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What SmartBlog on Leadership’s top posts of 2015 tell us

4 min read


What did you, our readers, most enjoy from SmartBlog on Leadership in 2015, and how does it compare with our most-clicked links in our daily newsletter, SmartBrief on Leadership (don’t get it? Please sign up!)?

Our most popular posts of 2014 and 2013 suggested an emphasis on better communication — public speaking, performance discussions, and much more. Our readers also seemed, especially in 2014, to want to know how deploy this increased awareness and their new skills. We at SmartBrief followed this trend — increased coverage of communication and customer service/experience issues, and changes in the daily newsletter to emphasize other ways that busy leaders might want to improve themselves.

What was this year’s focus?

This year, people were focused exactly on what we’re trying to do: Help managers and leaders be better in leading and developing people, especially when the going is tough. We have posts about being more efficient without losing effectiveness, about helping people who are struggling, about the value of stay interviews in retention, and about finding something that’s less awful than traditional performance conversations.

This largely was reflected in the items our SmartBrief on Leadership newsletter subscribers clicked on. A couple of exceptions: Communication situations also remained a priority, and “Donald Trump is the leader we deserve” was probably the most popular email subject line I’ll ever write.

OK, so what were the most popular posts?

Here are the 10 most-read SmartBlog on Leadership posts published this year — I’ll update if something pushes into the top 10 from now through Dec. 31*:

  1. Your checklist for more effective meetings” — Joel Garfinkle, Aug. 17
  2. “Questions leaders can ask” — James daSilva, Nov. 9
  3. “How to get an irrational person to listen to reason” — Dr. Mark Goulston, Oct. 6
  4. “The truth about people and change — and what to do about it” — Tara Seager, Jan. 20
  5. “How you can spend less time and be a more effective leader” — Mike Figliuolo, July 17
  6. “Are you a micromanager or a macromanager?” — Julie Winkle Giulioni, Sept. 10
  7. “Getting employees to take accountability” — Gershon Mader, June 4
  8. *“New Year’s development goals for leaders: 2016 edition” — Dan McCarthy, Dec. 24
  9. “12 questions to help you conduct effective stay interviews” — Jennifer V. Miller, July 14
  10. “Blazing your own path to success” — Naphtali Hoff, May 13
  11. “3 arguments against performance reviews” — Ken Goldstein, Nov. 2

Thank-yous and notes

I’m a little shy about being in the top 10. I view my job as helping others get their voices out, but I’m happy y’all enjoyed my post.

We publish a lot here at SmartBlog on Leadership — nearly 400 editorial posts, with some focusing specifically on issues important to HR executives or entrepreneurs. I write a small percentage of these posts.

The reason we can be prolific and helpful is because of the incredible regular contributors and the countless guest bloggers (and the PR and publisher folks who work on their behalf). This includes Mike Figliuolo, who has one of this year’s top 10 posts and for many years has run our weekly reader poll. If we’ve helped anyone this year, it’s largely because of his efforts and those of all our contributors.

Finally, our top 10 would not be complete without noting posts from earlier years that have remarkable staying power. I’ve excluded those from the top 10 list above, but they are listed below:

*After this post originally published, Dan McCarthy’s post on 2016 development goals pushed its way into eighth place, which I guess shows people still like to read even during Christmas. I’ve added him above, and now it’s a list of the top 11 posts.