Choosing to make a difference makes you a leader | Companies love to say they're agile, but are they? | Levi's shows how to respond to athleisure without being a copycat
February 13, 2018
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SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading Edge
Choosing to make a difference makes you a leader
Our communities are filled with people who saw an unmet need and did something to rectify the situation, writes Dennis Miller. These people might not have corporate titles, "[b]ut it's the decision, the choice to lead, that turned them into leaders," he writes.
SmartBrief/Leadership (2/12) 
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Companies love to say they're agile, but are they?
Agile methods of working require dedicated time to short sprints of work and a collaborative environment where people commonly work in the same physical space in a cross-functional manner, but this way of working can be easily compromised by nervous middle managers or executives, write Sol Sender and Ben Edwards. "Without control of their time, team members cannot commit themselves to an agile-style sprint, creating unforeseeable dependencies and eroding team trust," they write.
Quartz (2/9) 
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Top Workplaces Don’t Leave Culture to Chance
Culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage. This e-book clearly shows the benefits of intentionally building your culture and explains how you can unleash the potential of your people and inspire high performance.
Download the e-book now.
Strategic Management
Levi's shows how to respond to athleisure without being a copycat
Levi Strauss & Co. offers a lesson in how to adapt when fashion trends shift, writes Sarah Halzack. Instead of trying to become a yoga pants company, Levi's introduced a stretchy denim and new styles, increasing its women's apparel sales for 10 quarters running, she writes.
Bloomberg Businessweek (tiered subscription model) (2/8) 
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2018 Resolution: Achieve GDPR Compliance
GDPR May 25, 2018 deadline is approaching. Achieved Compliance Solutions offers an intuitive, cost-effective, cloud-based software solution & template database. Proven advocacy & client counseling services are included in a subscription. Download the whitepaper now!
Smarter Communication
Difficult conversations are easier with proper preparation
Confronting problem behavior at work is hard, so start with an explanation of how it could damage the future of the business and the people it employs, writes Art Petty. Prepare for the discussion by identifying your core message, questions and objections that may arise and a strategy for steering back to solutions, he writes.
Art Petty (2/11) 
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Innovation & Creativity
A weekly spotlight on making the next big thing happen
Data is the new innovation
If having a massive amount of data is becoming the way that technology companies innovate, then innovation could become less of a disruptor and more of a way strongly positioned companies extend their advantage, write Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Thomas Ramge. With Siri, Alexa or self-driving vehicles, "[t]his feedback data is incredibly valuable because it is the raw material feed into machine learning tools; it's the very resource that fuels data-driven innovation," they write.
Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (2/7) 
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How actively do you seek to build personal resilience?
Very. it's a big focus of mine.  49.61%
Somewhat. I'll focus on it from time to time.  33.98%
Not very. If I build the skill, it's not intentional.  10.16%
Not at all. I rarely even think about resilience.  6.25%
Resilience is a differentiator. A large proportion of you focus on building your personal and leadership resilience. That’s great! The ability to stay strong and thrive during turbulent times is the hallmark of a great leader. If you want to increase your resilience, consider focusing on four critical areas: maintaining your physical well-being, managing your thinking, fulfilling your purpose and harnessing the power of connections. A deliberate approach to building resilience will go much further than letting resilience just happen. -- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."
In Their Own Words
New CEO: Start with team building, defining your vision
Matthew Petrozelli says his first month as CEO at Valley National Financial Advisors has been focused on communicating his goals and building a team that can carry them out. "I encourage innovation, ideas and efficiency improvements across the firm, regardless of title or tenure, rather than a top-down approach," Petrozelli writes.
Forbes (2/8) 
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Daily Diversion
Scientists say they've developed a sensor-filled electronic skin
University of Colorado Boulder scientists have developed electronic skin made from polyimine that heals if damaged and senses temperature, pressure, humidity and air flow. Applications could include future iterations of fitness trackers and wearable health monitors.
New Atlas (2/12) 
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Nothing hurts a new truth more than an old error.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
writer and statesman
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