Scouting the Best Of Networks & Leadership – July ’13

We’re consistently searching for the best practices and latest thinking on networks, collective impact, leadership, and cities, sharing what we find through our Twitter feed (@IrvineNLN) and our Facebook Page. Here you’ll find the best of the past couple months, as well as a classic piece from our archives.

Connect, Then Lead, Harvard Business Review

So which is better, being lovable or being strong? Most leaders today tend to emphasize their strength, competence, and credentials in the workplace, but that is exactly the wrong approach. Leaders who project strength before establishing trust run the risk of eliciting fear, and along with it a host of dysfunctional behaviors. Fear can undermine cognitive potential, creativity, and problem solving, and cause employees to get stuck and even disengage. A growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with warmth. Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and the communication and absorption of ideas. Even a few small nonverbal signals—a nod, a smile, an open gesture—can show people that you’re pleased to be in their company and attentive to their concerns. Prioritizing warmth helps you connect immediately with those around you, demonstrating that you hear them, understand them, and can be trusted by them.

Are You Humbitious Enough to Lead?, Daily Good

What it takes is an entirely new leadership mind-set—a clear-eyed recognition that in a high-pressure, fast-changing world, where the only way to outperform the competition is to outthink the competition, the most successful leaders are the ones who make it their business to get the best ideas from the most people, whatever their background, job title, or position in the hierarchy. In other words, what it takes is humbition.

The Networking Mistake Most Entrepreneurs Make,

Many budding entrepreneurs feel that the larger the size of their network, the greater their odds of success. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Latest Vision for Las Vegas: A Downtown Vibe, New York Times

In some ways, the most fascinating aspect of this vision is the relocation of Zappos. Moving its headquarters downtown represents a pointed alternative to the multibillion-dollar suburban office parks that Google and Apple are building in Silicon Valley, notwithstanding that so many of their own employees want to live in, and commute from, San Francisco. Mr. Hsieh has bought into the solid notion that chance encounters on the street or at a club — urban collisions — spark innovation: cities, inherently, nurture the economy and culture.

From Our Archives:

Needle-Moving Community Collaboratives, Bridgespan

Communities face powerful challenges—a highschool dropout epidemic, youth unemployment, teen pregnancy—that require powerful solutions. In a climate of increasingly constrained resources, those solutions must help communities to achieve more with less. A new kind of community collaborative—an approach that aspires to significant, community-wide progress by enlisting all sectors to work together toward a common goal—offers enormous promise to bring about broader, more lasting change across the nation.


by David Ehrlichman, Systems Director of the New Leadership Network, with contributions by Heather McLeod Grant and David Sawyer

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