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April’s Top Leadership Stories Include Feminist High Heels and EQ

This month’s top stories look at how to craft an emotionally intelligent presentation, and how women are reinventing the high heel.

April’s Top Leadership Stories Include Feminist High Heels and EQ

This month, we learned that recruiters spend more time on other social media platforms than they do on your LinkedIn profile, how some women are reinventing the high heel to allow for comfort and durability, and how you can make boring presentation more interesting and emotionally intelligent.

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These are the stories you loved in Leadership for the month of April 2018.

1. Recruiters Look At This More Than Your LinkedIn

When you’re job searching, you’re probably paying attention to your LinkedIn more than anything else. That’s not necessarily a bad idea, but you also shouldn’t neglect other social media platforms–namely, Facebook and Instagram. Sure, recruiters are scanning for red flags, but they’re also trying to gain insights into your personality that LinkedIn doesn’t reveal. As Carly Johnson, project manager at Simply Hired, told Fast Company, “Instagram and Facebook shows a living, breathing person . . . It’s great to have a second level of information.” 

2. High Heels, Invented For The Male Gaze, Get A Feminist Makeover

High heels have been portrayed as a tool of empowerment, as well as a “tool for patriarchy designed to slow a woman down.” Whichever way you look at it, it was designed by men, for men. But some women have had enough, and they’re doing their part to make high heels a pair of stylish shoes that you can comfortably walk in. Fast Company‘s Elizabeth Segran caught up with these women, from two entrepreneurs who launched startups to reinvent the shoe, to a chief merchandising officer of a prominent fashion house determined to innovate around them.

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3. Five Books To Read When You’re Considering Making A Big Change

Change is hard and scary–particularly when it comes to your career. When you’re confused about what direction to take, it’s hard to know where to start. Family and friends might mean well, but their advice is probably going to be subjective, and tied to what they want you to do. Depending on your career goals, Fast Company has rounded up the best books to dig into when a big change might be on the horizon for you.

4. The Science Of Happiness, In Four Simple Habits

If you are in a workplace with a less-than-stellar culture, being happy might seem out of reach. But the truth is, there are steps you can take to make yourself happier no matter the circumstances, provided that you’re willing to work at it. Happiness researcher Emiliana Simon Thomas shared four easy habits that anyone can develop–from being deliberate about savoring the good times, to finding (or creating) a purpose in your day-to-day work.

5. How To Design An Emotionally Intelligent PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint presentations are boring, but they don’t have to be–if you inject your speech with a dose of emotional intelligence. Darren Menabney shared a step-by-step process on how to do this, from using empathy to understand your audience to crafting a storyline that guides your presentation. As Menabney wrote, “PowerPoint is just a tool. Whether a presentation is bad or good depends on the person creating the slides. Bad presentations are a user problem, not a software problem, and the worst of them tend to make sense to the presenter, just not to the audience.

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6. Donald Trump Will Do Anything To Avoid Prosecution–And John Bolton Will Help

Since Trump was inaugurated, he has shocked many with his words toward those who served in the U.S. military, from telling an army widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for” to criticizing John McCain, who was a military prisoner in Vietnam, for being captured. According to scholar and writer Sarah Kendzior, this is emblematic of Trump’s fear of sacrifice, and his willingness to let others pay for his misdeeds. She wrote, “Trump’s obsession with ‘winning’ is infamous. But the winning is always more about Trump than it is about the United States–and at times the concepts are mutually exclusive. Trump’s definition of an attack on the U.S. is when his lawyer’s home is raided by the FBI, not when Russia attacks our elections and infrastructure.

7. What I Learned As A Liberal Lesbian At Fox News

When Sally Kohn became a commentator at Fox News, she harbored many misconceptions about conservatives. Namely, she thought that they were all heartless and hateful. But her experience as one of the few left-leaning, lesbian commentators at the right-wing network taught her those stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth. She wrote, “It took being the ‘only’ one in the room to see my own biases. I had to be the weirdo to notice how normal everyone else really was.”

8.  I Used This Simple Chart To Prioritize My Crazy Busy Work Life

When former media executive Fran Hauser was on maternity leave, the company she worked for appointed a new CEO. Hauser quickly cut her leave short and went back to the office, fearing that she’d miss the opportunity to forge a relationship with the CEO. Soon, she found herself stressed out and struggling to make progress on her big tasks–so she created a system that required her to prioritize. She wrote, “I knew that I needed to impose a structure to force myself to create and maintain those boundaries. I needed to take an objective and honest look at where I wanted to focus my time and energy.”

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9. How These Different Personality Types Find Motivation

Many people associate motivation with willpower, and while that might be somewhat true, your personality can play a huge part. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better Too), told Stephanie Vozza that there are four ways people respond to expectations–as an obliger, questioner, rebel and upholder. An obliger, for example, responds well to external expectations, while a rebel loathes the thought of having to be accountable to anyone, including themselves.

10. These Are 8 Must-Have Pieces For Women’s Work Wardrobes

Dressing for work can be tricky–particularly in an era where corporate dress codes no longer mean blazers and high-waisted skirts. As Elizabeth Segran reports, the best way to remedy the stress is to create a “work uniform . . . a set of outfits you can wear day after day.” To give working women ideas on what those pieces of clothing can be, Segran tried out several pieces that transition well from casual to formal–from leather jackets to leggings that are appropriate for the gym and the boardroom.

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About the author

Anisa is the assistant editor for Fast Company's Work Life section. She covers everything from productivity to the future of work

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