businessman using smart phone apps

10 Great Apps Every Leader Needs to Be Effective

Let technology radically enhance your leadership.

It’s not enough for today’s leaders to focus only on getting things done. 21st century leaders must also connect with employees to inspire performance. Digging deeper, leaders today need to marry purpose and meaning to each employee’s contribution. Amidst these expectations, and these are but a handful, it’s easy for today’s leader to overlook herself.

A leader depleted of energy is no good to anyone. Turning to digital for solutions, the list below recommends apps to help you be more effective in your professionally and personally.

The recommended apps are broken down into six categories to increase your leadership effectiveness.

Personal Growth: Deepen your skills through personal development
Communication: Increase clarity, awareness, and understanding within your team
Productivity: Get more done and have energy left to be who you need to be to people important in your life
Inspire: Know how and why to inspire people
Create: Add fulfillment in your work through creating solutions to business problems
Collaboration: Strengthen how you get things done through others. Work is a team sport.

Personal Growth

The Leadership Challenge: Hands down the best leadership app out there. Developed by the authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner and based on their best selling book of the same name, this app gives you tangible actions to grow your leadership based on five leadership practices: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Heart. Excellent app if you want to grow as a leader.

Igniter: There’s a saying, “Know what you stand for, or you’ll fall for anything.” To accomplish the first part of the saying, you need to know what your personal values are. Igniter, from Luck Companies, takes you through an automated process of identifying your core personal values. You ought to know what you stand for. Values are your true north.

Day One: Keep track of what’s important to you. Capture ideas. Record memories. Day One is a journaling app to help you develop a routine of reflection. The best leaders take time to reflect.


Slack: My team of seven is completely virtual. Rather overwhelm email with small requests or updates, of which there are many in a day, we use Slack. Think of Slack like texting but on steroids. You can sync many other apps to Slack: Dropbox, Drive, for example. Try /giphy for some fun. Decrease unnecessary meetings and emails. Free-up time to focus on higher value leadership actions.


2Do: I’ve tried practically every Get Things Done (GTD) productivity app. I find 2Do to be the best. Imagine when you’re in a meeting and you volunteer to take on an assignment. Simply input the task(s) into 2Do and never lose track of your commitments.

Minute: Minute syncs with your calendar and guides you in creating agendas for meetings. You can share the agenda with people who can access it on any device or computer. Take notes; capture action items from the meetings directly in the app. Then send the minutes to everyone quickly from within the app. There’s real time collaboration functionality, too. Effective leaders run productive meetings.

TripIt: If you travel often, then you need TripIt. TripIt syncs with your email and mines it for travel itineraries. It groups them into trips automatically for you. No more digging through printed itineraries or searching through your email. The premium account will alert you when it’s time to check in, when a gate changes, or what gate you need for a connecting flight.


Super Note: Imagine you’re driving and think of a great idea to celebrate your team’s recent success. Or as you’re walking from a meeting and into another, you think of a way to recognize a team member for excellent work. Super Note is a way to capture voice recordings, add pictures, and color code your notes for ease.


Post-It Plus: You brainstormed with your team ideas for rolling out a new product. With Post-It Plus you can snap a picture of the sticky notes and send it to everyone. You can even move the notes around and group them together from your device. You can even add new notes. This is a handy tool for brainstorming and capturing ideas even after the meeting ends.


Zoom: Forget about Skype. Zoom is the collaboration tool for teams that have remote members or is virtual. The HD quality video is superb. You can have up to 25 people participate in a zoom session. There is breakout room functionality. You can whiteboard during meetings and screen share, too.

By using the latest technology available in the palm of your hand or at your fingertips, you can lead more dynamically: You can accomplish more, grow as a leader, and connect more deeply with your team. 21st century leaders use technology not to be distracted but to be more effective.

This post originally ran on Inc.


Change Leader | Speaker | Writer Co-founder and CEO of ExchangeGain. Passionately explores the space where business & humanity intersect. Promoter of workplace optimism. Believes work can be a source of joy. Top ranked leadership blogger by Huffington Post. The Optimistic Workplace (AMACOM) out 2015

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