Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Today, GM boss Mary Barra makes her fourth appearance before Congress to discuss the automaker’s ignition-switch defect. Read on to learn more about the one trait successful leaders share.
• GM posts record-setting sales as Barra takes the stand. The automaker announced on Wednesday that global sales topped 2.5 million for Q2 2014 — its best quarter since 2005. The good financial news comes in just as CEO Mary Barra readies herself to speak before Congress for the fourth time. Barra is expected to be grilled on how victims and the government were kept in the dark for years about the deadly ignition-switch defect. Reuters
• Mylan’s ‘tax inversion’ targeted by Jack Lew. In a letter to Congress, the Treasury secretary asked officials to crack down on deals that allow U.S. companies to skirt taxes by merging with an overseas company. Lew’s letter comes after U.S. generic drugmaker Mylan announced it will be moving to the Netherlands after purchasing Abbott Laboratories for $5.3 billion. Mylan is led by CEO Heather Bresch, the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). Financial Times
• Activist investor advances war against Pepsi. Nelson Peltz hinted on Wednesday that launching a proxy fight to force PepsiCo to spin off Frito-Lay is a “possibility.” Peltz, whose Trian Fund Management owns 0.8% of Pepsi stock, has been aggressively pitching the idea of the two businesses splitting off. CEO Indra Nooyi remains steadfast in her belief that the company is more equipped to meet its long-term profit goals as a single business. Fortune
IN THE HEADLINES
• Rent The Runway announces Netflix for your closet. At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Rent The Runway co-founder Jennifer Hyman announced a subscription product called Rent The Runway Unlimited. Subscribers to the service can receive three designer items at a time of their choosing – including purses, scarves, hats, outerwear and jewelry – for $75 per month. When a customer is finished with an item, she can mail it back for another. The service covers “everything but the dress,” Hyman says. Fortune
• Theranos will bring 500 jobs to Arizona. The Palo Alto-based blood diagnostics firm is helmed by 30-year-old Elizabeth Holmes — recently profiled in Fortune — a college dropout who started the company when she was just 19 and grew it into a business now worth $9 billion. Phoenix Business Journal
• Nancy Pelosi: “Is the only immigration bill we’re going to have one that hurts children?” House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would not back changes to a 2008 law that gave certain undocumented immigrant children broader legal rights to enter the U.S. Republicans have been pressuring the former House speaker to support a law change that would expedite the deportation of children, but Pelosi said on Wednesday it was “the wrong way to go.” NYTimes
• MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Maud Beelman, a veteran investigative journalist, is now the AP’s editor for Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Know a woman in your industry who is moving up or moving on? Email me at email@example.com.
The one trait successful leaders share
We all know that a person with past leadership experience and a true leader can be two completely different job candidates. That’s where Leslie Pratch comes in.
A clinical psychologist, Pratch has evaluated hundreds of candidates for CEO and other top management positions at Fortune 500 companies to predict who will succeed and who will not. Her new book, Looks Good On Paper, distills down the one trait she thinks is essential for successful leaders to have.
Great leaders are great active copers, Pratch explained to me earlier this week over coffee. By active coping, Pratch means the ability to adapt creatively and effectively to challenges and change. An active coper quickly recovers from setbacks, opens up to the people around her and is aware of her own motivations, strengths and shortcomings. In the constantly changing world that we will in, it is critical that leaders posses this trait, says Pratch.
By evaluating potential job candidates based on this one trait, Pratch tells me she has successfully predicted the outcome of the leaders tenure 98% of the time over a ten year period.
To read more about why it is particularly important for women to be good active copers, click over to my full story on Fortune.com.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Japanese companies aim to push more women into management. After Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced policies aimed at filling 30% of managerial positions with women by 2020, private companies are following suit. Toyota, Shiseido and others are working to create voluntary action plans that they will unveil by year-end, targeted at getting more women into executive roles. Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, is viewed as partly responsible for the country’s sudden interest in gender diversity. WSJ
• Did Clinton announce her presidential run on The Daily Show? Not really, but it’s still fun to think about. Host Jon Stewart asked the former secretary of state what “shape” she would like her next office to be. Clinton responded, “I think that the world is so complicated, the fewer corners that you can have, the better.” The allusion to the Oval Office by the best known potential 2016 candidate sent the audience into a frenzy. Quartz
WHAT I’M READING
Why Meg Whitman shouldn’t become the next chair of HP Fortune
Tory Burch teams up with Fitbit NY Daily News
Janet Yellen’s guide to investing Time
Meet the first woman to make it into FDNY’s calendar of heroes HuffPo
When women marry men with less money WSJ
When pursuing gender diversity, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Measures that work in some countries, might fail spectacularly in others. Cultural context matters.Researchers discuss their findings in <em>Harvard Business Review</em> on why strategies to promote women vary across cultures.