Did Groupon's chairman get greedy? | How Boeing 787 pilots are keeping the dream alive | Why companies should target Spanish speakers
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March 18, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
Did Groupon's chairman get greedy?
Groupon Chairman Eric Lefkofsky is an "ultimate capitalist" compared by one ex-Grouponer to Gordon Gecko, while other sources say his hard-driving approach and insatiable appetite led the daily-deals company to overextend itself on the global stage. "Eric is a brilliant guy," says one former Groupon executive. "But his greed overwhelms his intelligence. It drives him to make short-term decisions, always in the pursuit of bigger, more, now." The Verge (3/13)
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Smart bosses give people jobs they aren't ready for
The best way to lead is to challenge people to take on roles they aren't quite ready for, says Ingredion CEO Ilene Gordon. Once you've identified energetic workers with ambition and talent, it pays to give them difficult jobs that will take time to master, Gordon explains. "I'm a big believer in ... taking young people and stretching them," she says. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/16)
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Strategic Management
How Boeing 787 pilots are keeping the dream alive
Boeing's 787 Dreamliners remain grounded, and that's causing problems for airlines that trained their pilots to operate the huge aircraft. Aviators don't usually fly more than one model of plane, so airlines are having to find ways to keep pilots sharp while their planes are out of commission. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/14)
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Why companies should target Spanish speakers
The Latino Community Credit Union of Durham, N.C., is one of the country's fastest-growing and most stable financial institutions, Sophie Quinton writes, thanks to its decision to provide Spanish-language services and other tactics aimed at winning the state's burgeoning Latino population. "[T]raditional institutions ignore these new customers at their peril. The services immigrants adopt and the kinds of establishments they patronize often shape the future mainstream," Quinton writes. National Journal (3/12)
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Innovation and Creativity
Why foreign innovation is good for America
The U.S. is only the fourth most innovative country in the world, down from first at the turn of the century, according to one recent ranking. Fortunately, however, R&D doesn't only help the countries where it's carried out. "[I]nnovation is not a zero-sum game," notes The Economist. "Foreign ideas help to stimulate American ones, foreign inventions can boost American productivity and growth in foreign markets provides opportunities for American firms." The Economist (tiered subscription model) (3/16)
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The Global Perspective
Mexico tries to put Carlos Slim on a diet
Mexican regulators are claiming new powers that could help them break up América Móvil, the sprawling telecommunications empire that made Carlos Slim the world's richest man. New rules would allow the government to force companies to sell assets and would remove a cap on foreign ownership of telecommunication companies. "As long as the government is putting these kind of teeth into telecom regulators, it's bad news for América Móvil," one analyst says. The Wall Street Journal (3/15)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Leaders should worry about character, not how they're perceived
YouTube/John Baldoni
The true mark of a leader is character, not what others think of him or her, says John Baldoni. "A leader needs to think about his reputation, but it's ultimately his character that matters more," he says in this video. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/15)
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Daily Diversion
Roaches and people travel together on Greyhound bus
Passengers on a Greyhound bus between New York and Atlantic City, N.J., got an unexpected surprise last week as cockroaches invaded the bus. Panic broke out as roaches began swarming over the passengers. "We thought it was one. It turned out to be a whole house full of roaches," one passenger says. CNN (3/16)
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Editor's Note
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Follow @SBLeaders on Twitter for more leadership and management news from SmartBrief on Leadership's lead editor, James daSilva. Join the conversation.
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Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow."
-- Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president, as quoted at SmartBlog on Leadership
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