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This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

“Lean In” The Sequel: Are Women More Profitable than Men?

Many wise words have been penned about women in leadership. Most of them focus on the work-life balance, the glass ceiling and the leadership characteristics of women as distinct from men. But what about women’s profitability performance versus men? Why wouldn’t we be interested in that? Ever heard of a women investment manager? Yeah, I know, there...
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Are the Financial Guys in Private Equity Failing Due To Over-Reliance On Financials?

I guess you’ve noticed all the comment and analysis about private equity doing worse than the S&P or at least not doing better ? Seems that while PE has done much better than the S&P over a 10 year period, over the past 5 years they have been way behind. But alternative investments are supposed to beat the pants off the old ways of doing th...
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Eat Wheat To Become A Better Leader!

Did you see the recent study in Science that compared Chinese who eat wheat versus those who eat rice ? It turns out that there’s a big difference. The wheat-eaters (from the North) are more individualistic and the rice-eaters (from the South) are more communalistic. The authors believe that it’s due to the fact that rice takes a lot more effort to...
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Dr. Dre Does Leadership, Kind Of

I guess you read about Apple buying Dr. Dre and Beats? Something to add to the fading Apple cool factor? I think I am swimming against the tide on this one, but streaming music doesn’t sound to me like the next frontier. It’s already here, there are lots of players and it’s becoming commoditized. Amazon, of course, just got involved . Did you notic...
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Online Dating and M&A 2.0: Towards a New Kind of (Corporate) Loving?

I was just reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about people on dating sites using tiger photos to attract attention from potenotial squeezes. Some of these sites have some great techniques. It seems for example, that one site (Tinder), which is optimized for smartphone use, allows you to swipe right if you like someone’s post/photos and l...
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Can Behavioral Agility Be Learned?

It’s now fashionable to talk about leadership agility. The idea is that it doesn’t matter so much what your strengths and weaknesses are; the trick is whether you can learn to act the strengths you need if you don’t possess them naturally. And it doesn’t matter what your weaknesses are either as long as you can address them in a productive way, eve...
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Is Irrationality a Key Leadership Trait? Donald Sterling and Vladimir Putin

I can’t get used to all the reporting on Donald Sterling. The media have gone to town on it. He’s a bad guy no doubt; but there's even worse. How about the unspeakable and truly despicable Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Bok Haram, if you want the lowest villain of them all? Nonetheless this got me to thinking (again) about the nature of leadership....
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Alibaba And The Recombinant IPO – Can a Copycat Ever be an Innovator?

I have been following all the hoopla about Alibaba’s upcoming IPO. Yep, I know it’s a big deal. It’s the biggest internet company in the world by a long shot. It has a lock on the Chinese market (for now at least). On paper it should be able to rise to even more commanding heights. So what’s not to like? Well here’s my question. Can it keep it up? ...
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The Leadership Secrets of Rob Ford and Justin Bieber: Addiction is the New Normal

So Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, just got outed again in a new crack video. You’ve got to hand it to him; he’s a newshound and a highly successful one at that. Ironically he also seems to be a good mayor, if you exclude his many exploits, both drug-related and otherwise. Actually I think we have to view him not as a politician but as an entertain...
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Genetic Testing to Behavioral Predestination: Can Neuroscience Predict Lifetime Outcomes?

So now genetic testing has become de rigueur amongst the jet set, the biological equivalent of Google Glass. As well it might be since Google has invested in this area also (is there anything that Google hasn’t invested in?). What does this mean for everyone else? Well there was a time there when it looked like once you could read the human genome,...
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The Heartbleed Bug: Does Malware Provide a New Backdoor to Measuring Leadership Effectiveness?

I’ve got a personal interest in this post. My son will start at university in August and will study cybersecurity (Stevens Institute of Technology, glad you asked). So that’s getting a lot of my attention right now. Heartbleed just added yet more. Seems like you can’t read the news these days without reading about yet another cyber-attack. It’s eit...
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The Coming Super-Crash in NASDAQ? The Global Population Implosion and the Decline of Stock Markets

I guess you noticed the swoon last week in the NASDAQ. I’m not bright enough to figure out where it goes next in the short-term. But I do have a couple of ideas about what will happen in the longer-term. The beauty about long-term guesses is that if I’m wrong, I won’t be around to have to take the brickbats 20 years ago the global literati were all...
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When do You Need a Cowboy Reserve? The Cases of General Motors and Malaysian Airlines

I got to thinking about all this recently, what first with the unhappy event on MH370, and then the ignition lock saga at General Motors. Both were crises, in their own particular way. And both were badly handled. The question that arises for me is: how can smart leaders in good companies and organizations make such a massive screw-up of a crisis e...
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Ripples In Corporate Space-Time: Do Companies Have An Internal Clock?

Did you hear all the latest buzz about those boffins (at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) who just discovered gravitational waves? So we can actually measure time back almost to the time of the Big Bang? And they did it by actually showing the super-imposition of these waves on the Cosmic Microwave Background (Ok don’t ask but look here...
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Chinese IPOs in the US – How Low Should You Go?

So Weibo and Alibaba are planning to go public in the US. They follow a number of other Chinese companies that already went public. What has the record of these Chinese IPOs been? US investors are generally a pretty trusting crowd. Partly this is because the word “China” makes them think of vast numbers of people and therefore presumably vast reven...
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The Beatles’ Leadership and Innovation Lessons

I guess you have been watching all the news that’s fit to print about the Beatles and the British invasion? Yup, I’m old enough to have listened to the Beatles when they were in their prime. I was, however, young enough not to realize how innovative their music was. And now it’s all getting revived again. Anyone remember Tommy Steele? The Beatles p...
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Is High Intelligence a Handicap to Creating Wealth?

Do you have to be smart (as in high IQ) to be rich? You’d think that the answer would have to be yes. And you also have to believe that any research showing this, or the opposite, would have to be famous. You would be wrong on both counts, at least if you look at a piece of research published in 2007 by one Dr. Jay Zagorsky of Ohio State University...
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Did You Inherit Your Management Style From Your Parents? The Epigenetics of Leadership

Ok so is this a trick question? How you inherit things was fully worked out by Darwin right? It’s all about natural selection and that takes many generations. And we all know that Lamarck, who said that you could inherit characteristics acquired by your parents only in their own lifetimes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inheritance_of_acquired_ch...
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Are You Addicted to Leadership?

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Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO – Stockholders want Safety, Not Innovation

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