Wednesday Wrap: The top stories so far

When it comes to issues surrounding learning & development and leadership, we see a vast array of news stories, reports and research pieces published every week containing statistics, theories and advice aimed at leaders. That’s why we’ve decided to pick out some of the most interesting news stories and articles from the week which have caused much discussion and debate in the Lightbulb Leadership Solutions office.  

Women in Business Q&A: Trina Gordon, President and CEO, Boyden World Corporation

The Huffington Post

We always look forward to the Women in Business Q&A as it provides an insight into what it took for these women to excel in their field. This week sees Boyden World Corporation president, CEO and member of the board of directors Trina Gordon discuss her childhood enterprising spirit, the lessons she’s learned along the way and the all-important issue of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Gordon also has some strong views on women in business, quoting the Fortune statistics that as of July this year, women held only four per cent of CEO positions across Fortune 500 companies and states why this needs to change.

Why leadership development isn’t developing leaders

Deborah Rowland, Harvard Business Review

This article published in the Harvard Business Review and penned by the influential Deborah Rowland makes some insightful observations on how to effectively develop leaders. Co-author of Sustaining Change: Leadership That Works (Wiley, 2008) and possessing 25 years’ experience in the change leadership field, Rowland has researched the topic of leadership development extensively to find that the qualities today’s leaders need include intuition, dynamism, the ability to collaborate and a firm grounding in here-and-now emotional intelligence. The essay details Rowland’s four factors that lie at the heart of good, practical leadership development, which include making it experiential, influencing participants’ “being” rather than just their “doing”, placing it into its wider, systemic context and enrolling faculty who act less as experts and more as guides. It makes for stimulating reading and highlights the importance of implementing the right kind of leadership development programme in your business.

Why bonuses are bad for business

Alastair Dryburgh, Management Today

It’s assumed that offering employees financial incentives for achieving targets is the ideal way to ensure these targets are met and that staff remain focused at all times. However, this thought-provoking article suggests performance incentives can inadvertently encourage unambitious targets. We agree with Dryburgh in that the answer to incentivise staff does not lie in the form of targets and bonuses, but in effective leadership strategies.

How women CEOs overcame bad jobs, bad bosses

The Wall Street Journal

Sometimes it’s the comments section of an article that can prove to be the most insightful. This piece detailing examples of women CEOs succeeding when the odds were stacked against them provided a thoroughly entertaining read, with examples of bad bosses and challenging roles from the likes of Anne Mulcahy of Xerox fame and Mary Barra who was selected as General Motors Co.’s first female CEO. The article, used to highlight the release of the book Earning It: Hard Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World by Wall Street Journal’s Joann S. Lublin generated much discussion and debate in the readers’ comments section. There’s nothing like the topic of women in business and the cover of anonymity to really bring out people's true thoughts and feelings on the matter. The issue that’s caused people to head to the comments section is the insinuation that women have a harder ladder to climb to the top compared to men. Do you think this is true? We’d love to get your thoughts on this topic for an upcoming post.

 If you spot any interesting news, reports or features covering the latest in leadership development or have an opinion on the stories we’ve discussed in this post, we’d love to hear from you.  

Fiona McKay