Best of thoughtLEADERS 2017: Our 9th Year of Badassed Blogging

Mike Figliuolo TrophyIt’s time again for our annual year in review list of the BEST posts we’ve published over the last 12 months. Welcome to the 2017 edition of The Figgies (our NINTH YEAR of em!  Wow!) which are the awards we give ourselves for writing awesome blog content (here are the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 editions of those awards).

This is an annual event at the thoughtLEADERS Blog. This list is comprised of our most viewed, most forwarded, quirkiest, most provocative work. Enjoy. Share. We’ve loved writing them. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading them. I don’t ask a lot of you folks so I have two small requests as your holiday gift to me (you are getting me something, right?):

1. Invite all your coworkers, friends, and family to come check out the blog and become readers. The only way we all get better is by raising everyone’s game. I’m not asking a lot here. If you found this blog helpful at all this year, here’s your chance to return the favor for all our hard work. Just email folks and tell ’em to come take a look.

2. Pick up a copy of my books. They make great holiday gifts for the professionals in your life. The titles include:

One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful Personal Leadership. In the words of Roland Smith (former CEO of Wendy’s/Arby’s) “This book could change your life.” To get a sense for what the book is about, read this free ChangeThis Leadership Manifesto which is based on the book. If you like the manifesto, you’ll love the book.

Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results. “Finally, a leadership book that cuts through all of the noise. This book needs to be on every leader’s desk!” – Andrea Procaccino, Chief Learning Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved. If you’re looking to get to “yes” for your idea, this book will give you the method for doing so in an efficient and effective way.

Thanks for your incredible support in ’17 and best wishes for ’18! We hope to be a part of your future success!  Now on to the best of list!

RobotMost Popular Guest Post: The Powerful Leadership Tool You’re Not Using Enough Most leaders feel enormous pressure to be a rock for everyone they oversee – calm, composed, and unfailingly clear-headed. But, too often, they confuse ‘being strong’ with being unemotional robots.

Price TagBiggest Profit Improvement Opportunity: Why Pricing is the Biggest Lever You’re Not Pulling. Pricing is a powerful lever but we don’t pull it often enough. Thinking through your price point as well as your pricing model can dramatically improve profitability.

Feedback Button on KeyboardBest Suggestions on Giving Feedback: An Easier and More Effective Way to Give Feedback Giving feedback can be difficult and emotionally-charged. But by following a simple model focused on facts and behaviors you’ll be giving more effective feedback more easily than you’ve given it before.

Best Guidance from Wolverine: What Leaders Can Learn from Logan. Logan (the Wolverine for the uninitiated) isn’t just a bad-assed comic book character. He’s a leader who can teach us all about sacrifice, perseverance, and how to productively channel anger.

Beautiful ArchitectureBest Use of Architecture to Make a Point: Build Your Business Like an Architect. Building your business requires a balance between creativity and pragmatic planning. Architects can serve as a useful metaphor for the skills and techniques required to build a bold and innovative business.

SilosBest Podcast about the Matrix: Breaking Out of Silos to Operate in the Matrix. We’re increasingly asked to operate in complex matrix environments but face the challenge of breaking down the silos. It takes a different approach to communication if you want to work in the matrix instead of being stuck in a silo.

Best Lessons Learned from Spain: 5 Project Management Lessons from Walking Across Spain. Whether it’s knowing what you need and what you don’t on a project or knowing how to manage conflict effectively, a long 500 mile stroll can help you build these skills.

Hand Receiving Cash from BusinessmanBest Strategy Execution Advice: Getting Paid to Execute Your StrategyIf incentives aren’t aligned with your strategy, the likelihood of you reaching your objectives is pretty low. Be sure you clearly link your incentive plan to the strategic outcomes you’re trying to achieve.

One Red Apple in a Group of Green ApplesBest Advice on Improving Engagement: Treat Your People Like Individuals to Get Better EngagementThe better you understand your people, the better you will relate to them. First you must treat them like individuals. No one wants to be a nameless cog in a big machine.

The Word Execution and its DefinitionBest Guidance for Entrepreneurs: Hey Entrepreneurs – No One Cares about Your Technology. Building the technology that is the foundation of your business is the easy part of being an entrepreneur. If you want to build a great business, you need to focus on execution and operations. Without them, you’ve go nothing.

So there’s the best stuff we published this year. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for all your support this year. I’m really looking forward to sharing more ideas with you in 2018!

Again – please invite your friends to come check us out (just share, tweet, or email this post for starters) and also grab your copy of our books. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them!

Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC

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