Fresh Pick of the Day, Feb 10, 2016: “This is what the best bosses are really made of” from BBC Capital

From BBC Capital – “It turns out, if you want to really understand why companies do what they do, you have to pay attention to the leaders running those companies, and recognise that they are human too. It’s not an accident that the great strategy treatises of history, from Sun Tuz’s The Art of War to Shakespeare’s Richard III, take readers into the mind of the leader – their frailties as much as their power… What was said by the executives Alan and I spoke to brought home to me a basic truth about CEOs – it turns out they’re no different than you and me. Rather than being unfeeling technocrats, they’re real people, with all the warts and biases and emotions that go along with that. For example, have you ever messed-up something in a big way but when called-out on it, proceed to blame everyone else? That’s just how one CEO evaluated a corporate meltdown that cost him his job. In our interview, he proceeded to tell me that there were “seven reasons” why the company fell apart. First, my chief financial officer let me down; second, our customers were not smart enough to grasp what we were trying to do; third, the regulators were out to get me; and on and on. You get the picture.”

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Podcast # 24: “Business Rhythm’s Best Business Narrative Books” with Frank & Jamie

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Business Rhythm’s Top 5 Business Narrative Books:

1. McDonald’s: Behind the Arches by John F. Love

2. Personal History by Katharine Graham

3. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

4. Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton

5. When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein

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Fresh Pick of the Day, January 12, 2016: Leadership Lessons From Fairy Tales

From Knowledge@Insead – “Fairy tales help children to answer basic existential questions, like who am I, what is the good life, where do I belong? Through fairy tales they learn to navigate reality and survive in a world full of ambiguities and dangers. Executives, with their seeming mastery of the world, may be an unlikely audience for such fantasy. But the universal truth is, everyone likes a story. And fairy tales, with their immediately recognisable dramatics, characters and fundamental moral truths provide universal insights into human behaviour, illustrating the dangers of leadership and various ways in which executives can derail.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day January 11, 2016: “Your grandmother was right. Slouching is bad for you–and maybe your career” from Washington Post

From Washington Post – “…spending two minutes before a stressful event like a job interview holding ‘expansive’ power poses–such as putting your hands on the hips like Wonder Woman–can increase testosterone and lower the stress hormone cortisol. ‘The mind shapes the body,’ she says, ‘and the body shapes the mind.'”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, January 8, 2016: “How To Speak So That People Want To Listen” from Forbes Magazine

From Forbes.com – “In his TED talk, Julian advises people to remember the word ‘hail.’ It stands for: Honesty. Authenticity. Integrity. Love. He says, ‘The H, honesty, is being true in what you say, being straight and clear. The A is authenticity, just being yourself. The I is integrity, being your word, actually doing what you say, and being somebody people can trust. And the L is love, (in the sense of) wishing people well.'”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, January 4, 2016: “11 Ways Successful People Overcome Uncertainty”

From Inc Magazine – ” Our brains are hardwired to make much of modern life difficult. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with uncertainty. On the bright side, if you know the right tricks, you can override your brain’s irrational tendencies and handle uncertainty effectively. Our brains give us fits when facing uncertainty because they’re wired to react to it with fear. In a recent study, a Caltech neuroeconomist imaged subjects’ brains as they were forced to make increasingly uncertain bets–the same kind of bets we’re forced to make on a regular basis in business. The less information the subjects had to go on, the more irrational and erratic their decisions became. You might think the opposite would be true–the less information we have, the more careful and rational we are in evaluating the validity of that information. Not so. As the uncertainty of the scenarios increased, the subjects’ brains shifted control over to the limbic system, the place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, December 29, 2015: “Can Employee Training Lead to Higher Profits?”

From Knowledge@Wharton – “Does intensive internal training of employees lead to higher profits? In knowledge-based industries where the main asset is skilled professionals such as software engineers, the answer is yes, according to the research paper “Strategy, Human Capital Investments, Business Domain Capabilities, and Performance: A Study in the Global Software Services Industry,” by Joydeep Chatterjee, senior fellow at the Mack Institute for Innovation Management and professor of global strategic management at the University of Washington. But not all training yields equal benefits. Surprisingly, technological training such as those on computer languages did not boost project profits, the paper found. Rather, providing an employee training to raise their level of knowledge about clients’ industries did the trick.”

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Fresh Pick of the Day, December 7, 2015: “Beyond the Red Cup: The Grass Is Not Greener: When Staying Put in a Job Pays Off” from Knowledge@Wharton

From Knowledge@Wharton – “At some point in your career, you will invariably face a choice of staying with your current employer or taking a job at a new company. The enticement could be better pay, rosier opportunities at the new firm — or to escape a toxic work environment. But is it necessary to change employers to move ahead? And how do the benefits of moving firms compare to upward mobility at your current employer?

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