Practical analysis for investment professionals
01 February 2012

Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills Roundup

If you’re like me, you might have approached 2012 with some great aspirations and maybe even made some resolutions. But before getting too far along on that fresh start, maybe it’s time for a new perspective. A number of recent studies show that management practices that many view as conventional wisdom — and even some cutting-edge approaches — might actually discourage creativity in the workplace.

  • Ever struggle with the “open office” model that encourages teamwork and collaboration, typically at the expense of individual privacy? This article suggests productivity and creativity actually suffer under this model and recommends a more balanced approach to keep employees at peak performance.
  • If brainstorming doesn’t work, why are we still doing it? Should we focus on the composition of the group or team (i.e., ensure a diversity of perspectives) instead?
  • Have you heard about the recent trend in which some companies are turning to software solutions for employee recognition with the hope of increasing satisfaction and retention? Can it really work? You be the judge.
  • Looking for some practical advice on adjusting your organizational culture? Read this intriguing blog post about how to shift away from blame, excuses, and denial, and move toward ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
  • Need a reliable formula to create a distinctive performance culture in your organization? Try this Harvard Business Review article on for size.
  • Ever faced with a situation in which two or more of your trusted advisers or peers experience the same thing but tell a very different story? This article uses examples from the recently released Kennedy tapes to explore this topic and provide some practical tips for leaders.
  • Looking for a resource that covers the gamut of leadership and management issues facing today’s executives? Try the Great Leadership blog by Dan McCarthy, a leadership-training manager for a Fortune 1000 company. Recent posts include: practical tools to aid innovation and generate new business ideas and models; how to make the most of an executive development program; ethical decision making; and tips to increase your managerial effectiveness.
  • And one just for fun! Have a peek at the Forbes list of the most annoying business jargon. Recognize yourself or a colleague in one or more of these? Maybe it’s time for another resolution — no more jargon.

For more news and trends, visit the Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills Community of Practice.

About the Author(s)
Heather Packard

Heather Packard is the director of product development at CFA Institute and serves as the subject matter expert in leadership, management, and communication skills (LMCS). Previously, she was the managing partner at Trilogy Corporation of Virginia, where she was responsible for developing and cultivating a regional territory for telecommunications and network integration sales. Packard also served as the coordinator of collections for the Science and Engineering Libraries at the University of Virginia. She holds an BA in English and Spanish Literature from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Virginia. Topical Expertise: Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills

4 thoughts on “Leadership, Management, and Communication Skills Roundup”

  1. Edward Brown says:

    Leadership Training for Aspiring Charismatic Leaders

    Leadership training has and always will be a significant part of organizational development. Unfortunately, organizations are not becoming more effective with the onslaught of new leadership models, because many, if not most, fail to consider the model that best fits the personality of the manager. There may be consensus among researchers about what components should go into a leadership program, but very little feedback on dissecting the manager’s personality and the leadership model best suited for that personality. Amisano (n.d.) asserted that an effective leadership program should have these components in the curriculum:

    · Effective Communication—Learning the essential parts of effective communicating, includes: active listening, paraphrasing, and motivation.
    · Influencing People—Enlisting positive reinforcement and persuasive techniques that inspire employees toward contributing to the mission of the organization.
    · Management—Outlining and implementing how each person fits into the structure of the organization.
    · Build Trust—Being reliable by leading with openness and competence.
    · Delegate—Sharing tasks and responsibilities that affect the long term benefits of the organization.

    Although Amisano outlined the essentials for a general leadership development training program, charismatic personalities may require extensive self-study supported by the disciplines within the Humanities. The psychodynamics of historical figures from Napoleon Bonaparte to Bill Clinton suggest that charismatic leaders have a preternatural curiosity about human nature and leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should focus on subjects within Liberal Arts (Literature, philosophy, history, social sciences, etc…). Charismatic leaders are shaped and formed by their heroic deeds and need to connect with historical figures that embody their aspirations. Specialized training for aspiring charismatic leaders should entail the following components.

    —Charismatic leaders are case study driven. The missionary zeal that charismatic leaders possess necessitates training that point to epic heroes and triumphs in history. Reportedly, Alexander the Great was influenced by the hero in Homer’s “Iliad.” Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte were believed to have been influenced by Alexander the Great. Training for aspiring charismatic leaders should tap into their vivid imaginations and great ambitions. Charismatic leaders do not merely want to excel within an organization; they want to transform the industry.

    —Charismatic leaders have advanced oratorical skills. Amisano spoke about the need for effective communication skills that involved active listening, paraphrasing and motivation. However, charismatic leaders use advanced oratorical skills, not only to arouse emotions within audiences, but to transform initiatives through direct action by employees. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. might have listened to his Civil Rights cohorts behind closed doors, but his tool for transformation came from his oratorical skills at the podium. Charismatic leaders are well versed at creating imagery that inspires and encourages audiences to achieve a mission. Leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should focus on persuasive speaking. The ability to speak with passion, clarity, and specificity are the powers that charismatic leaders possess that make them iconic.

    —–Charismatic leaders are known for being visionaries. Actually, charismatic leaders are excellent at dissecting and deciphering inefficiencies within an organization. The visionary traits attributed to charismatic leaders are often a result of compiling facts, critical thinking, and finding solutions to various problems. The late Steve Jobs of Apple is an excellent example of a charismatic leader’s ability to discover inefficiencies within the marketplace. By looking at the marketplace and the emerging needs of consumers, Apple’s invention of I-Tunes transformed the music industry into marketing and selling music online differently. Leadership training for aspiring charismatic leaders should include problem solving exercises that enhance their critical thinking skills.

    Like any leadership development program, curriculum should be created that invigorates and motivates aspiring charismatic leaders to flourish where they exhibit the greatest strengths. By developing leadership training that addresses the visceral aspects of an individual, more leaders will emerge, generally, and more charismatic leaders, specifically.

    Edward Brown
    Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute


    Amisano, C. (n.d.). Components of leadership training.eHow (Money). Retrieved from:

  2. Pete says:

    Loved the point about the ‘open office model’.


    1. Heather Packard says:

      Thanks so much for the read and compliment Pete! For more on the open office/workspace topic, have a look at the October 2014 HBR issue’s spotlight series of articles on the 21st-century workspace.

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