This Week in Thought Leaders: Banning Business Cliches, Learning from Moneyball, More

January 19, 2013

Stop describing yourself as “results-oriented,” start thinking like Sherlock Holmes, and learn the dirty secret about airlines in some of this week’s most-popular Influencer posts.

Stop Using These 16 Terms to Describe Yourself (Jeff Haden) Some words just need to be banned from the professional lexicon. On Haden’s list: “innovative,” “world-class,” and the ubiquitous “results-oriented.”

19 Brilliant Lessons from Moneyball (Dharmesh Shah) "Your goal shouldn't be to buy players; your goal should be to buy wins." Hubspot's chief technology officer pulls out the top business lessons from the tale of a baseball manager who defies the conventions of the game.

The Most Important Interview Question of All Time (Lou Adler) It took 10 years of trial and error to come up with one interview question that’s simple, powerful – and revealing. Adler thinks he’s found it.

appleApple’s New Reality (Herb Greenberg) Apple may be a mere mortal after all. The company is struggling to convince consumers to trade up to new and better versions of its products. Its stock is sagging. The looming question: Is that all there is?

How an MBA Can Help You Do a Startup (John A. Byrne) Conventional wisdom says MBAs are useless for entrepreneurs. Why spend up to $200,000 on schooling, the thinking goes, when such money could be used to start a company? Byrne, who’s covered b-schools for years, says that logic is seriously flawed.

R.I.P, Aaron Swartz: Defender of the Freedom to Connect (Daniel Tunkelang) To understand Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist and co-founder of Reddit who died this week, listen to him in his own words.

Hog Heaven (Nancy Kruse) Move over, bacon. Americans are obsessing about a new pork fat: lardo. A national treasure in Italy, lardo now tops everything from hamburgers to Asian pears in the U.S. Kruse breaks down why it’s suddenly so popular.

The People for Whom $1,000 Is a Shoeshine Tip (Michael Moritz) There's some merit to the idea that today's ultra-rich are "modern day robber barons," using their influence for their own gains. Moritz reviews Chrystia Freeland's new book, Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Elseand analyzes what the widening wealth gap means for society.

One Reason Why We Really Hate Teams (Marla Gottschalk) Admit it: Working on a team can be a painful experience. One idea often wins out, silencing other valid viewpoints. Can that be changed? Gottschalk shares her method to combine ideas and make teams more productive.

Why Airline Programs Aren't Loyal to You (Christopher Elliott) Here's the cruel reality: Airlines can make up the rules of their loyalty programs as they go. That means, for example, that United can stop offering some elite travelers free "economy plus" seats. Other carriers can change mileage redemption requirements without notice. The dirty little secret, as Elliott writes, is that "loyalty only goes one way."

Boost Your Creativity With Simple Acts of Mindfulness (Steve Rubel) Want to be a master problem-solver like Sherlock Holmes? Rubel meets up with author Maria Konnikova and learns how e-mail free zones, nature walks and other simple tricks can help us think like the detective.


Photos: Joe Seer/ (Moneyball); ReneeS/Flickr (lardo).

Click here to read more from our thought leaders, or to nominate luminaries you think should be sharing their insights on LinkedIn.

Editor’s Note: This blog post is syndicated from LinkedIn Editor Chip Cutter. Follow him on LinkedIn for more.