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Thursday, 13 October 2011 06:46

Volume 9 | Best of 2009

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 9, Best of 2009     
In This Best of 2009 Issue:

  Uncovering Steve Jobs' presentation secrets
  How to excel at your job and be home for dinner
  CEOs: Write that memo to the board
  How I…revamped monday meetings
  Enforce the no BlackBerry rule!
  Eleven ways to boost your energy
  12 workplace phrases you probably don't know…but should
  Seven tips for effective 20 minute leadership conversations
  The 13 most annoying people to work with
  Smart presentations: Remember this
  Three levels of persuasive conversations
  Are you abusing these 10 most irritating office phrases?
  How to silence 7 common employee gripes
  6 CEOs share their biggest regrets
  2009 CEO wealth creators and destroyers

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
or Share this Newsletter: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Uncovering Steve Jobs' presentation secrets

View Slide Show

  CEOs Say: How To Give A Great Presentation
For his new book, communications coach Carmine Gallo watched hours of Jobs' keynotes. Here he identifies the five elements of every presentation by the Apple CEO. The Apple music event of Sept. 9, 2009, marked the return of the world's greatest corporate storyteller. For more than three decades, Apple (AAPL) co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs has raised product launches to an art form. In my new book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, I reveal the techniques that Jobs uses to create and deliver mind-blowing keynote presentations. Steve Jobs does not sell computers; he sells...
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How to excel at your job and be home for dinner

A former Goldman Sachs executive shares her tips for balancing professional work with your personal life during a recession. When I was a new manager at Goldman Sachs, an executive coach told me: "If you can't get your job done in 10 hours a day, there's something wrong with you—or there's something wrong with your job." I laughed. In my 16 years in finance, I found it hard not admire the 24/7 ethic and even harder to imagine that top results could be produced without it. But this coach was an advisor to highly respected CEOs. And he forced me to open my eyes and see what really effective executives do to cut time—and stress—for both themselves and the teams they lead. Intrigued, I dug into the research. I learned how performance and judgement erode when we work too many hours and that motivating people to spend ever-more hours at work is bad for the bottom line. I also talked to hundreds of men and women working in a wide range of executive roles—C-suite jobs, partners at big investment, law, and accounting firms, and middle managers in various industries—to learn how they manage the stress in their lives. Today's downturn means everyone who still has a job has more work to do. Things have been so uncertain that we all have to work harder because we don't know what will pay off. While "balance" may be a term that makes executives nervous in bad times, it's merely good management to ensure that each hour gets invested in the right things and that we cut all the waste we can. Here are five tips I've found that let executives produce world-class results and still get home for family dinner—most nights...
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CEOs: Write that memo to the board

Putting the next 12 months' priorities down on paper clarifies thoughts and drives alignment. Sit down and do it, says Anthony Tjan. It is hard to believe but yes, 2009 is winding down. Thanksgiving is around the corner, the holiday rush is almost palpable, and before you know it we'll be watching our TV screens for the ball to drop in Times Square. It is about this time of year that many businesses begin to feel the pressure of making Q4 work, budget planning for 2010 gets underway, and if there is any time left, to reflect on what this past year has meant. Each November or December, we sit down with each of our portfolio company CEOs and ask that they put down their top priorities for the upcoming year and lessons learned for the past year. We do this exercise in the form of a CEO Memo to the Board. It's not complicated and certainly not overly detailed, but it sets the big picture and creates an incredibly powerful mechanism for alignment between boards and CEOs. [Here is our five-point plan on how we develop and use a CEO Memo to the Board in our companies:...]
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How I…revamped monday meetings

Entrepreneur Jessica Rovello tells us how she came up with an innovative way to solve a routine problem in her business.

Most employees dread those long, boring staff meetings -- but not at Arkadium.
In fact, at this developer of online flash-based games, the 35 employees at the New York office look forward to the Monday meetings. They are eager to see what will happen this week, perhaps the conference table will be used for...
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Enforce the No BlackBerry rule!

Overwork benefits nobody. Judging from all the responses I received to my recent column "Get Rid of Jackass Clients," far too many executives have customers who exhaust them and sap their productivity. Stress and inefficiency are everywhere. That's why you should implement the No BlackBerry Rule. How often do you hear colleagues and friends say they're working like crazy? I hear it constantly, especially now, in the current difficult economy. So many executives are clawing to keep their jobs or fighting for their share of dwindling bonus pools. They complain to the world about their sleepless nights, burning the midnight oil. They wear their haggard eyes and lonely spouses as badges of honor. [They even sleep with their BlackBerrys, so they can respond to e-mails from 12 time zones away. Do they really need to be so busy?...]
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Eleven ways to boost your energy

In Depth: In Depth: Unhealthy Habits You Need To Ditch

How to use nutrition, exercise, and stress relief to refuel your body and energize your mind. Fatigue is one of the biggest problems of modern life. But most of us deal with the problem in all the wrong ways. We want a magic bullet--an energy bar or supplement or tonic that will make us feel like a superhero. So is there an easy and quick solution to our energy crisis? Yes and no...
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12 workplace phrases you probably don’t know…but should

Getting along with people sometimes requires speaking their language, especially in the workplace. One of the ways employees try to emphasize their smartness is with specialized vocabulary. Due to the nature of a lot of people’s work, technical language and terminology often is necessary, but buzzwords tend to make you sound pretentious. On the other hand, if you are working on a team full of buzzword-addicted co-workers, you’ll need to fit in. Here are some explanations for not-so-common workplace lingo, so next time you are at the water cooler or in a meeting, you’ll understand what’s going on:...
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Seven tips for effective 20 minute leadership conversations

10 ways to make the most of your mentoring relationships
[From "20 Minutes to a Peak Performer" (McGraw-Hill) by Alan Vengel.]

1. Have a plan. Leaders who do best are the ones who take a few minutes at the outset to determine the purpose of the conversation, what questions they want to ask, and what results they expect.

2. Keep it...
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The 13 most annoying people to work with

Most of us have had colleagues over the years who turned annoying into an art form. Well, now it's a classifiable art form. Career experts Christine Lambden and Casey Connor, authors of the new book, "Everyday Practices of Extraordinary Consultants," have compiled a list of "The 13 Most Annoying People to Work With." How many of these does your company still have on its payroll?...
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Smart presentations: Remember this

The greatest truths are the simplest. Often, they touch what we know or believe, but with an economy of words and a clarity that cuts through all the B.S. and makes us realize the wisdom. Here's one that should be burned in the brain of anyone and everyone in business: Logic leads to conclusions. Emotion leads to action. Makes sense, doesn't it? Think how much better...
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Three levels of persuasive conversations

"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." —James Thurber. It's like fingernails down a chalkboard for me. There is a Friday night gathering of the neighbors out in front of the house. The kids are all riding scooters and doing their best to imitate Tony Romo in their game of two-hand-touch football. As one of the 3-year-olds begins to pull caffeine-free sodas out of the cooler and hand them out to the other kids, the child constantly is talking to every parent and child as he peddles his wares looking for his next customer. Here come the fingernails down the chalkboard…one of the adults makes the comment, "Boy, he sure is gonna make a great salesman someday. That boy sure can talk!" Why does everyone think the best salesperson is always the best "talker?" It's as if that is the only skill needed to be a good salesperson. In my 18 years of experience in sales and sales management, I have not found that to be true. Some of the successful salespeople I have observed were good talkers, but oftentimes, they were not the best speakers. In fact, the most successful salespeople I have met were not the best talkers at all. They held a much more valuable selling skill:...
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Are you abusing these 10 most irritating office phrases?

Everyone’s got their verbal pet peeves, but odds are good you and your co-workers have more in common than you think when it comes to phrases that should never be spoken in the office. After performing extensive research, scholars at Oxford University and author Jeremy Butterfield have devised a list of the ten most irritating phrases uttered by humans. This top ten list appears in Butterfield’s latest book, "Damp Squid," which was comprised from books, papers, magazines, journals, broadcast media and other sources:...
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How to silence 7 common employee gripes

Hand-helds, laptops and 'friending': Managing the new culture clash
A recent study says that 40% of managers in the United States are considered “bad bosses” by their employees. Yet most managers assume that their relationships with their employees are running smoothly. Obviously, some of those bosses are wrong … and that can create major problems for a business. A Gallup poll says organizations are 50% less productive—and 44% less profitable— when serious boss-employee conflicts exist. According to a new book, 30 Reasons Employees Hate Their Managers, some common employee complaints about management, plus ways managers can silence them, include:...
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6 CEOs share their biggest regrets

In Depth: How Two Friends Built a $100 Million Dollar Company
Successful entrepreneurs talk about what they would do differently if they were starting their businesses today. Every business owner, with the perspective of time, realizes he or she could have done something smarter -- jumped on an opportunity faster, directed resources at a looming problem sooner, or avoided a bad deal altogether. Here, six smart entrepreneurs, including Nanda Home's Gauri Nanda and Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Andy Taylor, share their biggest regrets...
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2009 CEO wealth creators and destroyers

Having an Out-of-Money Experience

In the second annual Chief Executive/Applied Finance Group Wealth Creation Rankings, we access the best and worst performers among the S&P 500 over the last three years. It’s been a brutal period for wealth creation. Yet some CEOs have managed to improve their performance. In its second year, the wealth creation index developed by Chief Executive, Applied Finance Group, and Drew Morris, CEO of Great Numbers!, seeks to identify those business leaders who have done the best job of creating true economic value...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 06:31

Volume 10 | Issue 1

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 9, Issue 11     
In This Issue:

Inc Icon  Color me CEO? Test shows how bosses are wired
Inc Icon  30 tips for using social media in your business
CEO Icon  Waging war on complexity costs: What the CEO needs to know
CEO Icon  Pricing for profits and growth in an economic upswing
CEO Icon  Lessons from team fumbles
Harvard Business School Icon  Tragedy at Toyota: How not to lead in crisis
Harvard Business School Icon  What's the best way to make careful decisions?
Harvard Business School Icon  Best of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge 2009
Manage Smarter Icon  Five tips to improve your personal curb appeal
Manage Smarter Icon  Eight indicators [your in] an extraordinary group
CFO Daily News Icon  Don't send that!': E-mail conversations managers should never have
Business Management Daily Icon  Up, down, all around: navigating in Excel
Forbes Icon  Three big myths of executive public speaking
Forbes Icon  Body language decoded
The Boston Consulting Group Icon  [CEOs] Prepare for an Era of slow growth in the global economy,
warns [BCG]

The Boston Consulting Group Icon  [Knowledge gaps about customers hamper 90% of blue chip companies]
Inc Icon  iPhone apps you won't find on iTunes

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
or Share this Newsletter: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
Inc Header

Color me CEO? Test shows how bosses are wired


Color Test Grid
Lessons from a blue-collar millionaire
Taking a color test instead of a personality test? Find out what your colors say about you.
An analysis of some 900 CEOs' results shows they like magenta -- and are less dominant and confident than the rest of the population. To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald, the CEOs are different from you and me. A panel of 900 CEOs organized by USA Today participated in an online 60-second color personality test, and the results were striking: The bosses don't like yellow or red, but they're big fans of magenta - at least compared to the rest of the population. To most of us, that sounds like fun trivia that may (or may not) suggest a good color for the drapes in the corner office. But psychiatry professor Rense Lange said the CEOs' results - compared with the answers provided by some 750,000 others who've taken the online test - reveal that the CEOs are wired differently than everyone else. How? Dewey Sadka, who's spent 15 years developing the test, said the color choices paint a picture of...
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30 tips for using social media in your business
An array of social media tips helps you build your business with some simple but effective techniques.

Social Media Toolkit Globe
6 Social Networking Faux Pas
Slide Show: The dos and don’ts of social media use
Wading into the fast-moving flow of social media can be daunting to a small business owner with very little time on his hands. Here's Inc.'s comprehensive social media cheat sheet for the time-strapped entrepreneur.

1. Offer a peek behind the scenes.
Offering a sneak preview of new products, services, or features online can help build demand and provide critical feedback to help smooth the launch. For instance,...
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Chief Executive Online Header

Waging war on complexity costs: What the CEO needs to know
This is just what you need to grow your company while you need to shrink your costs to survive in this economy.

Simplicity as Strategy
Simplify to improve projects, grow, and raise profit margins.
Does a 15 to 30 percent reduction in operating cost interest you? Thought so. For the past two decades the pursuit of growth has created massive complexity in companies, and with it, massive complexity costs. The only good news about this weakness is that your competitors may be carrying as much or more complexity cost as you are-and hence the opportunity: Learn how to effectively remove complexity, and you can regain competitive footing by creating a cost advantage over your competitors. In fact, we've found that it's possible for companies to reduce costs by 15 percent to 30 percent in significant portions of their business by waging war on complexity costs. However, while many CEOs will intuitively grasp the magnitude of the issue and the opportunity, what to do about it has been a different story. Companies have generally been thwarted by the sheer scope and size of the issue. Moreover, traditional approaches to tackling complexity have generally fallen short. In our recent book, Waging War on Complexity Costs (McGraw-Hill), we therefore provide new insights on the nature of the issue and innovative and effective battle strategies that the CEO can leverage to finally grapple with the issue. As a primer, here is our memo to the CEO - five key points that every executive needs to heed in order to win the war on complexity:..
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Pricing for profits and growth in an economic upswing
Thinking like a customer may make extra profits for you. Know how and when to change your pricing scheme.

With the economy on the mend, it's time to revisit your pricing strategy. Pricing is one of the most important strategies available to managers. Illustrating the power of pricing, a study by McKinsey & Company of the Global 1200 found that if companies raised prices by just 1 percent, on average their operating profits would increase by 11 percent. Using a 1 percent increase in price, some companies would see even more growth in percentage of profit: Sears, 155 percent; McKesson, 100 percent; Tyson, 81 percent; Land O'Lakes, 58 percent; Whirlpool, 35 percent. The good news is that better pricing is not exclusively about increasing prices. Instead, it's about offering a variety of pricing choices to attract as many customers as possible. Most companies set prices by marking up costs. While easy to implement, this cost-plus pricing method has no correlation to what consumers are willing to pay for a product (or service). The key to better pricing is to set prices that capture a product's value. Value-based pricing involves thinking like...
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Lessons from team fumbles
Don't risk ruining your company because of these critical errors!

Taking Notes
How senior leadership teams can make—or break—an organization. The colossal business failures of the past few years underscore the fact that the conduct of a company’s leadership team is directly correlated with the organization’s long-term performance. Once-venerable institutions such as Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland paid the ultimate price for the behaviors of their leadership teams. Merrill Lynch & Co. offers an illustrative case. It has been widely reported that former CEO Stanley O’Neal, who was dumped in October 2007, thwarted debate, ignored feedback from other firm leaders and fired people whose views didn’t mesh with his own. These behaviors sent a loud message to the rest of the company that differences of opinion would not be tolerated. Observers pointed out that the breathtaking losses suffered by the firm (later taken over by Bank of America) might have been minimized had O’Neal not marginalized or fired those who tried to warn him about overexposure to credit risk in the subprime market. A similar situation played out at...
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Harvard Business School Header

Tragedy at Toyota: How not to lead in crisis
Strong leadership can turn a crisis into a boon by producing a better product with stronger customer loyalty.

Business Week Icon   Twelve leadership questions for 2010
As a manager you need to take a deep look at how you handle the recession and move on into a new economy.
Toyota's ever-widening problems are a tragic case study in how not to lead in crisis. Under the media spotlight, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, went into hiding and sent American CEO Jim Lentz to make apologies. (Editor's note: Toyoda has agreed to appear before a Congressional inquiry this week.) Meanwhile, he let serious product quality issues spiral out of control by understating safety risks and product problems. This left the media, politicians, and consumers to dictate the conversation, while Toyota fumbled the responses. Disingenuous quasi-apologies and disjointed plans for resolution have been Toyota's substitute for crisis response. As accounts pour in about declining quality, the company parades out relatively unknown mid-level managers to quell the firestorm. It won't work...
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What's the best way to make careful decisions?
The value of intuition is discussed comparing concepts from these two books; Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Think Twice by Michael Mauboussin.

Summing Up
What is the right mix between intuition and analysis? Several clear themes characterized responses to this month's column.
Dominant among these was that the best way to reach a decision depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the decision, the nature of the decider, the information available, history, experience, the number of deciders, and so forth. Nevertheless, several comments reflected an uneasy fondness for a good dose of intuition in the mix. Guy Gould-Davies' comment was particularly insightful:...
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Best of Harvard Business School Working Knowledge 2009
Read all about it! The most read Harvard management articles and working papers at your fingertips.

What were the management trends in 2009? Fascination with social networking and rethinking common wisdom about goal setting. Here are the Top 10 articles and Top 5 working papers that appeared in HBS Working Knowledge in 2009. Enjoy!...
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Manage Smarter Header

Five tips to improve your personal curb appeal
What first impression do you make? Here is how to make a superior impact.

Putting Personality into the Pitch
I've learned a few things about selling a house. I know, for instance, that much depends on timing (economic timing as well as the time of year you put the house on the market), and of course, the mantra "location, location, location" is still paramount. I've also learned a property needs "curb appeal." That is, it needs to make a special, positive, and instant impression when prospective buyers first see it. So when I read Drew Westen's fabulous book, "The Political Brain" (about the role of emotion in politics), I wasn't surprised to learn curb appeal also is crucial in political campaigns. Of course, Westen is referring to personal curb appeal. According to Westen, "One of the main determinants of electoral success," he explains, "is simply a candidate's curb appeal. Curb appeal is the feeling voters get when they 'drive by' a candidate a few times on television and form an emotional impression." Research shows personal curb appeal can be assessed quickly. [How's your personal curb appeal? When your co-workers, clients, and business partners "drive by" you, how do you come across? If you'd like to improve, here are five tips to keep in mind:...]
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Eight indicators [your in] an extraordinary group
What is in an extraordinary group? Find out what these teams do, and how they are different from ordinary groups.

Managing Motivation
Four years ago, we launched a study of sixty extraordinary groups. We were curious about what makes some groups fantastic while most are ordinary. Or worse. Our study led us to a number of conclusions and a book. We will share some of what we learned here. We focused on extraordinary groups of two to twenty people and what makes them so wonderful. We interviewed members of great groups, figuring why not learn from people who have lived through an extraordinary group experience. Four years later, we reached conclusions based on hearing stories from one to two members in each of sixty groups. We learned about what motivates them to participate, how they feel about that, and what they actually did. This article describes eight performance patterns common to great groups. The more of these eight patterns are present, the more likely the group is to deliver amazing results...
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CFO Daily News Header

Don't send that!': E-mail conversations managers should never have
Stay out of legal trouble by making sure your managers know what is acceptable and not acceptable in email conversations.

For many employers, e-mail has long been the preferred method of communication about anything and everything — but certain things should never be said electronically. Scary thought: More and more courts are accepting e-mail as evidence — and that means your company can easily end up on the hook for seemingly innocuous e-mails by managers and supervisors. To be safe, remind managers they should always avoid having the following types of conversations via e-mail:...
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Business Management Daily Header

Up, down, all around: navigating in Excel
Try these excellent Excel techniques to make your spreadsheets with fewer errors and faster data entry.

Year-end cleanup: 7 steps to conquer clutter

Taming the Paper Monster
Have you discovered all the shortcuts buried within Excel? Try zipping around Excel spreadsheets using these keyboard techniques:...
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Forbes Header

Three big myths of executive public speaking
Public speaking is an art form. Learn how to do it right to gain your audiences' attention and participation.

Do yourself a favor and don't believe them. In my two decades of work with executives on their communications, I've seen some myths come up over and over again about how best to succeed at speaking in public. The three most common are: "I want to begin with a joke"; "Too much rehearsal is bad for me"; and "It's better to go right to Q and A." Let me debunk each one in turn, in the hope I may save executives and their audiences from future mishap...
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Body language decoded
The polite body language skills that girls are often taught do not work well in the business environment. Take time to learn the body language skills you should be using.

A woman talking on the phone
In Pictures: Seven Common Body Language Mistakes
Every twirl of your hair, crossed leg or micro-expression gives off a message. Learn how to take control over how people view you. Say please and thank you. Don't raise your voice. Sit up straight with your legs together and hands on your lap. Don't draw attention to yourself. And never ever brag. These are the lessons many parents teach their daughters. And while these attributes--politeness, deference, humility--and the way they are projected through our gestures, gait and self-presentation can certainly help in the classroom and certain social settings, they could be holding many of us back professionally...
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The Boston Consulting Group Header

[CEOs] Prepare for an Era of slow growth in the global economy, warns [BCG]
In this new global economy, where some countries are growing and others are languishing, know how to position your company to take advantage of the opportunities.

The Boston Consulting Group is publishing a far-reaching diagnosis of the global economic crisis and an in-depth analysis of what leading corporations need to do in order to excel in a postrecession slow¬-growth world, in a new book titled Accelerating Out of the Great Recession: How to Win in a Slow-Growth Economy (McGraw-Hill, February 2010). The authors, David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter, senior partners at BCG, argue that companies face ongoing and long-term challenges brought on by global trade imbalances, unstable financial institutions, and overleveraged consumers who can no longer be counted on to drive economic growth. "There will be no return to the 'old normal,' and, just as we won't be able to count on the consumer-especially the U.S. consumer-to rescue the global economy, it's unlikely that the growth of emerging economies such as China and India will be enough to generate a return to pre-2008 global growth," says Stelter. Rhodes adds, "Business will have to adapt to...
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[Knowledge gaps about customers hamper 90% of blue chip companies]
You have spent the time and money to gather customer feedback and information, now put it to good use!

Manager trying to listen through office window
Executives Expect Difficult Times to Continue in 2010—but [lack] Defensive Actions
Gaps in Knowledge About Their Customers Are Hampering the Efforts of Some of the World’s Top Companies to Pull Out of the Recession, Says The Boston Consulting Group. Nearly 90 percent of blue-chip companies are not making the most of their market-research efforts, according to a new report released today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, titled The Consumer’s Voice—Can Your Company Hear It?, offers stark evidence that even large blue-chip companies lack basic knowledge about their customers. In a survey of more than 800 executives based at 40 global companies with sales of $1.5 billion or more, only...
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INC Header

iPhone apps you won't find on iTunes
Are you looking to "jailbreak" your iPhone? Check out
Thursday, 13 October 2011 06:25

Volume 10 | Issue 2

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.

Dear ExecWatch reader,
In order to more effectively deliver premium online content tailored specifically to your career advancement, BusinessWatch Network has decreased the number of articles in each newsletter - and increased the number of newsletters each month (from 1 to 2 Issues). This new format affords you better access to more selective business-critical information in your career specialty. We hope you enjoy the improved format. Thank you for your continued readership!

Volume 10, Issue 2     
In This Issue:

Business Week Icon  CEO pay drops, but... cash is king
Inc Icon  Coping with fury at a price hike
Inc Icon  America's most productive CEOs
Inc Icon  Why I quit blogging
Inc Icon  An unlikely tech tycoon
Inc Icon  How to reduce your cost of sales
Management Issues Icon  [CEOs] don't forget your people
Wall Street Journal Icon  The minds behind the meltdown
Wall Street Journal Icon  Before they were [Titans & Moguls] these people were rejected
Forbes Icon  Five Tax-Free Gifts To Family

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Business Week Header

CEO pay drops, but... cash is king
Public pressure and economics have changed some CEO's pay to cash from stock options.

Money changing hands
View Slide Show: CEO Pay
Results from the Bloomberg BusinessWeek study of CEO pay.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek's exclusive first look at the 2009 compensation of chief executives at 81 big companies. Here's a bit of good news for the Washington finger waggers who think executive compensation has gotten out of hand: A survey of 81 big companies shows that CEO pay dropped by 8.6% last year. Now for the worrisome twist: The cash portion of their compensation rose 8.3%. That's a sign that companies are de-emphasizing long-term incentives for their top guys, a particular bugaboo of Kenneth Feinberg, President Barack Obama's executive pay cop. Feinberg and many shareholder activists argue...
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Inc Header

Coping with fury at a price hike
Transparency is key when major changes have to happen.

Mo Money, Mo Problems eMusic CEO Danny Stein felt that prices had to go up. Thousands of users felt otherwise.


















When eMusic raised prices, customers grumbled and threatened to leave. Was it too late to go back?

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Adios to your service," griped one customer. "Boo, hiss," wrote another. "What the hell is going on?" demanded a third. And these were some of the more timid missives that were flooding the message boards at the online music retailer eMusic last June. The fury stemmed from two big changes eMusic had just implemented. First, it had raised its subscription rates -- as much as 100 percent for some subscribers. But that wasn't the sole source of the outrage. Founded in 1998, eMusic had become the nation's second-largest download site by touting itself as the best place to discover independent artists -- that is, those not affiliated with major record labels. But eMusic had just signed a deal with...
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America's most productive CEOs
The top entrepreneurial CEO's found by Inc.

Clockwise from left to right: Caterina Fake (Hunch); Jordan Zimmerman (Zimmerman Advertising); Barbara Corcoran (Barbara Corcoran Inc.); Kevin P. Ryan (AlleyCorp); Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks)
15 Ways to Get More Done
Good communication is the highest recommended method






















Lessons from 16 super-efficient and highly-productive entrepreneurs including Caterina Fake of Hunch.

In a country whose citizens work longer and get more done than those anywhere else, no one is more productive than entrepreneurs. They have unparalleled freedom to work the way they want, and many create truly personal productivity systems to lash their to-do (and do and do and do) lists into submission. Like the companies themselves, those systems reflect the CEOs' values, goals, and leadership styles. To get a look inside the minds of the superefficient, Inc. interviewed successful entrepreneurs in various industries around the country...
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Why I quit blogging
To reach a larger audience, you need more than just a blog to advertize.

Joel Spolsky is the founder and CEO of Fog Creek Software in New York City.
Let's Take This Offline
A decade ago, I started Joel on Software, a blog that put my company on the map. But as the business matures, I've come to realize that blogging is holding me back.
You've started a business. You've built a great product. Now you're trying to get the word out. You don't have the budget to buy ads or to retain a PR agency. You'd like to hire a salesperson, but the experienced salespeople are smart enough not to work for you. Well, there's always blogging. These days, it seems like just about every start-up founder has a blog, and 99 percent of these bloggers are doing it wrong. The problem? They make the blog about themselves, filling it with posts announcing new hires, touting new products, and sharing pictures from the company picnic. [So, what's the formula for a blog that actually generates leads, sales, and business success? I didn't even understand it myself until last year at the Business of Software conference, when one of the speakers, a well-known game developer and author named Kathy Sierra, blew me away with an incredibly simple idea that explains why my blog successfully...]
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An unlikely tech tycoon
An inside look at the creation of Omniture

THINK, GO, DO: Josh James likes to move fast when he has an idea. He goes back later to fix his mistakes.


















How I Did It: Omniture's Josh James
He built a Web analytics company into a powerhouse, then sold it to Adobe for $1.8 billion.
Josh James says he has no special love for technology. But he has long seen its possibilities. In 1996, he and a college classmate launched a webpage-building service when businesses were just discovering the Internet. Fueled by tens of millions in venture backing, James built Omniture, based in Orem, Utah, into a thriving Web analytics and online marketing company whose software tracks Web traffic for companies such as Toyota, Gap, and JetBlue. James took Omniture public on his 33rd birthday, in 2006. Last October, Adobe purchased the company for $1.8 billion....
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How to reduce your cost of sales
Using a across the board cuts do the most damage to your sales force.

There are some smart ways to trim your cost of sales short of taking the dangerous step of slashing your sales force compensation. Why would you bite that hand that feeds you? That's a standard argument against training a cost-cutting eye on your company's sales department. After all, it's the sales team that brings in most of a company's revenue and secures the necessary cash flow to keep you in business. So why take anything away from these important players? When business is sluggish, however, that has a way of changing managers' thinking. If you find you must reduce your sales expenses, you should know that some trims are acceptable, even smart. Other methods of cutting your cost of sales are don't-go-there, last-of-the-last-resorts. Keep in mind that if you burn the salesperson, and you might burn the customer relationship, Ahearne cautions, citing 2007 research conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, which found that customers do remain loyal to a sales rep. With that said, here's a list of tips for cutting your cost of sales, ranked from bad to better to best...
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Management Issues Header

[CEOs] don't forget your people
Investments in people are coming back as the economy recovers: CEO's are hopeful to start hiring in 2010.

Chief executives are starting to focus once again on people issues rather than purely financial survival in an effort to head off any future employee retention crisis as and when vacancies and job confidence start to return. We may still be some way off people feeling confident enough to dip their toes back into the jobs' market, but CEOs are keenly aware that it is something they need to be planning for if they don't want to suffer a mass exodus of skilled workers when a consistent upturn finally arrives. According to a poll of CEOs by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, tackling morale, employee engagement, training and development and flexibility of working are all likely to come back on to the agenda as key priorities in the post-recession world. The survey of around 70 British CEOs found that more than...
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Wall Street Journal Digital Network Header

The minds behind the meltdown
An excerpt from The Quants discussing hot the financial meltdown started.

How a swashbuckling breed of mathematicians and computer scientists nearly destroyed Wall Street. On Thursday, President Barack Obama proposed new rules to curb a number of Wall Street's risky-and highly profitable-trading activities. One target: The secretive trading operations within banks that use large doses of leverage, or borrowed money, to make huge bets on the market. Wall Street says the regulations are unnecessary, and since the financial crisis struck, most banks have cut back on these trading outfits. But when the downturn first hit in the summer of 2007, several of them were among the first to suffer, and collectively they lost billions over a matter of days. In his new book, "The Quants," Wall Street Journal reporter Scott Patterson suggests how this new breed of mathematicians and computer scientists took over much of the financial system-and the damage they inflicted in the 2007 meltdown...
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Before they were [Titans & Moguls] these people were rejected
College rejection letters are on their way. They could start many promising new careers.

Tom Brokaw: Now and then photos of school days vs. today. Broadcast journalist  - Harvard rejection prompted him to settle down and stop partying. 'The initial stumble was critical in getting me launched.'
At College Admission Time, Lessons in Thin Envelopes. Few events arouse more teenage angst than the springtime arrival of college rejection letters. With next fall's college freshman class expected to approach a record 2.9 million students, hundreds of thousands of applicants will soon be receiving the dreaded letters. Teenagers who face rejection will be joining good company, including Nobel laureates, billionaire philanthropists, university presidents, constitutional scholars, best-selling authors and other leaders of business, media and the arts who once received college or graduate-school rejection letters of their own. Both Warren Buffett and "Today" show host Meredith Vieira say that while being rejected by the school of their dreams was devastating, it launched them on a path to...
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Forbes Header

Five Tax-Free Gifts To Family
Know which gifts are tax free and how to give them so they stay tax free!

A small gift box to be un-noticed by the IRS
In Pictures: What You Should Know About The Gift Tax
Detailed explanations of gifts and taxes due (or not due) on them.
There are simple ways to pick up some of relatives' biggest expenses without getting snared by the gift tax. If friends or relatives have come upon hard times, your first impulse might be to open your checkbook. But good deeds don't score any points with the Internal Revenue Service--and could get you in tax trouble. You must follow the same rules that would apply to any other lifetime transfers, including those designed to pare down your estate and leave less for Uncle Sam after you're gone. This issue, a common source of confusion, could trip up more people since the economic meltdown. Prosperous baby boomers are subsidizing parents, and sometimes siblings, who are less fortunate. In other cases...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 06:11

Volume 10 | Issue 3

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 10, Issue 3     
In This Issue:

Harvard Business School Icon  Ruthlessly realistic: How CEOs must overcome denial
         One Strategy: Aligning Planning and Execution
Harvard Business School Icon  Sharpening your skills: Managing the economic crisis
Inc Icon  How to get people to change
Inc Icon  [Meetings] a little less conversation
Inc Icon  You've been yelped
CIO Icon  How to protect your reputation online
CIO Icon  More BlackBerry battery tips: 7 ways to make your Smartphone last longer
     Forbes Icon  Must-Have iPhone Travel Apps
     New York Times Icon  The 3 Facebook settings every user should check now (new)
Forbes Icon  Every CEO must be a chief listening officer
     Forbes Icon  Harnessing The Power Of The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Forbes Icon  How to be a master public speaker
Forbes Icon  The shadowy science of sex addiction

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
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Ruthlessly realistic: How CEOs must overcome denial
Denial, though common, is much more dangerous for your business now than it has been in the past.

Harvard Business School Icon  One Strategy: Aligning Planning and Execution
Explicit and implicit strategies is are not always the same, but to keep your business thriving in changing times, it is important to make them one.
Reviewing a spectacular business failure, we often wonder why the CEO didn't see trouble coming. It was so obvious. Why didn't Digital Equipment Corp. CEO Kenneth Olsen see the PC as a threat to minicomputers? Did Coca-Cola's Roberto Goizueta really think New Coke was a good idea? How long did Henry Ford think he could keep selling black-only Model Ts? "Denial has always been a problem," writes Harvard Business School historian Richard S. Tedlow in a new book, Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face-and What to Do About It. "What is different today is that the cost of denial has become so high. We are living in a less forgiving world than we once did." We asked Tedlow to discuss how denial can cripple a company, and what can be done about it...
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Sharpening your skills: Managing the economic crisis
A series of questions about improving business skills in a crisis and the HBS Working Knowledge articles that answer them:

Sharpening Your Skills dives into the HBS Working Knowledge archives to bring together articles on ways to improve your business skills. Questions to be Answered:
  • How do I lead in a crisis?
  • What roles does the Board play?
  • What are the emotional needs of people who lay off fellow employees?
  • What do companies lose when they cut corporate giving?...
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How to get people to change
Positive feelings and feedback go a long way to increasing productivity and employee retention.

Book Cover: Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Courtesy Random House
Authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath discuss their new book on change management. Forget PowerPoint. If you want to influence employee or customer behavior, charts and data typically won't cut it, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the 2007 bestseller Made to Stick and the new Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. In Switch, the Heath brothers explore ways to manage big changes in life and in business. "Change is hard, because we're schizophrenic," says Chip, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. (Dan is a senior fellow at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.) "Part of us may want to change, but part of us has this emotional connection to the way that we've always done things." In researching their new book, the Heaths consulted experts on subjects as diverse as how to diet and how to change society. "Time and again, we found the same principles coming up, whether it was individual change or organizational change or societal change," says Chip. Those principles, he says, involve...
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[Meetings] A little less conversation
Don’t waste time overcommunicating, it cuts productivity and costs money. Keep teams small for more efficiency.

Cross-functional or Dysfunctional? On every project, one person should be in charge of the flow of communication. You want the decision-making process to look like Figure A -- not Figure B.


















Have you ever invited employees to a meeting just so they wouldn't feel left out? If so, you may be an overcommunicator. When was the last time you scheduled a meeting and invited eight people instead of the three people who really needed to be there simply because you didn't want anyone to feel left out? When was the last time you sent a companywide e-mail that said something like, "Hey, attention coffee drinkers: If you finish the pot, make another!" even though there is actually only one person who violates this rule (and she's your co-founder)? When was the last time you... These are symptoms of a common illness: too much communication. Now, we all know that communication is very important, and that many organizational problems are caused by a failure to communicate. Most people try to solve this problem by increasing the amount of communication: cc'ing everybody on an e-mail, having long meetings and inviting the whole staff, and asking for everyone's two cents before implementing a decision. But communications costs add up faster than you think,...
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You've been yelped
A resourceful pair create a dot com company for customer reviews that becomes a source of agony for small companies and entrepreneurs.

The Founders and Their Army Russel Simmons (left) and Jeremy Stoppelman, plus a few of the hundreds of thousands of Yelpers who post regularly on their site.


















Yelp, the rambunctious and burgeoning customer-review website, can make or break a small business. It can also drive a business owner slightly insane. On October 30, 2009, Diane Goodman logged on to Yelp.com. Like many business owners in cities across the country, Goodman had lately developed a small obsession with the website, which allows customers to publish critiques of local businesses. She had been visiting her company's Yelp page every day to see what her customers had written about her bookstore. Goodman found reading Yelp reviews to be emotionally wrenching -- but she also couldn't look away...
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How to protect your reputation online
Stay active on social media web sites to keep your reputation where you want it to be.

With Google real-time search and sites like Facebook and Twitter continuing to grow, it's more necessary than ever to monitor your online reputation. Here are steps you can take to ensure you're viewed professionally -- and advice on what to do if you're associated with harmful content. Several months ago when Twitter introduced its lists feature, social media consultant Allen Mireles checked to see which lists included her. "I wanted to see if the lists I was on were a reflection of how I wanted to be viewed on Twitter," she says. She found two surprises: A porn star had included her on a list and another user listed her under "people I've seen naked"—a surprise, she says, because she had never met the person. Mireles responded immediately. First she blocked the porn star on Twitter, which automatically removed her from the list. Then she sent a direct message to the owner of the other list and explained that she uses Twitter for business purposes and didn't think it was appropriate to include her on it. "He very kindly took me off the list and apologized, saying he had been trying to make some of his lists 'more interesting,'" Mireles says. Joe Laratro, president of Tandem Interactive, an online marketing solutions company, experienced a similar situation...
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More BlackBerry battery tips: 7 ways to make your smartphone last longer
Keep backup batteries and chargers besides knowing what your battery power needs are.

Forbes Icon  Must-have iPhone travel apps
Four fun apps for anyone on the go for under $1.00 each!
New York Times Icon  The 3 Facebook settings every user should check now
Don’t give up your privacy rights by allowing Facebook to control your settings, control your own.
BlackBerry devices used to be renowned for their impressively long battery lives. But with all the features and functionalities packed into modern RIM smartphones during the past couple of years, some of that battery longevity has vanished. CIO.com's Al Sacco offers up seven advanced tips that he regularly employs to ensure his BlackBerry keeps on ticking...and ticking and ticking. Ever wondered why your BlackBerry seems to get different battery life than your fellow smartphone users' devices? How long your BlackBerry smartphone lasts on a single charge depends on a variety of factors. Your specific device model, size of the battery pack, whether or not your handheld uses 3G networks, if it employs Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, and whether or not you're using it in a strong coverage area are just a few parts of the equation. So how do you ensure that you're using your BlackBerry battery as effectively as possible? The true key to maximizing your BlackBerry battery-life is...
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Every CEO must be a chief listening officer
Understand your customers and your employees.

Harnessing the power of the self-fulfilling prophecy
As a leader you can help create a broader vision for your employees and raise them to new levels.
If it was good enough for A. G. Lafley, it's good enough for you. When A. G. Lafley stepped down last year as chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble, he received widespread and well-deserved praise from other business leaders and the media. During his eight-year run, Procter & Gamble's top-down, insular culture became far more collaborative and innovative. Revenues at the consumer products company doubled. How did the soft-spoken, modest Lafley make that happen? His superb ability as a strategist and healthy tolerance for risk helped, and so did his belief in the transformative power of marketing and design. Underlying all that, however, was his commitment to one of the most overlooked and undervalued of leadership skills:...
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How to be a master public speaker
Public speaking can be easy, if you use the right tricks.

Three easy rules that can make all the difference. She was just shy of her 17th birthday. I was a year younger. It was my first time, but she was like a pro. When she started, my back stiffened and even my knuckles started to sweat. You see, my classmate and I were giving a presentation to our entire school. I was so nervous I had to clamp my hands to the lectern to steady my shaking body. My only saving grace was so that no one heard the guttural sounds of fear groaning out of my mouth, because I was shaking so far from the microphone. Afterward, I was so embarrassed that I set myself a new goal. I would overcome my fear and become a proficient public speaker. I took a course in speaking, trained hard and even spoke in competitions at local Rotary clubs. Now I travel the world from the U.S. to Thailand to Amsterdam doing several dozen paid speaking engagements a year. Public speaking is...
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The shadowy science of sex addiction
Medical research and theories about sex addiction as a disease.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods' philandering has talking heads talking about compulsive sex. But research on sex addiction is fuzzy. Nobody really knows for sure--though you can certainly get treated for sex addiction if you think you have it. Last year, X-Files and Californication star David Duchovny checked into rehab for sexual addiction. After a string of women went public with claims they were mistresses of golfer Tiger Woods (the best-paid athlete on the planet and a married man), it took only days for talking heads to speculate that Woods might be an addict and need rehab. The idea of sex as a drug is deeply seductive to journalists and reality TV producers. But the idea of being addicted to sex is actually quite controversial. No such diagnosis is even recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), psychiatry's Bible. The DSM-IV assiduously avoids the word "addiction," preferring to talk about dependence, withdrawal and compulsion. A new condition, called...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 06:05

Volume 10 | Issue 4

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 10, Issue 4     
In This Issue:

New York Times Icon  We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint
Business Week Icon  Ten Management Practices to Axe
         Your] biggest talent-management challenges
Business Week Icon  Get Yourself Some Executive Charisma
         Turn yourself into CEO material. Now
Business Week Icon  The Most Overpaid [& Underpaid] CEOs
Business Week Icon  Gadgets to Help You Get Fit
Talent Management Icon  Do Your Leaders Have Personality?
Forbes Icon  Why the Highest Price Isn't the Best Price
Inc Icon  The Case, and the Plan, for the Virtual Company
         Creating a turnaround strategy
Inc Icon  How I Did It: Jerry Murrell, Five Guys Burgers and Fries
         Driven to distraction
Business Management Daily Icon  Why Introverted Leaders Rule

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
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Bookmark and Share

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint
The US military is hooked on PowerPoint, for good or bad, for richer or poorer...

Confusing PowerPoint Chart























Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like a bowl of spaghetti. "When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war," General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter. The slide has since bounced around the Internet as an example of a military tool that has spun out of control. Like an insurgency, PowerPoint has crept into the daily lives of military commanders and reached the level of near obsession. The amount of time expended on PowerPoint, the Microsoft presentation program of computer-generated charts, graphs and bullet points, has made it a running joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan. "PowerPoint makes us stupid," ...
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Ten Management Practices to Axe
There is a plethora of advice out there, here are some that should be removed from the list.

[Your] biggest talent-management challenges
You must first define what talent you need before you go looking for it.
So you've studied all the best sellers about how to make yourself into a better manager? Well, you can't believe everything you read. Every few years, a management book or philosophy emerges to change our thinking about the best ways to lead employees. From The One Minute Manager to Who Moved My Cheese?, new and revived leadership concepts have shaped the way we organize, evaluate, inspire, and reward team members. With so many competing management theories in the mix, some ill-conceived practices were bound to take hold-and indeed, many have. Here's our list of the 10 most brainless and injurious:...
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Get Yourself Some Executive Charisma
Train yourself to be the CEO you want to be.

Turn yourself into CEO material. Now
Ten tips on making yourself into a CEO
The special charm that makes leaders so effective and appealing isn't a birthright. You can work at acquiring it. Even at a round table, someone sits at the head. And that applies in every occupation. It's not always the brightest in the business specialty or the one who produces measurable results. It's someone who is memorable, impressive, credible, genuine, trusted, liked, cool, calm, collected, comfortable, and confident-er, charismatic. Executive charisma is the determining factor behind why two people who enter similar careers with comparable intelligence, ambition, education, experience, and competence achieve vastly different levels of success. Armed with executive charisma, you can sit at the head of the round table and have influence even when you have no power. Executive charisma is...
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The Most Overpaid [& Underpaid] CEOs
Where would your CEO fall in this list based on performance and success?

Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. Treasury Dept.'s pay czar, recently reduced executive salaries at government-controlled American International Group and General Motors to reflect company performance. In much of Corporate America, as Bloomberg Businessweek first reported in its Apr. 5 issue, no such realignment took place. Graef Crystal, a pioneer in compensation consulting, analyzed the 2009 pay of 271 chief executive officers. His findings? "Simply put," Crystal says, "companies don't pay for performance." Although there is no standard method for analyzing compensation, Crystal, 76, developed the formulas he uses over the course of 30 years advising companies such as...
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Gadgets to Help You Get Fit
Keep track of your fitness level and needs with these helpful gadgets.

Graphic: Multiple gadtgets for fitness























There are a variety of wearable fitness trackers, scales, sleep monitors, and other health-monitoring gadgets available. Businessweek.com asked corporate wellness experts and active employees to name some of their favorites. The following products use sensors that measure users' weight, physical activity, caloric intake, and sleep. Many are wearable and connect to a PC to create a Web record of the information they record. Read on to see which might be right for you...
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Do Your Leaders Have Personality?
Being the leader and being a leader are two different things. Which one are you?

In the wake of scandal and economic crisis, even the most firmly rooted traditions of corporate leadership are in upheaval. Where the old guard once ruled from lofty offices and stuffy boardrooms, new leadership is emerging from the trenches of a more diverse, global and younger demographic. Fresh ideas are the new currency, and a person's ability to generate those ideas and express them clearly is directly related to personality. Who they are will determine not only how they lead, but also the overall effectiveness of those around them. From leading-edge tech companies, such as...
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Why the Highest Price Isn't the Best Price
Make sure you get it right when pricing, or risk losing profits.

How to reduce your cost of sales
Using a across the board cuts do the most damage to your sales force.
If charging the highest price isn't the best strategy, then what is? Most companies charge what the market will bear. In other words, they charge as high a price as they can. But that isn't the best strategy in two respects. First, it neglects other potential means of profiting from delivering superior value--means that could result in greater overall profit. And second, it weakens...
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The Case, and the Plan, for the Virtual Company
Look before you leap when going virtual for the many pros and cons of this strategy.

Graphic: Office in bed anyone?
Creating a turnaround strategy
Get your teams together and market your plan to them, then produce!






















How smart entrepreneurs are finding money and happiness in an office-free life. On a chilly Monday morning in early February, 30-odd reporters, editors, designers, and the rest of the sundry crew that makes this magazine gathered in a conference room to discuss our next issue. These monthly meetings are typically a time to talk about how stories are coming along, plan art assignments, and make small talk. But this meeting was different, because the issue we were planning -- the physical magazine you are holding in your hands -- would be produced by a company that was not itself entirely physical. When our meeting concluded, we walked back to our desks, packed our things, and headed home. Our experiment had officially begun. We were temporarily turning Inc. into a virtual company...
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How I Did It: Jerry Murrell, Five Guys Burgers and Fries
When quality it the top priority, nothing else matters.

The Real Deal His restaurants are Spartan. And Jerry Murrell never advertises. Instead, he prefers to spend on worker bonuses and fresh ingredients.
Driven to distraction
Worry about real issues, don't invent them, they only get in the way.






















Along with his sons, Jerry Murrell of Five Guys Burgers and Fries built a 570-store chain that enjoys a cult following. Sell a really good, juicy burger on a fresh bun. Make perfect French fries. Don't cut corners. That's been the business plan since Jerry Murrell and his sons opened their first burger joint in 1986. When they began selling franchises in 2002, the family had just five stores in northern Virginia. Today, there are 570 stores across the U.S. and Canada, with 2009 sales of $483 million. Overseeing the opening of about four new restaurants a week, the Murrells are proof that flipping burgers doesn't have to be a dead-end job...
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Why Introverted Leaders Rule
If you are an introvert, you belong in the C suite!

There's good reason why 40% of executives describe themselves as introverts. From discount broker Charles Schwab to Avon chief executive Andrea Jung, "innies" possess these traits of quiet leadership:...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:59

Volume 10 | Issue 5

ExecWatchSM
High level information
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Volume 10, Issue 5     
In This Issue:

Chief Executive Online Icon  Are you blind to the Truth?
Business Week Icon  An Innovation Needs Three Parents
         Three sins against innovation
Business Week Icon  Your Office Chair is Killing You
     The HR Specialist Icon  What has four legs and hurts your employees every day?
Wall Street Journal Icon  How Dad’s Yelling Can Spawn [Your] Office Tyrant
Management Issues Icon  From [Your] Blind Spots to Strategic Intelligence
Forbes Icon  The Physiology of Leadership
     Business Management Daily Icon  A laugh a minute helps you lead
CFO Icon  13 Bankers versus One Professor
Inc Icon  9 Ways to Make Your Business More Attractive to Investors
Inc Icon  How to Communicate in a Crisis
Business Management Daily Icon  3 Reasons to Fire a Prima Donna

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
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Are you blind to the Truth?
Learn how to take off your own blinders.

Black and White Photo: Blind man on RR tracks in front of a steam engine
Seven strategies for ferreting out critical feedback you’re not getting. When the auto industry titans headed down to Washington on their private jets to ask for federal bailout funds in November 2008, it wasn’t lack of intelligence that led to the faux pas. "How smart do you have to be?" says Richard Tedlow, author of the forthcoming book, Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face - and what to Do About It, and professor of business management at the Harvard Business School. "I’m sure these people all scored very high on their SATs. It’s not a question of I.Q. It’s a question of being able to see the world from somebody else’s point of view, which is very hard to do when the whole world is conspiring to tell you what you want to hear." Turns out that’s true all over,...
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An Innovation Needs Three Parents
Communication is core to link all of these needs together.

Three Sins Against Innovation
Keep your "idea monkeys" happy and going in the right direction to get the most out of their expertise.
To see a wonderful solution realized to the max, you need one parent for the insight, one for the idea, and one for communication. As you will remember, we are big fans of idea parenting. We believe the people who come up with a clever innovation idea should be the ones to shepherd it through the entire execution process and help introduce it into the marketplace. That way, the insight won’t get diluted along the way and we can make sure that the new product, service, or business model gets all the loving support it needs during development. And we are also big believers in drawing the...
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Your Office Chair is Killing You
New research on an old friend shows how it hurts your back and your health.

The HR Specialist Icon   What has four legs and hurts your employees every day?
Here are a few tip on How to work around your chair.
Meet public enemy No. 1 in today’s workplace. If you’re reading this article sitting down-the position we all hold more than any other, for an average of 8.9 hours a day-stop and take stock of how your body feels. Is there an ache in your lower back? A light numbness in your rear and lower thigh? Are you feeling a little down? These symptoms are all normal, and they’re not good. They may well be caused by doing precisely what you’re doing-sitting. New research in the diverse fields of epidemiology, molecular biology, biomechanics, and physiology is converging toward a startling conclusion:...
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How Dad’s Yelling Can Spawn [Your] Office Tyrant
You are a product of your childhood, but you do not need to stay that way...

Photo: Lars Dalgaard has a ’no-jerks’ policy at his San Mateo, Calif. software firm
Lars Dalgaard used to act like a jerk at work. As a young manager rising through the ranks years ago at a consumer-products company, he was so brutally blunt with subordinates that a coach pulled him aside and told him to be more considerate, says Mr. Dalgaard, founder and chief executive of SuccessFactors, a San Mateo, Calif.-based software company. He has since realized that an old family pattern was at work, he says. His father was so tough and blunt with him when he was small that he was behaving the same way with others, trying to be "the hero CEO, the Rambo" who ignored people’s feelings. Now that he is conscious of the problem, he says he has changed his ways. He has even instituted a "no-jerks" policy at his company, banning similar behavior by others. We have all worked with at least one office pain in the neck, someone whose...
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From [Your] Blind Spots to Strategic Intelligence
We all have blind spots, but here is how you can expose yours...

Nothing breeds success like success, at least according to the old proverb. However, this is not always the case when it comes to business growth. Many organizations, from Polaroid to Sony, have become victims of their own success: they achieved enormous growth by introducing new products - the Polaroid camera, the Sony Walkman - but as the marketplace matured this growth slowed and they were left looking for alternative paths. Few companies can sustain product growth for more than a couple of years. As this slows, many turn instead to acquisitions. This is a risky strategy as 50-65 percent of acquisitions actually destroy value - just look at what happened with AOL and Time Warner. Instead, organizations which want to maintain business growth over longer periods of time need to extend their thinking to include services, solutions or families of products. To get this right, they must start using "strategic intelligence" - a coordinated combination of research,...
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The Physiology of Leadership
Maybe you were born with it, but maybe not. You can develop it!

Business Management Daily Icon   A laugh a minute helps you lead
Express your confidence through laughter.
Unlocking the brain chemistry of learning new skills. I was excited as soon as I saw the title of Daniel Coyle’s book, The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How (Bantam, 256 pp., $25). In my own first book, Decide to Lead, I put forward the idea that leadership is not a trait you’re born with but a skill you build, through a series of decisions you make as you respond to defining moments in your life. I based Decide to Lead on my research into the lives of some 100 great leaders in history. Coyle goes further, providing a scientific basis for the concept. He built The Talent Code on scientific discoveries involving...
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13 Bankers versus One Professor
The politics surrounding 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, by Simon Johnson.

The author of a new book on financial reform makes a case for breaking up the nation’s largest banks. "This is about power and control and who decides your future," Simon Johnson warned for at least the second time on Friday. He had just returned to the campus of MIT’s Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having been in New York hours earlier to deliver a similar message on The Today Show. Both appearances were part of an intensive launch of his latest book, 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, co-authored with former McKinsey consultant James Kwak. The "13 bankers" of the book’s title refers to the financial-industry luminaries who were summoned to the White House on March 27, 2009, in a mostly futile effort to enlist their help in solving the very economic crisis they had been so instrumental, in Johnson’s view, in creating. "We’re all in this together," President Obama told the assembled bankers. The statement was more apt than Obama intended, Johnson contends. Wall Street bankers have become...
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9 Ways to Make Your Business More Attractive to Investors
So you are ready to grow? Know what you are getting into and need to do it right.

A u-shaped magnet attracting a lot of paper clips.
A private equity investor outlines how an entrepreneur can position his or her business to attract potential backers. The decision to bring outside investors into your company will be one of the most important decisions of your life. Raising money through angel investors, private equity, or venture capital can put you on a path to great expansion and market share. Against that, you must weigh the loss of control you will incur, and the increase in oversight you will most certainly experience. Still, for many companies-particularly those with serious growth ambitions-outside funding is a necessary precondition for success. So how can you prepare your business so that it will be attractive to potentail investors? Here are 9 suggestions:...
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How to Communicate in a Crisis
Basic management plans can improve any crisis, and help you recover from a potential tragedy.

Photo: Two ostriches with their heads in the sand.
A guide to emerging with reputation intact after a crisis threatens your company. Most business owners behave suspiciously like ostriches when it comes to the topic of crisis planning. Either they think nothing bad will ever happen to (or around) their business or they assume that whatever the crisis is, it will be so unexpected that planning won’t do much good. Wrong! Particularly in today’s 24/7 world of communications, where Twitter means that you might find out about a problem FROM your customers or clients, being prepared to address a challenge quickly in a crisis is the key to maintaining trust. And though technology means that the ways you can communicate will continue to change, there are some hard and fast rules about communicating in a crisis that will always hold true...
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3 Reasons to Fire a Prima Donna
You will always get more from your team than you will from one person who shuts down your team.

If you’re a leader who employs a prima donna (one who produces great results but alienates everyone), what should you do? It’s simple. Bite the bullet and fire that person. Here are three reasons why you should:...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:42

Volume 10 | Issue 6

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 10, Issue 6     
In This Issue:

Success Magazine Icon  Jim Koch Brews Passion into Sam Adams
Chief Executive Online Icon  Best and Worst States for Business 2010
Business Week Icon  Five Ways to Ensure Mediocrity in Your Organization
         Return of the right brain
Business Week Icon  How to Stop Multitasking
Business Week Icon  IRS Wants Suspect [Corporate] Deductions Spelled Out
         The IRS targets independent contractors
Wall Street Journal Icon  CEOs' Strategies Outlast Recession
Forbes Icon  How to Conquer Your E-Mail Inbox
Forbes Icon  Buffett: Tried to Block Derivatives Back in 1982
Forbes Icon  Don't Blame the Recovery When Your Best Employees Go
Forbes Icon  Why You Have To Be a Politician at Your Job
     Business Management Daily Icon  Managing your former peers
Forbes Icon  The Frightening Fragility of Your Reputation
Inc Icon  Why is Business Writing so Awful?

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Jim Koch Brews Passion into Sam Adams
How Jim Koch keeps his "small" business brewing in unexpected accomplishments.

Photo: Jim Koch in his beer celler
The Boston brewer defied the odds in creating the Samuel Adams brand, nurturing the U.S. craft beer industry in the process. Forty years ago, the legacy of five brewing generations seemed a dead end for Jim Koch. His father, whose roots reach back to Germany, had been squeezed out of the business as small local breweries throughout the United States were closing their doors and the industry's largest players focused on mass-produced, light beer. The future of craft beer appeared bleak. So Koch (pronounced Cook) enrolled in Harvard. After graduating, he worked for Outward Bound, coaching participants through new challenges, before returning to Harvard to earn advanced degrees in business and law. Then working as a corporate consultant, he noticed the most successful executives followed their passions. In 1984, he decided to buck the industry trend and...
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Best and Worst States for Business 2010
How does your state rank in this list?

Chief Executive Magazine Cover: Best and Worst States for Business 2010
Click here to visit the Best/Worst States 2010 Resource Center
More than 600 CEOs rated states on a wide range of criteria from taxation and regulation to workforce quality and living environment, in our sixth annual special report. In Chief Executive's annual survey of best and worst states for business, conducted in late January of this year, 651 CEOs across the U.S. again gave Texas top honors, closely followed by North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. They gave the booby prize for worst state to California, with New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts filling out the bottom five-a line-up virtually unchanged from last year. Florida and Georgia each dropped three places in the ranking, but remain in the top 10. Utah jumped six positions this year to sneak into the top 10 at No. 9. The business leaders were asked to draw upon their direct experience to rate each state in three general categories: taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. Within each category respondents graded states in five subcategories, as well as...
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Five Ways to Ensure Mediocrity in Your Organization
Treat your employees badly and they will walk out the door, no matter what the economic influences are.

Return of the right brain
Good business is more than spreadsheets and the bottom line.
The recession is no excuse for ignoring, misusing, or demeaning talent. But hey, if that's what you really want to do, follow these suggestions. The last time I checked, the U.S. led the world in productivity per employee. That's the good news. The bad news is that much, if not all, of that boost in productivity has come on the backs of workers, especially salaried types viewed by too many management teams as infinitely elastic resources. As one management consultant told me: "The average company takes better care of its copiers than it does its talent." Many chief executives use the tough competitive environment as a handy excuse to put off salary increases, tighten the screws on performance, and generally drop any pretense of creating a human-centered workplace. But the tough-economy picture has two sides. Only those companies that make the effort to keep their employees productive by treating them decently can expect to see continued productivity gains. Much of the workforce has tuned out, waiting for...
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How to Stop Multitasking
The benefits of NOT multitasking are many and important to your productivity.

Harvard Business Review Logo
Doing too many things at once is like giving up ten IQ points-and a bunch of other scary stuff, warns Peter Bregman. During a conference call with the executive committee of a nonprofit board on which I sit I decided to send an email to a client. I know, I know. You'd think I'd have learned. Last week I wrote about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. Multitasking is dangerous. And so I proposed a way to stop. But when I sent that email, I wasn't in a car. I was safe at my desk. What could go wrong? Well, I sent the client the message. Then I had to send him another one, this time with the attachment I had forgotten to append. Finally, my third email to him explained why that attachment wasn't what he was expecting. When I eventually refocused on the call, I realized I hadn't heard a question the Chair of the Board had asked me. I swear I wasn't smoking anything. But I might as well have been...
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IRS Wants Suspect [Corporate] Deductions Spelled Out
A potential change in tax law represents a change in fundamental thinking.

The IRS targets independent contractors
If you are a small business who hires contractors you want to know about this IRS audit plan.
Companies fear the proposed rule will trigger more audits. If you’re reading this article sitting down-the position we all hold more than any other, for an average of 8.9 hours a day-stop and take stock of how your body feels. Is there an ache in your lower back? A light numbness in your rear and lower thigh? Are you feeling a little down? These symptoms are all normal, and they’re not good. They may well be caused by doing precisely what you’re doing-sitting. New research in the diverse fields of epidemiology, molecular biology, biomechanics, and physiology is converging toward a startling conclusion:...
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CEOs' Strategies Outlast Recession
Wise spending cuts and new sales strategies are lasting longer than the recession.

Photo: Bayer North American CEO Greg Babe.
The recession forced many chief executives to find new ways to run their business-and many are relying on those changes to help fuel growth and cost savings in the recovery. During the slump, Regus PLC, a provider of outsourced office space, launched more lower-priced services after customers cut spending. A Bayer AG division sought new business in alternative energy when its traditional car and construction markets dried up. Duke Energy Corp. solicited employee ideas for cost cuts when demand for energy fell. Now, all of those initiatives are outlasting the recession, executives say. "They're not going back to the old way," says Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group. Regus, which has over 400 locations in the U.S. and others in Europe, hoped at the beginning of the recession that corporate clients would use more of its office space and video-conferencing facilities as firms slashed travel budgets and downsized their own offices. But that strategy didn't pan out...
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How to Conquer Your E-Mail Inbox
Here is one technique that does not require you to use a specific Email program.

Get Mail screen shot
In Pictures: How To Conquer Your E-Mail Inbox
Divide notes into three categories and keep those requiring work in a ''to-do'' folder. I love e-mail. I love its efficiency, its clarity and the fact that it creates a detailed, searchable record. E-mail also makes me a little nuts. If I'm away from it for a couple of hours, messages pile up. When I confront more than 50, I feel a combination of depression, weariness and low-grade panic, until I make that "unread" number disappear.My method: Scan the pile for urgent notes from bosses, sources, friends or family, attending to the most important first. Then I go through the rest quickly, starting from the bottom. I delete junk. When I need to answer, I do so right away. If my response requires time, I make a note on my to-do list for later. This strategy works fine, but I figured there must be someone who knows better than I how to handle the e-mail inbox, which many workers describe as their greatest obstacle to efficiency on the job. So I turned to an e-mail expert, Mark Hurst, 37, business consultant and author of the book Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-Mail Overload...
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Buffett: Tried to Block Derivatives Back in 1982
Warren Buffett's very clear and detailed warning was ignored by Congress

The meltdowns of 1987 and May 6's flash crash might never have happened if he'd succeeded in getting Congress to listen. "In my judgment, a very high percentage, probably at least 95% and more likely much higher, of the activity generated by these contracts will be strictly gambling in nature." --Warren Buffett to Hon. John Dingell, March 5, 1982. The history of the volatile stock market, Wall Street's obscene profits and the risks of a systemic financial breakdown might have been radically altered if Warren Buffett, then a successful but not widely recognized investor, had succeeded in convincing Congress not to approve the first derivative contract, for the most widely used stock market index, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Forbes has obtained a copy of Buffett's March 5, 1982, letter to Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., laying out the risks to the nation that were, of course, largely ignored. In the letter Buffett modestly refers to...
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Don't Blame the Recovery When Your Best Employees Go
Either make a deal that you can stick to; or expect your employees to bail for a more honest contract.

As the economy improves, anxiety about workforce loyalty and retention grows. The concern is justified--but it shouldn't be new. The world was in a recession the year I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree, so I got a terrible job. For that I am forever grateful. I accepted what had to be the last management training position in the history of the American textile industry, working for about six months at Cannon Mills in the Time-Life Building in New York City. My training consisted primarily of folding towels in the showroom. Folding towels all day wasn't the worst of it. The real problem: Cannon became Fieldcrest-Cannon shortly after I joined, and at age 22 I suddenly found myself at Ground Zero of the post-merger downsizing of a perfectly nice group of middle-aged managers, all men, who had thought until that moment that they had jobs for life...
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Why You Have To Be a Politician at Your Job
Being a good politician makes you a good leader and vice versa.

Business Management Daily Icon   Managing your former peers
Three great tips for a role change that you may be promoted into.
To be an effective leader you must acknowledge political reality. In the office the word politics makes many of us think of favoritism, back-stabbing and self-promotion at its worst. But workplace politics is present in all organizations and probably always will be. Avoiding or ignoring it limits you and your organization. To be an effective leader you must acknowledge political reality in your organization and develop your political skill. Politics, at its core, is neutral. There is good political skill, which most people appreciate, and there is bad political skill, which causes a lot of dissension. People who think badly of politics often associate it with negative personal experiences. Someone got a raise that didn't seem justified or a promotion for which better candidates were bypassed. When politics works to a person's advantage, however, they are more likely to see it as a justified result of skill and hard work. What is political skill? We define it, based on...
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The Frightening Fragility of Your Reputation
Your and your company's reputations are closely tied together.

It takes a lifetime to build and can vanish in a moment. I imagine every one of us has done something we wish we hadn't, at some time or another. Often it's just an embarrassing moment. It can be a learning experience from which we move on as a better person, particularly when we're young and expected to learn by doing and make course corrections along the way. That's just part of growing up. As we progress through our lives and into adulthood, however, we develop patterns that follow us. We become known for who we are and what we stand for, for what we do and what we don't do. We develop a reputation that can make us flattered and admired or can close doors and limit our options. The word "reputation" is defined by Webster's as "a commonly held opinion of a person or group's character."... [Good reputations, however, don't always last forever. They can vanish in a flash. We see it...]
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Why is Business Writing so Awful?
Here are a few examples of good writing that brings in the right customers at the start instead of the bland everyday standards for the masses.

Graphic: An assembly line of 'ACME' letters


















Nearly every company relies on the written word to woo customers. So why is most business writing so numbingly banal? What's bad, boring, and barely read all over? Business writing. If you could taste words, most corporate websites, brochures, and sales materials would remind you of stale, soggy rice cakes: nearly calorie free, devoid of nutrition, and completely unsatisfying. One of my favorite phrases in the business world is full-service solutions provider. A quick search on Google finds at least 47,000 companies using that one. That's full-service generic. There's more. Cost effective end-to-end solutions brings you about 95,000 results. Provider of value-added services nets you more than 600,000 matches. Exactly which services are sold as not adding value? Who writes this stuff? Worse, who reads it and approves it? What does it say when...
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Do you have a friend that would like to receive ExecWatchsm? Perhaps you know a peer within your organization, or associate at a partner company that would benefit from applying to receive this publication. Inviting a friend to experience the benefits of joining the BusinessWatch Network is easy! Just FW: this newsletter to the person you know who may have an interest and ask them to click here http://www.businesswatchnetwork.com Your friend will be glad you did!

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from ExecWatchsm simply change your status for $EMAIL, or send a letter requesting opt-off to: The BusinessWatch Network Privacy Mailbox, 1321, Marblehead, MA. 01945

DISCLAIMER: ExecWatchsm and the BusinessWatch Networksm are service marks of DMS. All other trademarks or service marks contained in this email are the property of their respective owners. At the time of publication, all links in this e-mail functioned properly. However, since many links point to sites other than businesswatchnetwork.com, some links may become invalid as time passes.

DMA Member Logo DMS Inc. supports the DMA Privacy Promise and Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice. We are committed to the proper use of email and to protecting consumers from fraudulent or inappropriate offers. Privacy Policy
Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:37

Volume 10 | Issue 7

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 10, Issue 7     
In This Issue:

Forbes Icon  Meet the Fastest Growing Company Ever
Forbes Icon  Five Ways to Boost Your Cross-Cultural Agility
Forbes Icon  How to Make Your Blog Get Real Attention
Business Week Icon  The Man Who Makes your iPhone
Business Week Icon  How to Tell You're Losing Your Integrity
Business Week Icon  Nine Rules for Rebooting Your Business
Business Week Icon  Crisis Management Advice for Big Shots
Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge Icon  Yes, You Can Raise Prices in a Downturn
         Executives zero in on pricing
CIO Icon  How Steve Jobs Beats Presentation Panic
Inc Icon  Building a Bootstrapping Culture
Inc Icon  10 Things You Should Never Micromanage

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Meet the Fastest Growing Company Ever
A recipe for success at Groupon: deliver the promise of the web.

A proud Andrew Mason stands outside his office building in Chicago
Andrew Mason figured out how to inject hysteria into the process of bargain hunting on the Web. The result is an overnight success story called Groupon. At least Mark Zuckerberg wrote a few lines of computer code at Harvard before he left to launch Facebook. Now Andrew Mason, a relaxed and lanky 29-year-old music major from Northwestern, has managed to build the fastest-growing company in Web history. Groupon represents what the dot-com boom was supposed to be all about: huge sales, easy profits and solid connection between bricks-and-mortar retailers and online consumers. Groupon, a name that blends "group" and "coupon," presents an online audience with...
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Five Ways to Boost Your Cross-Cultural Agility
You do not have to travel first, but you do have to practice at being culturally aware.

It's a necessity in the global economy. Geographic borders are increasingly irrelevant, but cultural differences remain very real--and they often get in the way of effective leadership. When leaders operate with culturally limited perspectives, the result is missed opportunities, poor performance, frail relationships and weak teams. In contrast, leaders who are culturally agile are able to respond to and perform well in varied and unfamiliar cultural contexts. They successfully engage a diversity of perspectives, learn new processes and foster effective collaboration. How can you boost your cultural agility? Training sessions, language lessons, books and personal coaches do help leaders acquire the knowledge they need to be able to behave in a culturally appropriate manner. But information is not always enough. To develop real cultural agility,...
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How to Make Your Blog Get Real Attention
Good bloging is all about customer service, not advertizing.

One blog page that stands out from the rest
In Pictures: How To Make Your Blog Get Real Attention
Today everyone can have a voice online. Here are tips for standing out from the crowd. Free, user-friendly blogging software has turned the Web into a virtual soapbox. But for everyone from lone individuals to small business owners to chief executives, writing a successful blog is about getting the word out there and actually being seen by people--and that means serving readers, not bombarding them with marketing material. The most significant way to develop a loyal online following is by creating...
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The Man Who Makes your iPhone
Foxconn rebuilds it reputation and its workforce's ego after 11 suicides reveal social discontent.

Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:33

Volume 10 | Issue 8

ExecWatchSM
High level information
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Volume 10, Issue 8     
In This Issue:

Chief Executive Online Icon  How Global Is Your Senior Team?
Forbes Icon  Today You Can Only Be a Leader by Creating Leaders
Business Week Icon  How the Chief Narcissism Officer Decides
Business Week Icon  Be Your Own Executive Coach
Business Week Icon  Getting the Best Out of Your Creative People
Business Week Icon  Growing With Your 'Best Customers'
Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge Icon  Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It
Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge Icon  Turning [Your] Employees into Problem Solvers
Harvard Business School, Working Knowledge Icon  Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would You Hire?
Business Management Daily Icon  10 Quick Tips for Blackberry Users
Inc Icon  How to Manage a One-Person Sales Force

If you enjoy this newsletter, read more in our Archive and Explore more Topics and Events
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How Global Is Your Senior Team?
If you are trying to sell to a world culture, you want people who understand world cultures on your team.

How Global Is Your Senior Team? If more and more of your revenue and profits are coming from outside the U.S., should the composition of your top team reflect this?
If more and more of your revenue and profits are coming from outside the U.S., should the composition of your top team reflect this? Shivan S. Subramaniam is the quintessence of the modern American CEO. O.K., his name doesn't read like "Sam Walton" or "Warren Buffett" or even "Howard Schultz," but he and his senior management team at commercial insurer FM Global in blue collar Johnston, R.I., are the face of tomorrow's U.S. multinational corporation. Maybe even the face of today. Subramaniam is of Indian descent. Vice Chairman Ruud Bosman hails from The Netherlands. Senior vice president of the international division Ken Davey is from the United Kingdom, as is Chris Johnson, senior vice president of marketing and enterprise learning. Other senior team members, like CFO Jeff Burchill, were born in the U.S., but have served multiple, long stints overseas. Of the 11 most senior executives in the organization, seven are foreign nationals. A venerable company that traces its heritage to 1835 as an insurer of factories, office buildings and other business property, FM Global today has 60 offices worldwide and annual revenues of $4.6 billion. Until the modern era, however, its senior management team looked like...
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Today You Can Only Be a Leader by Creating Leaders
The world has changed into a place where leaders need to flourish by allowing others to lead with them.

Authors John Hagel and John Seely Brown
The age of getting people to do predefined jobs is over. What kind of leaders will we need to address the changes sweeping the global business landscape, the long-term changes that are fundamentally altering the way we do business? They will demand a whole new kind of leadership. The big shift over the coming decades will produce a much more challenging environment while opening up unparalleled opportunities. To turn challenges into opportunities, the new generation of leaders will need to address underlying realities of the big shift that include...
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How the Chief Narcissism Officer Decides
Studies into how narcissistic people think leads to revelations about how your company leaders may work.

In uncertain times, extremely confident executives can be invaluable assets or dangerous liabilities. Which one are you? Is one of the secrets of your success your willingness to seize opportunities others shy away from? Do you believe your company's performance depends largely on your personal gifts? If so, you could be a great leader . or a dangerously overconfident one. The difference depends on how those beliefs about yourself translate into the choices you make. As if a stunted economy weren't enough, sweeping government reforms such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act have sufficiently shaken the confidence of even the most tough-minded and self-assured executives. In a recent Accenture survey, nearly two-thirds of executives from financial service firms believed that Dodd-Frank will require them to...
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Be Your Own Executive Coach
Replace your cluttered emotions with good decision making by using these simple techniques.

How to give yourself the same sound advice that you are able to give others-and then act on it. In today's highly uncertain environment, wouldn't it be nice to have a wise adviser available to you 24/7 to help keep you, your team, and your organization on track? Sage guidance is more accessible than you think it is. It doesn't even require that you keep a high-priced executive coach on retainer. You could be just the adviser you've been looking for. Executive coaches perform two essential functions. First, they provide clients with...
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Getting the Best Out of Your Creative People
Providing proper limits produces the best innovations.

Don't tell them the sky's the limit, to think outside the box, or that anything is possible. Help them succeed by letting them know what the real constraints are. A CEO friend of ours recently complained about the difficulty of keeping creativity alive in his business during this difficult period. He had previously cut back on "discretionary" spending-such as development of new products and marketing plans-in order to survive the Great Recession, and he hasn't yet seen his company's revenues bounce back enough to invest heavily in future growth. We told him he was nuts-that creativity is even more important in times when sales are harder to come by and customers are less loyal. We also told him that two separate research studies (one by Bain, the other by Booz Allen) showed long ago that market share gains made during bad times are more likely to...
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Growing With Your 'Best Customers'
Your best customers are not static; they are an ever changing pool of opportunities.

Picking future winners is never easy. Companies with growth in mind must figure out where their next "best" customers will come from. A recent Google search of the phrase "best customers" yielded 506,000 results: There were links to articles, blogs, books, essays, news items, and reports on everything from identifying your best customers to "cloning" them. There's even one article-hold your breath-advising that it's important to pay attention to your best customers or someone else will. Another advises that "Screwing Your Best Customers Is a Mistake." Duh. Buried somewhere in this cacophony of the interesting, obvious, useful, and silly is an article I wrote in July 2009 for Businessweek.com: "Serving Customers in the Downturn." My conclusion then was that smart companies will continue to spend on their best, high-margin customers. What else is there to say? Actually, quite a bit. I'd especially like to elaborate on three points. First, that your customer base-including your "best customers"-is always...
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Power Posing: Fake It Until You Make It
Body language controls more than your message; it controls some of your hormones too!

"It's not about the content of the message, but how you're communicating it."
We can't be the alpha dog all of the time. Whatever our personality, most of us experience varying degrees of feeling in charge. Some situations take us down a notch while others build us up. New research shows that it's possible to control those feelings a bit more, to be able to summon an extra surge of power and sense of well-being when it's needed: for example, during a job interview or for a key presentation to a group of skeptical customers. "Our research has broad implications for people who...
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Turning [Your] Employees into Problem Solvers
Managers play a critical role in encouraging employees to solve problems.

Ten years ago, the Institute of Medicine published To Err is Human [PDF], a groundbreaking report that pushed the issue of medical errors into the public spotlight. That we all make mistakes was certainly nothing new: Operational failures occur across all industries. But the impact of errors in the context of the health-care industry drew instant attention. Preventable medical errors resulting in injury cost the industry somewhere between $9 billion and $15 billion a year, the report stated. Even more shockingly, by some measures the number of patient deaths attributed to operational failures annually in the United States equaled the crash of one fully loaded 747 airplane every one-and-a-half days. Since then, much research has focused on the underuse of incident-reporting systems. After all, the thinking went, a system used to collect and report incidents will only help an organization learn from its mistakes and lead to better safety results-to the extent that employees report information that can be used for process improvement. For incident-reporting systems to fulfill their promise, employees must use the system to "speak up" when they encounter a problem. Managers receive additional value when reporters speak up constructively by offering suggestions that facilitate process improvement. A Harvard research team recently set out to better understand what managers can do to encourage employees to speak up about problems, and to investigate how...
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Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would You Hire?
The answer from this large study is surprising.

When given the choice of whom to work with, people will pick one person over another for any number of reasons: the prestige of being associated with a star performer, for example, or the hope that spending time with a strategically placed superior will further their careers. But in most cases, people choose their work partners according to two criteria. One is competence at the job (Does Joe know what he's doing?). The other is likability (Is Joe enjoyable to work with?). Obviously, both things matter. Less obvious is how much they matter-and exactly how they matter. To gain some insight into these questions, we studied four organizations selected to reflect a wide range of attributes...
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10 Quick Tips for Blackberry Users
Make your Blackberry work for you!

Be honest with yourself: Are you really getting the most from your BlackBerry? Some people love it, but for you it's frustrating, costing you time and stress. Do you spend too much time trying to find e-mails, typing on a tiny keyboard and fixing little mistakes? Or worse - have they given you this phone and you really have no idea how to use it other than to make calls and check e-mails? Wish you could figure out more of its features? Well, no more! Now you can make your BlackBerry work harder - for you - so that you can get more done with less effort! You CAN take your proficiency beyond the basics to the next level - with a little help...
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How to Manage a One-Person Sales Force
Time is precious; use it to your advantage.

Photo: A One Person Office
Is your sales force an army of one (namely you)? If that's the case, here are 10 tips to make sure you do the job right. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, and that of director of sales is very often one of them. In fact, if you're a CEO and your company's sole salesperson, then welcome to the club - many small companies operate this way. But just beacuse a practice is commonplace does not mean it's easy. We put the word out that we were looking for advice on how to manage and balance the dual roles of CEO and salesperson and guess what? It took a whole train ride from New York City to Boston to wade through the responses. Here are the best of them:...
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Thursday, 13 October 2011 05:26

Volume 10 | Issue 9

ExecWatchSM
High level information
If you are having difficulty seeing this mail or images in it, you can view it in your Web browser.
Volume 10, Issue 9     
In This Issue:

Forbes Icon  WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Wants to Spill Your Corporate Secrets
Forbes Icon  How to Stop Procrastinating
Business Week Icon  Losing Your Team ... NFL Style
Business Week Icon  Steve Jobs' Last Boss Tells All
Business Week Icon  Networking Lessons from the Hollywood A-List
Success Magazine Icon  Eat to Look Lean
Computerworld Icon  Troubleshoot Your Apple iPad
         Running your home from your iPad
Wall Street Journal Icon  Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear into Retailers
Wall Street Journal Icon  Using a Board Seat as a Stepping Stone
Inc Icon  John Kotter on Selling Your Vision
Fast Company Icon  How to Tell When Your Boss is Lying: Cool New Study

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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Wants to Spill Your Corporate Secrets
Eliminate corruption or tighten security: Which direction will your company go in to stay out of WikiLeaks?

Over the last four years he has been so busy embarrassing various governments, from Washington to the corrupt Kenyan regime of Daniel arap Moi, that many forget the corporate scandals already on WikiLeaks' trophy wall. In January 2008 the site posted documents alleging that the Swiss bank Julius Baer hid clients' profits from even the Swiss government, concealing them in what seemed to be shell companies in the Cayman Islands. The bank filed a lawsuit against WikiLeaks for publishing data stolen from its clients. Baer later dropped the suit-but managed to stir up embarrassing publicity for itself. The next year WikiLeaks published documents from a pharma trade group implying that...
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How to Stop Procrastinating
Techniques to eliminate procrastination and increase your productivity.

A man procrastinating at his laptop
In Pictures: How To Stop Procrastinating
Do you keep putting off things you should be getting behind you? Here's what to do about it. Joseph R. Ferrari has spent his professional life studying procrastination. In 1985 as a student at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., he took a class called "Self-defeating Behaviors." He asked his teacher if procrastination had ever been studied in depth, and she said she thought so, but wasn't sure. He investigated and discovered that no one had taken a serious, thorough look at the subject, so he decided to tackle it himself. Twenty-five years later, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and dozens of academic studies and articles behind him, Ferrari is a psychology professor at...
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Losing Your Team ... NFL Style
Business teams behave very much like sports teams. Keep yours on the winning side.

The sacking of Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress serves as a cautionary tale for managers who want to capture their team members' respect. The announcement surprised no one. After a drubbing by the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings fired Coach Brad Childress 10 games into the season. It was a stunning reversal of fortune. A year earlier, the Vikings were an errant pass away from the Super Bowl. The team's win totals had increased each year under Childress, who was rewarded with a fat contract extension. Coming into 2010, Minnesota fans were buzzing about their stingy defense and ground-gobbling offense. Three months later, the Vikings were in disarray. What happened?...
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Steve Jobs' Last Boss Tells All
What past experiences have made Steve Jobs so successful?

Confessions of the last man to manage the singular inventor. Steve Jobs was 28 years old in 1983 and already recognized as one of the most innovative thinkers in Silicon Valley. The Apple (AAPL) board, though, was not ready to anoint him chief executive officer and picked PepsiCo (PEP) President John Sculley, famous for creating the Pepsi Challenge, to lead the company. Sculley helped increase Apple's sales from $800 million to $8 billion annually during his decade as CEO, but he also presided over Jobs' departure, which sent Apple into what Sculley calls its "near-death experience." In his first extensive interview on the subject, Sculley tells Cultofmac.com editor Leander Kahney how his partnership with Jobs...
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Networking Lessons from the Hollywood A-List
Put yourself on the A-List by connecting with the right people.

What celebrity social networks can teach you about increasing your effectiveness down here on Earth. Networking matters-but that truism, like so many others, verges on the meaningless. To what extent and what type of networking really takes someone to star status? Work I've done with Gilad Ravid of Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel on celebrity social networks helps to reveal some of the fundamentals of how elite talent pools organize themselves and provides some lessons we can take from them and apply to our own, decidedly less glamorous lives. [The celebrity network tells us about a particular type of talent and how this type of talent preserves its position, but understanding how talent works in Hollywood is a good proxy for understanding how talent works more generally...]
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Eat to Look Lean
Lose that extra belly by eating right, not by dieting.

When it comes to eating to look lean, there are really only three questions that need answers; What, When and How Much.

What
Each of your meals needs to include all three of the following components:
  1. Lean quality protein to repair and regenerate all the cells and tissues in the body (ex: chicken, turkey, fish, pork, beef, egg whites and low-fat dairy products)
  2. Clean carbs for energy and fiber (ex: all-natural and whole-grain sources, including rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, breads)
  3. Fruits and vegetables for nutrients and fiber
When
You must consider that your body can only...
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Troubleshoot your Apple iPad
Here is your help guide for when the most common things go wrong with your iPad.

The iPad is a great device, but it can occasionally go wrong.
Forbes Icon   Running your home from your iPad
New high tech luxury can be built into your home - for a price.
Tips and tricks for fixing problems and improving your experience. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with an iPad will know that -- like all computers -- it sometimes doesn't do what it's supposed to do. It could be a frozen screen, a system that overheats or a refusal to recharge. The result is the same: You have to figure out what's wrong with it and how to get it back on the straight and narrow. A major problem is that the iPad doesn't come with a detailed manual or any diagnostic software to figure out what's going on under the skin. The downloadable user guide (available as a PDF) and Apple's support site are good starting points, but even those resources are sometimes not enough when you have a possessed iPad. The iPad is a great device, but it can occasionally go wrong.What follows are some useful troubleshooting routines for the things that most often go wrong with an iPad, along with several tips and shortcuts for how to...
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Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear into Retailers
Mobile-phone apps force retail stores to change their marketing strategies.

A shopper using his iPhone to compare prices.
Tri Tang, a 25-year-old marketer, walked into a Best Buy Co. store in Sunnyvale, Calif., this past weekend and spotted the perfect gift for his girlfriend. Last year, he might have just dropped the $184.85 Garmin global positioning system into his cart. This time, he took out his Android phone and typed the model number into an app that instantly compared the Best Buy price to those of other retailers. He found that he could get the same item on Amazon.com Inc.'s website for only $106.75, no shipping, no tax. Mr. Tang bought the Garmin from Amazon right on the spot. "It's so useful," Mr. Tang says of his new shopping companion, a price comparison app called TheFind. He says he relies on it "to make sure I am getting the best price." Mr. Tang's smartphone reckoning represents a revolution in retailing...
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Using a Board Seat as a Stepping Stone
Serving on a Board can help you climb the corporate ladder quickly.

Denise Morrison, right, will succeed Campbell Soup Co. CEO Douglas Conant, left, when he leaves the company next year.
Victoria M. Holt, a senior vice president of PPG Industries Inc., quit late this summer to take command of Spartech Corp., where she previously was an outside director. "I hate to do this to you,'' she recalls telling PPG Chief Executive Charles E. Bunch during a meeting in his office. No wonder. Ms Holt left just three months after colleague William A. Wulfsohn resigned to run Carpenter Technology Corp., where he also had served on the board. Mr. Bunch wishes both "success in their new positions,'' a PPG spokesman says. For many executives, a corporate directorship offers a route to move ahead at their current company or elsewhere because the stint enhances their leadership skills and visibility. But landing and leveraging a board seat demand a different and longer campaign than a conventional job search. "Finding the right public-company board is a little like solving...
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John Kotter on Selling Your Vision
To get real buy-in for the success of your vision, you need to engage with your employees.

Author John P. Kotter
Change management guru John Kotter discusses how to lead employees in his new book, Buy-In. You may have a brilliant new business strategy, but unless employees are stoked about the idea, it won't succeed, says leadership guru John P. Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor and author of several books on organizational change. Kotter's new book, Buy-In (Harvard Business Press), promotes a counterintuitive way to build support for a new idea:...
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How to Tell When Your Boss is Lying: Cool New Study
New study shows typical patterns that lying bosses have. Does your boss follow them? Do you?

Enron Logo
The most recent Economist summarizes a fascinating study by two researchers over at the Stanford Business School--Professor David Larker and PhD Student Anastasia Zakolyukina--based on transcripts of American CEOs and CFOs statements during 30,000 quarterly earnings conference calls between 2003 and 2007. They linked the language that bosses used in these conference calls to whether or not the firms later "materially restated their earnings." Their paper is called "Detecting Deceptive Conversations in Conference Calls" (here is the pdf) and they found some interesting patterns--based on...
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Do you have a friend that would like to receive ExecWatchsm? Perhaps you know a peer within your organization, or associate at a partner company that would benefit from applying to receive this publication. Inviting a friend to experience the benefits of joining the BusinessWatch Network is easy! Just FW: this newsletter to the person you know who may have an interest and ask them to click here http://www.businesswatchnetwork.com Your friend will be glad you did!

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DISCLAIMER: ExecWatchsm and the BusinessWatch Networksm are service marks of DMS. All other trademarks or service marks contained in this email are the property of their respective owners. At the time of publication, all links in this e-mail functioned properly. However, since many links point to sites other than businesswatchnetwork.com, some links may become invalid as time passes.

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