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Dear HBR:

50 EpisodesProduced by Harvard Business ReviewWebsite

Work can be frustrating. How can you get along with that maddening coworker? Figure out what your unapproachable boss really wants? Motivate your demoralized team? "Dear HBR:" is here to help. With empathy, experience, and humor, veteran Harvard Business Review editors and co-hosts Alison Beard and … read more

35:30

Stretch Responsibilities

Are you being pushed outside your comfort zone? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Jerry Colonna, a professional coach and a former venture capitalist. They talk through what to do when you don’t feel qualified for your new role, you’re covering an absentee boss’s responsibilities, or you have been assigned to lead a team but haven’t been given formal power.

From Alison and Dan’s reading list:

The New York Times: Feel Like a Fraud? At Times, Maybe You Should by Benedict Carey — “Social psychologists have studied what they call the impostor phenomenon since at least the 1970s, when a pair of therapists at Georgia State University used the phrase to describe the internal experience of a group of high-achieving women who had a secret sense they were not as capable as others thought. Since then researchers have documented such fears in adults of all ages, as well as adolescents.”

Book: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up by Jerry Colonna — “Take any random group of entrepreneurs, for example, and do a quick unscientific survey by asking them to raise their hands if they grew up in an environment where at least one parent had disappeared or left or was never present. Most hands will shoot up. Early promotion into adulthood is often painful and equally often a sign of an early promotion into leadership.”

HBR: Helping an Employee Overcome Their Self-Doubt by Tara Sophia Mohr — “The negative impact of that voice is tremendous. If someone on your team is hampered by a harsh inner critic, they’re likely to talk themselves out of sharing their ideas and insights. Held back by self-doubt, some of your most talented people will shy away from leading projects or teams, or put off going for the big opportunities – new clients, new business lines, innovative moves – that could help your business grow.”

HBR: Position Yourself for a Stretch Assignment by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz — “Explain very clearly why you should get the assignment. Demonstrate that you have the competence required, even if your previous experience doesn’t look too relevant. For example, a track record of effectively working across functions or units may be a relevant indicator of your ability to work in a larger global role.”

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