Reading in electronic times


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Andrew Piper, Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures at McGill University, is an expert on the changes brought about by the e-books and has published a… paper book on the subject (you can see where this is going already).

In this article, published by the Slate magazine, he resumes his book, Book Was There: Reading in Electronic Times, in which he examines the history and future of (e-)reading, the differences between reading on a tablet or an electronic device and reading a paper book, and how reading a paper books connects our bodies as well our minds to the topic.


Read the Printed Word!

What happy people do differently (and why they become great leaders…)


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At first glance, some might say this article is not related to leadership skills. In my opinion it is actually the opposite: the author explains 7 fundamental differences between “happy” and “unhappy” people that reveal how attitudes and the way we see the world and the others are decisive to succeed in whatever we do. Succeeding is not just a question of method: first of all, you should have the right approach to daily life and see things the good way. This is the reason why this psychology-oriented article gives good hints about leadership.

The author talks about seven differences in particular (my short comments in brackets):

1. Your default belief is that life is hard (as a consequence, every task will seem impossible)

2. You believe most people can’t be trusted. (this way you won’t be able to delegate)

3. You concentrate on what’s wrong in this world versus what’s right. (this will cause a lack of motivation: why should I get things better if everything around me will always be wrong?)

4. You compare yourself to others and harbor jealousy. (the good leader is never jealous, he appreciates and knows how to exploit for the best other people’s qualities instead)

5. You strive to control your life. (planning, planning, planning!)

6. You consider your future with worry and fear. (this way you’ll remain paralyzed in the process of decision-making)

7. You fill your conversations with gossip and complaints. (those who always complain are just losing time instead of how to solve the problems that caused the complains…)

Read the full article here:


image: Wikimedia (public domain)



Combined skills to be a senior manager or leader



Ed Gelbstein, former director of the United Nations Computing Centre with long experience in International management, has summarized in a table what is expected from those who want to be a senior manager or leader in international activities.

Here is the summary which is the combined skills of Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, Peter the Great and Houdini!

want to be a senior manager

What is Tact?


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Tact is the art of telling the truth without hurting one’s sensitivity. It can be very important in negotiations and in conflict resolution. Tact encompasses many things, such as emotional intelligence, discretion, compassion, honesty and courtesy.

Mind Tool has published an article with several examples concerning the capacity of being tactful and lists 5 strategies to develop tact.

1. Create the right environment and think before you speak
2. Determine the appropriate time
3. Choose words carefully
4. Watch your body language
5. Never react emotionally

Read the full article

Broken_Egg_by_Noypi_reaverImage source: Deviant art – Noyipi-reaver  (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Hidden Creativity



Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” Linda Hill, spent a decade studying leaders of innovative firms in the US, Europe, India, and Asia.

The idea was to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated “creatives.”

In this TED, Linda Hill talks about what’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance.

The qualities of an Ambassador



In his book “Twenty-four hours at No. 4 Grosvenor Square” (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1978, pp. 19-20), the Italian diplomat Roberto Ducci has masterly depicted the qualities an Ambassador should have:

” Better that the ambassador be square than sinuous, honest and truthful than scheming and artful; let him be uncompromising in vital matters and ready to compromise on small questions; sincere with his own and with guest Government; straight in his inner self, even if sometimes frivolous in his demeanour. Frivolity should be worn by him like his orders of chivalry, without taking them seriously. Honesty, thoroughness and charm (intelligence goes without saying) are the qualities of a good ambassador. Imagination, a much rarer gift, makes the ambassador great.”

Roberto_DucciImage: Wikipedia

12 Simple Things A Leader Can Do To Build A Phenomenal Team



John Hall is an accomplished CEO, who usually shares his views and knowledge about leadership. In an article published on Forbes, he focuses on a crucial aspect for good leadership: teambuilding. Since there is no leader without a team to lead, teambuilding is fundamental. So here are Hall’s 12 advises to succeed in creating the best team possible:

  1. Don’t Settle for Mediocre
  2. Be a Thought Leader
  3. Trust is Crucial
  4. Forget the Money… at First
  5. Personal Lives are Important
  6. Maintain Systematic Processes
  7. Diversity Brings Innovation
  8. It’s Okay to Be Friends
  9. Play to People’s Strengths
  10. Great Teams Read Together
  11. Invest in Your First Five Hires
  12. Give Recognition

To deepen these concepts, you can read the full article here

New_Zealand_national_rugby_league_team_(26_October_2008)Image source: Flickr – Naparazzi – (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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