The Playbook

What Differentiates Social Entrepreneurs

If the goal of your business is to improve the world, you're ultimately trying to put yourself out of a job.

Is Your Idea Any Good? Here's How to Tell

Gilt founder Kevin Ryan asks a few simple questions to determine if a business idea is worth pursuing.

Think Big From the Start

As an entrepreneur, it's essential that you don't limit your own vision, says FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren.

You Have to Be Patient With Social Media

Social media is a marathon, not a sprint, so it's important to understand that results take time.

To Make Smart Hires, Focus on the Right Skills

Gilt founder Kevin Ryan explains why experience in a much larger company isn't always a good quality in a start-up hire.

Small Business Forecast for 2014

SurePayroll president Michael Alter is cautiously optimistic for small businesses, predicting growth in revenue and productivity with limited hiring gains.

How to Encourage an Environment of Ideas

You don't have to be an innovative leader, but you have to support and fight for the creative ideas of your people.

Leadership Resolution: Help Your Team Become Better Leaders

Stop working through lunch--instead, take people to lunch and help them grow as leaders.

Prepare Your Business for the End of the Year

Make--and stick to--a checklist with clear deadlines for year-end items like W-2 information and payments into tax-deferred accounts.

Gain a Competitive Advantage With Better Data

Gilt founder Kevin Ryan explains why collecting and utilizing the right data will help you beat out the competition.

Should You Give Holiday Gifts to Your Employees?

If you're not sure whether to give your team holiday gifts, consider what kind of culture you want to create, says Michael Alter, president of SurePayroll.

All Leaders Need 2 Key Skill Sets

Sam Bacharach, co-founder of Bacharach Leadership Group, explains why effective leaders must have both political and managerial competence.

Spend More Time Hiring (and Less Time Managing)

Gilt founder Kevin Ryan advises entrepreneurs to find the best candidates by spending more time on the hiring process.

How Effective Leaders Prepare for Negotiation

Sam Bacharach, director of the Cornell Institute for Workplace Studies, explains that negotiating effectively as a leader is all about preparation.

Get More Out of Interviews With Unexpected Questions

You'll learn far more about candidates by asking questions for which they haven't rehearsed answers, says Gilt founder Kevin Ryan.

How to Evaluate Your Employees

Gilt founder Kevin Ryan explains why it's so important to have clear metrics and a definition of success for every role.

Reference Checks Are More Valuable Than Interviews

According to Gilt founder Kevin Ryan, checking references will tell you more about a job candidate than the interview.

Great Leaders Know That Good Ideas Aren't Enough

Leaders don't become great through charisma or vision alone. At its core, leadership is about executing on ideas.

How to Earn Credibility as a Leader

Sam Bacharach, director of the Cornell Institute for Workplace Studies, explains how to people to believe in your leadership and expertise.

Build Teams for Creativity

Sam Bacharach, director of the Cornell Institute for Workplace Studies, explains how leaders can encourage both outrageous ideas and practical follow-through.