Morning Advantage: It’s Not Good Enough To Be Smart

So you're the brainiest person in the room. If you're not social about your smartness — and smart about your socialness — you're likely to fail, according to Andrew Razeghi in Fast Company. Pointing to the famous Thomas Edison v. Nikola Tesla electricity throwdown, Razeghi explains that Tesla only had one key stakeholder behind him (George Westinghouse), while Edison was better connected to innovators and other VIPs (Henry Ford, Warren G. Harding, and more). Despite both being brilliant inventors, only one was successful because he was in with the in crowd.

While Razeghi's not-so-subtle dichotomy of life trajectories is a bit extreme (Tesla died destitute in a New York City hotel room; Edison became famous), there are practical recommendations for your own company and career. When hiring, consider both the brains of potential hires and their experience connecting with others on a variety of platforms.

GENERAL FAILURE

Building a Culture of Military Mediocrity (The Atlantic)

By many accounts, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't go (and still aren't going) exactly as planned. One of the biggest reasons, says Thomas E. Ricks, is a profound lack of leadership among the U.S. generals in charge. Tracing the history of military hiring and firing, Ricks uncovers a troubling current system that favors promoting the next in line based on seniority. And once generals are in place, few are quickly demoted based on bad performance (which is almost the opposite of how things worked in wars past). Military highers-up also tend to focus on tactical specifics, failing to see (and advise on) the big picture. The lesson: When you can't connect the details with larger goals and objectives, you can't lead effectively.

Editors' Note: HBR recently interviewed Ricks on this subject. Listen to our Ideacast and read our October 2012 article about how a culture of accountability can deteriorate.

PICK YOUR POND

For High Earning Power, Start Small (Quartz)

New Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is considered a darned good role model for a whole host of reasons. To add to the list: how she built her reputation — and earning power — by working her way up a small company until it grew into a success. Now, not everyone will wind up making $117 million over five years. But Janet Guyon recommends taking a page from Mayer's playbook by building your klout in a place where there's less competition. That way, your successes are more visible, both internally and externally.

BONUS BITS:

Slants on Sandy

Three Leaders, All Comfortable, Put Three Different Faces on Storm Response (New York Times)
The Economic Impact of Hurricane Sandy (Christian Science Monitor)
7 Fake Hurricane Sandy Photos You're Sharing on Social Media (Mashable)

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