Most Popular Leadership (and Other) Posts of 2008

The Best of – 2008

One of our regular readers sent us a nice email last night wishing us, among other things, a Happy New Year. We know it wasn’t just a mass email sent to everyone in his address book because he requested we write this post today.

Specifically, he asked us to list the Top Ten Articles on for 2008 based on page views. No wanting to disappoint, we dove into our Google Analytics and found some surprising articles at the top of the list.

Looking back on our first six and a half months of providing leadership advice and general business wisdom to the masses, we occasionally used this blog to vent about or introduce issues and topics that only barely related to leadership development – though we always tried to tie these back to the leadership, where possible.

Sometimes we were successful, and sometimes it was clear we were just using as our own personal soap box. Of course, it is our soap box to use as we wish…

Today’s article speaks more to what you, the readers, wish. Based on what you read when you visited, here are the Top Ten AskTheManager Articles for 2008:

  1. The Best and Worst Presidential Leaders in History – This was the second article in a three-part series that proved to be the most popular posts on our site last year. Published in September, all three articles in this series drew an enormous amount of attention, with the second in the series being our most visited page in 2008. The AskTheManager editors spent months analyzing the leadership records of all forty-two US Presidents to name our best and worst.
  2. So You’re the New Sales Manager – How Are You Going To Get Their Attention? – The first in a three-part series, this article detailed how one sales manager who took over an underperforming team and turned them around in very short order. We highly recommend all three posts in this series for any new sales manager.
  3. Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Freakonomics, The Movie – The incredible popularity of Freakonomics (the book) must have spilled over to posts about the upcoming movie, as this was the only ATM December article to make the Top Ten and our most popular post that wasn’t part of a series. This article provides insight into the 2009 release of the much-anticipated Freakonomics documentary via a Q&A with the film’s producer, Chad Troutwine.
  4. The Top Ten Leadership Books of All Time – Originally published in June, this July version of the list included more explanation about each of our choices and proved to be a more popular read than the original. In case you’re wondering: more than six months later, we stand by our rankings.
  5. TheManager Digresses – The Paparazzi Must Die! – Our first attempt to use this blog purely for our own selfish purposes, this post detailing the “dangers” of the celebrity-chasing paparazzi and how to combat them proved to be very popular with the hoards seeking more information about Jennifer Aniston’s latest love. Go figure.

  6. The 25 Most Annoying Business Phrases – It was either our out-of-the-box thinking or the 800-Pound Gorilla that compelled us to select among the thousands of annoying phrases we hear in everyday business life and take a 30,000-foot view to come up with the most annoying twenty-five.
  7. The Six Worst Business Email Etiquette Mistakes Ever – Although we absolutely hate when businesspeople employ the use of stationery in their emails, that faux pas only made Number 4 on our list of twelve in this popular second post in a two-post series.
  8. Damn the Voters, Bloomberg Believes He is NYC’s Only Choice – Emperor Bloomberg’s successful push to bypass the electorate and change the law to benefit him still steams us almost beyond words. It seems many of you were likewise affected, making this post one of the Top Ten of 2008.
  9. Knowledge Hoarders & The Mack Truck Theory – While the topic of knowledge hoarding can be a real yawner when compared to Emperor Bloomberg, Jennifer Aniston or Freakonomics, this post still ranked in the Top Ten largely on the strength of those looking for ways to combat this practice in their own workplace.
  10. Managing Up When Your Boss Refuses to Lead – We clearly struck a nerve with this post detailing the epidemic of ineptness plaguing business “leaders” today as it received nearly 500 unique page views in just two short months. We were compelled to write this article after witnessing more than a dozen instances (in just one week) of intelligent middle managers dumbing-down their approach and acting like victims because their respective supervisors happen to be complete buffoons. (We never know where our muse will come from.)

As we look ahead to 2009 and beyond, we’re hopeful that our posts, articles and opinions can help managers become leaders and leaders become more effective stewards of their businesses. The editors of AskTheManager thank you for your continued support.