The Lead: USA Land Use, New Alzhimer’s Drug, Pepsi CEO Leaves

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

Current Data about USA Land Use

In the USA, the 48 contiguous states alone are 1.9 billion acres of cities, farms, forests, and pastures, and while urban areas make up only 3.6 percent of the total size of those states, four in five Americans live there. The largest land-use type in the contiguous states is used for pasture, which covers over one-third of U.S. land. Between pastures and cropland for feed, 41 percent of U.S. land in the contiguous states revolves around livestock.

Our View: When leaders create taxonomies and classifications for the information surrounding their organization, they create a clearer path to navigate through today’s abundant data. Leaders who provide structure and organization to complexity and ambiguity are better able to communicate their vision and action items required to realize it. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Connecting People to Strategy; Storytelling in Business

Trials for New Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Shows Promise

In the search for a drug to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials of the drug and antibody called BAN2401 showed that it not only reduced the formulation of new beta amyloid clusters in the brain, but it also reduced existing clusters by 70% on average. (The buildup of beta amyloid in the brain is an indication of Alzheimer’s disease.) Prior to the last Alzheimer’s drug being approved by the FDA in December 2014, a new medicine for Alzheimer’s hadn’t entered the market since 2003.

Our View: Bringing projects successfully from concept to completion requires leaders who possess leadership qualities that go beyond standard project management skills. While managers focus on control and short- to mid-term tasks, leaders motivate, inspire, and think long-term. Understanding these differences between project management and leadership can help successful project managers develop the requisite skill set to also become effective leaders. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading Across Boundaries; Leading Change

Pepsi CEO Announces Departure

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi announced August 6th that she is stepping down after 24 years with the company. Nooyi’s future plans include helping to develop more female talent to ensure better representation of women in top leadership roles. She said “my job is in fact just beginning once I leave PepsiCo because I can do things now that I was constrained to do when I was CEO of the company.”

Our View: Excellent leaders make it a priority to bring others up. They identify and appreciate the unique abilities people bring to their organization. Assess your focus on building others with these questions:

  • Is the tone of my communications positive or harsh?
  • Are people generally afraid of making mistakes around me?
  • Do I look for positive things in people and then praise them for those things?
  • What is my ratio of encouragement to criticism?

Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Coaching Clinic; Give Needs-Based Feedback; Realizing Talent in Others

Remembering the Rules of Recycling

In recent years, U.S. recycling has been sent to China, where they receive a raw material worth money, but since the beginning of 2018, China has been refusing to take contaminated recycling. Community leaders are encouraging people to recycle smarter. Simply making sure recyclable items are dry and clean is important since all kinds of problems with mold can occur when people recycle liquid-filled bottles instead of clean, empty ones. Recycling is win-win in that it’s good for the planet and the economy. In the U.S., recycling generates more than $100 billion in economic activity annually.

Our View: When you are concerned about the quality of your results, start by checking the quality of your inputs. The saying “garbage in, garbage out” applies to a great deal more than waste management. Leaders must rely on starting with accurate information in everything from market research to product development. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Problem-Solving Results: Solutions, Improvements and Innovations

Largest Wildfire in California

Two fires in Northern California are being treated as one which is the largest wildfire in California history. The haze of the smoke from the fires in the Central Valley prompted Sacramento County health officials to advise residents to avoid outdoor activities for the entire week.

Our View: Keeping composure in difficult times is a skill every leader must develop. The ability to stay calm, collected, and in control is a hallmark of an excellent leader. Timely, decisive responses are required in times of crisis, and it’s important that these messages convey an optimistic outlook to keep people hopeful. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Building Trust Under Pressure; Leading in Context