The Lead: Pizza Startup, Indonesian Earthquake, Renewable Energy in Chile

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.

Pizza Startup Zume in Talks for $750 Million

Zume Inc. is in talks with SoftBank Group Corp. to receive up to $750 million in investment for their pizza startup that uses robots to make its pizza and software to deliver it. Zume has proprietary delivery trucks that are capable of cooking food during their route to customers. Currently, Zume’s pizza delivery business operates three trucks from its headquarters in Mountain View, California and plans to partner with companies like UberEats and DoorDash.

Our View: Whether it’s a large investment in a small startup or a small investment in a large established company, there’s a checklist every investor has before they spend. The checklist items include the prospect’s financial performance, background and experience in industry, uniqueness, business model, and market size or opportunity. When a leader seeks investment, they should study the same checklist in order to develop a powerful story of their company and better field investors’ questions. When leaders understand the needs of their audience and craft compelling stories, people on both sides of the equation have a better grasp of the big picture and the other side’s point of view, and more win-win alternatives present themselves. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Storytelling in Business

Indonesian Earthquake’s Death Toll Rises

The recent 6.9 magnitude earthquake on the Indonesian island of Lombok has a death toll that has risen to 347 people. Most of the people died on the north side of the island in Kayangan. With around 80% of buildings destroyed, 165,003 people were displaced and 1,447 people were injured.

Our View: Providing perspective is an important part of leader’s role during a crisis. In mountaineering expeditions, the team leader often remains at base camp so if trouble arises for those hiking to the summit, s/he can lead the response with the perspective of seeing the mountain as a whole. When leaders stand back from the action, they can often do more, more effectively. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Building Trust Under Pressure

Renewable Energy Projects in Chile

A Chile 2013 law mandates that 20 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2025, and fortunately, its geography (composed of the world’s driest desert with strong winds from the Pacific coast and the Andes Mountains) lends itself well to accomplishing that goal with solar and wind power. Chile’s mining industry is seeing impressive growth in renewable energy projects that are helping them rely less on imported fossil fuels. This year, Chile set a new goal of achieving 70 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Our View: In order to stretch your team towards achievement, create targets that celebrate incremental success. Targets are best set when they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Remember these attributes with the acronym: SMART targets. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: First Line Essentials (Get Results through Others)

Salesforce Promotes Keith Block to Co-CEO

Keith Block joined Salesforce in late 2013 from Oracle and is now being promoted to Co-CEO alongside co-founder Marc Benioff. While the two executive roles will remain pretty much the same, Block explains the title change for the global software company by saying, “this really is a natural extension of the relationship Marc and I have had over the last five years. He is a trusted advisor of mine, I am a trusted advisor of his.”

Our View: The Co-CEO model presents challenges that go hand in hand with the obstacles that come from shared responsibilities and shared leadership. However, when executed correctly, the Co-CEO model can present unique ways to handle conflict and seize opportunities. It can double the expertise and leadership power at an organization to help it keep up with today’s rapidly changing economy. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading with Influence

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

The IB is now taught to over 1.4 million students at almost 5,000 schools in 153 countries, and this year it will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The goals for an IB education go beyond academic success by emphasizing human values to help its students create a more peaceful world. The IB strives to assess what is important to measure, not what is easy to measure and looks to ensure that students are challenged to think critically, rather than simply being asked to recall knowledge.

Our View: Assessments of any kind are difficult to get right, and assessing the leaders throughout your organization and their capabilities to lead can definitely be challenging. Develop a meaningful review process that begins with clarified organization-wide leadership standards and assessments of leaders against those standards. Those assessments should include self-assessments, employee surveys, 360 degree assessments, and open feedback channels to encourage honest, constructive feedback. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading in Context, Planning for Performance Discussions