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Huntsman Alumni Magazine - Fall 2016

What are your employees saying about you?

Nathan WashburnIn an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Huntsman School Associate Professor Nate Washburn, along with Ben Galvin from BYU, provides some suggestions for leaders to develop powerful and inspirational leadership.

Washburn and Galvin argue that the most powerful form of communication is often not the formal communications emanating from the corner office, but rather the spontaneous stories about leaders that employees hear from their peers. Their research indicates that the stories told informally by what they call leader surrogates – employees who have deep admiration for the CEO, is a very powerful way to foster deep attachment to the organization.

But how does a busy executive develop the type of relationships whereby leader surrogates propagate a positive view of leadership? The authors provide six suggestions, including spending time with employees, allowing for spontaneity, focusing on a couple of areas of personal development, creating a few meaningful relationships, doing rather than talking, and identifying and working on voids within your organization so you can focus surrogate development.