Page 2 of 51

3 Leadership Rules That Separate the ‘Good’ From the ‘Best’

3. Become a data-driven decision-maker.

In today’s marketplace, simply having data isn’t enough. You need cutting-edge analytics to glean breakthroughs and discoveries from your data.

So it’s troubling that 85% of executives say they don’t know how to analyze the data they’ve collected, according to one KPMG study.

The best leaders don’t collect data for data’s sake. They ask questions like, “What pressing problems do I need to address? What challenges are my customers facing?”

That is, smart leaders are hypothesis-driven: They pinpoint their goals and run targeted analyses that address specific problems and objectives. With those insights, they recalibrate their vision and make razor-sharp decisions — in everything from succession planning to performance development.

As a result, their companies boast enviable agility. Data-driven leaders fuel outcomes with every action they take because they are empowered with predictive, forward-looking insights.

There is no magic wand for business excellence. Leaders must demonstrate persistence and courage. The courage to take risks. The courage to admit when you don’t have all the answers.

It’s a tall order, but leaders who are willing to go out on a limb will find that it’s worth it.


3 Leadership Rules That Separate the ‘Good’ From the ‘Best’

2. Don’t simply measure employee engagement; create a culture of high performance by focusing on development.

Many leaders have given employee engagement surveys a try. So why are only 15% of global employees engaged at work?

One underlying problem is that many leaders view employee engagement as the goal — an end in itself.

Excellent leaders recognize that engagement data are only the beginning. They consider engagement an ongoing, methodical exercise — one component of a holistic strategy for optimizing their culture.

The best leaders don’t collect data for data’s sake. They ask questions like, “What pressing problems do I need to address? What challenges are my customers facing?”

To this end, winning leaders enable their managers (who make or break engagement) to serve as coaches who use engagement insights to develop their team members for the future.

Great leaders also know that engagement surveys are a dime a dozen. They take the time to find scientifically and experientially validated approaches to engagement — interventions that are empirically connected to performance gains.

It’s an investment that pays off (and then some). With extraordinary engagement, organizations achieve top-shelf performance in crucial outcomes such as profitability, turnover and sales.

3 Leadership Rules That Separate the ‘Good’ From the ‘Best’

Each day I will give you one of 3 leadership rules. A little micro learning. Here is the first

Do you ever wonder why success is seemingly effortless for some business leaders?

It’s especially perplexing considering the challenges posed by the future of work (which is here, by the way).

Yet for leaders with the right rulebook, building a best-in-class workplace is as simple as 1-2-3. Their thriving organizations have over 70% of their workers ready to outperform the competition.

What’s their secret? Leaders who tackle the excessive demands of today’s workplace do so by following best practices that stand up to decades of rigorous scientific scrutiny.

These leaders live and breathe their playbook of precepts because they know that their leadership approach will determine whether their organization simply survives or slaughters the competition.

Abide by these three rules to start emulating crème-de-la-crème leaders.

1. Treat your workplace culture like a powerful, competitive differentiator.

By now, most business leaders know that culture matters. They might use basic culture survey tools or offer perks designed to create a fun atmosphere.

Still, only 27% of employees strongly believe in their company’s values, according to Gallup data.

Exemplary leaders view their culture as a baseline requirement and ongoing priority — not a “one-and-done” initiative. They use analytics to determine what makes their culture unique and how to make it stronger.

Further, they ensure their culture comes to life — every single day — in their employee experience. This requires consistent metrics and leadership commitment.

Ultimately, leaders who are culture champions help their company consistently win — for instance, by attracting the top 20% of candidates.

What Percentage of U.S. Workers Are Union Members?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Americans prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Labor Day on Monday, Gallup’s latest measurement on labor union membership finds that 10% of full- and part-time U.S. workers belong to a union. This marks the second year in a row of the lowest level of union membership in over 15 years: from 2003 to 2017, union workers made up an average of 13% of the American workforce.

  • Over one-third of government employees (37%) belong to a union, versus 6% of all private sector employees.
  • Workers in the South are the least likely of any U.S. region to report being part of a union, with 5% saying they belong to a union. That contrasts with 15% and 14% of workers in the East and West, respectively. In the Midwest — where organized labor and right-to-work laws have been the subject of intense political debate in recent years — 10% of workers say they are union members.
  • 14% of workers reporting an annual household income of $100,000 or more are members of a union, compared with 3% of those in households earning less than $40,000 per year.
  • Employed Americans aged 35 to 54 (13%) are more than twice as likely as those aged 18 to 34 (6%) to be members of organized labor.

Labor Union Membership Among U.S. Workers, 2018-2019Based on U.S. adults employed full or part time

Member of a unionNumber of interviews
Employed U.S. adults101294
18 to 346326
35 to 5413562
College graduate
Household income
$40,000 to <$100,00011517
Non-Hispanic white12891
Job type
Non-profit employee15111
Private sector employee6693
Government employee37203
Party ID
Based on aggregated data from August 2018 and August 2019