By Straight Talk Editors

Want to be a better leader? Observe more and react less

Overloaded executives need coping mechanisms: I would sum up my experience in four words: observe more, react less. I try to observe myself more disinterestedly and to avoid knee-jerk reactions to the rush of incoming stimuli and to situations that seem negative.

How Elon Musk builds organizations that can achieve anything

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future offers an insider’s look at Musk’s insanely ambitious nature, how he manages, and his ability to overcome obstacles to get things done at a trio of world-changing companies.

Ten Things Every Job-Seeker Should Be Doing On LinkedIn

I hear from battalions of job-seekers who are under the mistaken impression that simply creating a LinkedIn profile will get them a great job. That's false! LinkedIn is like a Swiss army knife. It's an incredible tool, but it doesn't do the work by itself.

Leadership and behavior: Mastering the mechanics of reason and emotion

A Nobel Prize winner and a leading behavioral economist offer common sense and counterintuitive insights on performance, collaboration, and innovation.

3 Questions You Must Answer Before You Present Your Business Plan

While there are literally thousands of business plan templates available, they will all fail if you don’t answer these three critical questions (that you might have never heard before) when you’re creating and presenting your business plan.

10 Good Reasons to Change Jobs Every 3 To 5 Years

We crave security more than most of us will admit. We look for security in all the wrong places -- like the fact that we've held the same job for years. There is less than no security in long-term employment these days. I say "less than no security" because your only opportunity to get better at job-hunting (or finding consulting work) is when you actually do it.

PepsiCo CEO shares her 3-step path to advancing your career

The CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, is responsible for the growth of a $150 billion company. The products she bears some responsibility for include staples like Tropicana, Quaker Oats and Sabra Hummus. She's one of the most powerful people in business. How did Nooyi get to where she is today? The process involved three steps, which she recommends to any professional aiming for the C-suite.

5 Steps to Help Yourself Recover from a Setback

Leaders are often told to maximize their “return on failure,” but so far there has been little focus on the specific steps one should take to learn from mistakes. Challenging yourself to use counterfactual thinking and formulate detailed alternative scenarios is one way to bridge that gap and ensure you do better the next time around.

7 Signs Your Employees Are Unhappy and What to Do About It

If an employee openly complains about being unhappy, there’s no ambiguity to hash out; you know what he or she is feeling because you've been told. But, unfortunately, things aren't always this clear. Instead, you’ll need to watch out for more subtle signs that your employees are unhappy such as reaching for the minimum and reluctance to cooperate.

Leading in the digital age

The automation of work and the digital disruption of business models place a premium on leaders who can create a vision of change and frame it positively.

Good Bosses Switch Between Two Leadership Styles

There are two fundamental strategies people use to navigate their way through social and organizational hierarchies. Leading through dominance means influencing others by being assertive and leveraging one’s power and formal authority. Leading through prestige means displaying one’s knowledge and expertise and encouraging others to follow. In the case of dominance, employees usually have little choice but to follow the leader; when it comes to prestige, deference to the leader is more negotiable.

A Half-Dozen Ways to Halt Your Management Inconsistency

Inconsistent behavior is a silent killer in the workplace. Research clearly shows inconsistent leaders generate feelings of uncertainty and apprehension in their subordinates. Beyond this, inconsistency from leaders confuses people, erodes trust, causes fear and can lead to a sort of learned inertia where the employee, paralyzed by the uncertainty, just avoids or shuts down interactions. So how does it happen? How does inconsistency come into play? Surely we don’t set out with the goal of keeping our employees guessing. The hard truth is we are often unaware our behaviors are being perceived as inconsistent. It doesn’t help that as managers we live in a fishbowl, where our every action is seen by all. Furthermore, we may not realize how damaging our unintentional inconsistencies may be.