LEADERSHIP vs MANAGEMENT & Why every leader needs to have a manager and Steve Jobs’ success at Apple was because he realized it.

by Chris Matyszczyk, Inc. Magazine, 5/26/20.

Being a manager… The very word conjures a sense of keeping things together, getting by and generally making a system work.

Being a leader, on the other hand, now that’s the apogee of rockstarism.

…I’ve been bathing in a commentary, published in the Academy of Management Journal, by INSEAD’s Associate Professor of Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Gianpiero Petriglieri.

…Petriglieri explains how research has clearly shown the diminished impression of management:

To be a manager is to be useful, but dispensable. It is no protection against anxiety in the workplace. In many such places, in fact, wanting to be a manager is a questionable aspiration if it is one at all. It is like wanting to be a dinosaur in an age where leaders have the disruptive impact of meteorites. 

This has caused a skewing that is surely evident in the way so many organizations are run today. Says Petriglieri: 

Preach passion above competence, influence above stewardship, and soon you will find much passion for influence and little competent stewardship at the top of corporations and countries.

Too often, leadership becomes a game of self-aggrandizement, power and stock options. More troubling is the fact that the obsession with leadership has led to a sense that you must act like a leader (whatever that means) to succeed or get funded.

Somehow, says Petriglieri, we pick leaders in a hurry and managers at our leisure. In each case, we’re asking the question What Can You Do For Me?

We’re human. We’re irrational. Or, as Petriglieri puts it: 

We want evidence and excitement, data and dreams.

Yet instead of trying to find all those things in one, we separate the more rational traits from the emotional ones.

Oh, he looks and feels like a leader. Let’s pick him.

Petriglieri worries that leaders and managers are now seen as antagonistic, rather than complementary: 

Splitting leadership from management and arguing for the superior value of one, in other words, is like asking whether the brain or the heart is most important. Which one would you rather give up?

The truth, says Petriglieri, is that a balance between leadership and management is simply harder to build.

He’d like to see a different sort of organization: 

Institutions where we can get along or argue well, passion is held, reasons are heard, and managing and leading abound instead of their caricatures — the managers and leaders.

How many times do so-called leaders breeze in, make everyone feel good — for a short while — and then disappear to their next exalted position? Which all leads me to Steve Jobs. One of the greatest leaders of our time, so we’re told. Surely, then, he’d appoint another great leader to replace him.Instead, he appointed the ultimate so-called manager, Tim Cook.Perhaps Jobs appreciated that as his company got bigger and ever more global, certain skills of absolute competence were essential.It’s a vital lesson for today’s exceptionally disturbed and fractured world. Fine words and a fine image are not enough.I’ve often thought it’s more possible for managers to grow into leaders than for leaders to embrace true consequential competence.How do you think Cook’s been as a leader? Remarkably good, as well as remarkably competent, if you ask m

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/leader-or-manager-steve-jobs-had-definitive-answer.html

FEEDBACK & Harvard Research Says If You Want to Improve Your Performance Don’t Ask for Feedback, Ask For Advice

by Scott Mautz, Inc. Magazine, 8/17/19.

The normal line of thinking goes that if you want to improve at something– let’s say it’s a key sales presentation you’ve just given– that you should ask the people you just gave it to for feedback. Seems reasonable.

But the Harvard researchers discovered that there’s a real problem with this approach. Feedback is often too vague to even be helpful. And in my experience, when you frame it as asking for feedback, people often default to being nice and not wanting to say what they really think. It’s human nature. But human nature doesn’t nurture in this case, it just glosses over.

The researchers say there’s a far better alternative if you want to get better at something–ask for advice.

Why asking for advice is better than asking for feedback.

In one study, the researchers asked 200 people to give input on a job application, asking some to give feedback on the application and others to give advice. Those who gave feedback were vague and glossed over flaws in the application, giving only praise.

Those who were asked to give advice gave more critical and actionable input. In fact, advice-givers gave comments on a whopping 34 percent more areas of improvement and gave 56 percent more ways to improve. Three more studies by the researchers produced similar conclusions.

The studies also highlighted another problem with asking for advice–it’s associated with evaluations.

Imagine you just got off stage from giving that sales presentation I mentioned earlier. You then pick out an audience member to give you feedback. What happens? They immediately go into evaluation mode rather than picturing how you could do that presentation better in the future. So their comments migrate to observations of how well you did something (or not), in their minds articulating a mental letter grade they’re giving you.

But if you asked for advice instead, it puts the audience member in a different frame of mind. Now, implicit in the fact that you’re asking for advice, is the fact that you’re open to getting better.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/harvard-research-says-if-you-want-to-improve-your-performance-dont-ask-for-feedback-ask-for-advice.html

TIME MAMAGEMENT & Forget the 80-20 Rule. Follow the 1-50 Rule Instead.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. A good friend of mine and former president of our seminary Dr. Wayne Schmidt (and now the superintendent of our denomination) told me that another megachurch pastor gave him this advice: “Do your most important work when you have the most energy.”

This article points out a corollary principle, and that is that some things have some of the greatest impact on your overall success. The author does so by a unique and interesting thesis. Take a look.

Forget the 80-20 Rule. Follow the 1-50 Rule Instead: A tiny fraction of your highest-value work produces half of all your results by David Finke, Inc. Magazine, 9/17/19.

…If you’ve read anything on time management, you’ve come across Pareto’s Principle, inspired by the work of 19th-century economist Vilfredo Pareto. Commonly called the “80-20 Rule,” Pareto’s Principle states that 20 percent of your actions generate 80 percent of your results (high value) and 80 percent of your actions generate the other 20 percent of your results (low value). We have all been taught to focus on the 20 percent that generates the high-value work…but there is more that we can do.

With my coaching clients I have taken this idea and further refined it to create something that I share in detail in my latest book, The Freedom Formula.

The Math (Stick with Me)

If you take the 20 percent of your actions that generate 80 percent of your results and apply the 80-20 rule to it a second time, then 20 percent of that 20 percent produces 80 percent of 80 percent of your results. That means 4 percent of your effort (the 20 percent of 20 percent) generates 64 percent of your results (80 percent of 80 percent).

…Hang in here with me for one more math moment and apply the 80-20 rule one final time. That means that just 1 percent of your effort (20 percent of 20 percent of 20 percent) generates 50 percent of your results!

That’s right–a tiny fraction of your highest-value work produces half of all your results.

No, this is not an exact science. Nor does this just work automatically. But Pareto’s Principle illustrates a valuable point: All time is not valued equally. An hour or two of your best time on Tuesday may have produced a far greater return than 30 to 40 hours of the low-value tasks you “checked off” on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

The 1 Percent that Matters

I encourage all business owners to choose one day a week where they block three to four hours out of their day to focus on the 1 percent that produces 50 percent of their results. Turn your cell phone off, shut down your email client, and work on the A-level tasks and projects that really matter. Avoid distractions and other people’s “fires,” and you will soon begin to see the power that comes with upgrading your time.

And once you have a handle on the top 1 percent of your task list, teach your key team members to do the same with their time, and watch your business grow exponentially.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/david-finkel/forget-80/20-rule-follow-1/50-rule-insteaddraft-1568660931.html

DELEGATION & How to Delegate Using a Simple Questionnaire & a 7-Step Process

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Coaching leaders for 30 years and teaching leadership to graduate students for 24 years, I believe the greatest leadership weakness is the desire to “do it yourself” rather than delegate when someone else is better at doing it than you. To address this I created the 3-STRand leadership test.

Take this test to find your leadership style and who you should have on your team. Then read this article for application ideas.

The Best Managers Share Authority. Now It Teaches Them to Delegate Using This 7-Step Process by Michael Schneider, Inc. Magazine, 7/22/19.

The best Google managers empower their teams and do not micromanage.

This idea came in at number two on Google’s top 10 list of effective manager traits. If you haven’t heard the story, Google in an effort to prove that bosses weren’t necessary, ended up finding the exact opposite — managers not only matter, but they can significantly influence the performance of their teams. But, they didn’t stop there. After realizing that managers were important, they embarked on a quest to uncover all the behaviors that made some more effective than others. The initiative became known as Project Oxygen

To help its managers determine the work that they should delegate, Google asks leaders to:

  • Look at the goals. What is the end-game and what does the team need to do to achieve its goals. Break down the work and identify parts that can be delegated. 
  • Look at yourself. In which areas do you have strengths and responsibilities, and what should you delegate? 
  • Recognize the right person for the work. Take a look at your team’s skills and ask yourself who has clear strengths in the areas you want to delegate. Use your employees like “chess pieces” and strategically assign work that plays to their abilities. In the process, you’ll not only empower but also increase the overall productivity of the team. 

…Google has broken down the process into these seven steps

1. Give an overview of the work.

Discuss the scope and significance of the project. Tell your employee why you selected them and the impact that the work has on the business. 

2. Describe the details of the new reasonability.

Discuss your desired outcome and clarify expectations. Tell the employee what you expect, but not how to do it. It’s essential to give them the autonomy and freedom to learn and grow from the experience — not just follow orders.  

3. Solicit questions, reactions, and suggestions.

The conversation should be a two-way street. Remember, the ultimate goal is to put your employee in the driver seat. Make sure they have all the information they need to assume ownership, accountability, and meet expectations.  

4. Listen to the delegatee’s comments and respond empathetically.

This is new and uncharted territory for your employee. Ease their anxiety and create a psychologically safe environment where the employee feels comfortable voicing concerns, discussing hesitations, and coming to you for help. 

5. Share how this impacts the team.

So employees understand the importance of their work and prioritize accordingly, make sure that you connect the dots and explain how the task supports other team initiatives. 

6. Be encouraging.

Employees won’t take full responsibility until you encourage them to. Make sure they understand that you’re trusting them to deliver results. 

7. Establish checkpoints, results, deadlines, and ways to monitor progress.

Although they have the autonomy, make sure employees know the critical milestones they need to hit and what success look like to gauge progress. 

Delegating isn’t the easiest thing to do. But, you have to look at it as an investment in your employees. They learn, and you pick up more bandwidth to tackle other things — everyone wins. 

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/michael-schneider/google-found-that-its-best-managers-share-authority-now-it-teaches-them-to-delegate-using-this-7-step-process.html

PREACHING & The 25 Most Popular TED Talks Include This 1 Surprising Word Over and Over, and the Reason Why is Eye-Opening.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I am conducting a communication consultation for preachers in Ohio and it’s exciting to see the improvement every couple weeks. This TED talk research shows that using humor that leads to engagement is a key to great communication. I’ve studied today’s Christian communicators and I have found this to be true. Peruse this short article for more insights.

By Bill Murphy Jr., Inc. Magazine, 5/16/19.

The official TED website includes a list of the top 25 most-watched TED Talks of all time. 

The playlist runs seven hours. The transcripts are a combined 70,000 words. That’s like a 200-page book.

Still, I wondered if analyzing all of the language across all 25 talks might yield some takeaways. With 679 million total views, even though they’re about different subjects, what makes these TED Talks so popular? Would anything jump out?

Laughter

Even more striking than the frequency of “laughter” is the odd fact that none of the speakers actually ever says the word. Instead, it’s inserted into the transcript every time the audiences chuckled or laughed, with parenthesis around it, like this: “(Laughter.)”

Across 25 talks, there are 380 instances of laughter, which works out .948 per minute — just shy of “a laugh a minute.” But then I realized something else.

Applause(?)

Look, a lot of TED Talks are amusing and even interesting, but they’re not uproariously funny…

Often as not, the audience “laughter” in the combined transcript seems more like the audience communicating with the speaker..,

It’s related to “applause,” which appeared 95 times throughout the transcripts. Combine both words, and we reach an average of 1.2 verbal audience reactions per minute.

Of course, there’s also a third, very common way that speakers keep prompting audience engagement: by asking questions. So next, I counted the question marks. There were 579 total…

The power of engagement

Here’s my big takeaway, which I think has implications for anyone called on to give a speech or presentation.

Calling these super-popular TED Talks “talks,” is a bit of a misnomer. They’re more like a guided conversations, with the speakers giving the audience prompt after prompt after prompt — practically begging and cajoling them in fact — to stay engaged.

Combine my admittedly unusual metrics, and you find that there are a total of 1,061 instances across 25 talks during which the speaker either asks the audience a question or delivers a line inducing either laughter or applause. That works out to about once every 21 seconds.

No matter what they’re talking about — from Pamela Meyer’s “How to Spot a Liar,” to Amy Cuddy’s, “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,” to Elizabeth Gilbert’s, “Your Elusive Creative Genius” — they keep doing the same thing: prompting the audience to engage, over and over and over.

Think of that the next time you sit through a not-so-great presentation, or you have to prepare and give a talk yourself. The secret isn’t just to share information, it’s to prompt engagement — and to keep doing it the whole time you’re up there.

Because anybody can give a talk. It’s another level entirely to lead an engaged conversation.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/the-25-most-popular-ted-talks-include-this-1-surprising-word-over-over-reason-why-is-eye-opening.html

NEED-MEETING & Benjamin Franklin Says This Is the Noblest Question in the World (It’s Only 7 Words)

by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 4/11/18.

In Benjamin Franklin’s words:

“The noblest question in the world is, ‘What good may I do in it?'”

But he is perhaps best known for his role as a politician and statesman in the early days of the United States of America. And it was in large part through that work that he came up with what he called the “noblest question in the world.”

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-benjamin-franklin-this-7-word-question-is-noblest-in-world.html

NEED-MEETING & Benjamin Franklin Says This Is the Noblest Question in the World (It’s Only 7 Words)

by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 4/11/18.

In Benjamin Franklin’s words:

“The noblest question in the world is, ‘What good may I do in it?'”

But he is perhaps best known for his role as a politician and statesman in the early days of the United States of America. And it was in large part through that work that he came up with what he called the “noblest question in the world.”

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-benjamin-franklin-this-7-word-question-is-noblest-in-world.html

CHURCH PLANTING & America’s “Surge Cities” … These Are the 50 Best Places in America for Starting a Business

by Arnobio Morelix, Inc. Magazine, 4/2/19.

In December, Startup Genome partnered with Inc.to analyze 50 U.S. metropolitan areas–in everything from job creation to entrepreneurship rates to wage increases–and then to score them by economic growth. That turned into this list of America’s Surge Cities.


1. AUSTIN

Austin is now growing four times faster than most of Silicon Valley–drawing talent and startups from all over the country.

Once known as a magnet for slackers, the so-called “Live Music Capital of the World” and home of the University of Texas-Austin had a reasonable cost of living, loads of sunshine, well-educated people, and a fun streak. Those are still the reasons people flock to Austin, but slacking off is most certainly not their goal. Today, the metro area, with a population of 2.1 million, is growing four times faster than San Jose and San Francisco (per capita), with entrepreneurs leading the way. Last year, Tyler Haney, founder of New York City-based athletic clothing company Outdoor Voices, relocated her venture-backed company here, as did Peter Thiel’s San Francisco venture capital firm, Mithril Capital. Tech giants including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Dropbox have all established large presences here. And in December, Apple, which already has its second-largest outpost in Austin, announced it will be investing $1 billion to build a new campus that could eventually hold 15,000 new employees. With all the shiny new high-rises sprouting downtown, it can feel like the city has changed almost overnight, but in fact it’s been decades in the making. Austin-born originals like Dell, Whole Foods, and Trilogy Software have been luring talent to town since the ’80s–and then watching alums go on to become founders themselves. More recent successes, such as Homeaway, Bazaarvoice, and Deep Eddy vodka, have done the same. And South by Southwest allows the city to show itself off to the world’s startup elite every spring. The result: thriving startup scenes in food and drink, computer hardware, enterprise software, and–increasingly–consumer tech. Austin still has lots of live music, but today the city’s creative class is creating business as much as art.

2. SALT LAKE CITY

Mormons, skiing, and a herd of tech unicorns have colonized Silicon Slopes, the region with the greatest volume of high-growth companies.

Known as the Crossroads of the West–the first transcontinental railroad and the first transcontinental highway both pass through–the mountainside city also has another, slicker nickname: Silicon Slopes. Tech giants such as Adobe, Electronic Arts, and Oracle all have offices here. Meanwhile, homegrown internet businesses like Ancestry.com and Omniture now employ thousands of people and generate billions in revenue. Entrepreneurs here tend to hail from one of two schools, Brigham Young University, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Utah Valley University. People move here not just because of the world-class skiing–or their Mormon roots–but also because it’s still much more affordable than other tech hot spots. In recent years, the region has added five new startups valued at more than $1 billion each, including education platform Pluralsight, smart-home equipment maker Vivint, and data analytics firms InsideSales.com, Domo, and Qualtrics. The founders of the latter two, Josh James and Ryan Smith, respectively, are the big entrepreneurial personalities in town.
3. RALEIGH
The state capital, part of the hyper-educated Research Triangle, is buzzing with software startups.

This former tobacco and textile town has been transformed into a software hub. Raleigh’srevitalized downtown is home to a number of fast-growth startups, including business software maker Pendo, which closed a $50 million Series D in 2019. Like many startups in the area, Pendo got its start in HQ Raleigh, the city’s dominant co-working space, which offers flexible leases and access to mentors. The Research Triangle–the area encompassing Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill–boasts the fourth-most-educated population in the country, ahead of San Francisco, according to personal finance firm WalletHub. Forty-seven percent of the local talent pool holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, and many are from well-regarded local universities Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and NC State. These schools all offer strong engineering and computer science programs, so the startup scene is software heavy. But there’s also a thriving food scene that includes Seal the Seasons, which freezes and distributes farmers’ crops. Overall, North Carolina companies raised $1.1 billion in 2017, up 36 percent from the previous year.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/surge-cities/best-places-start-business.html

CRITICISM & Tim Tebow Has Many Haters. He Just Shared How He Handles Them In 2 Brilliant Sentences

by Scott Mautz, Inc. Magazine, 2/22/19.

Some fault Tebow for not materializing a robust NFL career after a brilliant college football run (capped by winning the Heisman trophy in 2007). Others doubt his ability to make it in professional baseball (the New York Mets signed him n 2016 and he’s been working his way up their farm system).

Still others are rubbed the wrong way by Tebow being very open and frequent in talking about his faith or in his habit of displaying unswerving optimism.

In a recent press interview detailed by InspireMore, Tebow, in typical upbeat and reflective fashion, shared this dual-sentence snippet of wisdom, which has gone viral:

“You’re always going to have critics and naysayers and people that are going to tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t.”

Criticism is a fact of life. And we’re not wired to handle it well. In fact, psychology professor Roy Baumeister says it takes our brain experiencing five positive events to make up for the psychological effect of just one negative event.

… As I shared in Find the Fire, there are many ways you can reframe the way you view criticism. Here are four more powerful methods.

1. Know that anything worth doing attracts admiration and criticism.

Would you rather be judged or ignored? 

… In fact, one of life’s great imbalances is the fact that what others risk by criticizing is minuscule compared to what you risk by putting yourself out there (internet trolls I’m looking at you). But don’t let that stop you. Don’t ever let that stop you.

2. Seek improvement, not approval.

…When you adopt this philosophy, you’re drawn to criticism as a cradle of insight instead of steering away from it as a source of rejection…

3. Decide who gets to criticize you.

Not all criticizers are created equal, and some shouldn’t even get a seat at the table. Set criteria for those who make the cut, and mentally dismiss the rest (they’ll thus be too busy pounding sand to criticize you anymore).

Mentors are a particularly good choice for those on the short list…

4. Stay focused on the conclusion, not the criticism.

When you keep what you’re trying to accomplish in front of you at all times, you’ll speed through the sidebar of criticism. Renowned racecar driver Mario Andretti once shared his number one secret to his success in the sport: “Don’t look at the wall. Your car goes where your eyes go.” 

TEAMWORK & 3 Reasons Why You May Want People Who Are Chronically Late On Your Team, According to Research

by Rebecca Hinds, Inc. Magazine, 3/1/19.

…Despite your valiant attempts to confront perpetually late co-workers and cure chronic lateness, you’ve probably been less than successful. It’s not all your fault. There are psychological reasons to explain why people are perpetually tardy…

1. Optimism

According to Diana DeLonzor, author of Never Be Late Again, individuals who are perpetually late tend to be more optimistic. As optimists, latecomers are likely to look at the bright side of things….

Optimism is a highly desirable trait in the workplace… Research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman, as outlined in his book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life”, found that sales professionals who are optimistic outperform others by 37 percent. 

2. Creativity 

… According to research, creative individuals aren’t adept at filtering out distraction. Their mind moves freely from one idea to another without constraint. While this proclivity spurs creativity, it also causes their minds to wander from calendar invitations and show up late to commitments. 

3. Low levels of neuroticism

Some highly punctual people express anxiety about being late. Being late feels unsafe and results in stress… a 2006 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, habitually punctual people exhibit higher levels of neuroticism.

Neuroticism can be toxic to the workplace. Neurotic people are more likely to be moody and experience depression…

Read more at …https://www.inc.com/rebecca-hinds/3-reasons-why-you-may-want-people-who-are-chronically-late-on-your-team-according-to-research.html

MILLENNIALS & This 1 Sentence Summarizes the Entire Millennial Generation

by Nicolas Cole, Inc. Magazine, 1/21/18.

This one sentence summarizes the entire Millennial generation:

“I want to be the one who comes up with the idea, not the person who executes on it.”

That’s the problem.

The world doesn’t need more ideas. Ideas are easy. Ideas are as abundant as air itself.

What the world needs is more hands on deck, more doers, more builders–more people who know the value of patience, and who can take something that sounds great in theory and work to bring it to life.

Because let me tell you: The way an idea starts is never the way the idea ends.

What sounds like utopia often turns out to be a complicated web of inconsistencies.

And any idea that is immediately validated because it sounds good usually turns out to be a weak or worthless idea.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/every-ambitious-millennial-that-makes-this-1-mistake-fails.html

VISION & Salesforce founder/co-CEO Marc Benioff explains how clarity + alignment in the word “V2MOM” is the key to Salesforce’s success.

by Robert Glazer, Inc. Magazine, 11/5/18.

 vision and values (V2) combined with methods, obstacles, and measures (MOM). It’s shorthand for some fundamental business processes:

Vision: Defines what you want to do or achieve.

Values: Principles and beliefs that help you pursue the vision.

Methods: Actions and steps to take to get the job done.

Obstacles: The challenges and issues you have to overcome to achieve the vision.

Measures: The ways in which you measure achievement.

V2MOM was the brainchild of Salesforce founder and co-CEO Marc Benioff, who has said that it is “the biggest secret of Salesforce.com’scess.”

In a column explaining the origin of V2MOM, Benioff wrote, “When I was at Oracle, I struggled with the fact that there was no written business plan or formal communication process during our growth phase. In fact, I remember asking Larry Ellison during my new-hire orientation, ‘What is Oracle’s five-year plan?” His response was simple: ‘We don’t have a five-year plan, we barely have a six-month plan. It was our job to figure it out what Larry wanted on our own.”

This led Benioff down the path to examining what great companies do differently. He found that the discussions kept coming back to the themes of clarity and alignment. 

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/robert-glazer/marc-benioff-says-these-4-principles-are-key-to-salesforces-success-heres-how-to-use-them.html

MEETINGS & A New Study of 19,000,000 Meetings Reveals That Meetings Waste More Time Than Ever (But There Is a Solution)

by Peter Economy, Inc. Magazine, 1/11/19.

…According to Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, the cost of poorly organized meetings in 2019 will reach $399 billion in the U.S. and $58 billion in the U.K. This is almost half a trillion dollars for these two countries alone — a tremendous drag on the effectiveness of businesses.

And what are some of the consequences for employees who suffer through poorly organized meetings? According to the report, respondents most often cited:

  • Poorly organized meetings mean I don’t have enough time to do the rest of my work (44%)
  • Unclear actions lead to confusion (43%)
  • Bad organization results in a loss of focus on projects (38%)
  • Irrelevant attendees slow progress (31%)
  • Inefficient processes weaken client/supplier relationships (26%)

The good news is there are things anyone can do to make their meetings better and more efficient and effective. Doodle’s State of Meetings report suggests that doing these four things can make a big difference:

  • Set clear objectives for your meeting
  • Have a clear agenda
  • Don’t have too many people in the room
  • Use visual stimulus such as videos and presentations

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/peter-economy/a-new-study-of-19000000-meetings-reveals-that-meetings-waste-more-time-than-ever-but-there-is-a-solution.html

ANGER & Don’t tweet or reply when you are angry. Instead do what Abe Lincoln did: vent pent-up rage by writing it down … then put it aside for 24 hrs.

by Carmine Gallo, Inc. Magazine, 11/6/18.

…when Lincoln was angry at a cabinet member, a colleague or one of his generals in the Union army, he would write a letter venting all of his pent-up rage. Then–and this is the key–he put it aside.

Hours later or the next day, he would look at the letter again so he could “attend to the matter with a clearer eye.” More often than not, he didn’t send the letter. We know this was Lincoln’s tactic because years after his death historians discovered a trove of letters with the notation: never sent and never signed.

Lincoln practiced this habit for three reasons. First, he didn’t want to inflame already heated passions. Second, he realized that words said in haste aren’t always clear-headed and well-considered. Third, he did it as a signal–a learning opportunity–for others on his now famous “team of rivals.”

In one example, Goodwin recounts the story of Lincoln patiently listening to his secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, who had worked himself into a fury against one of the generals. Once Stanton was done venting, Lincoln suggested that he vent on paper, and write a letter to the general. It must have been quite a letter because it took Stanton two days to write. He brought it to Lincoln who said, “Now that you feel better, throw it in the basket. That is all that is necessary.” Stanton wasn’t pleased, but he took Lincoln’s advice…

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/its-easy-to-fire-off-an-angry-tweet-or-email-take-abraham-lincolns-brilliant-advice-instead.html

PRODUCTIVITY & Neuroscience Says Power Naps Work. Why Aren’t We Taking Them? #IncMagazine

by Jeffrey James, Inc. Magazine, 9/25/18.

Neuroscientists have known for decades that a “10‐minute nap results in significantly improved alertness and cognitive performance.” We even know from brain scans specifically how napping makes you smarter, better and faster.

Given all that peer-reviewed evidence, you’d think that CEOs–who no doubt want and expect employees to perform at their peak–would be rushing to make it easier for employees to take power naps.

But you’d think wrong. According to the New York Times, many if not most companies are still forcing people to employ subterfuge–like hiding in their cars or in the restroom–simply to take a brief restorative nap.

What gives? Why do naps remain verboten?

The sad truth: as a class, CEOs are notorious for ignoring science in favor of biz-blab and bullsh*t. Rather than relying on peer-reviewed neuroscience into productivity, CEOs have a depressing tendency to glom onto the latest management fad du jour.

It’s very bizarre, if you think about it. If CEOs made financial decisions with the same disrespect for facts that they give to productivity decisions, CEOs would be rubbing gold dust on dollars to ensure the money comes back ten-fold.

Nowhere is this tendency to swallow malarkey more obvious than with the open plan office, which runs contrary to over three decades of research from some of the world’s finest universities reveals that OPOs massively decrease productivity.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/neuroscience-says-power-naps-work-why-arent-we-taking-them.html

PREACHING & 5 Science-Based Sermon Hacks to Captivate Any Audience

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Actually the title of this article by Carmine Gallo is “5 Science-Based Presentation Hacks to Captivate Any Audience.”  But most of his ideas are applicable to sermons too. Read more to discover how to keep communication going after the first 10 minutes.

“5 Science-Based Presentation Hacks to Captivate Any Audience” by Carmine Gallo, Inc. Magazine, 4/18/18.

Molecular biologist John Medina once told me, “The brain does not pay attention to boring things.” The statement profoundly shaped my approach to communication skills. My mission is to give readers the tools they need to keep their audience from getting bored.

How to prevent boredom? Simply remember that we interpret the world through our five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Study after study has found that people will remember information and recall it more accurately when more than one sense is stimulated.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/5-clever-presentation-tricks-to-engage-all-five-senses.html

STAFFING & 5 Alarming Statistics That Will Forever Change Your Approach to Hiring and Keeping Star Employees

by Scott Mautz, Inc. Magazine, 7/9/18.

Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace report is eye-opening, to say the least, if you care about hiring and retaining star talent. The findings led Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, to say, “The very practice of management no longer works. The old ways no longer achieve the intended results.”

Why such an aggressive stance? For starters, the report says the majority of employees (51 percent) are now searching for new jobs or watching for openings.

The 212 page report is filled with alarming statistics. I pulled out the five most telling stats and offer advice to help with your talent attraction and retention strategies.

1. 78 percent of employees are not convinced their leaders have a clear direction for the organization.

Job one as a leader is to set a clear direction based on solid strategies and stretching (yet attainable) goals. To set especially effective goals, be certain that the goals are relevant, meaningful and have been developed collaboratively with those who will be held to them (the study also showed only 30 percent of employees said they were involved in goal-setting).

2. 88 percent of employees would switch to a job that allows flexible work arrangements.

…The desire for flexibility came up repeatedly in the study. It appeared as the top perk/job benefit desired and was even more desired among millennials (versus boomers or Gen X’ers).

While some jobs aren’t suited to working from home (like retail or assembly line work for example), all jobs can be infused with a sense of flexibility via things like pliable work schedules or flexible time periods to go to doctor appointments or pick kids up from school. If you’re a leader, it’s time to meld flexibility into your work processes.

3. Only 23 percent of employees agree that their manager provides meaningful feedback.

The lack of feedback includes praise too, with only 3 in 10 employees strongly agreeing that they’ve recently received recognition or praise for good work.  It’s worth noting that receiving feedback is even more important for millennials.

Leaders simply must prioritize giving frequent feedback to employees. Here’s help in giving feedback effectively but for starters, simply commit to the act and remember that research shows the right ratio of positive feedback to corrective feedback is about 5:1. Which should make sense since people tend to do a lot more good than they do “bad”.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/5-alarming-statistics-that-will-forever-change-your-approach-to-hiring-keeping-star-employees.html

 

PREACHING & Neuroscience research confirms: change your presentation every 10 minutes or lose your audience.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I have coached hundreds of pastors to increase preaching impact (and sat through thousands of their sermons). One thing I found is that sermons should end about 10 minutes before they actually end.

In my observations from 25+ years of coaching, the average sermon I’ve heard is approximately 30 minutes. And my observation is that 20 minutes would be the optimum time for most pastors. (But let me say that each person has their optimum time and it may be longer.) But my observation has been that their optimum length is about 10 minutes less than the speaker realizes.

But now there is neuroscience research that shows that people tune out a presentation when it goes over 10 minutes.

It seems our brains are wired to have a 10 minute attention span unless something changes.

The following article is a case study of the recent Apple product debut in which in the first 60 minutes was comprised of six speakers of 10 minutes each: Apple Follows This 10-minute-rule to Keep You Glued to Product Presentations

What neuroscience research is telling us is that 10 minutes into a sermon the speaker should introduce a new story, video, demonstration or what in communication theory we call a different “voice.” This can be a different speaker, a different medium (e.g. video, charts, pictures, demonstration, etc.) or in other words someway to reengage the audience almost as if another person walked on stage.

Here is an insightful quote from the above article:

“Neuroscientists say our brains have a built-in stopwatch that ends around 10 minutes. In my conversations with University of Washington Medical School molecular biologist, John Medina, he cites peer-reviewed studies that show people tune out of a presentation in the first ten minutes. ‘The brain seems to be making choices according to some stubborn timing pattern, undoubtedly influenced by both culture and gene,’ he says. ‘This fact suggests a teaching and business imperative: Find a way to arouse and then hold somebody’s attention for a specific period of time.’ Medina and other neuroscientists say that speakers can re-engage an audience every ten minutes if they introduce a change. A change can include a video, a story, a demonstration, etc.”

PREACHING & 5 Key Steps to Rehearsing a Presentation Like the Best TED Speakers

by Carmine Gallo, Inc. Magazine, 7/30/18.

Every year I teach a class of elite business professionals who are enrolled in an executive education program at Harvard University. They are required to participate in group and individual presentations to graduate. After their presentations are complete, I recommended that each student practice their final presentations a minimum of ten times from start to finish. The ones who do stand out.

I learned this technique from studying and interviewing the TED speakers whose talks went viral…

Here are five steps to rehearse effectively.

1. Start with presentation notes.

Start writing notes for each slide in full sentences. Read the transcript out loud as you review each slide. Next, cut down the full sentences into bullet points and rehearse out loud again–relying on notes even less…

2. Practice under ‘mild stress.’

…The famous entrepreneur and author, Tim Ferriss, applied this concept to his TED talk. “Mimic game-day conditions as much as possible,” he said after his presentation. Ferriss gave the presentation in front of friends and strangers at various startups to groups of about 20 people. “I don’t want my first rehearsal in front of a large group of strangers to be when I stand up in front of 3,000 people,” he said…

3. Ask for specific feedback.

Once you’ve practiced your presentation in front of a small audience, most people will say “good job.” They don’t want to hurt your feelings and they’ll have limited feedback. While “good job” might help you feel good, it won’t help you get better. Ask them to be specific: Is there something you didn’t understand? Do I use jargon that you’re not familiar with? Did I make strong eye contact? What did you like–or not like–about my delivery? What can I do to make it stronger?

4. Record it.

Set up a smartphone or a video camera on a tripod and record your presentation. You’ll be surprised at what you see. You’ll

5. Practice until it’s effortless.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/carmine-gallo/5-key-steps-to-rehearsing-a-presentation-like-best-ted-speakers.html

TEAMWORK & The biggest lesson Steve Jobs said he learned at Apple: “Coach, don’t solve” … that’s the sign of a “strategic leader.”

by Justin Bariso, INC Magazine, 4/17/18.

Before answering, Jobs stops to think it through. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he engages in deep thought.

After what seems like an eternity (and in reality, lasted just over 20 seconds), Jobs answers the question:

“I now take a longer-term view on people. In other words, when I see something not being done right, my first reaction isn’t to go fix it. It’s to say, we’re building a team here. And we’re going to do great stuff for the next decade, not just the next year, and so what do I need to do to help so the person that’s screwing up learns–versus how do I fix the problem.”

There are some major lessons here for anyone tasked with leading a team.

Coach, Don’t Solve

When someone on your team struggles with a problem or makes a mistake, it can be difficult not to jump in and solve it for them. But as Jobs points out, that’s not going to help the person–or the company–in the long run.

Much better is to use those mistakes as teaching opportunities.

For example, you could share instances in which you’ve committed similar missteps, and what you learned from the incident–while recognizing that the individual may still choose to address the problem differently. But sharing these lessons may help spark new ways of thinking. It allows the person to benefit from your experience. Additionally, you become more approachable to your team; they’ll begin to see you as a coach or mentor, instead of just a boss or manager.

Additionally, you can employ a little emotional intelligence, using employee mistakes to build loyalty and trust.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/an-mit-student-asked-steve-jobs-to-share-his-biggest-lesson-learned-at-apple.html