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?


universal leadership challenges1. Overcome the universal leadership challenges.

CCL researchers interviewed hundreds of mid- and senior-level leaders from around the world and found that each faced the same 6 challenges.

Learn the frustrations that all leaders grapple with, from inspiring others to guiding change, and get expert tips for overcoming these struggles.

Read The Top Leadership Challenges Around the World.


Want more insights like these? Stay up-to-date on the latest CCL research and leadership insights!

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