Motivation and inspiration are not the same | Good leaders face up to uncomfortable problems | Questions to ask yourself about strategy
October 8, 2015
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SmartBrief on Leadership

Leading Edge
Motivation and inspiration are not the same
Great business ideas are inspired, which means they come from external sources rather than an inward-looking attempt to address business needs, writes Bob Caporale, president of Sequent Learning Networks. "[I]f you are looking for inspiration in business, you may not find it in the typical goals of increasing revenue, profitability or even market share. Instead, think about what your customers collectively need," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/7)
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Good leaders face up to uncomfortable problems
The best bosses know that problems must be addressed, even when discomfort is involved, writes Dan Rockwell. Show compassion even while urging your reports to move beyond excuses and discover solutions. "Begin with what you don't want; move quickly to what you do want. There's more to leadership than making something go away," he writes. Leadership Freak blog (10/7)
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Strategic Management
Questions to ask yourself about strategy
Strategies fail for many reasons, one being the basic confusion between a strategy and a strategic plan, Todd Garretson writes. Strategy is the big picture -- your market, your value proposition, and the organizational capabilities and structure needed. A strategic plan is more tactical and detailed. "Your strategic plan should feel like an instruction manual for your overall strategy," Garretson writes. CircleMakers blog (10/4)
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Tough grape could reinvent the raisin industry
Vineyards that require hundreds of laborers to cut and dry grapes for the raisin industry could potentially lay off most because of a grape varietal that can be left to dry on the vine. The Sunpreme grape was developed through a crossbreeding program. "Basically, the raisin industry desires to be more like the almond industry -- being completely mechanized. Using Sunpreme, it is one step closer," says geneticist Craig Ledbetter. National Public Radio (10/7)
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Smarter Communication
Put away your phone and start paying attention
Smartphones and other digital forms of communication have changed how we have conversations, with people routinely tuning out to check e-mail or Facebook, says psychologist Sherry Turkle. "We are not talking to each other with full attention. And we can do something about it," Turkle says. Setting time and space where smartphones are not allowed is one way to restore attention and fully join conversations. The Atlantic online (10/7)
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The Big Picture
Each Thursday, what's next for work and the economy
Pharmaceutical price-gouging is a systemic problem
Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli earned opprobrium recently after raising the cost of a 62-year-old medication from $13.50 to $750 a pill, but it's important not to overlook the systemic issues that prompted Turing's profiteering, writes James Surowiecki. The New Yorker (tiered subscription model) (10/12)
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In Their Own Words
Why Jay Leno took one for the team
Jay Leno
Leno (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno in 2012 offered to take a 50% pay cut to avoid layoffs for his crew. That kept the team together and happy, and ensured that everyone worked hard, Leno says. "It's just common sense. I mean, you can't eat a whole pie. You can eat as much pie as you can, and then you give the rest away," he says. Adweek (10/6)
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Daily Diversion
Harvard debate team defeated by prison inmates
Harvard's debate team recently lost to a team of prison inmates at a New York maximum-security facility. The convicts, who were trained for the debate by faculty from Bard College, raised arguments that the Harvard team failed to consider, judges said. "There are few teams we are prouder of having lost a debate to than the phenomenally intelligent and articulate team we faced this weekend," the Harvard debate team said in a statement. The Guardian (London) (10/7)
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As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think."
-- Toni Morrison,
writer and professor
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