Category Archives: Business

8 qualities of leaders who deliver value every day

Fortune

This post is in partnership with Entrepreneur. The article below was originally published at Entrepreneur.com.

By Jeff Boss, Entrepreneur.com

Leadership is a means to create value for others through self-expression. How a leader shows up is everything as it sets the tone for others to either emulate or evade.

Making the jump from manager to director to leader is never a clear-cut process. The position itself changes but the “how to lead” skills are never made clear, so what happens is newly-appointed leaders apply yesterday’s management tactics to today’s leadership demands, and the two don’t play nicely.

Before assuming your next leadership role, run through the following checklist to ensure you’re on the right track to deliver value every day:

1. Be positive, but not illusory.

Complaints go up the chain of command, not down. Whining or complaining about strategic issues in front of direct reports only undermines the…

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Essess – Startup Gets $10.8 Million In VC To Detect Energy Leaks

Over the past few years, Essess Inc. has deployed cars mounted with imaging sensors to drive around the U.S. creating heat maps that show which homes aren’t sealed properly, wasting energy and their owners’ money.

The startup, which told Venture Capital Dispatch it raised $10.75 million since its founding in 2011 from venture investors, is now rolling out its technology for use by power utilities.

The idea is that utilities could use the information collected and processed by Essess to tell their customers where exactly their “house envelopes” are leaking, and what fixes could improve the seal.

This approach, according to Essess Chief Executive Thomas Scaramellino, could help utilities and customers make improvements in energy savings that are larger and longer-lasting than simply replacing an old lightbulb with a more efficient one, for example.

Essess, whose roots are in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is joining a growing number of startups that are going after the billions of dollars that utilities in the U.S. must spend on energy-efficiency programs under state mandates.

The goal of the tech companies is to lower the cost of analyzing which buildings are most wasteful and pinpoint the reasons remotely, in order to avoid in-person and expensive energy audits.

Essess has a high-tech method, with a focus on the “building envelope.” It’s using advances in robotics, computer vision and machine learning, and collects more than three terabytes of data each night, the CEO said.

Heat leaking from window frames, doors and poorly insulated attics and walls can make people uncomfortable and power use inefficient. The company’s approach allows it to gather a lot of information about many homes quickly, and yet produce very specific home-by-home results. It can pinpoint exactly where air is leaking in each individual home, the company says. It says that it can do thermal scans of entire utility service territories in days or weeks.

Full Article @ WSJ

Vivint Solar CEO: Republican Congress will be good for industry

Fortune

Vivint Solar [fortune-stock symbol=”VSLR”] yesterday reported its first quarterly earnings since going public last month, reporting a net loss of $0.45 per share on $8.3 million in revenue. It also said to expect a Q4 slowdown in installations, but that it still would meet (and likely surpass) its annual megawatt goals.

While the Q4 slowdown is to be expected, due to winter weather, it’s a bit more unusual to hear a cleantech CEO who seems to sunny about the arrival of a Republican Congressional majority. But that’s the sentiment of Vivint Solar boss Greg Butterfield, who explained his thinking in a phone interview with Fortune.

What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:

FORTUNE: How important is the federal government to the solar industry, regardless of which party is in control?

BUTTERFIELD: I think the federal government steps in whenever something must be done to benefit…

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Is Lynn Good the smartest (new) CEO in the energy industry?

Fortune

On the first Sunday in February, Lynn Good was just sitting down to watch the Super Bowl in her family room when she received the email that would upend her world. A drainage pipe under an earthen storage pond at a defunct coal plant in North Carolina’s border with Virginia had ruptured, sending thousands of tons of toxic coal ash into the scenic Dan River. By the next day, the Dan River spill was battling for attention with the Seahawks’ win on local and national news, as millions watched video of gray sludge spewing into an artery that furnishes drinking water for towns in Virginia. Until that day, Good, the newly named CEO of Duke Energy, had been working methodically to ensure the company remained stable, profitable and boringly free of surprises. “Suddenly, it was all about crisis management,” she says. “It’s something that never should have happened. That’s not…

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Small Business Hiring Way Up

Small business owners cranked back up their hiring engines last month, eclipsing the six-figure threshold for only the second month in the past year, new data show.

Small employers added 102,000 jobs in October, up from an upwardly revised 93,000 the month before, according to the latest employment report released by payroll processing firm ADP. While that’s still down from a peak of 133,000 positions added in June, it marks the second straight month of improvement after a slump to close the summer.

Hiring by small businesses continues to mirror that of the overall economy, as employers of all sizes added 230,000 positions in October, representing the second largest monthly output in the past year, too.

“Employment continues to trend upward as we begin the last quarter of 2014, driven mostly by small to mid-sized companies,” ADP CEO Carlos Rodriguez said in a statement.

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World Trade Center Is Open For Business

It’s been 13 years since the 9/11 attacks and the World Trade Center has finally re-opened.

On Monday, Conde Nast started moving into One World Trade Center. They’llbe bringing in 2,300+ employees and setting up operations across 24 floors.

One World Trade Center stands at 1,776 feet and is currently the tallest building in the country and the western hemisphere. It’s 104 stories tall including a three-floor observatory that is to open this spring.

Steve Plate, director of construction, remarked “It’s a fantastic milestone. I was there that fateful day. And to see from where we started to where we are today, it’s truly a miracle.”

“I’m an engineer and I can add numbers and tell you ‘tallest, strongest’ and all this stuff,’ Plate said. “But at the end of the day, it’s the most beautiful building in the most beautiful city in the most beautiful region in the world.”

According to Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, One World Trade Center is “the safest class A office space any place…in the world.” He said that federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security consulted on the building’s security.