Guest post from HERE.

Today, we were thrilled to dispatch the first edition of our Leadership That Works Newslettera curated monthly digest of the very best leadership links from around the web (compiled by the enthusiastic leadership wonks at ConantLeadership). In the event that you are not subscribed to our mailing list but still have an insatiable thirst for leadership knowledge – never fear, we’ve also compiled the 8 intriguing articles from our newsletter letter right here.  Hope you enjoy — and stay curious! (And, if you like what you see, you can sign up for our newsletter right here).

Yes, You Should Take Work Personally.

Duncan Coombe, in this Harvard Business Review article, adds to the ever-mounting evidence that the axiom, “it’s not personal, it’s just business” is really awful career and leadership advice.

To Be Happy, Focus on Your Craft, Not Prestige.

This great The Atlantic interview with the author of the book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?, reveals enlightening truths about what truly fulfills leaders. It turns out, if you focus on the power, money, and prestige — you don’t necessarily get better or happier. But if you find something you love, and focus passionately on mastering it — success, and happiness are more likely to follow.

The Extraordinary Power of Deliberate Practice.

The way to achieve excellence is through deliberate practice — but it’s much more challenging than ordinary practice. How do you keep going, even when practicing with purpose is really hard? This wonderfully practical post from The Quiet Leadership Institute tells you exactly how to master deliberate practice and reach your goals.

The Leader as Artist.

This fascinating post from Brain Pickings wholly captures the idea that leadership is a craft — requiring the same attention and creativity as painting or design. Using supporting insights from maker-turned-leader, John Maeda, the article argues, “that human relationships are an act of creativity and craftsmanship, a supreme art . . .” A delightful read.

You’re Probably Not Telling, or Hearing, The Truth Enough. 

Mindy Mackenzie, author of The Courage Solution, noticed a crisis in the modern corporate landscape: people weren’t telling the truth. Why? “Because people didn’t have the courage to tell it. People were afraid of the consequences. So I wrote this book to show them how to tell the truth diplomatically but effectively.” In this interview with Skip Prichard, Mackenzie shares empowering tips for truth-telling in your leadership.

Why Autonomy Is More Appealing Than Power.

“People were nearly two and a half times more likely to take a job that gave them more autonomy than they were to want a job that gave them more influence” writes Melissa Dahl in this interesting post from New York Magazine that should serve as a reminder to leaders: if you want to engage people, trust them to do their jobs.

How to Change Your Focus.

“We have a choice about where to aim the lens of our attention” writes Seth Godin in this short but effective post on why changing our default approach to challenges is the key to doing better work.

Optimism Starts at the Top (But so Does Worry).

By re-framing the often asked question, “what keeps you up at night?” to “what gets you up in the morning?” — this post in Strategy + Business shows why leaders should be motivated by the excitement of opportunity, as opposed to the dread of failure, if they hope to better engage employees.

Thanks for reading,

Your friends at ConantLeadership

P.S. If you discovered an enlightening, must-read leadership link recently, drop us a line in the comments and share! 

Written by Brandon Cannon