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Category Archives: CEO

Social Intelligence: Its all in your head

April 22, 2009 at 02:59

Ben Leeson

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Mirror neurons, spindle cells, and oscillators – who knew? There are still many secrets locked in your brain and these three revealed themselves recently. Each of them play a part in social intelligence (for an overview of social intelligence, check out this post from yesterday).

Here is a summary of each pulled from the HBR called Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis

Mirror Neurons:

Perhaps the most stunning recent discovery in behavioral neuroscience is the identification of mirror neurons in widely dispersed areas of the brain. Italian neuroscientists found them by accident while monitoring a particular cell in a monkey’s brain that fired only when the monkey raised its arm.

Social Intelligence and Leadership

April 21, 2009 at 02:28

Ben Leeson

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Have you ever noticed that some people can put others under their spell? They can just start talking and you are laser beamed in. These people tend to be in leadership situations, either explicitly or implicitly.  Well, it turns out our brains have a function for this. Here is an intro video from HBR on […]

Recessions Can Clear the Dubris. Opportunities are There

April 15, 2009 at 03:07

Ben Leeson

1

Nature has a place for some of the most destructive forces. Forest fires are a great example. A powerful clearing blaze wipes out so much, but in doing so it cleans up debris. The short term pain creates an ecosystem that benefits those that remain.

Recessions are like forest fires.

Performance at GM, Performance in Baseball

March 31, 2009 at 01:19

Ben Leeson

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Today I read two starkly different news items. Both deal with performance. One seems to be about 10 years ahead of the other:

Rick Wagoner of General Motors vacated his CEO post today. The reason is that he didn’t do a good job anticipating the need for more fuel efficient cars.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon is Working with the Average Employee

March 30, 2009 at 02:03

Ben Leeson

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Maybe I’m a sucker, but I always like to read about how a CEO is working down in the trenches with the average worker. Sometimes it is just a fluff piece for the news, but I want to believe that most of the time it is to get a real idea of what is happening. But if it is just an hour or even a day I’m not sure that they get the genuine working environment. That is why I’m impressed with Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

A Viable Electric Car Business Model?

March 21, 2009 at 02:54

Ben Leeson

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I like new business models, but sometimes it isn’t a new business model at all, just a new industry to apply it to. That is what Shai Agassi is trying to do. He has a project called Better Place, which is trying to create a viable electric car platform.

The business model Mr. Agassi is using is the same one as cell phone carriers.

A Review of The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You

March 13, 2009 at 04:33

Ben Leeson

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In an earlier post I introduced the author of a book I’ve recently read called The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You. I have several observations and opinions regarding this work by Robin Fisher Roffer. So what is this book? The hardcover is 213 pages divided […]

A Preview of The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You

March 12, 2009 at 04:39

Ben Leeson

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I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I like to create something that didn’t exist before and develop a marketplace for it. This is called a Blue Ocean Strategy. Well, about a month ago my eyes were opened to an extension of that idea in a book called The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You by Robin Fisher Roffer.

An Intro to Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) – Ideas Worth Spreading

February 18, 2009 at 03:35

Ben Leeson

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Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) is an annual conference that brings in many leading thinkers of today. It puts them on stage for a speech of about 18 minutes. It is an “I have arrived” moment for many of these thought leaders. Here is what it says on the TED homepage:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.
It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.

Has Bad Behavior Irreparably Damaged the Title CEO?: Fortunately “Good” CEOs Are Still Out There

February 12, 2009 at 03:46

Ben Leeson

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By Suzanne Bates, Author of Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!

Day after day we’re being pummeled by news of bad CEO behavior, so much that you have to conclude that America’s business executives are incapable of getting the message–its time for restraint. In the last couple of weeks there’s been one egregious example after another of excess, greed and sheer stupidity. It’s so ridiculous that you’d have to conclude these CEOs aren’t just out of touch… they simply don’t care.

From the $18.4 billion in bonuses paid out by Wall Street last year, to the news that former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain spent $1.22 million to redecorate his office; and word that Citigroup had planned(and later denied they would) purchase a $50 million 12-seat luxury jet– after getting $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. So you have to wonder why aren’t CEOs at least afraid of how these actions might be perceived?