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December 31, 2012
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Leading Edge 
  • How to lead like Bilbo Baggins
    Viewers or readers of "The Hobbit" might assume the wizard Gandalf or the dwarfish leader Thorin are the adventurers' only leaders, but as the tale progresses, it's the meek, reluctant Bilbo Baggins who emerges as the true hero, Doug Guthrie writes. "Ultimately Bilbo rises to the occasion, despite the fact that his colleagues don’t always think he's up to it," Guthrie writes. Forbes (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Getting Paid: How to Get Customers to Pay Up
Dealing with the money isn't fun, but it's a necessary evil for staying in business. While every business has their ups and downs, the key to positive cash flow is collecting payments in full and on time to keep the cash coming in as predictably as possible. Seem impossible? Learn how these small-business owners did it.

Strategic Management 
 
  • Discrimination is a lousy strategy
    A trolley tour company owner in Annapolis, Md., has decided to shutter a service catering to wedding parties rather than have to work with same-sex couples. The owner is now seeking a legal exemption based on his status as a wedding vendor. That pursuit is morally dubious and a lousy business strategy, argues the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times. "[I]t's not necessary to personally approve of individual customers in order to accept their rights and welcome their business," the Times notes. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
How to Achieve IT Agility: A Survival Guide for IT Decision Makers
When business teams add new apps and services to already-strained networks, IT departments are accountable for making everything work. Is your team ready for this challenge? Read this eGuide to learn how IT teams are automating their networks, why they're utilizing Ethernet fabrics and SDN, and what success looks like as they regain network control and business relevance.

Innovation and Creativity 
 
  • Innovators have never had it so good
    Economic instability isn't often good news for innovators, but there are reasons to think that things are different today, writes Michael Schrage. Sluggish markets mean investors are hungry for rapid-growth opportunities, Schrage explains. "[T]he relative paucity of returns on more traditional investments and the increasingly appeal of innovation opportunities suggest that there may never be a better time to be a charismatic entrepreneur with a scalable prototype," he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

Most Read by CEOs 

Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Leadership readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
The Global Perspective 
  • The lasting legacy of Ratan Tata
    Ratan Tata has stepped down after leading India's Tata group for more than 20 years. His ability to generate growth while acting with integrity and grace will serve as a model for future generations, says Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy. "These are lessons enough for ages. These are lessons enough for business people all over the world," Murthy says. The Economic Times (India) (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
Engage. Innovate. Discuss. 
  • HR departments must evolve or die
    Are HR departments going the way of the dodo? Probably not, but they'll need to evolve to remain relevant in a changing business world, writes Michael A. Morell. "[T]he evolving business environment and workplace necessitates a different way to look at human capital as a core asset of a company," he argues. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Daily Diversion 
  • Your alarm clock is trying to kill you
    Alarm clocks should come with health warnings, says medical psychologist Till Roenneberg. Waking up early leads to "social jet lag" and sleep deprivation, decreased productivity, obesity and other long-term health problems, Roenneberg says. SmithsonianMag.com (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
 
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Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday
    In observance of New Year's Day, SmartBrief will not publish Tuesday. Publication will resume Wednesday. Enjoy the holiday! LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
SmartQuote 
The reality is that most change happens in small increments."
--Karen May, vice president for people development at Google, as quoted in the New York Times
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