From Landing A Promotion To Harnessing Stress: October’s Top Leadership Stories

This month’s top stories may help you put your stress to good use, write better cover letters, or even end the year with a promotion.

This month, we learned which cover letter gaffes turn hiring managers away, what kinds of work-related stress may actually be useful, and why the cybersecurity sector may want to consider recruiting musicians.


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

1. I Review Hundreds Of Cover Letters–Here’s What I Instantly Reject

The days of the cover letter may ultimately be numbered, but they’re still widely used to screen candidates. These are some of the most common immediate disqualifiers, according to one experienced hiring manager.

2. I’m A CEO–Here’s How I Decide Whether To Give You A Raise Or Lay You Off

Got your eye on a raise or promotion by the end of the year? To get it, you’ll need to make a case for what you’re worth to your company. This month, one CEO shared the basic math he uses to make decisions like these, saying, “For every dollar that you hope to get in increased pay, you need to bring in three to five dollars to the business for your raise to make sense.”

3. Use This Formula To Tame Your Hopeless To-Do List

Chances are your to-do list is a bit of a jumble, right? You’re not alone–the very act of prioritizing your daily action items sometimes doesn’t feel like a top priority. But with this straightforward method, you can give your work tasks some much-needed structure, and all you need to know are your ABCs.

4. Sorry, But Some Work-Related Stress Is Good For You

Chronic stress can be a workplace killer, but researchers believe that smaller doses of “acute” stress may actually help us develop our skills and boost productivity. Here’s a look at a few ways to make limited amounts of job-related stress work in your favor.

5. GM To Top Tech Talent: Ditch Silicon Valley For Detroit

The legacy carmaker isn’t exactly known for its fast-paced, innovative culture, but CEO Mary Barra is trying to change that. With several key acquisitions under its belt, GM is picking up a few things from the tech world, hoping the best and brightest will take note.


6. 3 Crucial Things I’ve Learned In My First 30 Days As A Manager

Becoming a new manager isn’t easy. For Buffer’s Katie Womersley, it didn’t help that she felt the people she was tasked with managing were better developers than she was. Here’s what she says it took to shake that self-doubt and settle into her new role.

7. Gwyneth Paltrow On Why Her Monthly Capsule Collections Sell Out In Hours

Paltrow told Fast Company this month that recent rumors she’d be leaving Goop, her lifestyle brand, are dead wrong. The company is growing fast, thanks in no small part to the “lean” startup methods that inform its new, curated product lines featuring just a handful of items at a time.

8. Three Ways To Write Shorter, More Effective Emails

Email is only as effective as what it gets done, so this week we learned how to trim the inefficiencies out of our messages to make sure they accomplish more in fewer words.

9. Musicians May Be The Key To The Cybersecurity Talent Shortage

Data breaches are becoming so commonplace that the cybersecurity sector can’t seem to grow fast enough to help organizations defend themselves. In fact, the sector is at 0% unemployment, and the race to find qualified talent is driving up wages. That means looking for crossover skills in unlikely places, and some believe that musical training may be one of them.

10. Science-Backed Ways To Build Confidence When You Feel Like You’re Out Of Your League

There’s plenty of advice out there for faking confidence, but the better approach may actually be to persuade yourself to actually feel the vibe you’re trying to project. Here’s a look at the latest psychological research on how to trick your brain into greater self-assurance.