Why leaders should be more willing to take advice | Persistence and patience are key to Disney's "Star Wars" deal | Strategy tips for "the world's oldest multinational"
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March 8, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
Why leaders should be more willing to take advice
Bosses should be more willing to ask for advice even if they already know the decision they're going to make, writes Dennis Bakke in this book excerpt. "The advice process isn't just about getting the right answer. It's about building a strong team and creating a process of communication that will improve all decisions in a company," Bakke explains. Fast Company online (3/5)
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How to lead when things are clear as mud
Uncertain and confusing times are the real test of a CEO's leadership ability, writes Scott Eblin. It's important to communicate clearly, to be honest about known unknowns and to avoid disconnecting when the going gets tough. "In the absence of clear and relevant communications from you and with you, people are going to fill the vacuum with stuff they're making up. You don't want that. Stay engaged," Eblin advises. EblinGroup.com/Next Level Blog (3/7)
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Strategic Management
Persistence and patience are key to Disney's "Star Wars" deal
Disney CEO Robert Iger did his homework to persuade George Lucas to sell Lucasfilm, even watching a six-movie "Star Wars" marathon before meeting with the franchise's creator. The biggest obstacle? Convincing Lucas that giving up control was OK. "We needed to have an understanding that if we acquire the company, despite tons of collegial conversations and collaboration, at the end of the day, we have to be the ones who sign off on whatever the plans are," said Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/7)
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Strategy tips for "the world's oldest multinational"
The Catholic Church is "the world's oldest multinational," according to the Economist, with a great distribution network, longstanding brand and logo recognition, a powerful lobbying wing and footholds in emerging markets. Just as Benedict XVI broke the mold by quitting rather than dying in office, "[t]he next pope needs to be equally radical in reconsidering everything from the church's core mission to its customer base," the magazine argues. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (3/9)
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Innovation and Creativity
How to make your company more creative
Managers are trained to be rigorous, objective and efficient, but can they also learn to foster creativity? Absolutely, writes Bruce Nussbaum, either by helping their employees become more creative or by opening the doors to external innovators. "Creative competence is like a sport. You can train for it and increase the capacities of yourself and your organization," Nussbaum writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/7)
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The Global Perspective
Arab women are climbing the corporate ladder
Haif Zamzam, a Muslim woman from the United Arab Emirates, is a senior analyst for the private-equity arm of the multibillion-dollar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. Zamzam says her success is a sign that women are increasingly empowered. "When you look around Abu Dhabi and in the broader U.A.E., you see that women are taking on really high positions here, they're represented at board level and they're at ministerial level and you really feel that 'I could be that one day,' " she says. Knowledge.Insead.edu (3/7)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Open your team's eyes to the potential they possess
A great team has talented team members working with and for each other to outperform the market, but a team cannot become great if it's unaware of its potential, says Jaime Graña, managing director of Diageo Mexico. "People are usually not aware of the impact they have. They do not know how they can create the space for people to develop and for the business to grow," he says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/28)
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Daily Diversion
What would you do with 1,426 unimaginable fortunes?
There are 1,426 billionaires on Forbes' latest list, with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion. If they used their collective wealth to form a country, it would be the forth-richest nation in the world, ahead of Germany and only narrowly behind Japan. Forbes (3/4)
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Don't assume you have to make all the decisions yourself. The people who are closest to the action likely have a lot of good ideas about how to move forward."
-- Scott Eblin, executive coach, writing at EblinGroup.com's Next Level Blog
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