What have been your biggest challenges this year?
If you're a leader, you've probably faced some real doozies: maybe a team member had a major personal crisis, or you inherited a dysfunctional team, or you got promoted to a role that feels foreign to what you were doing before.
Whatever your challenges, there's probably been a few moments where imposter syndrome struck. Fortunately, you know to not let that stop you, which is probably part of the reason you read the Lighthouse blog: to learn what to do in tough situations, and get better as a leader one step at a time.
As we look back at another year (year 5!) of Lighthouse posts, we want to thank you all for being readers and supporters. We appreciate it all, whether you share posts with friends & colleagues, have participated in 30 days of Leadership, or subscribed to our blog.
Here's the posts you and your fellow managers liked most this year. If you haven't read one of them, it's the perfect thing to read while you travel for the holidays or take a break from an over-competitive game of Monopoly with your family.
Your Favorite Lighthouse Posts to Help You be a Better Leader this Year
Every post we write is inspired by you. We get emails every day from leaders and Lighthouse customers with new, and interesting challenges. We also see examples in books, media, sports, and around the world that inspire us. Our blog is a culmination of all that combined with a genuine effort to teach and inspire you.
As usual, it's no surprise that the most popular posts were teaching key concepts we all deal with every day, as well as celebrating great leaders by sharing some of our favorite lessons from them.
[Ed Note: Click the headlines of each section to open that post in a new tab to read it.]
The most important meeting you have with each person who reports to you is their 1 on 1. It's no surprise then that this was our most popular post this year.
When I started the Lighthouse blog, I never imagined I could write so much about one on ones. Looking back though, it all makes sense: there's so much depth and nuance to these meetings, that there's a need to dive into all the different pieces to help.
If you're looking to finally start 1 on 1s in 2019, this is a great primer to get you started. And if you're a veteran to them, there's a good chance skimming through this will give you a few ideas to freshen up and improve your 1 on 1s in the new year.
This post is deeply personal to me. Self awareness is one of the hardest skills to develop, and it's one I find myself constantly working on.
This is precisely why I wrote the post. I knew I had this challenge myself, so I was inspired to find ways to improve my own self awareness, and of course then share it with you, too. I'm honored and thrilled that this turned out to be one of your favorite posts this year.
Building a great company culture is something every company aspires to; no one wants a toxic, evil environment at work.
Yet, creating one is very difficult. It's a million small decisions every day, that are easy to miss or make mistakes on.
That's why I was so excited to see Patty McCord (former head of HR at Netflix) write her book. The Netflix Culture Deck is famous for how they think about company culture, but it's hard to understand how they arrived at it simply looking at the deck.
Fortunately, McCord's book fills in many of those details, while highlighting what she saw as most crucial to their success.
Like in other posts, we tried to break down the most interesting lessons from the book, which seems to have really resonated.
You can read our 10 favorite takeaways from Patty McCord here, and then you can read our other posts on company culture:
- How you can improve your company culture
- How to turn around the culture on your team
- What we can learn from Wells Fargo's toxic culture and scandal
- Questions to ask a CEO to ensure you have a great company culture
- The Unfiltered Truth about Creating Great Corporate Culture
Interviewing for jobs is brutal. The horror stories I've heard from friends, family, and acquaintances range from rude to demoralizing.
The bar is so low.
You know what that spells to a good leader? O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y.
With a little effort (and empathy) you can stand out in your recruiting process. No matter what else happens at your company, you can avoid all the pitfalls we discuss for those you're interviewing.
Otherwise, you can ignore these at your peril; any smart candidate will say to themselves, "If they treat me like this when they are trying to recruit me...what will it be like when I join?" and they'll be lost.
Learn what the most common interview mistakes are for leaders here. Then, learn my favorite interview tactic that's helped me hire dozens of great people here.
It's commonly believed that IQ is a pretty fixed measure of a person's intelligence. IQ's cousin, EQ, or emotional intelligence, is harder to measure, but is it also fixed? In short, no.
In this deep dive into research on the subject, we share how it turns out that emotional intelligence is a skill like any other. Especially for leaders navigating the world of politics, egos, and varying personalities, improving your emotional intelligence can pay massive dividends.
However, there's also a dark side to EQ. Used incorrectly, or with evil intentions, many bad things can happen.
Fortunately, we take this dark side head on so that not only can you improve your emotional intelligence, but also spot when others are using EQ in bad ways.
Start off the new year with a thorough understanding of emotional intelligence here.