Why "lonely" executives need a support group | How to help your team make progress in 2012 | Passion and drive make a good leader, but don't forget to be human
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December 28, 2011
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VIP Corner: Video Insights Powered by Big Think
Why "lonely" executives need a support group
Source: Big Think
For managers without a supervisor above them, getting feedback can be a challenge. Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan says in this Big Think video that the cliche "it's lonely at the top" is true. Senior executives need a support group of trusted friends and colleagues to bounce ideas off of to ensure they're making the best decisions for themselves and their companies, he says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (12/27)
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Get Creative: 10 Ways to Think Outside the Box
No matter your business, smart solutions come from out-of-the-box thinking. We all know creativity is king, but are you doing all you can to inspire and encourage creativity in your staff? Read the article and learn 10 ways to inspire creativity at your office.

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How to help your team make progress in 2012
Even the smallest amount of progress on an important project can help improve employee engagement, Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer write. Managers can help their teams start 2012 on the right foot by celebrating the accomplishments of 2011 and mapping out goals for the months ahead. It's also important to give team members the support and resources they need and to remove barriers whenever possible. Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model)/HBR Blog Network (free registration) (12/27)
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Passion and drive make a good leader, but don't forget to be human
Discovering your passion and following it is one of the keys to great leadership, writes Sarah Day Owen, who talks with several leaders in Iowa. Working hard and doing even more than is asked to achieve a goal is also important, they say, but leaders should never forget the human side: They also need empathy, a good attitude and honesty. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (tiered subscription model) (12/27)
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The ROI of Privacy with TRUSTe Solutions
Investment in a Data Privacy Management Platform can deliver significant, positive financial returns for corporate bottom lines. The "Total Economic Impact (TEI) of TRUSTe" Study explains how Forrester Analysts calculated a 151% ROI for TRUSTe customers. Download the study now.

Strategic Management
Why fostering intellectual capital is like running a marathon
Making the most of your company's intellectual capital is like preparing for a marathon, writes Andrew J. Sherman. Successful companies produce innovation by mentoring their employees instead of micromanaging them. Sherman advises companies to systematically capture best practices so that good ideas don't leave with employees. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/Capital Business (12/25)
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Business Tips and Advice
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Innovation and Creativity
People, process and purpose can foster innovation
Innovation can't succeed unless leaders establish a core group to chart a course for the company, writes Yann Cramer. That group provides a framework in which others can try out their own ideas. The team also needs to develop a structure that encourages diversity and to set clear goals that give group members a sense of shared purpose. InnovationExcellence.com (12/27)
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The Global Perspective
Foreign bosses should take language classes, Ferrero exec says
Spanish-born executive Arturo Cardelus has spent eight years trying to master the Russian language. As head of Russian operations for the Italian chocolate giant Ferrero, Cardelus says speaking the language is a vital part of winning over workers. "If you want to motivate them, if you want to be close to them, if you want to guide them, you had better do it in their language," he says. "This has become an obsession for me." The Moscow Times (12/23)
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Daily Diversion
Best biographies of 2011 feature Jobs, more eclectic picks
Walter Isaacson's biography of the iconic Steve Jobs tops Maria Popova's list of best biographies and memoirs of 2011, but her other choices are not as obvious. She also picks biographies of author Kurt Vonnegut and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards for their portrayals of success despite personal challenges. An artful rendition of Marie Curie's life and Nicholas Felton's annual report of minutia also make the cut. Brain Pickings (12/27)
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SmartQuote
Making progress on meaningless work doesn't boost engagement; people must feel that they are contributing to something they value."
-- Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer, writing at Harvard Business Review online.
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