Notable + Quotable: Leadership best practices, breakdowns in communication, and knowledge complacency


10 great ideas from five great bosses
Jody Gilbert lists what she’s learned over the years on how top leaders deal with problems in Tech Republic. “Become a small picture kind of boss. It’s critical that you help everyone understand the overall goals and objectives of the organization. But don’t forget that the best leaders also bring those goals down to the smallest details of individual jobs. Learn to help everyone, at every level, understand how his or her specific contribution can make the whole organization more successful.”

Are we solving the same problem?
Discussing the real issue at length is essential to finding a common acceptable answer, says Seth Godin. “This is the biggest disconnect I know of. It happens all the time in B2B sales, in service marketing, in getting along with your boss and even in hiring someone. One side thinks they have figured out a solution. They spend a long time talking about the solution, architecting it, refining it, pricing it, pitching it, delivering it. The other side ends up not liking what they get. The disconnect: the first side says, “this solution is exactly as we described it!” the other side says, “it doesn’t work right.”

How Knowledge Can Hurt Innovation
Scott Anthony of Innosight and warns about making assumptions that can blind managers to opportunities and threats. “Chip and Dan Heath described the curse of knowledge nicely in their 2007 book Made to Stick (highly recommended to all innovators). The basic problem: people who have deep knowledge about a topic sometimes assume other people have that same knowledge. That can lead to major missteps.”

The Big Question: Are You Better Than Yesterday?
In his guest post on Four-Hour Workweek, Chad Fowler shares an excerpt from a book that aims to sharpen problem-solving skills. “How have you taken better action today for improving your career than you did yesterday? Make one more contact, submit a patch to an open source project, write a thoughtful post and publish it on your weblog. Help one more person on a technical forum in your area of expertise than you did yesterday. If you every day you do a little better than yesterday toward improving yourself, you’ll find that the otherwise ocean-sized proposition of building a remarkable career becomes more tractable.”

Work as Play
Leo Babauta writes his ideas on how to make work fun for yourself or for others in Zen Habits. “Turning work into play doesn’t mean you don’t work hard, or that you never do boring tasks. If you’ve ever played a sport, you know that you work as hard as anyone when you’re playing or practicing — but that’s no problem, because you’re having a blast doing it.”

Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start
Merlin Mann’s 43folders has an article on perceived barriers to getting started and how to get past them. “It’s not that successful and productive people don’t see those same barriers or feel that same fear—it’s just that most of the good ones have figured out how to either accept the fears as a natural part of the process, or they just choose to ignore each fakey barrier the second it appears.”

Breaking free from the Web: New rehab caters to Internet addicts
Lynne Peeples reports on a facility that seeks to cure individuals from too much Internet dependence on Scientific American. “The retreat’s founders think that Internet addiction is a serious problem, affecting between 6 and 10 percent of the online population. But how do you know if you are an addict? A list of 12 “signs and symptoms” appears on the new reStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program’s Web page—from a “heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities” to “being dishonest with others” and “physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, [and] carpal tunnel syndrome.”

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