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President Kennedy’s stunning candor following the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco seems quaint now that spinning, exaggerating, parsing words, and shading truths have become accepted parts of our nation’s political dialogue. But when leaders make mistakes, be they in the public or private sector, anything less than complete candor can empower rivals, the press, or, worst of all, law enforcement, to seize on a false statement, turning a speed bump into a full-blown scandal.

Jeff Smith on what John F. Kennedy’s legacy teaches us about the value of candor.

In this way we get “brain hubs,” places that contribute an outsized portion of the GDP and generate an unreasonable number of patents. This capital-ization has pretty far-reaching effects: the more high-tech, high-powered folks you have in a place, the more similarly gifted people will be attracted to moving there—and all these jobs actually generate more jobs. Moretti says that a high-tech job actually creates something like 10 service sector gigs.

Why Your Friends Shape Your Happiness, Creativity, and Career

Capt. Jake Owens knew the Afghans often communicated through parables, and he had inherited a favorite from a mentor. He holds up an apple and asks, “How many apples do you see?” Most people answer, “One.” “How many seeds are in the apple?” asks Owens. Say you guess eight. “What happens if you plant those eight seeds?” You get eight trees and, of course, all the apples they produce. “So how many apples am I holding in my hand?” Owens asks again.
“I practiced that parable over and over and over with my linguist,” Owens says. “Until I got it right.”

From “The World’s Hardest Consulting Gig,” part of Fast Company’s Startup: Afghanistan package.

Capt. Jake Owens knew the Afghans often communicated through parables, and he had inherited a favorite from a mentor. He holds up an apple and asks, “How many apples do you see?” Most people answer, “One.” “How many seeds are in the apple?” asks Owens. Say you guess eight. “What happens if you plant those eight seeds?” You get eight trees and, of course, all the apples they produce. “So how many apples am I holding in my hand?” Owens asks again.

“I practiced that parable over and over and over with my linguist,” Owens says. “Until I got it right.”

From “The World’s Hardest Consulting Gig,” part of Fast Company’s Startup: Afghanistan package.

LEADERSHIP IN THE FIELD: MARINES, ARMY, AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY

E.B. Boyd, embedded reporter in Afghanistan, profiles the leadership transition from the Marines to the Afghan National Army, and the effort and innovation behind it.

LEAD OR DIE 

Lt. Col. Philip Treglia and photographer Teru Kuwayama will be featured speakers at tomorrow’s Innovation Uncensored SF conference. Join us.

If there’s a road that leads to perfect, the road that travels in the opposite direction leads to launching. Nothing will ever be perfect—not your product, service, messaging, etc. But the only real way to test it is by getting your work in front of people. Flaws can be adjusted, but the only way to find them is to get your work out there.

hyper-phobic entrepreneur Paul Jarvis on facing your fears in order to succeed
An excerpt from Dear Marissa Mayer critics: It’s time to rally around great leaders everywhere:
"Some have claimed that Mayer’s not an accurate representation of a woman working in technology. Above all, a high-fashion woman like this could certainly not be relatable. But who’s to say what a role model should look like? It’s always going to be something, and it’s time to live and let live and celebrate the increasing diversity of those among us who dare to lead and be themselves along the way.”
 

An excerpt from Dear Marissa Mayer critics: It’s time to rally around great leaders everywhere:

"Some have claimed that Mayer’s not an accurate representation of a woman working in technology. Above all, a high-fashion woman like this could certainly not be relatable. But who’s to say what a role model should look like? It’s always going to be something, and it’s time to live and let live and celebrate the increasing diversity of those among us who dare to lead and be themselves along the way.”