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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Dec 4, 2020


As we draw the year to a close for the Leadership Today podcast, we pause and take a look back over the five most popular episodes based on downloads.



Hello and welcome to episode 104 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we bring research to life in your leadership.  What a year, hey? A one-in-a-hundred year pandemic sent us all scrambling to figure out how to lead effectively through a truly global crisis. Nearly every organisation around the world ended up with the majority of their people working from home. We grappled with Zoom meetings, lockdowns, uncertainty and confusion. And as we draw the 2020 to a close for the Leadership Today podcast, we pause and take a look back over the five most popular episodes based on downloads. I think they provide an insight into what leaders have been focusing on, and what has been the most helpful.

Number 5. Way back in mid-February in episode 66, we explored A Leader’s Role in Removing Frustrations. We learnt that frustrations aren’t just bad for the individual, but can increase negative workplace behaviours. A key role for leaders is to help people to remove frustrations. We do that by accepting frustrations are normal, and recognising that they can always be reduced either at the cause or point of impact. While our impulse might be to avoid talking about frustrations, we are far better off encouraging people to raise them, provided we take a continuous improvement focus.

Number 4. At the start of March we discussed Five Key Leadership Challenges for 2020 and Beyond. I highlighted a reflection deficit, flatlining trust, internal competition, reluctant leaders and transactional engagement as emerging issues. It is also when I introduced the six daily practices leaders can undertake to engage and get the best out of their people. That turned into our most popular online workshop for the year - The Six Daily Practices of Remote Leadership. Check out episode 69 for more details, or you can even complete our Six Daily Practices of Remote Leadership course as part of a free 30-day trial for Leadership Today On-Demand. Links are in the show notes.

Number 3. While I may not have seen the pandemic coming in early 2020, I did have a great episode back at the start of February on The Four Core Skills for Leading in a Crisis. Episode 65 drew on research around crisis management to show the importance of identifying, acting, communicating and reviewing when it comes to a crisis. The research reminded me of the importance of identifying what we have learned once the crisis subsides. Perhaps that’s a good thing to keep in mind as we progress into 2021.

Number 2. In July we explored Ten Great Questions Leaders Ask. Being a great leader isn’t about having all the answers - it’s often about asking the right questions. And research shows that asking questions helps build both liking and learning through connections and trust. Take a look at episode 84 for a list of questions you will find helpful in your leadership.

And at Number 1 it’s probably not a surprise that our most popular episode was Ten Tips for Leading Others through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Episode 70 came on on 14th March, just as the virus was really taking hold globally. My tips were to keep informed and prepared, turn up each day, provide as much clarity as you can, remain calm, demonstrate genuine interest in others, provide meaningful work, check in regularly via video, invite others to connect, don’t miss the opportunities and don’t do it alone. It was pretty good advice, and worth reviewing. The only other thing I would add with the benefit of hindsight is to remember to check that you’re not on mute.

So that was our five most popular episodes of 2020. I will be hosting some episode replays through the remainder for December and into January 2021. It has been a privilege to share over 40 new episodes with you this year. When I started this podcast back in July 2018 I had no idea just how helpful it would be in formulating my thinking around leadership by incorporating the latest research. A big thanks to our researcher Lauren Staveley who has really helped lift the level of the podcast and the rest of the work that we do here at Leadership Today. We now have a truly global audience with just 31% of you being from my home country of Australia, and it’s a delight to see which random country the podcast might be charting in each week.

If you have found the podcast helpful this year, you know what to do - leave a rating or review and tell a friend. I look forward to sharing brand new episodes with you in February 2021 - who knows what the world will look like then! Until then, keep working on your leadership through Leadership Today On-Demand. Just go to the Leadership.Today website and follow the On-Demand link. There is hours of video-based content. If you like the podcast, you’re going to love it. I will be back to host a replay next week.