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Leadership Insights - March 2021

“Most people never pick up the phone. Most people never call and ask.

And that's what separates sometimes the people who do things from those

who just dream about them.

You gotta act. You gotta be willing to fail. You gotta be willing to crash and burn.

With people on the phone or starting a company, if you're afraid you'll fail,

you won't get very far.”

Steve Jobs

Founder and CEO of Apple


Leaders’ Reading

So much to read…. So little time. Knowing what to read is a priority, and a necessity, for every executive. Answering that question is itself difficult. So here's a list of favorite books from some top writers and business people.

Warrant Buffett: When we think of a successful investor, Warren Buffett always comes to mind. This short Inc articles lists the “9 Books Warren Buffet Wants You to Read to Help Make Your Smarter.”

Bill Gates: I have generally found Mr. Gates recommendations to be sound. Check out his picks for 5 Books to Enjoy this Winter.

Business Insider: Check out its list of "The 31 most influential books ever written about business

Hopefully this will keep you reading throughout the year! By the way, if you want to read more in the same amount of time, check out Blinkest which for less than $100 per year will provide you first rate 15 minute summaries in both written and audio formats of the best non-fiction books.

Vulnerability in 6 Words

Brene Brown rocketed to business stardom with her TED Talk on vulnerability; specifically, that leadership without the ability and willingness to be authentic and candid about one’s self is rarely seen as leadership. But like everything else, there’s a right and wrong way for a leader to display vulnerability.

If you want to be effectively vulnerable as a leader, check out this conversation between Dr. Brown and Wharton Business School’s Adam Grant in which she offers an important “nuance” on leadership and vulnerability that may help you avoid crossing the line between “authenticity and self-absorption”.

With the simplicity and clarity that has made her TED Talk and books so popular, she shows us “How to be vulnerable at work without spilling everything, from Brine Brown. Her six word formula for doing so is profound.

Executive Presence, A Tutorial

US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once commented during arguments over what constituted pornography that “I know it when I see it.” The same might be said of that quality that every successful manager wants and needs: Executive Presence.

A recent blog post from the Kellogg School of Management may help us get past the “I know when I see it” challenge. The author, Dr. Brooke Vuckovic writes that even though we so often talk about wanting to improve our executive presence, “we don’t quite know what it means when we’re pressed to define it.”

Her post, Executive Presence Isn’t One Size Fits-All. Here’s How to Develop Yours offers a compelling yet simple formula that may help you better understand executive presence and then enhance and manage it. If you find the short article compelling, there is a link to a 59 minute deeper dive webinar on the topic within the article for you and your team.

Sadly, life is often a first impression business. If may not be fair, but it’s reality. How’s your Executive Presence….and that of your subordinates?

Econ Recon

One of the surprises of the Covid “recession” is how the viability of work from home (WFH) has driven the residential housing market, so much so that many are warning of another “housing bubble” like 2008-2009. Not so says ITR Economics’ Conor Lokar he offers a summary (both audio and written) in which he concludes that the current market is a justifiable boom.


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