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So what should be asked of business leaders when it comes to innovation? NYU professor Clay Shirky says leaders have to cede control of the conversation with customers in order to achieve the kinds of surprises that can lead to real business breakthroughs.

In an exclusive offstage video interview at the 2012 World Innovation Forum, Shirky shared his perspective of the role executives must play to engage customers and set the table for sustainable business results.


Published on: Monday, November 26, 2012

Gratitude Surfaces More for Leaders

The Roman author, orator and politician Cicero is credited with acknowledging the gifts of gratitude with these words: "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."

A lesser-known, modern-day author, likewise, expressed the same sentiment with these words: "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision of tomorrow."

So what does gratitude have to do with executive leadership?

For starters, it helps keep us all grounded and mindful that others helped create the conditions that led to our success. Sure, there are a lot of "self-made" men and women of distinction throughout the business world. But to say they achieved success without the work, investment, encouragement and/or guidance of others would be a stretch. None of us works and achieves in a vacuum.


ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index jumped from +9 in September to +17 in October. This change was driven by the almost doubling in the number of companies expecting to add executive level positions in the next six months. In October, the number of companies expecting to add positions jumped from 13 percent to 27 percent.


Published on: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Humility Test

There is something highly revealing (and also far more predictive of executive performance) in the language executives use to describe what they've done, where they've been and why it mattered to their previous employers. It is their use of the word 'I'; in describing how their organizations overcame adversity, beat the competition or turned things around. And it may exhibit a startling lack of self-awareness and humility for those interested in vetting the kind of leader required by today's enterprises.


Published on: Friday, November 16, 2012

While You Were Out…

"Can great salespeople sell anything?" That was the question posed by the president of a software consulting company in one of ExecuNet's business Roundtables.

"I don't necessarily agree that great salespeople can sell anything," replied a senior vice president of an online services company. "I've run into this question many times, and my favorite analogy is car sales. You can have a salesperson on the lot of a local Ford dealership who is selling Mustangs at $26k a piece, and he can have a sales quota of $2.6 million, and be a great salesman and blow through his quota."


Finding new ways to do business is always a challenge, but for success in an ever-changing world, business leaders today must be willing to try new things and remain extremely flexible. Read what some of the world's greatest innovators had to say in this ExecuNet exclusive.

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