Take 5: Lead Better Teams, Engage More Customers, and Find Your Next Market
Skip to content
Careers Leadership Jan 6, 2017

Take 5: Lead Better Teams, Engage More Customers, and Find Your Next Market

Kellogg professors offer tips to grow your career and your organization.

A business leader communicates complex ideas to a circle of employees.

Michael Meier

Kellogg School faculty members share their expertise on building better teams, sharpening leadership skills, growing companies, and engaging customers. Here’s a look at some of their most popular advice from last year.

1. Strategies for Leading a High-Impact Team

Want to build an effective team? Think counterintuitively. That’s the advice of teamwork expert and researcher Leigh Thompson, who says that many popular strategies just plain don’t work. Among her key strategies for better teamwork: drop the praise, cut meeting time in half, and don’t worry too much about everyone getting along.

2. Tips to Gain Influence in Your Organization

Influence plays a big part in any office’s politics. So how do you build the political capital you need to sway others to your way of thinking? The Kellogg School’s William Ocasio offers ways to cultivate and effectively use political capital. And it all starts with understanding just how much influence you already have. “Don’t underestimate your resources,” he says.

3. How Self-Reflection Can Make You a Better Leader

Leadership is not always about leaving your foot on the gas pedal. In fact, pausing to reflect often yields true productivity, says Harry Kraemer. By regularly engaging in self-reflection, leaders can remind themselves of what matters, and find the strength they need to build truly effective teams. But don’t mistake this self-reflection for navel-gazing, says Kraemer: “No! It’s: What are my values, and what am I going to do about them?”

4. Tools for Communicating Complex Ideas

Good ideas often come in complicated packages. How can you help audiences understand your complex points? Kellogg School professor Mitchell Petersen provides tools for making difficult material more accessible and memorable. One smart piece of advice: “The dopier the story, the more people may groan—but years later they remember it,” he says.

5. Ways to Authentically Engage Your Customers

Creating relationships, not simply selling products: that’s the mindset behind long-term customer engagement. As Mohan Sawhney says, “The motto for engagement marketing is, ‘Ask not how you can sell, but how you can help.’” The most successful companies do that by inspiring, entertaining, talking to, and building community among their customers.

Bonus tip: How to Strategically Grow Your Business

Growth-stage companies often play it safe, sticking to the usual, expected markets even when better, more lucrative paths exist. Kellogg professor Mike Mazzeo describes how your business can break out of the same-old, same-old mold by identifying what you do better than other companies. Understanding why your customers are choosing you can lead to new opportunities that capitalize on your strengths.

Featured Faculty

J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations; Professor of Management & Organizations; Director of Kellogg Team and Group Research Center; Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

William Ocasio was previously a member of the Management & Organizations faculty at Kellogg

Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Glen Vasel Professor of Finance; Director of the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital

Associate Dean, Digital Innovation; McCormick Foundation Chair of Technology; Clinical Professor of Marketing; Director of the Center for Research in Technology & Innovation

Professor of Strategy

Most Popular This Week
  1. Sitting Near a High-Performer Can Make You Better at Your Job
    “Spillover” from certain coworkers can boost our productivity—or jeopardize our employment.
    The spillover effect in offices impacts workers in close physical proximity.
  2. Podcast: How to Discuss Poor Performance with Your Employee
    Giving negative feedback is not easy, but such critiques can be meaningful for both parties if you use the right roadmap. Get advice on this episode of The Insightful Leader.
  3. 2 Factors Will Determine How Much AI Transforms Our Economy
    They’ll also dictate how workers stand to fare.
    robot waiter serves couple in restaurant
  4. Will AI Kill Human Creativity?
    What Fake Drake tells us about what’s ahead.
    Rockstars await a job interview.
  5. How Are Black–White Biracial People Perceived in Terms of Race?
    Understanding the answer—and why black and white Americans may percieve biracial people differently—is increasingly important in a multiracial society.
    How are biracial people perceived in terms of race
  6. 5 Tips for Growing as a Leader without Burning Yourself Out
    A leadership coach and former CEO on how to take a holistic approach to your career.
    father picking up kids from school
  7. Will AI Eventually Replace Doctors?
    Maybe not entirely. But the doctor–patient relationship is likely to change dramatically.
    doctors offices in small nodules
  8. What Should Leaders Make of the Latest AI?
    As ChatGPT flaunts its creative capabilities, two experts discuss the promise and pitfalls of our coexistence with machines.
    person working on computer next to computer working at a computer
  9. Today’s Gig Workers Are Subject to Endless Experimentation
    “It raises the question, do we want to be a society where experimentation is just the norm?”
    gig worker at computer with three scientists studying them through a window
  10. How to Make Inclusivity More Than Just an Office Buzzword
    Tips for turning good intentions into actions.
    A group of coworkers sit in various chairs.
  11. China’s Youth Unemployment Problem
    If the record-breaking joblessness persists, as seems likely, China will have an even harder time supporting its rapidly aging population.
    college graduate standing before Chinese flag
  12. The Psychological Factor That Helps Shape Our Moral Decision-Making
    We all have a preferred motivation style. When that aligns with how we’re approaching a specific goal, it can impact how ethical we are in sticky situations.
    a person puts donuts into a bag next to a sign that reads "limit one"
  13. How to Manage a Disengaged Employee—and Get Them Excited about Work Again
    Don’t give up on checked-out team members. Try these strategies instead.
    CEO cheering on team with pom-poms
  14. Why Are We So Quick to Borrow When the Value of Our Home Rises?
    The reason isn’t as simple as just feeling wealthier.
    A homeowner uses the value of their home to buy things.
  15. Why Do Some People Succeed after Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder?
    A new study dispels some of the mystery behind success after failure.
    Scientists build a staircase from paper
  16. One Key to a Happy Marriage? A Joint Bank Account.
    Merging finances helps newlyweds align their financial goals and avoid scorekeeping.
    married couple standing at bank teller's window
  17. Take 5: Research-Backed Tips for Scheduling Your Day
    Kellogg faculty offer ideas for working smarter and not harder.
    A to-do list with easy and hard tasks
  18. What’s at Stake in the Debt-Ceiling Standoff?
    Defaulting would be an unmitigated disaster, quickly felt by ordinary Americans.
    two groups of politicians negotiate while dangling upside down from the ceiling of a room
  19. Which Form of Government Is Best?
    Democracies may not outlast dictatorships, but they adapt better.
    Is democracy the best form of government?
More in Careers