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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

7 Leadership Lessons for 2018

Tomorrow is January 1, 2018, and you have the chance to reinvent yourself and your workplace to Make a Difference for Good.  Change is coming at an accelerated pace with over 25 industries going the way of the buggy whip manufacturers.  Leadership Lessons:

1)  Use Practical Wisdom - The Right Way to Do the Right Thing. That means to encourage individuals to focus on their own personal intelligence and integrity rather than simply navigating the rules and incentives established by others.
2)   Realize that every employee has a story. You never will know their story if you do not take time to ask and breaking bread many times helps break the ice. Working side by side is a great way to hear the employee’s story and until they believe you care you will learn very little. Listening is a learned trait of highly effective emotionally intelligent leaders.
3)   You will never know what needs fixing/changing/pivoting until you ask. The lesson that Goggle learned in Project Aristotle was that using engagement survey data allows you to learn what 5 characteristics make a great team that daily yields world changing results.  Artificial intelligence will invade most facets our business life in 2018, but the most important asset you will have access to is the collective creativity hidden in the brains of your employees. Some call it magic dust - to others it is discretionary effort.
4)  Saying “thank you” matters. The ability to express genuine appreciation is a top leadership trait. When you see good work - say it, and a handwritten note of appreciation will be kept by an employee for years. Know that unplanned acts of kindness, hospital visit, or unexpected gift card for over the top service make a difference to the morale of the entire team. This is just one trait of the 12 traits of an emotionally intelligent boss.
5)  Google learned in Project Oxygen that Great Bosses display 8 traits.  When Goggle surveyed its work team’s common traits emerged. The most encouraging lesson was that great bosses can be made not bought. Investing in Great Teams and Great Bosses training in 2018 could just be the magic dust you have been missing!
6)   Rewards should be personal. In every episode of Undercover Boss, the executive calls a few special employees to his or her office for an unveiling. At that time, the CEO makes sure to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to the company. The visit to the CEO’s office includes a reward tailored to the individual’s need, a goal they want to achieve, and examples include training and development, help with educational costs, financial needs. 
7)  Chart your course for 2018. A wise captain precisely navigates his course before leaving port. Great bosses set a clear vision, mission and manages by values posted for all to see. Taking time in the next 30 days to bring your entire crew together for this business saving exercise which has the potential to make 2018 your best year ever!

Common Sense Counsel.  Following these 7 Leadership Lessons will mean you won’t be caught with your own over supply of buggy whips in December 2018.

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL He can be contacted at or 334-246-2901. Blog at