May 20, 2022
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SmartBrief on Leadership
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Leading Edge
New CEOs need to assess the financial position of their company, get internal feedback, collaborate on new goals and maximize the skills of top talent. "A new CEO has a short window of time to figure out who's good, who's not, who's causing problems, and who's creating value," says Cynthia Romano of CohnReznick.
Full Story: Vistage Research Center (5/18) 
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Teams can improve their emotional intelligence by being open about discomfort and encouraging direct communication and collaboration, writes Evan Watkins about research conducted by TalentSmartEQ. "Acknowledge that emotions are real and make an active effort to work with them, not against them," Watkins writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (5/19) 
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Read more from Weaving Influence authors on SmartBrief on Leadership
The Growing Role of Private Capital
The size and influence of private capital on the global economy today is staggering, and the resulting transformation is opening new investment opportunities — and new risks — for institutional investors. Learn more in PGIM's latest Megatrends research, The New Dynamics of Private Markets. Learn more
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Strategic Management
Open-ended questions such as "Why?" and "What if?" are better for generating problem-solving ideas than closed questions like "How?" that focus on accomplishing a task, writes Linda Zhang. "The other upside of starting with a question is that it attracts people who are similarly curious, and want to partner up in search of the answer," Zhang writes.
Full Story: Leading With Questions blog (5/19) 
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New ideas should be scrutinized according to such concerns as what's not included, how critics might respond and whether front-line employees have the knowledge they need to support it, writes CEO coach Sabina Nawaz. "Checking our assumptions and ideas, especially with those who will be affected, doses us with the reality that the way forward isn't just expertise-based, but also rooted in the experience it creates for others," Nawaz writes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (5/19) 
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Smarter Communication
Many of us justify avoiding conflict in the office or speaking up when others behave badly because we think it will reflect poorly on us or seem like an overreaction, writes Kim Scott. "The worst thing you can do for your career and your reputation in the long term is to hide your talents or suppress your voice or not do your best work," Scott writes.
Full Story: Radical Candor blog (5/18) 
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Smarter Living
Get your mind and body right each Friday
Breaking our addiction to noise -- whether it's around us or the chatter of our inner thoughts -- and intentionally listening to silence provides "a vital and necessary starting point for solving complex and seemingly intractable problems," write Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz.
Full Story: Next Big Idea Club Magazine (5/17) 
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In Their Own Words
A leader's job is to unlock the unrealized potential of people by mentoring, coaching and learning from them, says Genpact President and CEO Tiger Tyagarajan. "I have no option but to go to my young talent who know so much more than me about NFTs, blockchains, bitcoins and the metaverse," Tyagarajan says.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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Daily Diversion
It's possible that cats who live together in homes know the names of their compatriots and recognize them when shown photographs, according to research. Cats living at cat cafes, by contrast, did not show the same familiarity.
Full Story: The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) (5/14) 
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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.

Well, today is my last day here after something like 2,600 issues of this newsletter. What a joy it's been to be a small part of your day. I look forward to being a subscriber along with you starting next Monday.

I've always tried to present SmartBrief on Leadership as something that helps you on the lifelong journey of being a better leader, communicator and thinker. That's a big mission, but it's also really narrow -- and deliberately so.


Work is just one layer in life. Leadership mantras cannot save the world. Better leadership can, however, help millions of people feel better and less stressed, freeing their energy so they can excel at work, at home and in their communities.

So, how do you lead better each day? There are probably hundreds of valid approaches. I try to focus on three things, all of which fuel each other:
  1. Curiosity. Curious people can overcome a lack of experience or technical ability because they always want to know more, always want to create possibility. These folks create energy, enthusiasm and movement.
  2. Generosity. Generous people understand that they can still achieve and be recognized even as they elevate others (and influence further generosity).
  3. Shared accountability. This isn't about playing gotcha or setting people up to fail. What it ideally does is allow everyone to be open about what they need to achieve their goals -- and commit to the shared mission.
When there's shared accountability, people feel safe and rewarded for being generous and curious, and the cycle continues. When there's no accountability, or inconsistent accountability, people eventually notice. In turn, they withdraw their generosity, then their curiosity. And everyone suffers.

The good news? Every day, we can do something to influence the good outcomes -- or at least shield ourselves and our teams from the bad. I wish you the best on your journey, however you approach it.


Want to say hello after today? I'm on LinkedIn and Twitter, and I write a (very long) weekly email about The Onion from 20 years ago, if you like The Onion and you're also nostalgic on Sundays.


And finally, if this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.
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Who Said It?

I am learning to fly before I speak.
I.M. Pei or Jennifer Huang

Check your answer here.
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