Why CEOS need to read poetry—yes, poetry—to lead in the post-COVID world

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Leaders will need to be resilient, open-minded, and creative. Poetry can show them the way. “I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers … Live the questions now.” – Rainer Maria Rilke Read Full Story

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I was responsible for America’s global brand at the White House. The damage is irreversible.

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As a U.S. diplomat, I saw Trump destroy decades of diplomatic work in four years. But those hoping Joe Biden can reverse all the damage are sorely mistaken. This story is part of Fast Company ‘s “USA: Can This Brand Be Saved?” package, approaching the question from a variety of angles and perspectives, ultimately aiming for an in-depth look at what America’s brand is, how it’s changed over the past four years, and where it needs to go from here. Click here to read the whole series . Read Full Story

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3 questions leaders need to ask to prepare for the future of work after COVID-19

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It’s time to rethink our working norms so that we can build a flexible, resilient workforce. Recently, I had an in-person meeting with a colleague who lives locally. It was the first time I had met with a professional colleague in person since early March. The meeting went longer than planned, and, in addition to our agenda, we chatted a bit about our personal lives. We had so many ideas. I left the meeting inspired, energized, and full of new purpose. Even though I am an introvert, the in-person collaboration created a spark that I had been missing. Read Full Story

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SEO is Turning into a Questions and Answers Game

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I was reading an article from my buddy the other day and he had an interesting trend. 14.1% of all searches on Google are in the form of a question. Here’s the breakdown within the United States: How – 8.07% What – 3.4% Where – .88% Why – .82% Who – .6% Which – .33% Because we have over a billion keywords globally in Ubersuggest and we already have a questions section, I thought it would be fun to see what it would look like worldwide. As a heads up, it was a bit tricky for certain languages as people don’t always start a question with certain words like “how”. None-the-less we were able to gather some interesting stats as we have data going back to 2017. Global question and answer searches Here’s what the question searches looked like in 2017. And here’s 2018. And 2019. And 2020. What do …

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Editor’s pick: Billy Collins’s poetry MasterClass is exactly the heartfelt, peaceful entertainment I need

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Looking for a new hobby in quarantine? MasterClass offers delightful, insightful lessons from the most accomplished people in the world, says this ‘Fast Company’ editor. By the time MasterClass launched in 2015, my war on streaming and subscription fees was already well underway. As the service continued to expand, adding more and more A-list teachers, my question remained the same: Did I really want to fork over 90 bucks for a class with Margaret Atwood when for around $25 I can buy a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale plus a month of Hulu to binge the entire series based on her classic novel? Read Full Story

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3 experts on how to raise anti-racist kids

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Toys and books can help kids process race and racism, but parents need to put in the work. Over the past two weeks, as I’ve watched the biggest civil rights movement in decades take hold of America, I’ve wanted to bring my 4-year-old daughter into the conversation about racial justice. The problem is, every time I try to talk to her about it I stumble. Recently, she’s been asking questions about the protesters who gather in our neighborhood with hand-drawn Black Lives Matter signs. But I don’t know how to start talking about the fight for racial justice without addressing police brutality or slavery. Read Full Story

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Why good leaders need to learn the power of ‘I don’t know’

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If a leader doesn’t know the answer to a question, it’s important to admit so. “You may be tempted to bluff,” Stanford professor Irv Grousbeck advises new CEOs. “Don’t.” If you’re a top-level business manager, admitting that you don’t know something can be difficult. After all, anyone who has clambered to the top of the corporate food chain is expected to exude certainty and self-confidence. In short, you’re supposed to be the person with all the answers. Read Full Story

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Ask these questions to find out if you’re hiring a good human (not just a smart one)

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The CMO of Electric argues that building a team with kind people usually plays second fiddle to those with practical experience, but it’s necessary to success. I talk ad nauseum about the importance for companies, especially high-growth startups, to hire people who exhibit exceptional emotional intelligence. I’m not the first one who has come to this conclusion, but I think more people need to realize that EQ is just as important of an asset to a company as IQ. In my opinion, it is the single biggest factor in startup growth acceleration. You can usually find smart people, but building a team with kind people usually plays second fiddle to those with practical experience. Read Full Story

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The key to managing teams you can’t see: Make everyone accountable to each other

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When teams hold each other accountable, they’re more likely to cross the finish line together. The first question I get from leaders unexpectedly thrust into managing remote teams is some variation of the following: How do I make sure people are productive? What they’re really wondering is: If I can’t see my employees—in weekly update meetings, at their desks, taking clients to lunch—how can I be sure they’re doing their work? Read Full Story

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