Top 3 Leadership Articles for Week 2/16 - 2/20

1. The Power of the "F" Word

Apple's Jony Ive and the profane poster in his office that reminds him how to stay focused.  

My description: I received this article from my Brother In-law and it instantly engaged me in thinking about the daily reality we all face: how do we stay focused on what truly matters in our work?  This short article features a couple of items in Ive's office, but the best was an 18/24" poster from the design inspiration site  The article featured a download link of this poster for $100.  I found one on the same site for $30 (here you go).   A key feature of this poster is the word that starts with "f" and ends with "ing."  In fact, there are 25 f-words in this poster.

My leadership thoughts: This poster begs the question, when does the "F" word become actually useful to mental toughness?  While it may not be advisable to use this word as an executive speaking to the press, shareholders or a conference, I would argue it is almost critical to use it within your own dialogue when you find yourself straying from your best effort.  I feel leaders are not made great because of their profanity.  I also know there are occasions when nothing else will do.  

Who Wrote it: Thanks to London-based technology reporter @jamesliamcook in @businessinsider


2. Men vs. Women.  Men are better bosses?

New PEW study found men preferred over women as a boss.

My description: How do we view our leaders from a gender perspective?  PEW research came out with a new study that found men are preferred as a boss to women; even by women! 21% of female respondents said they prefer men as a boss or coworker rather than female.  Only 10% said they prefer working with women.  

My leadership thoughts: While leadership is a choice, it is also a preference from the perspective of those who follow.  I have preferences in the kind of leaders I admire.  The majority of them happen to be men, but gender had nothing to do with my preference.  I do believe that we should judge our leaders based on how they model the vision of the company and how they conduct themselves in private and public.  Let me know your thoughts below.

Who Wrote it: Thanks to @forbes contributors @david_sturt & @toddnordstrom


3. Twitter's Disciplined Leader

How Twitter's CEO Dick Costolo stays calm while Twitter remains under fire for lack of user growth. 

My description:  I am obsessed with leader habits, routines and extra curricular activities.  San Francisco Bureau Chief for Inc. Magazine @jeffbercovici writes an incredible article about how Costolo has a very structured approach to even things like "The Efficiency of Wandering Around."  The article describes siturations like Costolo making his executive team workout at 6am every morning of CES to refusing to talk to an employee who starts a conversation with, "I didn't want to bring this up in front of everyone, but..."

My leadership thoughts: To be honest, I had not read much about Twitter's chief executive until I read this and I am fascinated about his war time and peace time approach.  Costolo gave warning to his team that the celebration of IPO would not last forever.  And now he is preparing Twitter to go through the Wall Street barrage of ever higher demand for growth in profits and users.  I believe we all shine as leaders during darkness.  This is why I do not worship Jack Welch as many do.  He headed GE during it's boom years.  I admire leaders like Lego's CEO Jorgen Vig Kudstorp, who have managed to deliver incredible value during difficult economic times and still manage to lead during peace time as well.  

Who Wrote it: Thanks to @jeffbercovici San Francisco Bureau Chief for Inc. Magazine