Tweet this: “Learn to take risks. Live life everyday and feel the fear because that’s what brings the passion.” –Sarah Friar (MBA ’00), CFO of Square, Inc. Read more.
Tweet this: “There is absolutely no career safety – risk can’t be avoided.” –Professor Irv Grousbeck Read more.
Tweet this: “Risk-taking and boldness are the essence of transformation.” –Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc. Read more.
Tweet this: “If you are not willing to take a risk, you will achieve very little.” –Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard Read more.
Tweet this: “Trusting employees with the freedom and resources to excel leads to more creativity and risk-taking in the workplace.” –Professor Joel Peterson Read more.
Tweet this: “How do you connect with people on a gut level? By doing things that are hard and taking a risk.” –Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist Read more.
Tweet this: "Each one of us has limitless potential inside us to make an extraordinary difference in this world if we can break our mental barriers and be open to the risk and ambiguity that comes with it." –Ritu Narayan (MSx ’14) Read more.
Tweet this: “Thinking big means taking risks. Own your career path.” –Maria Renz, CEO of Quidsi Read more.
Tweet this: “Entrepreneurs must learn to fail, get knocked down, adjust their plan, and get back up.” –Bob Pavey, Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures Read more.
Whether you’re giving a presentation, entering a negotiation, or simply trying to influence a coworker, being aware of power structures and your own power is key for success. Check out our research round-up on how to build, maintain, and demonstrate power at work:
WORKING WITH POWER Don’t make requests that add to your boss’s workload. You have more power at work than you think you do; it is possible to manage upward in the organizational chart if you do it strategically. Lecturer David Bradford explains how to influence your boss and overcome power gaps.
Make stories a part of your organizational culture. A story is up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone, and it’s at the heart of making a brand come to life. Professor Jennifer Aaker sheds light on how stories can be powerful persuasion tools.
Trust your team members with freedom and resources. How can you build a high-trust culture in your organization? Empower everyone, believes Professor Joel Peterson. But make sure the empowerment comes with terms attached so people know how their results will be measured. “Empowering teams to act means missteps are less expensive and people learn faster.”
Recognize that workplace hierarchies still matter. Millennials may argue that the traditional business power structure is changing and companies are becoming more dynamic and less hierarchical, but Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer says they are wrong. The way organizations operate today reflects hundreds of years of hierarchical power structures—which still work. Hierarchies fulfill our needs for order and security.
Clearly define leadership roles in your organization. “Problems in management teams go away if team members can reach clear, accepted agreement over roles and standing and continue to reinforce those as time goes by,” says Professor Lindred Greer. Organizations can reduce conflict by following a path toward shared power.
ACTING WITH POWER Before giving a speech, rehearse your body language. When people are forming an impression of you, what you say only accounts for seven percent of what they come away with. Subtle physical changes can have a big effect on how people perceive you, according to Professor Deborah Gruenfeld.
Don’t shout during a confrontational situation. If you shout during a confrontation, you’re indicating that the stakes are higher for you and will lose your leverage. Focus less on what you say during confrontations; what matters more is how you say it, advises Professor Deborah Gruenfeld.
THINKING WITH POWER Enter a negotiation with a mindset that it’s a conversation, not a competition. Don’t assume you’ll have to compromise in a negotiation, as both parties may actually want the same outcome. But it’s important to make sure you are meeting with the true decision maker when entering the negotiation. For more tips, check out Professor Joel Peterson’s discussion on the role that trust plays in a negotiation and Professor Margaret Neale’s list of seven common pitfalls to avoid.
Before a meeting or interview, remember a time when you felt attractive. Seeing yourself as physically attractive leads you to believe you belong in a higher social class, according to new research from Professor Margaret Neale. When you’re in a situation that requires you to present yourself in the best light, think about a time when you felt attractive. The memory may change how you interact with others by boosting where you see your place in the social hierarchy.
Share a meal with your counterpart during a competitive negotiation. Negotiation tip from Professor Margaret Neale: In a cooperative negotiation, sharing food reduces the overall value of the deal. But on the other hand, it can be a good strategy when you’re in an adversarial and competitive situation.
Selecting the chief executive officer of a company may be the single most important decision that a board of directors can make. The CEO is responsible for decisions that impact corporate performance, including strategy, organizational design, and incentives; in addition, he or she also influences workplace productivity and culture.
But how reliable is the process that companies use to identify and develop future leaders?
Below, Professor David Larcker, Stephen A. Miles, and Brian Tayan (MBA ‘03) highlight and debunk seven common myths about CEO succession. (Read the full Stanford Closer Look Series case study here.)
Myth #1: Companies Know Who the Next CEO Will Be A 2010 study shows only 54% of companies are grooming a specific successor to the CEO position.
Myth #2: There is One Best Model For Succession Companies generally use one of four approaches: CEO-in-waiting; internal development; external recruit; and inside-outside approach. (Learn more about each one here.)
Myth #3: The CEO Should Pick a Successor The CEO should advise on succession, but the final decision rests with the board.
Myth #4: Succession is Primarily a “Risk Management” Issue Succession planning gives companies the opportunity to build value.
Myth #5: Boards Know How to Evaluate CEO Talent Research shows a significant percentage of directors – 21% – report having only moderate or little understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the current CEO.
Myth #6: Boards Prefer Internal Candidates Directors tend to view insiders as junior executives and therefore less qualified than external candidates who currently have CEO experience.
Myth #7: Boards Want a Female or Minority CEO “Diversity” ranks high on the list of attributes that board members formally look for in CEO candidates, and yet female and ethnic minorities continue to have low representation among actual CEOs.
"It should be a must-read. I spent almost four years in post-socialist Eastern Europe. Read that book if you want to understand what happens when central planning takes over and eliminates the individual impulse to get things done."
"It was brave of her to have written that book. She doesn’t need to prove anything about how strong she is. I related to many of the mistakes, lessons and anecdotes she wrote about. I have always been passionate about supporting and promoting women. "
— Shan-Lyn Ma (MBA ‘06), CEO and a Cofounder of Zola
International trade alliances may be the answer to stopping war. Nations that form a web of trading alliances create financial incentives to keep peace with and protect trading partners. Read more: http://stnfd.biz/xn2ya
“If you start to see the landscape shift, you can create a competitive advantage for your organization. But it doesn’t have to be a defensive move; it can be proactive and on the offense.”— General Motors CEO Mary Barra (MBA ‘90). Read more leadership lessons: http://stnfd.biz/xkq8E
“Great entrepreneurs have a unique insight into a solution that challenges conventional wisdom. They simply see things differently. ”—Cofounder of Next World Capital, Craig Hanson (MS ‘07) (Read his interview http://stnfd.biz/xcvde)