How to lead like Henry V | Best Buy follows Yahoo's lead and scraps flex schedules | 3 expert opinions on how to make telecommuting work for your company
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March 7, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
How to lead like Henry V
A famous speech from Shakespeare's "Henry V" holds lessons for modern leaders, writes Nigel Roberts. Henry's soaring rhetoric provides an upbeat call to action based on a higher goal -- the same strategy CEOs should use to win over their employees. "[T]he Bard managed to capture some universal truths about human nature and the complex way that individuals relate to each other which can provide useful lessons for today's corporate leaders," Roberts writes. (3/7)
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Why bosses should keep on talking
Good leadership is the art of engaging in the right conversations at the right times, write Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz. Conversations help bosses build relationships, develop leadership qualities in their direct reports, make better decisions and execute more effectively, they argue. "[I]t is something you need to do well -- consciously and unconsciously -- every minute of every day," they write. Knowledge@Wharton (3/6)
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Strategic Management
Best Buy follows Yahoo's lead and scraps flex schedules
The 4,000 Best Buy employees at corporate headquarters will now be required to show up at the office for regular hours rather than working when and where they desired. Permission to telecommute will be granted on a case-by-case basis. "We need all hands on deck, whether it is in our stores or on our corporate campus," says spokesman Jon Sandler. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (3/5), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Money & Co. blog (3/6)
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Data from spy badges can boost productivity, companies say
Equipping workers with badges that track their activity and conversation style helped lead to productivity increases of 10% or more, according to a Bank of America study. The technology appears to be legal but might not be popular with workers. "[D]o you really want your employers following around what you are doing? It's a creepy way to work," says Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute. The Wall Street Journal (3/7)
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Innovation and Creativity
Spending cuts could hamstring science research
Federal budget reductions could remove as much as $54 billion from publicly funded science research over the next five years, according to a report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That's a big deal because that money goes to the kinds of foundational research that private companies tend to overlook. "This is where radical innovation and fundamental scientific breakthroughs happen," says analyst Vladimir López-Bassols. Bloomberg Businessweek/Very Near Future blog (3/5)
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Don't seek answers when you should be asking questions
Give Albert Einstein 60 minutes to solve a life-or-death problem and he'd use all but five minutes mulling over the best question, Liz Alexander writes. Innovators should take a similar approach, she argues, focusing on identifying meaningful questions rather than obsessing over solutions. ThoughtLeaders blog (3/6)
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The Global Perspective
Oil giants remain wary of post-Chávez Venezuela
Hugo Chávez's populist demagoguery scared off foreign oil investors, and his death won't be enough to lure them back, Cyrus Sanati writes. Chávez broke deals and seized property when he nationalized the oil industry, and it will take time for those wounds to heal. The country can't wait, though: "It needs real foreign partners with real experience to come in and help it boost production," Sanati writes. CNNMoney/Fortune/Term Sheet blog (3/6)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
5 ways to put your self-assessment to work
It's important to take a clear-eyed look at yourself from time to time, but it's equally important to actually act on that self-knowledge, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Consider setting specific goals, creating an action plan and measuring your progress through an accountability partner. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (3/6)
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Daily Diversion
How 10th-century music lovers got their fix
For about 1,000 years before Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, people sought ways to record and reproduce sounds. This gallery includes ornate music boxes, self-playing pianos and 10th-century musical transcriptions. BuzzFeed (3/6)
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Vice President/Chief Counsel - Market Oversight - NYSE RegulationNYSE EuronextNew York, NY
Chief Partnership Officer Global Business School NetworkWashington, DC
OS Chief of StaffMicrosoftRedmond, WA
Chief Financial OfficerNutrisystemGreater Philadelphia Area, PA
Regional Human Resources Manager Total Wine & More Potomac , MD
Vice President, Network Development and Provider RelationsLouisiana Health Cooperative, Inc.New Orleans, LA
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, from Friday to Tuesday, and we need your help. SXSW has way too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to our readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on Social Media, Leadership, Finance, Food and Beverage or Education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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The problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
-- George Bernard Shaw, playwright, as quoted at INSEAD Knowledge
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