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Weekend Reads: The refudiate edition

Cue the Elton John.

Sorry may be the hardest word, but it was said plenty in Washington this week, as both USDA chief Tom Vilsack and even President Obama voiced their regret to Shirley Sherrod, the USDA employee who was ousted this week after comments she made were taken out of context on a conservative Web site. Perhaps, given Vilsack's rush to judgment, his weekend reading should be something about making better decisions.

For the rest of us, here's PostLeadership's second installment of Weekend Reads:

Refudiate Professionalese: Sarah Palin may not be Shakespeare, but neither are most CEOs and leaders today. While they may not revel in their language creation, most are painfully unaware of the opaque, vague and completely cringe-inducing corporatese they use every day. Why not try out Dan Pink's challenge, and try speaking like a human for a week? Circle back with me by EOD if you have the bandwidth to leverage.

Never, ever use "impact" as a verb: For a refreshing take on leadership, check out this report from The Cancer Letter about Harold Varmus's remarks regarding his new post as the director of the National Cancer Institute. Varmus, the former chief of the National Institutes of Health, a Nobel Laureate, and the former president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, could have held jobs much bigger than this. But his excitement and refreshingly simple take on his role as a leader is infectious.

But don't mince words, either: I'm a big fan of Bob Sutton, who isn't afraid to say what he thinks. The Stanford professor and management thinker, who wrote the wildly popular book The No Asshole Rule, has a new book out in September called Good Boss, Bad Boss, which looks like a good one. In the meantime, take his quiz to find out if your leadership style is more Darth Vadar or Liz Lemon.

And finally, just call us suckers. There's no other word for it: In anticipation of what's being billed as an embarrassing report from pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, we offer this oldie but goodie from The Onion.

Happy reading!

By Jena McGregor

 |  July 22, 2010; 3:38 PM ET |  Category:  Leadership , Must reads Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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