February 22, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
5 ways to turn failure into a path to success
Everyone knows that it's best to recast failures as stepping-stones to success, but how do you actually go about doing that? Start by forgiving yourself and venting your frustration, advises Lewis Schiff, then be frank about what went wrong, and get back in the saddle. "Remember, you're trying to succeed brilliantly at something most people can't do at all," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (2/21)
How to be a horrible boss
The world's worst bosses share a few highly undesirable traits, says ClickFuel CEO Steve Pogorzelski. They're risk-averse, punish people who show initiative, reward sycophants, and tend to make big decisions based on anecdotes rather than hard data. "Incompetent managers prefer to rely on anecdotes because they can always find someone to tell them what they want to hear, rather than what the facts are," Pogorzelski says. CNNMoney/Fortune (2/21)
Strategic Management
CEOs should take charge of developing better strategies
It's up to CEOs to establish a strategic vision and to communicate that effectively, says Harvard Business School professor Cynthia Montgomery. "I've worked with enough CEOs to know that they need to be able to make meaning for an organization, to connect the efforts of everyone in it with a purpose that really matters to some set of customers," she says. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (2/26)
Firms aim to lure mothers back to the workforce
Firms including McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co. have initiated recruiting programs aimed at mothers who left the workforce or switched to part-time work after having children. The loss of talent caused by women leaving the workforce is particularly troublesome in professions such as banking and consulting, Leslie Kwoh writes. The Wall Street Journal (2/19)
Innovation and Creativity
Can celebrities become corporate innovators?
Celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga are taking appointments as creative directors for big-name brands such as Bud Light and BlackBerry. Experts say the stars help shape the brand's personality, which can in turn spark product and strategy ideas. "Whether these heavily reported appointments are just a publicity ploy or a new path to innovation remains to be seen," writes Paula Bernstein. FastCoCreate (2/21)
The Global Perspective
How to run a factory in Uganda
Riley Packaging, a cardboard-box manufacturer in Uganda, keeps three months' worth of paper on hand -- a move that would be anathema to Western plant managers, who prefer to run their supply chains on a just-in-time basis. Still, the strategy makes sense in Uganda, where deliveries are unpredictable and shortages are commonplace. "We can't ever let customers down," says part-owner Ashish Thakkar. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (2/23)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Volunteering could be good for your leadership skills
Many business leaders spend time volunteering, writes Karin Hurt. That gives bosses a chance to hone their skills in a non-hierarchical environment, meet people and explore new fields. "Volunteering is an investment in the community -- and in your growth as leader," Hurt writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/21)
Daily Diversion
Oscar stars' swag bags are shrinking
Stars at this weekend's Academy Awards will receive a swag bag that's less well-stuffed than in previous years. This year's freebies are worth a relatively paltry $47,803, down from $93,108 in 2010, and will include items such as tennis shoes, condoms and a bottle of Windex. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/21)
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The best bosses believe everyone's main loyalty should be to the customer, and they reward you based on what you do, not who you know."
-- Steve Pogorzelski, CEO of ClickFuel, as quoted in CNNMoney/Fortune
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