Drops from the Fire Hose – September 18, 2012

Must Great Leaders Be Gregarious? — New York Times

At West Point, where I had the honor of addressing a group this week, the cadets were thoughtful about the traits good leaders possess — and how easy it is to prioritize them incorrectly. “I think we tend to get it backwards,” one cadet told me. “We become so focused on becoming leaders that we see that development as an end in itself and therefore become less eager to truly get behind something and have a purposive direction in which to lead.”

What to Do With a Workplace Whiner — Wall Street Journal

Work groups with a high rate of negativity tend to have lower productivity and higher rates of absenteeism and quality defects, the Gallup research shows. If an opportunity arises to invest extra effort to help the company, these workers are likely to pass it up, Dr. Harter says.

Whole Foods CEO: Here’s Why We Pay Our Employees More Than We Have To — Yahoo! Finance

Specifically, Whole Foods is trying to practice a philosophy it calls “conscious capitalism” in which the interests of three different groups of “stakeholders” in a company are balanced: shareholders, customers, and employees. In many companies, the emphasis is almost entirely on the interests of shareholders and customers, with employees viewed as a “production cost.” The problem with the latter philosophy is that, while it may produce short-term profit gains, it ultimately hurts the entire economy. This is because the most important customers in the economy, the hundreds of millions of mass-market consumers who work as employees, get starved of wages that would otherwise quickly be turned into purchasing power and, thereby, revenue for other companies.

The Secret Phrase Top Innovators Use — Harvard Business Review

“How might we…”


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