February 11, 2013
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
Why the U.S. Army needs free-market leadership
The Army produces some of the best leaders around but wastes their potential by putting their careers under centralized control, writes Tim Kane. The Pentagon would do better to create a commander-based hiring system with electronic jobs boards to help young officers find the roles that suit their temperament and talents, Kane argues. The Washington Post/On Leadership blog (2/5)
Defining workplace culture as your company grows
Robert LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson, knew his company had a culture problem when he found that managers were switching from open-plan workspaces to enclosed offices upon winning promotions. "I came in one day and asked all the leaders to move out of their offices, and that was the start of a painful process of change," he recalls. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/9)
Strategic Management
The "maverick" airline hits turbulence
Southwest Airlines styles itself as the maverick of the aviation industry, offering cheap, no-frills flights and refusing to charge extra for basic services in the manner of its larger rivals. Recently, Southwest has upset some fans by shrinking legroom, making its frequent-flier program less generous and implementing an early-boarding charge. "I'm not surprised by this," said S&P analyst Betsy Snyder. "They want to increase their profits and this is the way to do it. ... Do other airlines offer anything better?" Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/9)
Innovation and Creativity
The curse of highly creative organizations
An acid-throwing attack on the artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi ballet, coupled with public feuding and legal threats, highlights the problems faced by talent-driven organizations, the Economist argues. "The need to hire the best means firms have to put up with prima donnas. ... [C]lever people are as clever at finding reasons to argue with each other as they are at thinking up new ideas," the magazine writes. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (2/9), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/8), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/6)
5 steps to really shaking up your industry
When it comes to disruption, everyone talks a good game, but not everyone can actually deliver, writes Alexa von Tobel. To be a real game-changer, you must identify a pain point, find and refine a marketable solution, and build a team capable of executing your idea. Inc. online (free registration) (2/8)
Most Read by CEOs
The Global Perspective
U.S. chains struggle with chicken shortage in Africa
An African restaurateur looking to expand his fledgling chain of KFC eateries has discovered three problems: local chicken farms can't meet demand, imports mean higher prices that can turn off customers, and countries including Nigeria and Kenya ban poultry imports. The situation illustrates the larger problem of rural farmers and food producers failing to keep up with the pace of middle-class growth, Drew Hinshaw writes. The Wall Street Journal (2/8)
Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
The best organizations never stop learning
Education and continuous development are critical parts of any organization, writes Transformation Systems CEO Marta Wilson. "Learning is the way we evolve as people, as leaders and as organizations of excellence," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/8)
Daily Diversion
Don't hire a radiologist to catch a gorilla
More than four out of five radiologists in a study failed to spot an image of a gorilla inserted into a lung scan that they scrutinized for signs of cancer. The finding highlights people's tendency to ignore unexpected data when focusing their attention on tough challenges, researchers say. National Public Radio/Shots blog (2/11)
Who's Hiring?
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Regional Human Resources Manager Total Wine & More Potomac , MD
Vice President of MarketingSleep ExpertsCarrollton, TX
Chief Financial OfficerChampion RecruitingBoston, MA
Chief Operating OfficerHometown HealthReno, NV
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Editor's Note
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The U.S. military is one of America's premier leadership factories. But the product it manufactures is in decline."
-- Tim Kane, chief economist of the Hudson Institute, writing at WashingtonPost.com
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