Weekly Newsletter: February 1

I collect articles from around the web for this weekly newsletter. It includes all the interesting things that I’ve seen over the week in management, leadership and strategy (plus any blog posts).

You can subscribe here.


This week in Leadership

How to lead in a crisis
“Leadership is about focusing on that future vision instead of the past, while leveraging the lessons of the past to ensure you do not make the same mistakes while trying to reach that future vision. Crisis leadership takes all of this to a higher level. There is so much more at stake. In my world it may make the difference between life and death.”

After 500 Years, Why Does Machiavelli Still Hold Such Sway?
“The past few months have seen a flurry of celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Niccolò Machiavelli’s classic leadership “how to” text, The Prince. It may be five centuries old, but The Prince remains one of the most quoted leadership tomes of all time.”

Trickle Down Intimidation
“The same leaders who carefully craft inspiring messages for the frontline, may be undercutting their efforts by inadvertent trickle down intimidation. Fear is contagious. Leaders watch the level above them and take their cues on how to act and what to say.”

Every Leader’s Real Audience
“You deliver a big public speech to a group of potential investors who can make or break your results… But who else is listening most intently? Your own team of implementers. They couldn’t care less about ringing rhetoric quotable by future generations. They want to know whether to update their resumes or renew their commitment to the work.”

Life is Luck — Here’s How to Plan a Career Around It
“Daniel Kahneman has claimed the following as his favorite equation: Success = talent + luck, Great success = a little more talent + a lot of luck. Most of us can live with the upside of this observation: we tend to claim credit for good luck anyway. But the downside — the thought of our careers as the playthings of fate — is almost unbearable.”

Noreen Beaman of Brinker Capital, on Accountability
“One of the things I keep telling our staff — and this is something I had to do — is that you have to do two jobs before you get the next job. You have to do your job really well and start doing the next job a little bit by, say, raising your hand for a project.”


This week in Management

A Simple Daily Intervention Decreases Employee Stress
“Stress levels and physical complaints declined by roughly 15% after employees were directed to spend 10 minutes writing about three things that had gone well each day, says a team of researchers led by Joyce E. Bono of the University of Florida.”

Strengths, Weaknesses and Engagement
“1. If your manager primarily ignores you your chances of being actively disengaged are 40%
2. If your manager focuses on your weaknesses your chances of being actively disengaged are 22%
3. If you manager focuses on your strengths your chances of being actively disengaged are only 1%”

Why Most Of What We Know About Management Is Plain, Flat, Dead Wrong
“The fundamental reason is that we are going through an amazing set of economic and social changes. The world has changed, but management hasn’t. As a result, what used to work doesn’t work anymore.”

The Four Secrets to Employee Engagement
“Line supervisors, not HR, lead the charge. It’s difficult for employees to be truly engaged if they don’t like or trust their bosses….That’s why it’s critical for supervisors to treat team engagement as a high priority.”

The Ten (and a half) Commandments of Visual Thinking
“Any problem can be solved with a picture. Strategic, financial, operational, conceptual, personal, and emotional: it doesn’t matter the nature of the problem we face – if we can imagine it, we can draw it. Drawing out our problem is always worth a try: even in the worst case – if no solution becomes visible – we’ll still end up with an infinitely clearer view of our situation.”

HBS Dean Makes An Unusual Public Apology
“Among other things, he pledged to more than double the percentage of women who are protagonists in Harvard case studies over the next five years to 20%. Currently, about 9% of Harvard case studies—which account for 80% of the cases studied at business schools around the world—have women as protagonists.”


This week in Strategy

Growth for the Rest of Us
“The Boston Consulting Group studied the performance of 1,600 global companies with revenues over $1 billion… Over longer time frames, mature companies that increased their top-line growth even modestly (by 2 points or more) delivered shareholder returns 40 percent higher than the market average.”

Are You Ready for the Second Machine Age?
“When we look past the current business cycle, we are convinced that the next 30 years will deliver even greater innovation and economic bounty to America and the world. We’re in the early stages of what we’re calling the second machine age; the first was the Industrial Revolution.”

81% of big firms now have a chief marketing technologist
“this senior hybrid role — “part strategist, part creative and part technologist” and “broadly the equivalent of a CTO and a CIO dedicated to marketing”— is growing in popularity. Within large companies… 81% of them now have a chief marketing technologist role, up from 71% just a year ago.”

Big Data’s Dangerous New Era of Discrimination
“Big Data creates Big Dilemmas. Greater knowledge of customers creates new potential and power to discriminate… So where, in your corporate culture and strategy, does value-added personalization and segmentation end and harmful discrimination begin?”

Transparency: The New Competitive Advantage
“The value and benefits of such radical transparency are becoming a significant competitive advantage. Since disclosing their salaries, Buffer received 2,886 applications for job openings, compared to 1,263 in the 30 days beforehand. Potential employees are clearly seeing how this level of transparency and authenticity portray an environment they would prefer to work in.”

Why the Future of Your Business Depends on Curiosity
“The future will be less about money, power or size, but more about agility, networking and sharing. In order to survive, businesses need to grow to a permanent state of curiosity, making it a core strategic competence.”


Management.Disrupted is a blog about management beyond the production line. Thoughts on better management, leadership and strategy for knowledge work from Steve Pell.

Visit the website at www.managementdisrupted.com or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.

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