The Lead: Conservation Funding, Stylist Company Files for an IPO

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Conservation Funding from Beijing Billionaire Philanthropist

One of China’s wealthiest women He Qiaonv announced the first step in a $1.5 billion pledge to wildlife conservation. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, her seven-year charitable plan accounts for more than a third of her current $3.6 billion net worth.

Our View: Business leader Andrew Carnegie viewed philanthropy as the third key component of advice in his 1889 essay “Wealth.” Today, there’s a shift in thinking about philanthropy from something saved for later in life to something worked on simultaneously with accumulating wealth. A prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said, “When I graduated from business school I thought business was about making money and philanthropy was about doing good. Now I think both can be used as methods for changing the world.” Further Reading

Personal Stylist Company Stitch Fix Files for an IPO

With $1 billion in revenue this year and profitability over the last two years, Stitch Fix just filed for an IPO. Stitch Fix is a personal stylist company that began in 2011. Its customers fill out an online style profile about what they like to wear and how much they would like to spend. Stitch Fix sends a box full of items with a prepaid return label for customers to send back anything they don’t like. There is a $20 styling fee, but it can go toward anything purchased in the shipment.

Our View: Giving customers, employees, and other stakeholders the freedom of choice can increase retention and performance. When people feel they have control over the outcomes they become more motivated to implement methods that reach positive results. Furthermore, leaders should give others the responsibility for measuring the success of the outcome, as this gives people’s actions meaning and creates a sense of responsibility that allows for continual improvements. Further Reading

Orionid Meteor Shower

The Orionid meteor shower peaked last weekend. The visibility of these meteors, which are caused by debris left behind by Halley’s Comet’s burning up in the atmosphere as Earth passed through the trail, was favorable because the nearly moonless sky brought more meteors into view.

Our View: While stargazers have their peak opportunities to study the cosmos, leaders have great opportunities on a daily basis to grow and garner support towards a shared vision. Notice each day the small and big opportunities to practice patience, coach, and retain and recruit smart talent. Always be learning new things and be willing to try something different. Further Reading

Blue Light-Blocking Glasses May Improve Sleep and Cognition

Blue light digital devices can have harmful effects that can impact your health, vision, and even influence how much sleep you get at night. BluTech Lenses, new glasses that filter blue light, have been shown in a randomized controlled trial to almost double nighttime melatonin levels, reduce awakenings, and enhance at least one measure of cognition.

Our View: Whether it’s wearing the right glasses, eating a good diet, or attending a great fitness center, there are a variety of things that you can encourage your employees to do to increase their wellness. Corporate wellness programs are a nearly $8 billion industry in the U.S. and can do more than just help employers lower their health care costs. Healthier employees are happier and more engaged, and in turn, drive better results. Further Reading

Spoof Graveyard of Dying Trends

Michael Fry, an art teacher in Mamaroneck, New York, decorated his lawn as a graveyard for Halloween. Unlike a typical graveyard, Fry’s graveyard depicts 2017’s dying fads with headstones for a variety of trends from ombre hair to dabbing. Fry said, “I just hope everybody thinks it’s fun. I put humor in all of my work. I try to take some of the edge off Halloween. It’s always scary and creepy and crazy, but I try to make it fun and funny for the young kids in the neighborhood.”

Our View: Whether it’s the office or the neighborhood, making your community more fun can foster a team environment. Nihal Parthasarathi, CEO and cofounder of CourseHorse, a New York-based company that matches people with classes in their area, decided games were a fun way to bond as a team. Every week, his team gathers at a park to play lawn and board games which allows him to connect to his employees in ways that he says levels the playing field. Further Reading


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