February 13, 2013
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SmartBrief on Sales

The Leaderboard
What leaders can learn from Pope Benedict XVI's resignation
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation is a reminder of just how tough leadership really is, says Nancy F. Koehn, a professor and historian. Neither business nor spiritual leaders are supermen, and it's important that they admit that to themselves. "I don't think this is primarily about age. I think it's really about energy and enthusiasm and a kind of physical, moral, intellectual and emotional verve -- an appetite," she said. "It's something that every leader is responsible for maintaining and feeding." Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network/Our Editors (2/11), Forbes (2/11)
Sales Strategies
Reducing the burden of Monday-morning conference calls
Sales team conference calls can be cumbersome, writes Ken Thoreson, who recommends software such as ZipBridge for making such calls easier for everyone involved. "With ZipBridge the leader launches the call for a group when he or she is ready, and everyone receives a call and is bridged together as they answer. No delays, looking up PINs or sitting on hold," Thoreson writes. YourSalesManagementGuru.com (2/10)
How sales managers can get effective feedback
Sales managers should regularly offer coaching and feedback to their sales teams, and sales representatives should provide feedback to their managers as well, writes Richard Ruff. Managers should let salespeople know that feedback is welcome and use the input to help them improve their leadership, Ruff writes. SalesTrainingConnection.com (2/11)
Daily Data Points
Obama calls for legislation to bolster middle class
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address proposed economic initiatives that include raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour, creating "manufacturing-innovation institutes" and increasing investment in clean energy. He said it is the task of today's generation to "reignite the true engine of America's economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class." Good middle-class job creation "must be the North Star that guides our efforts," he said. The Washington Post (2/12), USA Today (2/13), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Politics Now blog (2/12)
Businesses' equipment investment climbed 10.8% in 2011
Companies increased purchases of new and used equipment by 10.8% in 2011 compared with 2010, according to the Census Bureau. Businesses invested $1.2 trillion, much of it in new equipment. Spending was strong in the health care, transportation and warehousing sectors. American City Business Journals/Albuquerque, N.M. (2/12)
Other News
On the Road
A US Airways-American merger and its impact on business travelers
A merger of US Airways and American Airlines might affect airfares as well as alliances and frequent-flier programs, observers say. "If a deal is approved, frequent-fliers will see a gradual marriage of the two airlines," Darren Booth writes. CNBC/Road Warrior blog (2/11)
App Update
Obama announces executive order on cybersecurity
President Barack Obama says he has signed a cybersecurity executive order that aims to boost data sharing between the government and the private sector and to serve as a launchpad for best practices related to online security. "We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy," Obama said in announcing the order during his State of the Union address. The Hill/Hillicon Valley blog (2/12), Computerworld/IDG News Service (2/12)
Making Small Talk
Is it a dragon? Is it a pterosaur? No, it's a dog-fish-bear
In the 1690s, an Italian engineer produced the remains of what he claimed was a dragon, saying he had trapped and killed the animal in the marshes outside Rome. Some believe the bizarre, impressively winged specimen may have been a pterosaur, but scientists say it was a fake concocted from parts of a bear, fish and dogs. New Scientist/Short Sharp Science blog (2/7)
Editor's Note
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We all have blind spots -- yet when we know what they are, we can adjust and address them."
-- Richard Ruff, writing at SalesTrainingConnection.com
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