You Can Get Some Big Things Done When It’s Not All About You

You Can Get Some Big Things Done When It’s Not All About You

by Justin Fox  |   9:00 AM December 13, 2013

There was a lunch held last week in New York to celebrate one of the most important American business leaders of the past half-century. It started off conventionally enough: the host and four prominent speakers recounted the deeds and impact of the honoree, at some length. When they had finished, the great man himself, who had been sitting at a table in the audience eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, walked to the front of the room. After a few jokes and preliminary remarks, he spent the next ten minutes detailing the accomplishments, in particular the writings, of the people who had just praised him, with specific reading recommendations (the ones I remember are Alan Blinder’s After the Music Stopped, James Grant’s Mr. Speaker!, and Cliff Asness’s “My Top 10 Peeves” in the next issue of the Financial Analysts Journal). Then 84-year-old Jack Bogle walked back to his chair and sat down. Read more of this post

A Formula for Happiness: Social scientists have determined three sources of supreme contentment: genes, events and values

December 14, 2013

A Formula for Happiness


HAPPINESS has traditionally been considered an elusive and evanescent thing. To some, even trying to achieve it is an exercise in futility. It has been said that “happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Read more of this post

Why Your Brain Can’t Handle An All-Day Schedule




Why do we work so many hours? You could say it’s because you need facetime with the boss. Or it’s a prison passed down from the Industrial Revolution. Or it’s because of a badge-of-honor-martyr-complex. Yet not everybody works all these hours: six of the world’s 10 most competitive countries–Sweden, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom–have bans on working more than 48 hours a week, to the point that the European Union passed policy to mandate such. So let’s ask some productive questions: What problems does the working-all-the-time mentality create–and how could we get around them? Read more of this post

The Case for Slacking Off

The Case for Slacking Off

by Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries  |   10:00 AM December 10, 2013

I recently asked an executive I coached how many emails she received each day. “Five hundred,” she replied.  ”But I don’t read any of them. If I did, I wouldn’t really be doing my job. Given the work I do, my challenge isn’t obtaining information but figuring out how to push information away so that I don’t suffer from information overload. I need time to think.” Read more of this post

Find Your Inner Mandela: A Tribute and Call to Action

Find Your Inner Mandela: A Tribute and Call to Action

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter  |   10:48 PM December 5, 2013

Don’t just mourn Nelson Mandela. Learn to be Nelson Mandela.

He was the consummate turnaround leader. As the first democratically-elected president of post-apartheid South Africa, he took on and reversed the destructive symptoms of decline, a larger version of what goes on in any organization or community sliding downhill – suppression of information, group vs. group antagonisms, isolation and self-protection, passivity and hopelessness. He began the turnaround with messages of optimism and hope, new behaviors at the top (he even cut his own salary), and new institutions that created more communication and accountability. He created a new constitution with a participatory process that included everyone. He reached out to former enemies, visiting the widow of a particularly odious apartheid leader for tea. He ensured diversity and inclusion of all groups in his Cabinet. He brought foreign investment back to South Africa and empowered the disenfranchised black majority to take positions in those enterprises. Read more of this post

The Three Pillars of a Teaming Culture; this starts with helping everyone to become curious, passionate, and empathic

The Three Pillars of a Teaming Culture

by Amy C. Edmondson  |   12:06 PM December 17, 2013

Building the right culture in an era of fast-paced teaming, when people work on a shifting mix of projects with a shifting mix of partners, might sound challenging – if not impossible. But, in my experience, in the most innovative companies, teaming is the culture. Read more of this post

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Paperback

by Carol Dweck (Author)


World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset.
Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success–but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals–personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area. Read more of this post

Bill Gates Shares The 7 Best Books He Read In 2013

Bill Gates Shares The 7 Best Books He Read In 2013

FARNAM STREET0DEC 14, 2013, 01.28 AM

Bill Gates presents his seven top reads in 2013. Commenting on the lack of novels on the list, Gates writes: “It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction. I’ve read The Catcher in the Rye a bunch of times-it’s one of my favorite books ever (and I enjoyed Salinger, the documentary that came out this year). I did read Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, which was entertaining though it didn’t have as much science fiction as I expected. But I read mostly nonfiction because I always want to learn more about how the world works. And reading is how I learn best.” Read more of this post

Our Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition

Our Dangerous Obsession with External Recognition

by Daniel Gulati  |   8:00 AM December 10, 2013

Rebecca, a tech entrepreneur, would love you to equate her company’s expansive press coverage with real value creation. “Yesterday, we got written up in TechCrunch and LA Magazine, and we all had dinner at Nobu to celebrate!” She will, however, conveniently forget to mention that her startup has yet to settle on a viable business model and has zero paying customers. Read more of this post

An Unexpected Lesson from Mandela: Why Context Matters

An Unexpected Lesson from Mandela: Why Context Matters

by Bhaskar Chakravorti  |   3:48 PM December 11, 2013

During this time of global contemplation on the deep legacy of Nelson Mandela, I realized I have my own connection to this “giant of history,” which traces back to those heady days of South Africa in 1994. What did I learn from him? Business cannot be left alone to be just business, and, as I learned in Pretoria nearly 20 years ago, leaders ignore this bigger picture at their peril. Read more of this post

Family Businesses Shouldn’t Hunt for Superstar CEOs

Family Businesses Shouldn’t Hunt for Superstar CEOs

by Josh Baron and Rob Lachenauer  |   9:00 AM December 6, 2013

It’s a dilemma that faces family businesses all too frequently.

We saw it recently when we worked with a $4 billion global manufacturing business in Hong Kong. The company was managed by the founder, who turned it over to his son when he retired. The two men had created distribution channels, built a supply chain, entered profitable new markets–and, just as importantly, held the family together, ensuring that family members were well taken care of and that family disagreements didn’t harm the business. Read more of this post

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust

The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust

by Jim Dougherty  |   8:00 AM December 13, 2013

When I took over as CEO of Intralinks,  a company that provides secure web based electronic deal rooms, the company was hemorrhaging so much cash that its survival was at stake. The service was going down three times per week; we were in violation of the contract with our largest client; our chief administrative officer had just been demoted, and so on. Read more of this post

Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up

December 14, 2013

Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up


In a post-smokestack age, there is only one way for the United States to avoid a declining standard of living, and that is through innovation. Advancements in science and engineering have extended life, employed millions and accounted for more than half of American economic growth since World War II, but they are slowing. The nation has to enlarge its pool of the best and brightest science and math students and encourage them to pursue careers that will keep the country competitive. Read more of this post

How a former train driver dedicated 26 years to mapping Beijing’s hutongs

How a former train driver dedicated 26 years to mapping Beijing’s hutongs

Sunday, 15 December, 2013, 5:25am

Zhuang Pinghui

Former train driver has dedicated his life since the 1980s to documenting disappearing homes

Shu Liao, 82, an ethnic Manchu, started out driving trains after dropping out of middle school. But he found his calling when he turned to documenting hutongs. For three decades, he has created hand-drawn maps, written essays and taken photographs of the traditional homes in Beijing, working against time to catalogue a disappearing way of life. Read more of this post

Why Michelangelo Was In A Class Of His Own

Why Michelangelo Was In A Class Of His Own

THE ECONOMIST0DEC 14, 2013, 07.49 AM

Michelangelo: His Epic Life. By Martin Gayford. Fig Tree; 662 pages.

LORENZO DE’ MEDICI, ruler of the Florentine Republic, was so taken by a statue carved by an adolescent that he proposed to make the sculptor a member of his household. The boy’s father was not impressed. He told Lorenzo that his family would be demeaned if his son were to become a stonemason. But the youth believed that he had been born to carve stone, and so the father relented. In the Medici court the young sculptor was given a violet cloak, paid five ducats a month and treated as an artist. As it turned out, the sculptor, Michelangelo Buonarroti, was also born to paint, write poetry and be an architect. He even showed considerable talent for military engineering. Read more of this post

Sometimes failure is no success at all

December 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Sometimes failure is no success at all

By Andrew Hill

Mending a dud product is no substitute for getting it right first time

What struck me most forcefully in the profile of Jack Ma, Financial Times person of the year, was not the Alibaba founder’s youth, his love of martial arts, or his against-the-odds subjugation of eBay, once the dominant force in Chinese internet auctions. It was this: what a failure he was. Mr Ma was bad at maths, twice failed his university entrance exam and flopped when he tried to launch an online Yellow Pages. Read more of this post

Management communication is not about command or pulling rank, but rather influence to ‘make things happen’


From objective to outcome, via dialogue

Management communication is not about command or pulling rank, but rather influence to ‘make things happen’


Think about it: Difficult conversations often involve bad news, but leaders need to take time to think about how this is presented. – FILE PHOTO

AS managing a company becomes more complex with its growth in size and business diversity, mastering the art of management communication becomes critical to the success of the business. Rather than communicating to sell or negotiate contracts, management communication focuses on dialogue between colleagues in an organisational setting. Read more of this post

3 Leadership Hacks Every Business Owner Should Know

3 Leadership Hacks Every Business Owner Should Know


DEC. 18, 2013, 4:32 PM 2,393 1

As the world becomes increasingly complex and business owners face more pressures than ever before, leadership advice hasn’t really changed. That’s why Mike Myatt, a leadership advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs and author of new book “Hacking Leadership,” set out to provide shortcuts that would simplify the complexities of building a successful business.  Read more of this post

The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture

The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture

by Michael C. Mankins  |   8:00 AM December 19, 2013

A company’s culture can have a powerful impact on its performance. Culture is the glue that binds an organization together and it’s the hardest thing for competitors to copy. As a result, it can be a lasting source of competitive advantage. Take these examples:  Read more of this post

Four Keys to Thinking About the Future: (1) Enhance Your Power of Observation. (2) Appreciate the Value of Being (a Little) Asocial. (3) Study History. (4) Learn to Deal with Ambiguity

Four Keys to Thinking About the Future

by Jeffrey Gedmin  |   2:00 PM December 17, 2013

A publishing company has discovered that one of its well-known authors has plagiarized. The publisher has pulled the title. But does the publisher’s responsibility end there? Does one disclose the transgression to the public? Or to the author’s university employer? Or insist that the author do so him/herself? Read more of this post

The Fine Art of Tough Love

The Fine Art of Tough Love

by Joanne Lipman  |   8:00 AM December 17, 2013

What does it take to achieve excellence? I’ve spent much of my career chronicling top executives as a business journalist. But I’ve spent much of the last year on a very different pursuit, coauthoring a book about education, focusing on a tough but ultimately revered public-school music teacher. And here’s what I learned: When it comes to creating a culture of excellence, the CEO has an awful lot to learn from the schoolteacher. Read more of this post

Great Entrepreneurs Pick Great Markets: (1) Moats, (2) Mega Trends, (3) Concentration, (4) Market Creation

Great Entrepreneurs Pick Great Markets

by Rob Go  |   12:00 PM December 16, 2013

It’s hard to underestimate the power of an attractive or unattractive market in driving outcomes for companies, including start-ups. As Andy Rachleff, one of the founders of the venture capital firm Benchmark has said “When a great team meets a lousy market, markets win.” For entrepreneurs, then, the challenge is to find an opportunity in an attractive market. Read more of this post

In Praise of Failure

DECEMBER 15, 2013, 5:00 PM

In Praise of Failure


If there was ever a time to think seriously about failure, it is now.

We are firmly in an era of accelerated progress. We are witness to advancements in science, the arts, technology, medicine and nearly all forms of human achievement at a rate never seen before. We know more about the workings of the human brain and of distant galaxies than our ancestors could imagine. The design of a superior kind of human being – healthier, stronger, smarter, more handsome, more enduring – seems to be in the works. Even immortality may now appear feasible, a possible outcome of better and better biological engineering. Read more of this post

Dilbert’s creator Scott Adams on life beyond the cubicle

December 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Dilbert’s creator on life beyond the cubicle

By Andrew Hill

Quick on the draw: since 1989 the cartoonist Scott Adams has produced more than 9,000 comic strips and still produces one a day

There are three frames to the typical Dilbert comic strip. Scott Adams, the creator of the mordant office satire, talks as though his own career has only just reached the third frame and, once completed, will have a punchline better than any he has written so far. The twist: the simply drawn everyman-engineer Dilbert will not be in it. Read more of this post

Lang Lang on the Keys to Success; The Chinese pianist is focusing on the next phase of his career: mentoring young musicians

Lang Lang on the Keys to Success

The Chinese pianist is focusing on the next phase of his career: mentoring young musicians.


Dec. 19, 2013 6:11 a.m. ET

At the age of 31, Chinese pianist Lang Lang says he has already entered the second phase of his career. He’s firmly at the top of the classical music world’s A-list, with repeated gigs accompanied by top orchestras and high-profile performances such as the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year. Read more of this post

After founding and nurturing several companies, Romesh Wadhwani is bringing the same principles and passion to philanthropy

Romesh Wadhwani: The Renaissance Man

by Seema Singh | Dec 10, 2013


After founding and nurturing several companies, Romesh Wadhwani is bringing the same principles and passion to philanthropy

Award: Distinguished Non-Resident Philanthropist
Romesh Wadhwani
Why He Won: For creating institutional frameworks for entrepreneurship in India. The Wadhwani Foundation has created a resource network for young entrepreneurs to dip into and is working to get policy bottlenecks removed.
His Trigger: He wanted to focus on key issues like job creation.
His Mission: His Foundation aims to help create 15,000 to 20,000 startups, and half-a-million new jobs by 2022 and skill 5 million people.
His Action Plan: His model is based on leveraging financial resources from stakeholders —institutes, government, corporates—in the 10:90 ratio (Foundation:stakeholders).
His Next Move: To strengthen existing initiatives; work with government agencies to ease the process of setting up startups; improve the innovation grant environment and convince governments to include startups in their procurement policy. Read more of this post

Rohini and Nandan Nilekani contribute to causes that others may find risky. In doing so, they are nudging the society to look at these issues afresh

Rohini & Nandan Nilekani: The Conscious Givers

by Seema Singh | Dec 9, 2013


Rohini and Nandan Nilekani contribute to causes that others may find risky. In doing so, they are nudging the society to look at these issues afresh

Award: Outstanding Philanthropist
Rohini and Nandan Nilekani
 Rohini-54, Nandan-58
Why They Won: For having given nearly Rs 350 crore, especially to ideas which CSR doesn’t fund. Rohini has committed to giving Rs 20 crore every year; Nandan has spent five years at UIDAI as part of the ‘giving back to society’ process.
Their Trigger: The belief that self-created wealth should be given away for social good. They believe that the wealthy should leave only so much to their children that they do something but not leave so much that they do nothing.
Their Mission: While Rohini funds ideas and people that create a more empowered society, Nandan invests in institutions that pay off over years.
Their Action Plan: A commitment to keep doing more of what they have done. Approachability is their biggest asset.
Their Next Move: For Nandan, giving years to public causes is more expensive than writing cheques for ‘a few hundred crores’. After having started UIDAI, it is clear he wants to remain in public life to help bring ‘consequential social change’. Read more of this post

Young Woman Dies After Tweeting That She Worked 30 Hours Straight

Young Woman Dies After Tweeting That She Worked 30 Hours Straight


DEC. 18, 2013, 11:26 AM 33,096 25

screen shot 2013-12-18 at 10.36.06 am screen shot 2013-12-18 at 10.42.08 am

Mita Duran, a 24-year-old woman who worked as a copywriter in Indonesia, slipped into a coma on Sunday after tweeting that she had worked for 30 hours straight. She died not long after. Duran often kept herself awake by drinking Kratingdaeng, better known as Thai Red Bull, writes Lee Moran at the New York Daily News, while working late into the night at Young & Rubicam, an ad agency owned by multinational advertising and public relations company WPP. Duran’s Twitter feed shows that she often tweeted about her heavy workload: “Haven’t slept since Saturday and I have 30 more copy lines to go and a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon,” she said on July 8. “Sweetest sleep I’ve had in a long time. It’s a shame I’m supposed to wake up uh, ONE HOUR earlier. Slept through 3 phone calls and 3 alarms!” she said on Nov. 14. This is Duran’s last tweet before collapsing on Sunday: Duran’s father, Yani Syahrial, is reported to have posted on social media website Path that his daughter was in a coma for “working over the limit,” Zachary Stieber writes at the Epoch TimesYoung & Rubicam tells us the statement below is the company’s official statement on Duran’s death:  Duran’s friends and families urge others to consider this a cautionary tale for young professionals “to know [your] limit.”

These Guys Are Trying To Build A Dog Collar That Translates Barks Into English

These Guys Are Trying To Build A Dog Collar That Translates Barks Into English


A new campaign has launched on Indiegogo to raise money for a device called “No More Woof”. The project’s goal is to translate dog barks into English so owners can understand how to help their pet. Read more of this post

How to Become Henry Kissinger


By David Brooks
Excerpted from The Weekly Standard
December 4, 1995

In this country, any boy or girl can grow up, get on the speaking circuit, and deliver after-dinner speeches to conventions filled with shoe salesmen for $50,000 a pop. All it takes is hard work, dedication, and a reputation for global omniscience. Read more of this post

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