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Think meditation is “too soft” for hard-core leaders? Think again. The U.S. Navy teaches “holistic leadership,” “active reflection” and “health and wellness” during leadership training at the elite Executive Learning Office, where admirals are groomed. They’ve found that these nontraditional disciplines have a real effect on leader performance.

— Adapted from “Inside The U.S. Navy’s Leadership School,” Scott Saslow, Forbes.

Make wise use of limited new-hire funds by screening interviewees with this question (among others on your list): “What’s the toughest feedback you’ve ever received and how did you learn from it?” It shows a candidate’s ability to learn from mistakes. Good answer = specific feedback and how the person learned and changed. Bad answer = “I can’t remember.”

— Adapted from “Five Must-Ask Interview Questions,” Willa Plank, The Wall Street Journal.

Brainstorming sessions may not be the best way to generate the best ideas. Rather, a little time alone can yield more and better results. A recent Wharton study found that giving people time to brainstorm on their own before discussing ideas with their peers resulted in better-quality ideas. When it comes to innovation, one exceptional idea beats 10 mediocre ones.

— Adapted from “How Group Dynamics May Be Killing Innovation,” Knowledge@Wharton.

Three cures for long meetings:

  1. Projecting the image of a 4-foot-tall timer on the wall, which tracks the time left for each agenda item (Google).
  2. Holding a standing meeting in a room with no chairs.
  3. Asking everyone to check their hand-held devices and laptops at the door, so the agenda is everyone’s singular focus (design firm Adaptive Path).

— Adapted from “Work Smart: Unconventional Cures for Meetingitis,” Gina Trapani, Fast Company.

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