Perfection is overrated, says Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why leaders shouldn't take themselves too seriously | Companies must evolve or die
June 26, 2012
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
Perfection is overrated, says Twitter's Jack Dorsey
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey is a fan of "wabi-sabi," the Japanese aesthetic that prizes imperfection and impermanence. That's guiding him as he works on his next big project, Square, a mobile-payments service intended to bring casual beauty to the staid world of financial transactions. "Dorsey is trying to create magic in an industry where people have not previously sought wonder and delight. In short, he hopes to pull an Apple on the entire financial world," writes Steven Levy. Wired magazine (6/2012)
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Why leaders shouldn't take themselves too seriously
It's important for bosses to remember that their workplace isn't an emergency room, says Angie's List co-founder Angie Hicks. That means understanding that while your company's successes and failures might seem important, they aren't a matter of life and death. "Take your work seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously," Hicks advises. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/23)
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Want to Be a Better Salesperson? Build Relationships
Today's knowledge-hungry consumers often know as much about a product as the people trying to sell it. So what's your sales edge? Learning to build stronger relationships with your clients. Read the featured article.

Strategic Management
Companies must evolve or die
The best companies are able to adapt and change as situations change, Duane Dike writes. That requires a particular kind of transformative leadership from bosses capable of inspiring trust and confidence in their workers. "Cultures where employees are receptive to change are filled with trusting, bonding, and empathetic leaders," Dike writes. Management-Issues (U.K.) (6/25)
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How to sell makeup to macho men
Cosmetics companies have realized that they could double their potential customer base by persuading men to start buying and applying makeup. To do so, marketers have created overtly masculine packaging shaped like spirits bottles and cigar cases, and make a point of using manly sounding words such as "serum" or "camouflage" rather than "makeup" to describe their products. "We don't say the 'M' word. It's taboo," said Michele Probst, founder of the Menaji cosmetics line. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (6/23)
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Innovation and Creativity
How innovation is changing Wimbledon
The Wimbledon tennis championship might not seem like a hotbed of innovation, but officials are constantly on the lookout for improvements. This year's turf was provided by the Sports Turf Research Institute, which employs a team of chemists, agronomists and other researchers to develop flawless grass courts, while Hawk-Eye ball-tracking technologies will help umpires make tricky line decisions. Inc. online (free registration) (6/25)
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Smart innovators know when to fold
Smart innovators know when it's worth fighting for their idea, and when to walk away, write Vijay Govindarajan and Manish Tangri. Bureaucracy, practical obstacles and a lack of high-level support can all conspire to make following through on an innovative idea more trouble than it's worth, they write, so it's important to pick your battles. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model)/HBR Blog Network (6/24)
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Which is a bigger challenge for you?
Getting a new boss  60.41%
Being the new boss  39.59%
It's hard to adjust: Getting a new boss is tough (so sayeth the majority of you). None of us like change or unpredictable situations. It would be nice if our new bosses could simply tell us exactly what they stood for as a leader to remove some of the ambiguity. Correspondingly, when you are the new boss, realize that 60% of the folks out there aren't too keen on how you're changing their world either. You too might want to clearly and concisely define who you are, your standards and your expectations. It can make things run a lot more smoothly a lot faster. -- Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of "One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership."

Discuss the results.
When you take over a new team, what is your top priority? 
VoteSetting a vision and strategic direction
VoteGetting to know your people and build relationships
VoteBuilding a close relationship with your new boss
VoteDriving core operational performance
VoteDecorating your new office
The Global Perspective
Officials are burying their heads in the sand, say ostrich farmers
A series of bird-flu outbreaks has led to a ban on ostrich-meat exports from South Africa, which supplies 70% of global market. Hundreds of farms could be pushed into bankruptcy by the ban, which industry leaders say is based on guesswork rather than good science. "I'm very concerned about the future of the industry," says Saag Jonker, a leading ostrich farmer. Bloomberg Businessweek (6/25)
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Engage. Innovate. Discuss.
How to bridge impasses at meetings
Many meetings aren't necessary, but even at the ones that are, true disagreements are greatly outnumbered by arguments in which the participants can't agree even on a perspective, writes Dana Theus. She recommends using The PRIMES to tackle this quandary. "A powerful and simple PRIME is 'big hat-little hat,' which recognizes that one side might be wearing the 'big hat' and looking at what is best for the larger organization, while the other side is wearing the 'little hat' and focusing on what's at issue for a smaller group," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (6/25)
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Daily Diversion
Why are men more likely to get struck by lightning?
Men are four times more likely to get struck by lightning than women, and nobody's quite sure why. Part of the reason might be that men typically spend more time outside than women, say National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials. It has also been suggested that men are less likely to seek shelter when storms begin. National Public Radio/The Two-Way blog (6/25)
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What we do is important, but let's make sure we can laugh at ourselves now and again."
-- Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie's List, as quoted by The New York Times
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