Five Game Changing Leadership Articles


I like to read articles about leadership and related topics. It is exciting to hear a new point of view. Some of the key points stick and find their way into my coaching, and others fade away. As I thought about what to write for this week’s post, I realized I hadn’t reviewed many of these leadership articles in a while. After reading through a bunch of them, I set about identifying only five articles. The ones any leader will find insightful, perhaps game changing. I have provided links in the title’s to each article with a brief summary below. No doubt, you would pick five different ones and that is the beauty of this activity. By reading my five, I hope to provoke you with some new perspectives.

Management’s Three Eras: A Brief History – Rita Gunther McGrath

Professor McGrath provides an insightful review of how our business environment has shifted over many years. She describes how management practice has changed along with it and needs to change. Our world is becoming more complex and it requires a new style of leading and managing. This article provides excellent context for this change.

How Managers Become Leaders – Michael Watkins

Professor Watkins describes the key transitions a manager goes through to become an effective leader. Few leadership articles talk about what a leader actually does. This one provides a practical summary of how a leader’s role is different from that of a manager. Had I read this early in my career, I would have saved myself a lot of challenges of my own doing.

Discovering Your Authentic Leadership – Andrew N. McLean, Bill George, Diana Mayer, and Peter Sims

The authors make the point leadership starts with me. If we don’t know ourselves well, our ability to lead is diminished. You may have heard about authentic leadership, and it starts with knowing ourselves. In a time when we seem to be let down by a lot of high profile leaders, every leader needs to take a good hard look in the mirror.

Too Much Team Harmony Can Kill Creativity – Darko Lovric, and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

This is an article that is a bit outside of mainstream leadership development. It touches on a personal passion, high performing teams. I have come to realize, conflict is a foundational part of every high performing team. We are all different people and as such we are always in conflict. If we can reframe conflict as a source possibility, a new world opens up before us.

High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It – Laura Delizonna

Professor Amy Edmondson is the authority of Psychological Safety. Dr Delizonna’s article provides an excellent overview about what it is and how to create it. Psychological safety is usually associated with teams. I extend it’s use to general leadership which is all about relationships. The stronger and trusting a leader’s relationships, the more effective they will be.

I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I have and you are able to put their ideas to good use. Now you’ve read five of my suggestions, what are your favorite leadership articles?