From Better Brainstorms To Staying Focused: June’s Top Leadership Stories

June’s top stories may help you sharpen your focus, show you how to brainstorm better, and get you noticed by job recruiters.


This month, we learned how Googlers brainstorm, what researchers are doing to improve our memory and focus, and a few things job recruiters no longer care that much about.


These are the stories you loved in Leadership in June 2016:

1. How To Brainstorm Like A Googler

“Being able to describe an idea in less than six words helps you clarify it,” says Google’s Veronique Lafargue. That’s why writing fictional headlines for half-baked ideas is just one part of Google’s three-step brainstorming process, which Fast Company got an inside look at this month.

2. Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain Into Focusing

University of Texas researchers have developed a brain-training program to improve focus, memory, and cognitive functioning, with positive results showing up in as little as nine hours. Here’s how it works.


3. Three Things Recruiters No Longer Look For (And Three They Still Do)

Can you get away with job-hopping? Is your cover letter still helping you? We asked four recruiters to weigh in on what they still care about in job candidates and what they don’t–and why.

4. How Giving Up TV For A Month Changed My Brain And My Life

Growing up, do you remember hearing how too much TV would rot your brain? Well it doesn’t exactly do that, but researchers have linked substantial TV viewing with a “thickening of the frontopolar cortex, which is related to verbal reasoning ability, and also correlated with a drop in IQ in proportion to the number of hours of television watching.” So writer Stephanie Vozza kicked the habit–and here’s what she found.

5. Exactly What To Do After Someone Visits Your LinkedIn Profile

You know that “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section on LinkedIn? Well instead of just glancing at the list of users who’ve recently stopped by to check our your profile (or stalk them back), there are a few more constructive things you can do to boost your career.


6. Why Zenefits Took A Tip From Zappos To Try To Turn The Company Around

The HR and payroll company has had a rough year. But as new CEO David Sacks tries to get Zenefits back on its feet, he’s offered two months’ severance pay and four months’ COBRA health benefits to any employees who decide they aren’t on board with the turnaround plan.

7. Here’s How A Month Of Zen Meditation Changed My Life

Buddhist meditation practices have been around for over 1,500 years, making them about as far a cry from the latest brain hack as you can imagine. But modern scientists are beginning to document the physical and mental benefits meditation can offer. So writer Michael Grothaus adopted a monthlong regimen of zazen, the most traditional form of Zen meditation, then shared what he found.

8. How I’ve Learned To Lead As An Introverted CEO

Jeff Booth, CEO of BuildDirect, says he’s “generally slow to speak or act,” which some could see as a leadership liability. But over time, he says he’s managed to turn his natural introversion–a trait that a surprising number of high-profile CEOs share–to his advantage. This month he explained how.


9. How I Added $15,000 To My Income In One Year

Sometimes incremental changes will get you where you want to go, but other times they just don’t cut it. One writer recounts how taking a combination of two dramatic steps helped give her income–and career–the boost she was looking for.

10. 5 Essential Skills You Need To Keep Your Job In The Next 10 Years

Worried about a robot taking over your job? Experts are still debating to what extent you should be, but in the meantime, here’s a look at the skill sets futurists believe to be automation-proof over the next decade.