How big is the leadership field? So big, that in the tradition of Billboard magazine, Norway native Frode Heimen recently ranked the top 100 blogs. (Fear not, he writes in English.) Especially useful is Heimen’s inclusion of each blogger’s Twitter handle, making it easy to find and follow all 100. A scan of the top two reveals some gems:
“The Genius Hour.” Daniel H. Pink – whose blog was ranked No. 1 overall – tells the story of Jen Shefner, assistant vice president at Columbia Credit Union in Vancouver, Wash. Her employees take a “Genius Hour” each week — “60 minutes to work on new ideas or master new skills,” writes Pink. “They’ve used that precious sliver of autonomy well, coming up with a range of innovations including training tools for other branches.”
Many would leave the story at that; Pink explains what Shefner gets out of it: “Who answers the phone when an employee is on a Genius Hour? Jen does. That’s right. Jen steps up and does her staff’s jobs so they have time to do big think work. Imagine if all managers showed that level of integrity and commitment.” He concludes with this pearl: “Genius Hours aren’t ad hoc. They’re fixed on the departmental calendar. The hour, if not exactly sacred, is semi-sacred. In most organizations what gets scheduled gets done. Genius Hours get scheduled, which why they get done.”
The best leaders remember the challenges of rank-and-file jobs. One hallmark of Michael Hyatt’s blog – ranked No. 2 – is its use of guest contributors. A 27-year-old communications writer named Miranda Gibson recently offered “Five thoughts on leadership from someone who is led,” including:
“The best leaders remember what it was like before they were leaders. My first real job out of college was a logistics job and required me to prepare shipping documents for items. It was a little overwhelming, but my boss was a great help. She started out in this same position and had been promoted into a supervisory role. As a result, she knew what I was going through. She was always very patient and understanding. She always reassured me that it was okay to ask questions. She knew there was a lot to learn.”
The quality of Heimen’s list extends way beyond the top two. The “Nina Nets it Out” blog – ranked No. 90 – offers great tidbits from Nina Simosko, Senior Vice President for SAP’s Global Premier Customer Network and Global Enterprise Accounts. Interestingly, one of Simosko’s most useful posts is also Billboard-style: It’s her take on a top-30 list of “outstanding women leaders,” which a blogger named Don Dodge – not in Heimen’s top 100 – compiled. Whereas Dodge’s list, like Heimen’s, includes Twitter handles, Simosko took it further: She provided links to the blogs of the women in the top 30.
In doing so, Simosko supplied a refreshing reminder of the best that leadership blogging can offer: An ethic for spreading the wisdom, and a humble knowledge that you’re not the only source of it.
You’ll also love most of what you find at Nina Nets It Out, including her take on Dodge’s list of female leaders in the business world. Star Wars fans will especially appreciate Simosko’s post on Using the Force to Manage Employees.