What makes a good leader?

By Matt Dallisson, 25/01/2020

Structure is not the enemy of problem-solving; it’s actually a resource. An innovation expert presents a framework that that won’t just help you generate more creative ideas and make smarter decisions—it will teach you to see around corners.

Now that you have a better handle on solving the problems, it’s time to learn how to prevent them from occurring in the first place. The coauthor of my all-time favorite book on change, Switch, has a real gift for finding captivating stories, using them to illustrate convincing evidence, and weaving them into useful models.

As the U.S. Surgeon General appointed by President Obama, one of Vivek’s key contributions was to draw attention to the epidemic of loneliness that’s undermining mental health and social well-being. His long-awaited book examines the causes of loneliness and how we can overcome it by building community and connection.

When it comes to personal and professional networks, quantity is overrated and quality is underrated. A leading sociologist at Yale identifies three different approaches to improving the quality of your connections—expanding, brokering, and convening—and reveals how you can identify and adapt your style.

Wayne has taught me one of the most important lessons of my career: the biggest barrier to generosity is not that others are unwilling to give, but that we’re afraid to ask. As a University of Michigan sociologist who specializes in organizational networks, he shows how we can become more skilled at making requests and more comfortable with receiving help.

The 5-day work week is an arbitrary human invention. A leading entrepreneur in New Zealand recognized that in many jobs, people can be just as productive—and more creative—working 4 days a week. Having transformed his company and ignited a global conversation about flexible work, Andrew offers a road map for reducing hours by 20% in your workplace.

A powerful case that productivity is not an inherent virtue—if you’re not careful, it can become a vice. If you’ve ever felt compelled to work harder, this book by a longtime radio host and journalist is a clarion call to work smarter instead, because sometimes you accomplish more by doing less.

If you’ve ever felt like an outsider or an oddball, you’ve experienced the downsides of being weird—but there are surprising upsides as well. The Atlantic writer has an impressive track record of shining a spotlight on the mysteries of human psychology, and as a Russian immigrant raised in West Texas, she knows firsthand that the very factors that prevent you from fitting in can eventually help you stand out.

In every decision you make and every goal you set, there are two easy ways to fail: having too little confidence and having too much. As a Berkeley psychologist, Don Moore has spent his career studying how to find the sweet spot, and his book is full of data-driven guidance for making more accurate assessments of your abilities and opportunities.

This content was originally published here.