e-book The Waterfall Effect: Six Principles for Productive Leadership

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Since humor builds positive emotion, it can also help reduce feelings of anger , depression , and anxiety McGhee, Additional research in this area shows that positive emotions predicted increases in both resilience and life satisfaction Cohn et. They lead and live with their strengths. Successful leaders understand that they cannot be everything to everybody and remain effective; instead, they have a keen awareness of how to leverage their unique blend of strengths, skills, and talents.

They manage pessimistic thinking. Successful leaders reign in their pessimistic thinking in three ways. First, they focus their time and energy on where they have control. Finally, great leaders are good at compartmentalizing. They make their own luck.

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Researchers studied an incoming class of cadets at West Point in order to better understand why certain cadets dropped out and others continued along the path of military mastery. They manage their energy. Successful leaders become adept at moving between energy expenditure stress and energy renewal recovery.

In order to get the energy renewal required to live and work in an ideal performance state, successful leaders know when to refill their tank. Burnout is a potential reality for people in high-stress professions, and successful leaders keep burnout at bay by knowing how and when to take a break. Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, is a lawyer turned stress and resilience expert who helps attorneys and law firms improve performance and increase well-being by mastering a set of skills proven to enhance resilience, build mental toughness, develop leadership, and promote strong relationships.

Connect with Paula via:. Facebook: www. Cohn, M. Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience.

Emotion, 9 3 , Duckworth, A. Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, Loehr, J.

Embracing Agile

The making of a corporate athlete. Harvard Business Review. McGhee, P. Humor: The lighter path to resilience and health. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. Rath, T. Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. New York: Gallup Press. Paula: Terrific analysis! I approach leadership from a slightly different perspective than most.

My view is that a leader's primary responsibility is to get things done. Otherwise, what's the point of the leadership role? When speaking to audiences on leadership - especially audiences populated with lawyers assuming or enhancing a leadership role - I focus on these six principles:. Developing field vision. Keeping the glass half full.

Leveraging the value of silence. Peeling back the onion. Setting the bar. Triaging priorities. Embracing these principles produce organizational success in the form of higher productivity and individual success in the form of increased personal and professional satisfaction. Leader is a person who accomplishes each and every thing in a proper manner and ethics.

The leader acts in a different way and try to act make out things in a different way. There are seven such things which completely prove them different from others and we should these advices properly so that they are more aware of the differences and positive things which need to be done. Leadership coaching. I too have found when in a leadership position that others are more encouraged to perform at their peak potential levels, when I make it a point to spend time with each daily.

Asking opening ended questions shows interest and allows vantage points for follow up conversations. It's a way to connect quickly and assure them that I want to remain so.


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Executives can identify integrators, who effectively move across internal hierarchies, by analyzing information traffic rule 2. And integrators can be given new power rule 3 in the form of access to employee data or responsibility for managing an internal online forum. Likewise, in matrix organizations, data and digital tools can empower executives who might otherwise think they have lost authority in a reorganization.

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Just as data can help identify integrators, it can help spot people who are not cooperating and be used to evaluate performance when several teams share responsibility for an outcome rule 4. Digital tools can create feedback loops so that employees become more responsible for their actions rule 5. Finally, these tools can help reward those who cooperate by measuring online collaboration or evaluating participation in decision making across hierarchies rule 6.

One place where you can see the six smart rules in action is in teams that deploy agile methods of software development. In short, they embrace the cooperation and autonomy that are central to smart simplicity. Cloud and agile teams are embracing concepts at the core of smart simplicity by doing away with waterfall development. In a waterfall, separate groups conceive, design, build, test, put into operation, and maintain software.


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  • Participants can spend more time sitting in meetings and managing handoffs across organizational boundaries than writing and testing code. Disputes among these groups are often discovered late in the game and have to be resolved by senior executives. In cloud organizations, executives tend to head cross-functional product teams rather than functional silos. All the functions needed to deliver a product or service report to a single leader, who has the authority to marshal resources and make decisions without time-consuming negotiations with other parts of the organization.

    Many of these teams combine the development, testing, and operations functions into a single software engineering role. These coders are responsible not just for writing but also for testing and deploying features, reducing the handoffs that slow development at traditional companies. Cloud teams support this radically different organizational model with digital tools. First, they have highly automated processes for testing and deploying code. This frees up coders to exercise their creativity and write code rather than wait for other teams to complete their work.

    The automated tools help create direct feedback loops, in the vernacular of smart simplicity, but also provide a level of comfort to executives, who may worry that they have relinquished operational control to developers. Coders also write modular software that can be easily joined with other modules and swiftly updated.

    7 Things Successful Leaders Do Differently | Psychology Today

    Similar to automation, modularity helps speed the development process by reducing downtime. Data, in particular, becomes a source of power at these companies. The cross-functional teams invest heavily in systems that generate real-time usage metrics, and they constantly monitor this data. Operational dashboards are generally updated every minute, while business dashboards are updated daily. Anyone at the company can see the test results and other operational and usage metrics.

    This broad dissemination of data serves as a new source of power for employees. It also opens the door for innovative thinking and cross-pollination of ideas. These principles can be applied well beyond the confines of software development. Agile methodologies, for example, work in such areas as outsourcing negotiation, mortgage origination at banks, and nonsoftware product development.

    Digital is not a panacea. By themselves, digital tools will not promote cooperation and autonomy. Like traditional IT tools, digital can reinforce existing patterns of corporate inefficiency. Its ease of use and flexibility, for example, can lead to a proliferation of incompatible tools and competing user interfaces. The exponential growth in digital data can also make it challenging to separate signals from noise.

    What, then, is the best way to marry digital tools and smart simplicity? Unlike digital start-ups, most organizations have decades of practices and legacies baked into their collective unconscious. The six smart rules will require managers of these organizations to think and work differently.