Businessman reading a book

Businessman reading a bookThe most successful leaders share a few common activities. They often report getting up earlier than most people (5am is a common start time), they exercise daily, and they read constantly. These habits are often shared as secret ingredients for their success. In particular, executives believe that reading frequently helps exercise their brain in unique ways while helping them broaden their perspective. Additionally, it helps support the creative thinking and problem-solving processes they need to address today’s complex, ambiguous problems. Essentially, if you’ve read enough books, then someone, somewhere has shared how they addressed the problem you’re currently trying to solve.

So, why aren’t we all reading more frequently? Who has the time?

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resilience-at-workFrom our archives: Many of us grew up learning the 3 R’s throughout our education (reading, writing, and arithmetic). However, as technology changed and the needs of the workforce became more complex, educators realized the true skills necessary for success had changed as well. For the past decade, educators have been focused on teaching the four C’s that have been deemed 21st Century Workforce Skills. The 4 C’s necessary for workforce readiness are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Many organizations report that, despite higher education’s focus on the 4C’s, new graduates still lack basic proficiency in these areas.Read More

image of hands giving thumbs up sign

image of hands giving thumbs up signAlthough there are some substantial individual differences in our need for rewards and recognition, all humans need (and deserve) to feel seen, heard, and understood. Some individuals need more acknowledgement than others, but at a minimum we never want to feel invisible (or worse—disregarded). This is particularly challenging for leaders in a year where intact in-person teams have now become virtual teams often working on a flexible schedule. While we need to be intentional about staying connected with our team members, we can unlock a stronger relationship by placing a high priority on validation.

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Woman-Consultant

“How are you?” I asked. “Good. Busy as always, of course. It’s good to be busy.” Certainly, I knew my colleague meant that he is thankful his business was thriving, but I noticed a trend. Any time I reached out for a check-in, his response was the same: “I’m good. Busy, busy, busy.” And I responded automatically by saying, “That’s great! I’m glad things are going well for you.” A few hours later, I would reflect on the conversation, and I always felt a little unsettled. Were things actually going well, or had I been distracted by the excitement of busyness?

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Information Overload

Information OverloadEditor’s Note: This blog was originally posted prior to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re hoping 2021 will see us making a healthy return to the pre-COVID days. With the family loaded in the car, you’re headed to your child’s friend’s house. While you’ve never been to this house before, you know the general area and have the address on hand. As you get closer to the destination, what do you do? Do you continue chatting away with the family about your plans or do you turn down the radio and ask everyone in the car to be quiet?

Like most people, you probably asked for silence as you crawled through the neighborhood looking for your destination. But why? The sound of the radio may not visually impair us, but it does divide the finite amount of cognitive resources we have available to solve problems.

In the car, we unconsciously demand silence as we decide to turn left or right. We know that to make the best possible decision, we must devote our full attention to the issue at hand. But in the workplace, we rarely “turn down the radio” as we make decision after decision.Read More

resilience-at-workMany of us grew up learning the 3 R’s throughout our education (reading, writing, and arithmetic). However, as technology changed and the needs of the workforce became more complex, educators realized the true skills necessary for success had changed as well. For the past decade, educators have been focused on teaching the four C’s that have been deemed 21st Century Workforce Skills. The 4 C’s necessary for workforce readiness are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Many organizations report that, despite higher education’s focus on the 4C’s, new graduates still lack basic proficiency in these areas.Read More