From Waking Up Early To Ditching Cover Letters: This Week’s Top Leadership Stories

This week’s top stories may help you wake up earlier, read more books, and stop writing cover letters.


This week we learned how to read more books each year, why cover letters may be obsolete, and how the mastermind behind Netflix’s culture became the victim of her own success.


These are the stories you loved in Leadership for the week of February 15.

1. How I Became A Morning Person, Read More Books, And Learned A Language In A Year

Buffer’s Belle Beth Cooper is “a big fan of working smarter, not harder,” which led her to undertake a daunting yearlong experiment. Cooper spent five minutes every single day studying French, and committed to reading just one page of a book each night. Here’s her recap of how it all went, and the strategy that made it possible.

2. Cover Letters Are Dead: Do This Instead

By one recent measure, two-thirds of recruiters don’t find much value in cover letters (and many of the software systems they use don’t process them anyway), which leaves some career experts saying they’re obsolete. Instead, there are a few tweaks you can make to your resume to help it stand out.

3. The First Four Things You Should Do Every Workday

You may be able to set the tone for your entire day in the first hour or so after pouring your coffee. This simple, four-step routine can help you lay productive groundwork each morning.

4. She Created Netflix’s Culture And It Ultimately Got Her Fired

Patty McCord is widely credited with shaping a culture at Netflix that’s envied throughout the tech world and beyond. But writer Vivian Giang reflects this week that McCord may have been a victim of her own success when she “moved on” from Netflix in 2012. Speaking to Giang of that decision, McCord says, “We did it like the grownups that we are, and that’s part of the culture.”

5. How U.S. Employee Benefits Compare To Europe’s

According to a new report from Glassdoor, the U.S. isn’t very competitive with other countries when it comes to employee benefits. In fact, according to the study, the U.S. ranks as “least generous” in nearly every category, including unemployment, vacation, sick time, and parental leave.