When Esri acquired location-based services firm Geoloqi in 2012, one of the most critical aspects of the deal was that the management team, including co-founder Amber Case, would remain in place to lead the new entity: Esri R&D Center – Portland. SmartBrief sat down with Case recently and asked her more about her management style.

Culture is obviously important for a startup, so what is your approach talent acquisition?

“I ask each employee who the best person is that they’ve worked with in the past. Out of their entire career, who is the most incredible person that they wish they could work with again. They give me a name. I go out and find where that person is working and I hire them. … It helps avoid issues with work culture and conflict. You have people who are so excited because they get to work with the friends again.”

Developers are an integral part of your business. (read more…)

What do Salesforce.com, Foot Locker, Disney, Whole Foods and Knowledge Universe U.S. have in common? A commitment to success through corporate philosophies that emphasize the value of satisfied employees and customers, and the importance of the long term over the short term, according to C-suite leaders on Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference.

The session, “Value and Values: Building a High-Performance Company,” was a relatively rare showcase for the value of corporate social responsibility, or CSR, from the perspective of the C-suite. Each CEO (and Disney’s CFO) faces different challenges in different industries, but each has been able to bridge the values language of being a good corporate citizen with the strategic language of a strong, growing enterprise.

Notably, these leaders de-emphasized their role in sustaining their companies’ cultures and values, pointing repeatedly to the importance of hiring the right employees, giving them a voice and a chance to shine, and the long-term payoffs this can provide. (read more…)

In the effort of achieving perfection, every leader faces a temptation to project a persona rather than be themselves. They think that in order to maintain the confidence of their team, they must appear faultless, flawless, and ever wise. Yet most organizations do not need a perfect leader; they need an authentic one.

We live in a world of fakes. We fill our office buildings with plastic plants because we want the space to feel vibrant without having to do any upkeep. If we don’t like the way our noses or eyelids or stomachs look, we can fix it with a call to a plastic surgeon. We airbrush models on magazine covers and Photoshop family portraits. And we even create online pseudopersonas through social media and blogs that project who we want people to think we are.

Many leaders today feel great pressure to succeed, and as a result, they create and accept a pseudoself. (read more…)

I took my first global management job seven years ago. I had grown up in the Midwest and graduated from a Big Ten university. With the exception of living in Japan right out of college, my work experience was almost exclusively with North American companies. I had a lot to learn fast.

Happily, the last seven years have been the best of my career in part because of our global operating environment. I can’t imagine working any other way. The complexity of the challenges and the opportunity to learn from others is unsurpassed. Working globally, however, isn’t easy. Through trial and error, I have learned a few practices to become a better manager of international teams.

Persistence overcomes challenges

Leading a global team isn’t a straight path. There are side trips, missteps and misunderstandings. Cultural and language differences create serious and sometimes amusing mistakes. A successful global leader, therefore, is persistent. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Is it appropriate for leaders to share personal views about business via social media?

  • It’s very appropriate, and it’s a great communication vehicle: 17.11%
  • It’s OK sometimes for specific, noncontroversial topics: 31.89%
  • It’s only OK in rare situations: 21.43%
  • It’s never OK: 29.57%

Business is a no-tweeting zone. A surprisingly high percentage of you feel leaders sharing their views on business via social media isn’t appropriate other than on rare occasions. The question I’d invite you to answer is what benefits are you missing out on (recruiting potential, brand building, positioning as industry experts) in exchange for the perceived risks you’re avoiding? These responses strike me as gun shy and risk averse. Understand that your aversion to sharing your thoughts carries true opportunity cost along with it. Tweet and “like” responsibly if you’d like to reap many of the benefits of social media. (read more…)