Leadership Reading to Start Your Week: 7/27/14

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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 thoughts on teaching leadership at Stanford, the furor over “factoryless” manufacturers, a big data system that boggles the mind at UPS, how women define success, and preparing your workforce for tomorrow.

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 Georgina Peters: Eight entrepreneurial truths

“There are a host of competency studies, research into the characteristics and personalities of entrepreneurs, plus a steady stream of books analysing the careers of successful entrepreneurs. Separating truth from fiction can be difficult, but here are eight essential truths extracted from my entrepreneurial encounters and experiences:”

From Ed Batista: Planting a Flag (Thoughts on Teaching Leadership at Stanford)

“A recent conversation with my GSB colleague Collins Dobbs helped clarify my thoughts on how we teach leadership at Stanford and why, and it motivated me to lay out that philosophy more explicitly–to plant a flag, so to speak. I’m not speaking for the school, just for myself, and as an executive coach rather than as an academic researcher I have a distinct (and biased) perspective on management education. But I’ve been an Instructor and Leadership Coach at the GSB since January 2007, and my work with hundreds of MBAs in that time has both immersed me in the school’s approach and convinced me that we’re doing something right.”

From Jeremy Eden and Terri Long: 5 Simple Mistakes Even Experienced CEOs Make

“Albert Einstein famously said, ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ Making mistakes in the process of innovating is necessary to gain new knowledge. But the mentality of ‘mistakes are necessary’ should not extend to knowledge we already have about good management practices.”

Industries and Analysis

From Shan Li: Some online retailers seeing value in opening bricks-and-mortar shops

“Some of the hippest online retailers around are pioneering an old concept: offline retailing. After years of squeezing traditional retailers, e-commerce companies that were once digital-only are seeing the value of hanging up shingles in malls and bustling shopping streets.”

From Timothy Aeppel: The Furor Over “Factoryless” Manufacturers

“Manufacturers, by definition, make things. But is that definition outdated? That’s the question behind a move among federal government agencies to reclassify as ‘manufacturers’ companies like Apple Inc., which controls every aspect of the iPhones and other products it sells–except their actual fabrication. Production is done by Chinese contractor Foxconn.”

From the Economist: German beer: Pure, cheap and a bit dull

“Brash Americans plan to froth up Germany’s staid brewing business.”

Innovations and Technology

From Eric Auschitzky, Markus Hammer, and Agesan Rajagopaul: How big data can improve manufacturing

“Manufacturers taking advantage of advanced analytics can reduce process flaws, saving time and money.”

From Felipe Monteiro: Keeping Secrets Holds Back Innovation

“When it comes to collaborating on something new, secrecy and tension can ruin a beautiful partnership.”

From Katherine Noyes: At UPS, a big data system that boggles the mind

“Delivery drivers face an almost limitless number of possibilities on a single day’s route. At UPS, a decade-in-the-making system called Orion aims to find the absolute best one.”

Women and the Workplace

From Billy Witz: Aiming at Glass Ceiling, but Not With Her Jump Shot

“Natalie Nakase was named an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers during the N.B.A. Summer League, but she wants to be a head coach and win championships.”

From Ruchika Tulshyan: The Highest-Paid Woman in Corporate America Is A CFO

“Who was the highest-paid female executive in the U.S. last year? Perhaps PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi comes to mind? Or Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer? While they feature prominently in the top 10 list of highest-compensated female executives, pole position was held by Safra Ada Catz, Oracle CFO and President, according to Find the Best research.”

From Peggy Drexler: How Women Define Success

“Personal growth vs. career goals. Women say one is more important—and it’s not the one you think.”

Work and Learning Now and in the Future

From Harold Jarche: Preparing your workforce for tomorrow

“I created a performance improvement toolbox when I started this blog in 2004, and have kept adding to it over the years. I often look at workplace performance first from the perspective of whether the situation we are trying to address is complicated or complex.”

From Jesse Newton and Josh Davis: Three Secrets of Organizational Effectiveness

“How the practices of ‘pride builders’ can help you build a high-performance culture.”

From Julian Birkinshaw: Do we still need managers?

“Certainly, there are fundamental changes under way that are causing us to question the basic principles of management (defined as ‘getting work done through others’).”

Leadership Posts from Wally Bock Last Week

By and About Leaders: 7/22/14

Pointers to pieces by and about Scott Colwell, Orion Bell, Peter Hortensius, Kat Cole, and John Arrillaga Sr.

From the Independent Business Blogs: 7/23/14

Pointers to posts by Kate Nasser, Steve Roesler, Mary Jo Asmus, Tracy Allison Altman, and Lolly Daskal.

Learn about leadership from stories

Bill Gates just declared his favorite business book. Guess what? It’s a book of business stories.

Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 7/25/14

Pointers to stories about Mars, Vega Sicilia, Proctor & Gamble, Sprint, and InterSystems.

Writing well gives you the edge in business and in life. 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.

Join The Conversation

What People Are Saying

Ian Johnson Infinite Group   |   28 Jul 2014   |   Reply

Successful coaching starts with understanding and empathy of the other person, not with our agenda or normal approach.

Wally Bock   |   28 Jul 2014   |   Reply

Thanks for adding to the discussion, Ian.