The Lead: Smart Bikes, Facebook & Non-profits, Unhealthy Cravings

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.

Smart Bikes

Bicycles are getting some smart upgrades such as computers that run the power meters, turn on lights, and shift gears, and a lot of these features even have a connecting smart phone app. An increasingly prevalent type of smart bike is the e-bike. An e-bike functions like a traditional bike but has an electric motor integrated so the riding experience is less work. Following their popularity in Europe, e-bikes are multiplying in the U.S. as e-bike sales have grown more than eightfold since 2014.

Our View: The internet of things (IoT) is transforming our lives. From smart bikes to smart refrigerators, everything we do and every object we interact with is becoming more connected to everything else. The long-term impact of the disruptive technologies is yet to be determined, but in the meantime, leaders must be committed to demonstrating a clear ROI for the IoT. Sponsorship and accountability for the IoT at the top tiers of organizations will create better long-term outcomes. Further Reading

Facebook Gives its Enterprise Product to Non-profits

Increasingly, Facebook is focusing on non-profits, and it recently launched “Workplace for Good” (a version of their enterprise product “Workplace”) and will let non-profits use the product for free. Facebook also has a fundraising platform that can be used for collecting money for charitable causes with a feature that encourages people to raise money for causes on their birthdays and other occasions.

Our View: It’s important for leaders to separate their purpose from their job title or organization. When a leader’s purpose transcends their current role, they can truly make an impact. Purpose-driven leadership is the key to navigating our complex, volatile, ambiguous environment and provides the much needed inspiration to enable action. Identify two or three key people that can help you achieve your leadership purpose and help keep you accountable. Further Reading

Ads Intensify Unhealthy Cravings

Marketing researchers recently published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology information about the increasing prevalence of overeating and excessive weight gain around the world. Certain thinking patterns could make consumers more susceptible to certain types of advertisements for unhealthy foods, and researchers suggest that people consider avoiding television commercials or magazines that are filled with advertisements for unhealthy food.

Our View: Find ways to control your environment to change your behavior. The same line of thinking that prompts you to keep junk food out of reach can be used for all sources of negative influence. In his book The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt writes about the metaphor of the elephant and its rider in describing the intuitive emotional mind and the rational mind. Discrepancies between the wants of the rational mind (“rational rider”) and the intuitive emotional mind (“inner elephant”) can deter from a person’s happiness, but there are little adjustments you can make to your environment to lessen the conflict. Further Reading

Holocaust Museum Monthly Writing Workshop

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. holds a monthly writing workshop to help Holocaust survivors record their personal histories and preserve their legacy. Invaluable educational resources stem from these eyewitness perspectives, and many of the pieces have been posted on the museum’s website. Years ago, during his speech at the museum’s dedication ceremony on the National Mall, survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel said “for the dead, and the living, we must bear witness, for not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are also responsible for what we are doing with those memories.”

Our View: Good writing is an essential leadership skill that goes well beyond preserving the past. Written messages are a convenient and efficient way to communicate to large amounts of people, and when leaders demonstrate strong written communication, they provide clarity around desired deliverables. Documentation helps the entire team stay on track, learn from the past, and keep pace with expectations. Further Reading

An Elite Police Force Raises Awareness about Yoga

The elite police force of the Indo-Tibetan Border guard the vast border between India and China in weather that can drop to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In their spare time they summit Mount Everest, practice yoga, and now they are raising awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga. June 21st is the International Day of Yoga (passed by the UN General Assembly), and the force’s Twitter page has featured pictures of the troops practicing yoga postures such as bridge pose, tree pose, crow pose, and runner’s lunge on mountain plateaus overlooking the breathtaking Himalayas.

Our View: The well-known idiom “a picture speaks a thousand words” describes how an image can convey complex ideas more simply. Image consultant Sylvie di Giusto shares detailed information on how to develop an authentic and professional leadership image in her book The Image of Leadership. She explains, “over the years I’ve learned it’s better to craft the way others are going to perceive you, rather than to sit back and hope it’s going to be in a great way. You have to package yourself in a way that represents your product in the best possible way. Make today the day you start taking control of your image, of the imprint you leave in others mind.” Further Reading

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