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|SmartBrief on Leadership|
|July 9, 2012|
Duke Energy under pressure over CEO's sudden departure
Duke Energy is facing scrutiny after the sudden departure of CEO Bill Johnson, ousted by the company's board after just one day on the job. Johnson had been named CEO as part of Duke's merger with Progress Energy, the company he formerly ran, and former Progress officials said his appointment might have been a calculated deception intended to facilitate the merger. Johnson likely will receive more than $44 million in compensation for his single day in the corner office. The Wall Street Journal (7/6) Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (7/7)
Why CEOs should act like 007
Bosses should learn to act like James Bond, says Joel Babbit, CEO of the Mother Nature Network. The secret agent might be in the middle of saving the world, but he's never too busy to enjoy himself and charm those around him, Babbit explains. "He would have a drink every night and go out on a date and would make witty remarks to people in the midst of crises. I think that's a very good business lesson," he adds. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (7/7)
Why bosses are to blame for workers' absences
U.S. companies lose more than $225 billion a year because of worker absenteeism, but firms can minimize exposure by creating a welcoming and supportive workplace environment, researchers say. The lack of that accounts for about 3% of worker absences, costing some big firms millions of dollars a year and suggesting that management-training programs could deliver meaningful bottom-line benefits. Strategy+Business online (free registration) (7/6)
Is your merchandise returns policy up to scratch?
Companies usually hate to see merchandise returned, but research suggests that a well-run returns policy can provide net gains to manufacturers and retailers. Consumers are much more likely to buy products they're unsure of if they know they can return them painlessly, the research suggests, but often don't bother to actually return or exchange the unwanted purchases. Kellogg Insight (7/2012)
A beginner's guide to the patent system
Obtaining patents can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but for all its flaws, the patent system remains a boon to inventors, writes Chas Rampenthal of LegalZoom. Patented ideas are the building blocks of innovation and bring huge social benefits, he argues. "The framers of the Constitution recognized this hundreds of years ago, and it remains just as true today," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (7/6)
Top five news stories selected by SmartBrief on Leadership readers in the past week.
Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
How Securico's founder broke Zimbabwe's glass ceiling
As the founder of Securico, one of Zimbabwe's largest private security firms, Divine Ndhlukula had to overcome a male-dominated business environment. She says she earned people's respect by putting in long hours and proving her skill and dedication. "If you're there, you're visible, you're exemplary, you show that you're also working -- then people will buy into your vision," she explains. BBC (7/6)
Why leaders should act like they have nothing to hide
Bosses should act with utter transparency, because in the age of social media it's virtually impossible to keep secrets, John Baldoni says. Post your own performance reviews online, use Facebook and Twitter to engage stakeholders, and generally act as though you have nothing to hide, Baldoni advises. "Assume everyone's watching, because they are," he says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (7/6)
Scientists tussle with a weighty question
The metric system of weights is based on a single "perfect" kilogram -- a platinum-and-iridium alloy created in 1879 and stored inside a vault outside Paris. Only one problem: The weight, known as "Le Grand K," appears to be subtly changing and is now 0.05 milligrams -- about the weight of a grain of sand -- lighter than more recently forged 1-kilo weights. That has sent scientists scrambling to find a better way to define the kilogram. MentalFloss.com (7/6)
Who's Hiring Industry Job Listings
Over time, I've just learned that the highs and lows are never as high or low as you think they are."
--Joel Babbit, chief executive of the Mother Nature Network, as quoted in the New York Times
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