5/11/14: 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, strategy, industries, innovation, women and work, and work and learning now and in the future. Highlights include The Trouble with Leadership Theories, High-Tech Push Has Board Games Rolling Again, 25 Years of Personal Technology, New study finds women leaders just effective as men — just not in their own minds, and Create a Work Environment That Fosters Flow.

Be sure to look for dots that you can connect.

Note: Some links require you to register or are to publications that have some form of limited paywall.

Thinking about Leadership and Strategy

From Doug Sundheim: The Trouble with Leadership Theories

“Several years ago a client of mine, Rob, fell in love with Jim Collins’s book Good to Great. Within a month he had given copies to everyone on his team.  Soon after, language from the book made its way into Rob’s everyday speech.”

From Andrew Ross Sorkin:  Berkshire’s Radical Strategy: Trust

“The top executives of Berkshire Hathaway believe in trusting their employees.”

From Yasser Al-Saleh: Why Engineers Make Great CEOs

“They’re detail-oriented, analytical and trained in systematic problem-solving. Engineers’ basic qualities make them good candidates for the top.”

Industries and Analysis

From Nick Wingfield: High-Tech Push Has Board Games Rolling Again

“With eye-popping graphics, visceral action and an online community, video games should have killed tabletop games, but in fact the opposite is true.”

From Paul Ziobro and Joann S. Lublin: Big Retailers Find It Hard Shopping for a CEO

“Target, J.C. Penney, American Eagle Outfitters on the Hunt for New Chiefs”

From BCG Perspectives: Creating Value for Machinery Companies Through Services

“There is no one strategy for machinery companies to generate value from services. The best way to create and maximize value varies according to equipment characteristics, competitive environment, and regulatory conditions. Some companies extract most of their service value from selling spare parts. Others focus on maintenance or diversify into the processes for which their machinery is used. Every day, machinery companies are extending their service portfolios with more innovative and customer-oriented offers.”

Innovation and Technology

From Bruno Lanvin: Your Big Data Action Plan

“With the magnitude of data available and our growing capability to process it, big data has become an asset class that has spawned an entire industry. How should you be positioned to take advantage of it?”

From Wharton: The Evolution of Sharpie: Same Design, Different Focus

“The Sharpie looks exactly the way it did in 1964, when the concept was so new that early ads had to explain to consumers exactly what permanent ink meant. (Early endorsements by Johnny Carson and Hugh Downs didn’t hurt.) But the brand has done plenty of evolving since the early days — adding products specially designed to court the construction industry, the modern office, moms and, these days, teenagers.”

From Walt Mossberg: 25 Years of Personal Technology

“This month,  Re/code partner CNBC is celebrating its  25th anniversary. To help commemorate the occasion, the network asked Walt Mossberg to pen this essay on how personal technology has evolved over the past quarter century.”

Women and the Workplace

From Peggy Drexler: It’s Good For Companies To Have Women In Positions Of Leadership But How They Get There Matters

“What we know: Having women in the boardroom is a good thing. But are  more women a  better thing? That depends on how they get there.”

From Gina Hall: New study finds women leaders just effective as men — just not in their own minds

“Apparently if women run the show, people don’t actually have a problem with it. That’s the news from a new paper out from the Journal of Applied Psychology, which studied ‘the potential existence of a female leadership advantage.'”

From Matt Palmquist: Female Directors and Their Impact on Strategic Change

“As companies continually strive to improve the diversity of their boards, a new study finds that female directors provide the greatest impetus for change in times of good performance.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Steven Kotler: Create a Work Environment That Fosters Flow

“Everywhere we look in business, timetables once measured by calendars can now be clocked by egg timers. So how can we keep up? In a word — and according to an ever-increasing pile of evidence — ‘flow.’ Technically defined as an ‘optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best,’ the term takes its name from the sensation it confers. In flow, every action, every decision, arises seamlessly from the last. In this state, we are so focused on the task at hand that all else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Our sense of self vanishes. Our sense of time distorts. And performance goes through the roof.”

From Mike Haberman: Telecommuting dealt another blow

“As if the Yahoo and Best Buy moves against telecommuting employees were not enough to make companies rethink telecommuting there may now be tax consequences to letting telecommuters live in another state other than the one the company is headquartered in.”

From NPR Planet Money: The Future Of Work Looks Like A UPS Truck

“Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — whether you’re alone in a truck on an empty road or sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer — your company can now track everything you do.”

Wally Bock’s Curated Leadership Posts from Last Week

5/6/14: By and About Leaders

I’m pointing you to posts by and about Mark Josephson, Gregg Saretsky, Ron Kaplan, and Sheri Petras.

5/7/14: From the Independent Business Blogs

Pointers to posts on by Susan Mazza, Les Hayman, Mary Jo Asmus, Lolly Daskal, and Karin Hurt.

5/9/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

Pointers to stories about Huawei, Information Systems Resources, Porch.com, Quaker Chemical, and crowdsourcing in the food industry.  

What office layout is best?” and “Dead Company Walking” were popular posts on my blog last week.

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