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The Secret to Being a Great Boss (Work Management Roundup)
Leadership 3 min read

The Secret to Being a Great Boss (Work Management Roundup)

We're back with the Work Management Roundup after last week's all-too-brief Thanksgiving break. Which means we've collected a number of links from the past week and a half — good reads which should get you back on the productivity track. Read on! Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss (First Round): Over on the First Round blog, Kim Scott shares the single most important thing a boss can do: focus on guidance. Giving it, receiving it, and encouraging it. This guidance needs to be given with "radical candor", which just means criticizing their work honestly, but with personal care for your employee's growth. How to Survive 8 Straight Hours Of Meetings (Fast Company): Some smart strategies for getting through a day that is wall-to-wall meetings. Sample tip: schedule breaks between meetings so you can grab a bite to eat if needed. Sweden Experiments with Six-Hour Workday (The Guardian): Meanwhile, a Swedish retirement home is trialling shorter work hours. Result: better well-being of nurses, higher standard of care, lower turnover. Only drawback: having to hire more people to cover the increased number of shifts. 28 Ideas for Becoming 5 Times More Productive Every Week (Medium): Thomas Oppong puts together a massive collection of productivity tips to use throughout the day. 4 Reasons Your Project Board Isn't Working (Girl's Guide to PM): Just because your team has a project board doesn’t mean they'll use it or find it valuable. Here are four reasons why they fail. If I Knew Then... Julie Masino (Crain's SF): Sprinkles Cupcakes CEO Julie Felss Masino shares how one mistake shaped her business philosophy and taught her empathy because people are your greatest asset. More Work Management Reads Think About This: Tech Employers Bend Over Backward to Shower Their Workers with Unusual Perks (Mercury News) The Decline of the Office Holiday Party (Bloomberg) Email Won’t Be Used in 10 Years, Says Wrike CEO Andrew Filev [Video] (Silicon Republic) BYOA — Too Much of a Good Thing? (Digital Marketing Magazine) Go Try This: How to Deal With Jerks in the Workplace (Fast Company) 6 Tips for Working With Developers (Hubspot) 25 Top Tools for Maximizing Marketing Team Productivity (Wrike) How to Select the Best Business Collaboration Software – Advice from Experts (Mikogo) The Most Valuable Social Media Tool You are Overlooking (Forbes) 5 Lessons for Creating 'Viral' Content From BuzzFeed (Huffington Post) Browse Productivity Works on Flipboard If you use Flipboard on laptop or mobile, then you'll enjoy our magazine on productivity tips. Check out Productivity Works or click on the widget below: View my Flipboard Magazine.

5 Ways Your Perfectionism is Killing Your Business
Leadership 5 min read

5 Ways Your Perfectionism is Killing Your Business

As a business owner, having perfectionist tendencies can push you to go the extra mile. Yet the desire to excel and the desire to be perfect are two separate outlooks that business owners and leaders often confuse. While having high standards and goals is a profitable business strategy, and a great way to motivate employees, perfectionism can actually be detrimental to your success. Here are six ways this mindset can hurt your business. You Never Take Risks Year after year, you’re in charge of making the decisions that impact the growth and productivity of your business. Innovative ideas and risky decisions may arise and if you’re a perfectionist, your first instinct may be to shoot them down. While it’s necessary to weigh the pros and cons of major decisions, creativity and evolution are critical to your business’ success—and that means accepting some element of risk. The willingness to adapt to changes across your industry is a must if you want to stay competitive. Run the numbers, get advice on the situation, and make an informed decision—don’t automatically say no. You’re Not Well Liked It’s no secret that perfectionists aren’t the easiest people to work with. If you strive for perfection each and every day, you’re likely also demanding perfection from your employees as well (or they perceive that you do). This could lead you to become controlling and critical, hyper-focused on your exact vision of what the project or final outcome should be. No one wants to work for a dictator, and if your team doesn’t respect you as their leader and don’t enjoy working for you, you risk losing great employees. Take a step back and consider how your perfectionist tendencies are projecting onto your employees. Make it clear that they have your trust and the freedom to do their jobs, and remember that their ideas and visions of success are likely just as good as yours. You’re Afraid to Fail   Fear of inadequacy could be driving your perfectionism. In a poll of 1,000 American adults, fear of failure was the number one fear, and as a business owner, it’s easy to cover that up with perfectionism: If it’s perfect, then nothing can go wrong. If it’s perfect, I can be sure I’ve done the absolute best that I can. While it’s good to let fear push you, rather than control you, you run the risk of letting that mindset take over. When that happens, nothing is good enough, skewing your idea of what a job well done actually looks like. In the end, nothing is good enough, and you’re still not managing the fears that are hurting you and your business. You Hate Opposition Although you may strive to be perfect, your ideas, work and management skills aren’t. No one’s are! If you take extreme offense to feedback or are closed off to different ideas, you’re hindering the growth of your business. “In the modern workforce, true perfection is flexible—and is completed by working as a team to develop ground-breaking innovations. Even if your method is flawless, it can always be enhanced by the insight of others,” say small business experts at The Office Club. The most successful leaders across all industries adapt to new developments and changing circumstances—sometimes on a daily basis—and being a perfectionist can stop you from achieving that. You Can’t Meet Deadlines Perfectionists often feel the need to thoroughly review every single thing with a fine-tooth comb. While supervising and consistently reviewing the work of your employees is vital, micromanaging others keeps people from meeting deadlines and being productive—and it may even drive them to look for another job. Once you’ve approved a project, delegate it to the senior employee involved, and move on. Make a point to do this once a week so that one day it just comes naturally. You’ll slowly feel yourself start to unwind and loosen up, allowing the perfectionist tendencies to fade away—and your team and business to thrive. Author Bio: Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is currently a professional blogger and has been featured on Ms. Career Girl, LifeHack, ThinDifference, Manta and StartupNation. Follow her on Twitter at @Jlsander07.  

Wrike's CEO Analyzes the Lessons to Learn from Facebook in Business Collaboration
Leadership 3 min read

Wrike's CEO Analyzes the Lessons to Learn from Facebook in Business Collaboration

In this article, Andrew highlights the lessons that the business collaboration space can learn from Facebook and discusses why the “work graph,” our own unique concept, has the potential to turn us all into project management and collaboration rock stars. We built Wrike with this vision - to connect work for thousands of people - and now we came up with this special name for our model. You can get a feel of it right now by using Wrike! Source:

The Guide to Making Better Decisions
Leadership 10 min read

The Guide to Making Better Decisions

Solid decision-making is one of the core pillars of effective leadership. Top strategies to uplevel your decision-making skills.

Building Visibility in a Global Marketing Team
Marketing 7 min read

Building Visibility in a Global Marketing Team

Today’s marketers must deliver consistent, personalized, compelling experiences across all channels. They’re tasked with developing new ways to generate leads, manage campaigns, as well as create and maintain a strong brand. 

Leadership Blind Spot: Why a Lack of Cultural Intelligence Holds You Back
Leadership 5 min read

Leadership Blind Spot: Why a Lack of Cultural Intelligence Holds You Back

When you're at work, you probably think about your colleagues' IQ (Intelligence Quotient), or how traditionally smart they are. You might even think about their EQ (Emotional Quotient), or how well they deal with and respond to emotions when communicating. With international expansion, there arises another factor to consider — one that might possibly take priority over the other two: CQ (Cultural Quotient), or how one relates and adapts to different cultures while working. It's more than just cultural awareness, it's about embracing challenging situations and different mindsets. If your business is global and your employees don't have CQ, you're going to find yourself fumbling far more frequently than your CQ-savvy peers. New leaders need to learn to work with people of different cultures, including different backgrounds, ages, titles, and dispositions. As an individual and as a business, you need CQ to collaborate, to innovate, and to connect to our shrinking world. Book Review: Cultural Intelligence by Julia Middleton After receiving a copy of Cultural Intelligence by Julia Middleton, I read the book which brands CQ as "the competitive edge for leaders crossing borders." The book is an enlightening and informative read about CQ — what it means, everything it encompasses, and how we can develop ourselves as leaders to make sure our cultural intelligence is ever-evolving. It helps you evaluate where your CQ stands today, and what you can do to increase your own cultural intelligence. Middleton breaks down CQ into two parts: our core and our flex. Our core is made up of behaviors and beliefs that are so near and dear to us that we refuse to change them for others. Things in our flex are more adaptable when we step into an unfamiliar situation or a different culture. To increase our cultural intelligence, we must individually evaluate both parts of our personality. Both are necessary, and the trick is to find the balance between the two zones. According to Middleton, cultural intelligence is not something leaders can develop or stretch by attending a class. It's not even something we can hope to gain by reading her book and taking copious notes. Cultural intelligence must be gained by going out into the world, interacting with people outside of our comfort zones, making (sometimes uncomfortable) mistakes, and learning to welcome new possibilities and challenges. It's not about obeying our manners, it's about learning new thought processes and embracing them. I highly recommend the book for any leader who wants to take a hard look at their own cultural intelligence, and learn how to develop it further — there is always room for improvement. How to Develop Cultural Intelligence at Work Today If you want to take Middleton's lessons on cultural intelligence to work with you, here a few business-ready ways to start developing your CQ today: 1. Create a mixed network Do not surround yourself with people from the same background, same team, or same mindset. Purposely keep people in your network from all walks of life. By keeping different cultures close to you — including people of various backgrounds, ages, positions — you will find opportunities to expand your horizons. Do it today: Befriend the new gal in the office. Grab lunch with a colleague you rarely talk to. Tweet to your followers to find someone who disagrees with one of your many opinions. 2. Take the time to learn from other people Actually sit down and learn about the people around you. Every colleague has had a different experience, and therefore has a different way of perceiving and solving problems. By learning about them, you learn more about their mindset and may learn new ways to approach business. Do it today: Organize a team-building event for your group to share and learn about what makes each person unique. If colleagues claim they're just "too average/typical/boring" to teach anything, have them talk about their heritage, their culture, their home state, their family, their hobbies, or even their bucket list of dreams for the future. 3. Seek out challenging opinions Human instinct tells us to shut out competing opinions. If they're not with us, they're against us! By operating under that assumption, you're denying a valuable opportunity to grow. Actively seek out colleagues that seem to disagree with everything you say, riling you up and making you so mad that you go home and fume about work for two more hours. After you've cooled down, take each turbulent conversation as an opportunity to learn a different approach to your work. Do it today: If you have been shutting out That One Colleague that always seems to disagree with your opinions, reevaluate their responses. Go out of your way to ask the dissenter for their feedback on your current project. Challenge yourself to appreciate their opinions instead of resenting their perceived roadblock. Developing Cultural Intelligence for the Future of Work As the world gets smaller, leaders must grow. By actively educating yourself and developing your CQ, you will expand your horizons and be known as a better leader for it. Cultural Intelligence by Julia Middleton is an excellent book that walks through what it means to develop cultural intelligence, gives easy-to-follow resources for evaluating your own CQ, and ultimately leaves you feeling empowered to grow as a leader. If you are interested in continuing to learn more while you wait for your copy of the book, read this article about cultural intelligence over on the Common Purpose website (an organization founded by Julia). Have you read Cultural Intelligence or other similar books? We'd love to start a conversation about CQ and the business value of cultural intelligence in the comments. Talk to you soon. Related Articles: 5 Tips for Embracing Cross-Cultural Differences on Teams Top 10 Work Skills You'll Need in 2020 (Infographic)

How to Find Your Power as an Introvert Leader: Top Tips
Leadership 10 min read

How to Find Your Power as an Introvert Leader: Top Tips

Many people falsely believe that extroverted individuals are the most successful leaders. But in fact, both introverts and extroverts have equal opportunity to achieve greatness in the workplace. An introvert leader can guide, mentor, make important decisions, and network just as well as an extrovert leader. Even though their style is different, introverted leaders have valuable gifts they can harness to improve their work and the lives of those they manage.  In this article, we’ll explain exactly why you should nurture introverts into leadership roles and how to make the most of your own introverted personality with a few practical tips. Keep reading to discover the myths, qualities, and fame many introvert leaders experience.  Why introvert leaders are a benefit to businesses The idea that extroverted individuals are better leaders than those with introverted traits is influenced by the number of people in leadership positions who are naturally extroverted. According to a collection of studies analyzed by Positive Psychology, the majority of people around the world identify themselves as either somewhere in the middle of the two extremes or almost evenly split between them.  Despite this, people still largely believe that the majority of people are extroverted, especially if they hold a position of power.  This may be because, as humans, we tend to think that whoever is more outspoken is more confident. Confident people are the most inspiring, therefore we assume whoever talks the loudest is the best possible leader.  But introvert leaders, regardless of their confidence levels, are living proof that the opposite is also true. Even the quietest person in the room has the ability to be a powerful leader, if given the chance.  Although contrary to popular belief, personality tests do not measure the differences between introverted and extroverted individuals. Instead, they look at the continuum of behaviors. Both sets of opposing behaviors, including outspoken vs. soft spoken, can be used to effectively lead people.  It all comes down to what leaders do and how they do it.  As we all know, there’s more than one way to manage a team. And you may find that an extrovert’s approach is less effective than an introvert’s when it comes to a particular group of people or the type of work you’re doing together.  Introverted leadership qualities Here is how introverted leaders work their magic. If you have more than five of the following characteristics, you may display introverted leadership qualities regardless of how you personally identify. Here’s what to look for in yourself or other introverts:  Thoughtfulness in words and actions Thinking deeply about fewer ideas or projects Remaining calm in high-pressure situations Interest in productive processes over quick end results Prefers quality connections over fewer shallow ones Easily maintains focus in the long term Detail-oriented when solving problems Myths we need to dispel about introverted leaders There are many rumors about introverts and their leadership abilities. These may seem harmless at first, but learning about the introverted leadership style will provide guidance for everyone from directors to managers who want to help employees reach their full potential companywide. Here are some biases worth rethinking: Myth #1: Faster is good Extroverts thrive on sharing their thoughts as soon as they have them. This is especially true in group sightings where they can jump from topic to topic.  Introverts, on the other hand, like to take their time. They often speak slowly and think through things before sharing with the group. This adds a level of diplomacy to their actions which is especially beneficial when it comes to dealing with sensitive subject matters.  Myth #2: Louder is better Extroverts are known for being enthusiastic. They're often seen as the life of the party or the conference room.  Introverts, however, often get labeled as sticks in the mud. But don't be fooled by their quiet disposition. A quiet confidence is more valuable in professional settings where strategic action is valued.  When it comes to speaking in a group setting, introverts often demonstrate quality over quantity. Myth #3: Expressive is best Extroverts are confident in themselves and their achievements so you often hear them excitedly sharing them. While there are many benefits to loud and proud leaders, sometimes humility is a more effective strategy (as long as it doesn’t lead to persistent imposter syndrome).  This is especially important to consider when collaborating with clients and partners who have cultural backgrounds that are different from your own. For example, many European countries view stereotypical extroverted Americans as less agreeable than an introvert’s calmer, low profile approach.  Famous introverts that made great leaders People often illustrate introverts as reserved and quiet, socially awkward, solitary and soft-spoken. These qualities may make it seem that introverts lack the confidence and social skills that leaders, pioneers, and change makers possess. But you may be surprised to learn that 40% of leaders and executives identify themselves as introverts: Bill Gates Warren Buffett Marissa Meyer Mark Zuckerberg Guy Kawasaki Barack Obama  These are only a few of the famous leaders and innovators who consider themselves introverts but you’ll find at least one major influencer in every industry, specialty, and leadership role who openly identifies as one.  Their success proves that transformational leadership is not monopolized by those with an outgoing, socially-affable, and highly-confident temperament. In fact, despite an extroverted environment, introverts can successfully take the reins in any organization.  Tips for leadership as an introvert  As Westcliff researcher Ekta Agarwal writes in their study of introvert leaders: “The goal is not to change introverted leaders, instead it is to understand their preferences and use it as a strength.”  And while Psychology Today says it’s “not necessarily fake or inauthentic for introverts to act the part of extroverts”, understanding what makes an introverted leader unique is the first step to helping them achieve truly authentic leadership.  Here are six tips that introverts and people who manage them can leverage to harness their innate management and leadership skills: Listen first, talk later Introverts tend to shy away from small talk because it drains their energy. Typically, they prefer to stay on the sidelines and listen first, and weigh in with their own viewpoint later (or when asked).  A study managed by Francesca Gino, associate professor at Harvard Business School, shows that introverted bosses with active teams can be extremely successful, because they patiently listen to what their team members have to say.  This trait allows introverts to be especially effective leaders, since successful collaboration requires effective communication. Introverts tend to evaluate the full picture of a situation, carefully prepare what they are going to say, and add comments and instructions that are well thought out and clearly communicated.  Step up during times of crisis An introvert is capable of creating fully formed ideas and solutions that are rooted in his or her own inner power as much as, or sometimes more than, an extrovert.  This person may seem unproductive until they come up with a solution that everyone else missed. Then, their contribution is often valued highly since it is typically well thought out and detailed. By listening more than they speak, introverts are able to digest more information before making a proper analysis of the situation.  Combine this with introverts’ ability to listen intently to their colleagues and weigh different perspectives, and they can be a valuable voice of reason in times of crisis.  Get out of your comfort zone Because of their low social energy, networking can be difficult for introverts. But because it is key to opening up important business opportunities, it requires introverts to step outside of their comfort zone a bit.  Introverts actually can use their natural sincerity to lessen their anxiety and better engage others in conversation, making meaningful connections. Use your writing skills Introverts prefer to communicate in writing because it allows them to organize their ideas as they pen their thoughts. Author John Green jokes, “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” But in all seriousness, introverts make the best writers and can use this skill to their advantage when leading groups.  Take time to recharge Given the limited social energy that introverts have, engaging in too many group activities and events drains them. Once their social energy is used up, introverts tend to withdraw from their surroundings in search of rejuvenation. Taking some time to work individually is essential to keeping efficiency and productivity high. It’s also key to preventing burnout.  As an introvert, set aside time during your day to get back into your contemplative zone and re-energize. You can actually use this time to come up with new strategies and ideas, and surprise your company with the surge in enthusiasm and passion at work. Use collaboration and communication apps Going digital can be especially advantageous for introverts, since they can preserve their social energy for in-person meetings with important clients and business partners, while staying connected with their team. Instant messaging, collaboration, and work management apps like Wrike can bring enhanced communication, transparency, and accountability to the workplace.   Successful managers, executives, and leaders are not defined by their personalities. They are defined more by how they handle critical situations, guide their team to achieve their goals, and inspire those around them, while being true to themselves. 

5 Ways to Keep Leadership Involved Without Slowing Your Process
Leadership 5 min read

5 Ways to Keep Leadership Involved Without Slowing Your Process

Leadership is busy. When it comes time to get their input on a project, they often either lack enough previous knowledge to weigh in (without multiple hold-up questions) or take too long to complete their action step. This delays the project’s end date and can be incredibly frustrating for the team members who are involved in the project. They feel like they’re in a holding pattern and worse yet, may have to go back and make aggressive changes quickly when leadership finally weighs in.

Join Wrike CEO Andrew Filev for a Webinar on Building Virtual Teams
Leadership 3 min read

Join Wrike CEO Andrew Filev for a Webinar on Building Virtual Teams

We're excited to announce that our CEO Andrew Filev will be the guest panelist on the upcoming webinar "How To Build Effective Virtual Teams For Startups" hosted by The Founder Institute. Andrew will share his experience from years of getting big results from virtual teams in fast growing businesses. Founder Institute CEO Adeo Ressi is hosting the webinar, which will cover topics including: How to efficiently manage virtual teams Collaboration techniques to boost productivity Common mistakes managers make with virtual teams and their remote working policy How to track progress with virtual teams How to overcome communication obstacles for virtual teams and working from home advantages and disadvantages We hope you'll join us on September 29th at 9am PST. It's a fun opportunity to hear from Andrew and ask questions. You can register here now: http://bit.ly/wfivirtualteams See you soon! Follow them on Twitter:Adeo Ressi | Andrew Filev | Founder Institute | Wrike

We Need to Talk: What Managers Need to Know to Deliver Tough Feedback
Leadership 10 min read

We Need to Talk: What Managers Need to Know to Deliver Tough Feedback

Giving tough feedback to your people is never fun. Here's what you need to know.

What Is Holacracy and Will it Work in My Company?
Leadership 10 min read

What Is Holacracy and Will it Work in My Company?

Discover the rules and processes of holacracy and how a holacratic organizational structure can be used to help businesses become self-organized.

3 Easy Ways to Cut Costs and Keep Your Business Lean
Leadership 5 min read

3 Easy Ways to Cut Costs and Keep Your Business Lean

"When in doubt, simplify." ― Eric Ries, The Lean Startup. Small businesses are always pushing to drive profits and increase sales, but few fledgling firms truly know the ins and outs of cutting costs to maximize profits. Here are three ways you can effectively cut costs for your small business while keeping operations running smoothly. 1. Switch to Free Why pay when you don’t have to? Here are some normally costly practices that have free counterparts: Move your IT to the Cloud. Many cloud apps are easily scalable, streamlined, and effective, so turn to Google docs, Microsoft Office Live Workspace, Amazon Cloud Drive, Onedrive, and DropBox to help you shed some paperweights. Build and maintain a free site. Don’t spend thousands of dollars paying a web designer to develop your site. Apps like Strikingly offer free website creation and management tools. Your site needs to mature alongside your business: a simple landing page can transform into a multi-faceted online store, blog, and consumer hub as you grow.  Project manage like a boss. Wrike is an online tool that makes it easy to implement lean product management. Real-time updates for remote teams, interactive Gantt Chart project timelines, and unique email-friendliness are only a few ways it can help you breeze through daily tasks and manage your business processes. Use intern power. Recruiting young pre-professionals can easily increase efficiencies in the office without padding the salary books. You will be promoting a culture of lifelong learning by recruiting eager minds ready to put in effort and gain experience for lower compensation.  2. Practice The Art of the Discount You never know what discounts you can get until you ask! It’s astounding how many companies are willing to gift a substantial promotion in order to keep your business. Here are some discounts to pursue: Renegotiate your lease. Even if it’s a long-term lease, your best bet is trying to renegotiate. A short-term rent reduction may be just what you need to hold over until sales perk back up again. Just beware of trading short-term relief for a longer commitment. To bulk, or not to bulk? Buying in bulk may not save you as much money as you think. While paying month-to-month may make little sense when there are heavy discounts for paying annually, a shipment of 1,000 ballpoint pens can easily dry up before you use them all. Consider carefully whether buying in bulk fits your business’s trajectory. Check your insurance price. Shopping around for insurance policies can be really beneficial, especially during renewals. Look for an unbiased, independent agent to help you find the best rate for your specific needs. 3. Eliminate Redundancy Unnecessary expenses are everywhere. A magnifying glass, some wine, and a late night with the ol’ balance book can prune superfluous monthly charges (just not too much wine). Look out for extraneous subscriptions, interest from late loan payments, as well as credit card processing and membership fees. Here are a few ways you can trim the excess: Use less paper. Did you know that 40% of office paper is discarded within 24 hours of printing? Cloud storage will allow you to save on copy paper (and stop killing so many trees).  Eliminate discretionary spending. Stick to essential expenses only. Sure, there will always be  marketing opportunities that can be dealt with more leniency, but try and keep your checkbook closed to things like new break room upholstery.  Track inventory closely. More money tied up in long-term assets means less money in the bank. Make sure you’re spending only what you need to on inventory. Shut down power-hungry appliances. Use energy-efficient light bulbs and office appliances with the Energy Star label. Not only will you save on your electricity bill, you’ll be eligible for green energy tax credits. If you still want to save power, you can always request a free energy audit from your power company. Help Your Business Succeed Cutting out paper, asking for discounts, and using free online work tools are all effective strategies for saving money and gaining a significant head start on your competition. Cutting your costs doesn’t happen overnight though, so remember to breathe and believe in your success. Nothing happens without putting yourself out there, so I’ll let Eric close us out: “Reading is good, action is better.”  ― Eric Ries, The Lean Startup Author Bio: Andrew Mao is on the Growth Team at Strikingly, a Y-Combinator alum and pioneering site building tool for startups and go-getters.Building your site with Strikingly is a considerable head start compared to campaigns that try to build their sites without it. Instead of spending $15,000 or more to develop your own site, go ahead and start a free site with Strikingly.