3 Unexpected Apps for Leaders

Search on the term “Leadership App” and your web browser will explode. Dumped in front of you will be a plethora of articles from famous outlets like INC Magazine, private leadership mobile apps from stalwarts like Dale Carnegie, and Google and iTunes store links to leaderships apps in dizzying amounts.

Applications are a ubiquitous part of our 21st century lives. But the key to good leadership isn’t finding the right app to help. The key to being an effective boss is to live as closely to your own ideals of leadership as possible. Technology is supposed to enhance, not hinder that quest. Applications should help you be more “YOU.” Apps should assist you in reaching your potential so you can help others reach theirs. Your core beliefs are the filter through which you choose what lucky apps come into your life.

The core belief “Leadership is service to others” may have you asking yourself “how can I efficiently design my technology to enable my team?” Of course, the expected communication apps (e.g. Slack, Messenger) are popular answers. Being available for texts in an app that keeps a public record is essential for many leaders. Dig deeper, though. Doesn’t serving others mean you must take responsibility for yourself first? As a leader, how do you center yourself? How do you renew your commitment to the work, to your people, every day? How do you foster your own growth?

Here are 3 free apps that you won’t see on typical listicles of applications for leaders. “Lifehack” these apps to help you be more you.


No site on the internet collects more “motivational” media than Pinterest. Sometimes we need a quick reminder of why we do the work we do. Search Pinterest on “leadership” or “service” (or both) to find some beautifully-presented old adages as well as new wisdom that remind you why you took this job in the first place.


The quote search on Goodreads has no equal. Real quotes from cited sources are offered up like cakes on a plate. The books the quotes come from can be easily added to your “Want to Read” list. Plus, Goodreads is a great way to stay current with the literature in your field; you can find other managers or people with similar jobs and follow their reviews, updates and reading lists.


Listen, we know Reddit is the internet’s Rabbit Hole to End All Rabbit Holes. But! But. Sometimes as leaders we can get farther and farther away from the team members we manage, and as a result, we don’t hear the things we should. Ideally, you’d hear your team members’ honest needs and wants from them. But when you can’t, Reddit users can give you a hint. Lurk (don’t post!) around management “subreddit” boards, boards dedicated to your business area or perhaps the age-range demographic of your team. You may find some truths that give you the insights you need to help raise your people up.

Any technology can confuse and distract. It’s our job to wrangle tech to work for us. We are not to allow tech to enslave us. Start with your core beliefs, then find technology and practices that bring your behaviors closer to those beliefs. Let technology serve you wisely, so you can serve others well.

Christine Cavalier, M.Ed., is a human behavior expert and content strategist from Philadelphia, PA. Christine has been blogging since 2004 at her site, PurpleCar.net. Find her on Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest as @PurpleCar. (Her Reddit account is anonymous and she suggests yours should be, too.)
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