A bi-weekly newsletter on leadership, company culture, employee engagement and employee feedback by Claire Lew.

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Issue 23 Interview with Jordan Buckner, Founder and CEO of TeaSquares


Every few weeks, I ask one question to a founder, CEO, manager, or business owner I respect…

A chat with Jordan Buckner

Jordan Buckner is the Founder and CEO of TeaSquares, a two-year old snack-food company (that happens to be my favorite snack!) now sold in Whole Foods and soon 187 Jewel-Osco stores later this year. Jordan has been named to Forbes 30 under 30, and his company has an incredible social mission, to boot: They employ underprivileged adults on the South Side of Chicago. In our interview, Jordan shares what he wishes he learned earlier as a leader around hiring for values, and the importance of both strong vision and flexibility.

Transcript of the interview is here.

Latest reads

If You Say Something Is “Likely,” How Likely Do People Think It Is?
“Today people in the worlds of business, investing, and politics continue to use vague words to describe possible outcomes. Why? Phil Tetlock, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, who has studied forecasting in depth, suggests that ‘vague verbiage gives you political safety.’” Written by Andrew Mauboussin and Michael J. Mauboussin, Harvard Business Review

The Mindsets of a Leader
“One of the most revealing questions leaders can ask themselves is ‘Whom do I serve?’ Their answers to that question say more about their style of leadership and field of influence than their personality traits or emotional intelligence does.” (You’ll need to create a login to view the article for free here.) Written by Modesto A. Maidique and Nathan J. Hiller, MIT Sloan Management Review

When Your Team’s Path Forward Isn’t Clear, Carve It
“To carve the world means to bring forth something new by patiently and gradually working, with a sensitive hands-on connection, with the particular reality in front of you.” Written by Adam Kahane, strategy+business

Look Beyond “Culture Fit” When Hiring
“While an employee’s cultural fit at the time of entry was loosely connected with outcomes — those who fit well from the outset tended to perform well — a much more powerful predictor of success was an employee’s ability to recognize and internalize standards.” Written by Dylan Walsh, Insights by Stanford Business

A four-star general’s leadership advice: ‘Communicate, communicate and communicate’
“The lesson I learned over and over was the importance of working as part of a team, not for oneself.” Written by Tom Fox, Washington Post

Favorite reads

Reaching and Changing Frontline Employees
“Frontline supervisors-not senior managers-are the opinion leaders in your organization.” Written by T.J. Larkin and Sandar Larkin

The Downside of Transparent Decision Making
“If the committee knows that it’s going to be transparent the committee members will manipulate the information they share or share less information than they would otherwise.” Based on the research of Ronen Gradwohl and Timothy Feddersen, Kellogg Insight

The fairness factor in performance management
“Amid ongoing dissatisfaction and experimentation, our research suggests that there’s a performance-management issue that’s hiding in plain sight: it’s fairness.” Written by Bryan Hancock, Elizabeth Hioe, and Bill Schaninger, McKinsey Quarterly

Just for fun

The Myth of Quality Time
Love this 2015 New York Times Opinion piece: “There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.”


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