11/11/12: Leadership Reading to Start Your Week

 
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Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms, to start off your work week. I'm pointing you to articles about leadership, the storm and business, the precious gems business, Warner Bros., Sun Country, and Zara. Plus there's an article about a study on the power of compliments and one on using big data.

Leadership

From Manfred Kets de Vries at INSEAD: Are You A Star Performer?
"Star performers may be CEOs or politicians or even clerics; they may live in a forest or a city or a jungle. But they all share certain traits."

From Inc.: Leadership Practices to Stop Today
"Business owners certainly have a long way to go, especially in more established companies where old practices die hard.  But you can see increasing evidence that by creating a company with a clear purpose and values, you'll find your employees connect themselves to something bigger, and that increases productivity.  In other words, a culture of engagement leads to greater customer loyalty, and better financial success."

From the Graziadio Business Review: Bridging the Complexity Gap: Leading Effectively in a VUCA World
"In the weeks before September 11, the U.S. Army War College coined the term VUCA to stand for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments. Globalization, information technology, economic and political instability, and climate change create a level of interconnection and interdependence that requires a new kind of leadership."

The Storm and Business

From the Economist: Business continuity: Making it through the storm
"GOLDMAN SACHS’S latest shrewd investment was in sandbags and back-up electricity generators. As Hurricane Sandy approached New York, the bags were stacked around its headquarters. It was one of the few offices in downtown Manhattan to remain dry and well-illuminated as "Frankenstorm" battered the city. Meanwhile, a block farther down West Street, the headquarters of Verizon were awash with salty flood water, soaking cables delivering phone and internet services to millions of customers. The firm was able to reroute much of the traffic through other parts of its network, but local service was disrupted."

From the NY Times: A Storm-Battered Supply Chain Threatens Holiday Shopping
"In addition to shutting down shipping terminals and submerging warehouses, the storm tangled up deliveries, just as retailers normally receive final shipments for the holiday shopping season."

For some perspective, read two articles published soon after the 2011 earthquake in Japan. "Stress Test for the Global Supply Chain" was published in the NY Times and "Crisis Tests Supply Chain's Weak Links " appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life

From the NY Times:  An Industry Struggles to Keep Its Luster
"Antwerp, where nearly 85 percent of the world’s uncut diamonds are traded, is fighting to maintain its role as a home for cutting, polishing and selling the gems."

From the LA Times: Power struggle at Warner Bros.
"A three-way race for the top job at Warner Bros. was intended to inspire greatness in the candidates. Instead, it has led to distrust and disorder."

From the StarTribune: Sun Country is on the rise
"Indeed, the Davis family has bet on the vision of Chief Executive Stan Gadek, the engineer of a strategy that turned Sun Country from a money-losing, cash-strapped and bankrupt carrier in 2008 into an airline that is on a path to its fourth-consecutive profitable year."

From the NY Times: How Zara Grew Into the World’s Largest Fashion Retailer
"Galicia, on the Atlantic coast of northern Spain, is the homeland of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, but is otherwise famous for being a place people try to leave. For much of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of gallegos, as they are called, emigrated to countries as far away as Argentina to escape Galicia’s rural poverty. Today, however, even as Spain teeters on the edge of economic catastrophe, the Galician city La Coruña has attracted notice as the hometown of Amancio Ortega Gaona, the world’s third-richest man — he displaced Warren Buffett this year on the Bloomberg billionaire index — and the founder of a wildly successful fashion company, Inditex, more commonly known by its oldest and biggest brand, Zara."

For more on Zara's read "Fashion forward " from the Economist.

Surveys, Studies and Statistics

From Forbes: Study: Receiving a Compliment has Same Positive Effect as Receiving Cash
"Compliments may not pay the rent, but according to new research, they help improve performance in a similar way to receiving a cash reward."

Miscellaneous

From Forbes: Big Data: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
"A lot of ink has been spilled relating to big data; countless articles, blog posts and discussions are about how data is growing by leaps and bounds and how companies need the ability to store and manage peta bytes and zeta bytes of data. Every time I read this, I think, so what? Unless a decision maker can access and analyze this data effectively, it isn’t worth much.  If you are serious about managing big data, it’s time to truly visualize it to become a better decision-maker."

Carnivals, Lists, and Such

The Latest Leadership Development Carnival hosted at Great Leadership

Studying individual leaders is a great way to learn about leadership. That's why my weekly post points you to posts by or about individual leaders. Last week I pointed you to posts by and about John Duffy, Damon John, Eric Boyko, Jack B. Dunn, John Hanke, and Daniel Ammann.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check back on Wednesday when I select five excellent posts from the week's independent business blogs. Last week I highlighted posts on what's next for leadership development, finding right versus being right, three must-dos of great leadership, empowerment, and being the real you.

"Learning from Sports Coaches" and "The instant you become a boss " were popular posts on my blog last week.

If you want to get a book done, improve your blog posts, or make your web copy more productive, please check out my blog about business writing. My coaching calendar for authors and blog writers currently has time open. Please contact me if you're interested.

If you're a boss, you should check out my Working Supervisor's Support Kit.

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.

 

 

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