February 7, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

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How Bill Gates got rich by playing second fiddle
Bill Gates became the world's richest man not by having the best ideas or building the best products, but by executing brilliantly and forging partnerships in which Microsoft played "second banana" to players such as IBM. "By parlaying his way through a series of ever-bigger business deals -- all with fairly ordinary products -- he went from zero to billions in less than a decade," writes Lewis Schiff. Inc. online (free registration) (2/6)
What bosses should do instead of micromanaging
It's tempting for leaders to micromanage their teams and big projects, but it's important to resist that urge, writes CollegeHumor CEO Paul Greenberg. Instead, focus on doing the things that nobody else in your organization can do: solving strategic problems, putting together a winning team and securing the resources your company needs to succeed. CNNMoney/Fortune/You Can't Fire Everyone blog (2/6)
Perform flawlessly under pressure
Discover the consistent patterns underlying exceptional performance under pressure. Based on interviews with over 200 senior executives and 26 Ace pilots, former TOPGUN instructor Bill Driscoll demonstrates how incredible military experiences can help guide high-risk corporate decisions. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE! Read the foreword by Senator John McCain and chapter one.
Strategic Management
Building engagement is all in the game
Companies such as Microsoft, Nike and SAP are increasingly using gamification to turn employee engagement into a fun, social activity. Such strategies let workers compete to complete key tasks more effectively and help managers focus on creating metric-based business objectives. "Productivity games and virtual worlds are 21st-century business processes, not gimmicks," says Microsoft's Ross Smith. Mitchell Osak Online blog (2/6)
For drug stores, every flu season has a silver lining
CVS, Walgreen and Rite Aid have each seen sales tick up multiple percentage points as a particularly tough flu season boosts demand for prescriptions and over-the-counter remedies. The chains are trying to increase sales still further by running in-store advertising reminding sniffling consumers to also buy products such as tissues and lip balm. The Wall Street Journal (2/6)
Innovation and Creativity
Why pigs are your innovation animal, not chickens
When it comes to making ham and eggs, "[t]he chicken participates, but the ham is committed," writes Scott Anthony. When it comes to innovation, it pays to be more like the pig and to go all-in, Anthony argues. Executing a new idea or a startup "requires diligent, consistent, daily work by a committed team," he explains. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (2/6)
When companies have too many ideas
It's possible for companies to be too innovative for their own good, writes Stefan Lindegaard. If you're producing ideas faster than you can execute and bring them to market, then you're potentially wasting precious resources and putting all your company's actions at risk, Lindegaard argues. 15Inno.com (Denmark) (2/6)
The Global Perspective
Burn rubber, but in a harmonious way, Pirelli CEO says
Italian tire company Pirelli gains airtime and prestige by supplying Formula 1 teams, but CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera says he's also focused on being a responsible and eco-conscious businessman. "The only way our company can survive in the next decades is to have good products, good people, and take care of society and of the environment," he says. Knowledge.Insead.edu (2/7)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
Can you still remember your company's values?
A company's highfalutin statement of values won't count for much if nobody can remember it, writes Mary Jo Asmus. Keep your company's statement of purpose short and to the point, and consider investing in gimmicks to make them more memorable. "Print them on wallet-size cards, have them in your e-mail signature line and/or have an artist come up with pleasing wall hangings," Asmus suggests. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/6)
Daily Diversion
The penny stops here: Canada ends distribution
Canada is ending distribution of its one-cent piece. The coin will still be legal tender, but the Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute it to banks. BBC (2/4)
Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Vice President of MarketingSleep ExpertsCarrollton, TX
Chief Financial OfficerChampion RecruitingBoston, MA
Chief Operating OfficerHometown HealthReno, NV
Click here to view more job listings.
I only do what only I can do."
-- Paul Greenberg, CollegeHumor CEO, writing in Fortune's You Can't Fire Everyone blog
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