September 21, 2021
SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading Edge
Performance suffers under too much pressure, whether because of anxiety over the outcome, too many demands or something being vitally important to us, says Third Factor CEO Dane Jensen, who recommends letting go of your ego and finding a silver lining. "For instance, your family is still going to be waiting for you at home when you get out of this thing an hour from now, regardless of how it goes," Jensen says.
Full Story: Strategy+Business (9/14) 
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Too many managers exist "because they've managed to not get fired, and manage other people as a means of exerting power and shifting blame," while others can't effectively lead because they don't understand the work being done, argues EZPR CEO Ed Zitron. "What we need -- and will likely see -- are more organizations opening a different track for people who are very good at their specific job, where these people are compensated for being great at what they do and mentoring others," Zitron argues.
Full Story: Substack/Ed Zitron (9/20),  The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (9/17) 
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High-Performance Leadership at Chicago Booth
Create a high-performance environment that drives financial results, inspires innovation, and accelerates growth. Learn from renowned Booth faculty and peers in this program, held December 6-10 in Chicago. Register today.
Strategic Management
Companies that are finding dramatic success today do so by using the latest technology and combining that with customer value, internal talent and competence-based structures over hierarchy, writes Steve Denning. "At its best, human beings are delivering value for other human beings, as opposed to individuals producing things in accordance with instructions from bosses," he writes.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (9/20) 
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How to Get Employee Comms Tools You Need
Upping your employee productivity, communications and collaboration requires the right tools and getting those tools requires getting others to support you. You need a winning business case & playbook! Here's the "how to" on getting what you want. Download Now
Smarter Communication
Executives want clear and concise messages, and they care about the facts, writes Joel Garfinkle, who shares client tendencies and success stories. "Focus on the facts at hand and leave the softer statements for other more appropriate settings, even if it's not your usual style," he writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (9/20) 
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Read more from Joel Garfinkle on SmartBrief on Leadership
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In Their Own Words
Social psychologist Devon Price has argued that laziness doesn't exist and is solely a demeaning term, but that overlooks the commonplace moments where people don't want to do anything productive, argues James Greig. "Thinking about laziness like this -- as a choice I'm occasionally willing to pay the price for -- causes me less anguish than always viewing myself as the persecuted victim of social forces or my own misfiring neurotransmitters," he writes.
Full Story: Gawker (9/17) 
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Daily Diversion
Librarians at the University of Bristol say parchment fragments found in a late 15th-century liturgical book have been identified as one of the oldest writings from medieval Arthurian manuscripts. The fragment contains an altered version of a tale about Merlin and the enchantress Viviane and was likely written between 1250 and 1275.
Full Story: Atlas Obscura (9/16) 
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About The Editor
James daSilva
James daSilva
Hi, it's your SmartBrief on Leadership editor! Thank you for reading and subscribing.

We have a couple of challenging articles today on topics that spark intense emotions. Ed Zitron's attack on managers is definitely meant to rile people up, but then again, he describes a real phenomenon of managers who lack subject-matter knowledge and exist solely to exert power upon their poor reports.

Similarly, talking about laziness can easily devolve into anger and accusations. It may seem like we've made no progress on defining the right mix of work, leisure and play, considering that Josef Pieper's "Leisure: The Basis of Culture" published a few years after World War II while Aristotle was discussing leisure 2,400 years ago. I prefer to see it this way: Every generation, every culture has to figure out leisure and work in their own way.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note.
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president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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