Fires employees accused of test cheating

November 23, 2015

By Liz Moyer via   Article

Goldman Sachs Fires 20 Junior Employees Accused of Test Cheating

“Landing a job as an analyst at Goldman Sachs is a golden ticket for a newcomer to Wall Street. Now 20 of those who pulled off that feat are being dismissed for cheating on an employee test, the firm says.

The 20 worked in the firm’s securities division, which houses its trading operations, in New York and in London, a person briefed on the matter said.

‘This conduct was not just a clear violation of the rules, but completely inconsistent with the values we foster at the firm,’ a Goldman spokesman, Michael DuVally, said in an emailed statement.

Like other investment banks, Goldman recruits annually from university and graduate school campuses, offering around 1,800 to 2,000 graduates spots in its analyst class, which is the entry-level position for those dreaming of moving up the corporate ranks. Tens of thousands of applicants compete for the slots, with only about 3 to 4 percent accepted into the program in any given year.

… like other investment banks, Goldman likes to test its employees from time to time on their command of material related to their work or to compliance or other regulatory matters.

The spokesman wouldn’t elaborate on what kind of test was being administered in this case or how the firm discovered the cheating, which was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

Management ying and yang

November 23, 2015

By Tony Schwartz via   Article

Why Great Leaders See More and Exclude Less

“The central dilemma of a modern leader is to balance apparently conflicting virtues and beliefs without choosing sides between them. …

Consider, for a moment, these seemingly paradoxical qualities:

■ Results-focused/Reflectiveness

■ Honesty/Compassion

■ Tough-mindedness/Gentleness

■ Confidence/Humility

■ Rationality/Intuition

■ Intelligence/Curiosity

■ Passion/Composure

■ Practicality/Vision

Is there any doubt that for each set of pairs above, most of us tend to favor one more than the other? Or that as a culture — especially in business and especially for those in leadership roles — we value the constellation of virtues on the left far more than we do those on the right?

We crave certainty because it makes us feel more safe. But in an increasingly complex and pluralistic world, there aren’t any simple solutions. Great leaders are defined today not by having the right answers but by the willingness to embrace and grapple with conflicting and sometimes paradoxical ‘truths.’

Nearly all of us perceive honesty as a virtue. It gives us a solid ground to stand on, and therefore makes us more trusting and secure. Or does it? Honesty overused — treated as a singular virtue by itself — can actually lead to cruelty.

A leader may deliver harsh feedback, in a spirit of honesty, to get an employee to change a behavior. But often that leads to just the opposite. The recipient feels attacked and responds with defensiveness and resentment, too threatened to take in the feedback, even if it is accurate. Communicating feedback effectively requires holding each of these seemingly opposite poles — honesty and compassion — and continuously moving between them as circumstances demand.”

Be happy

November 23, 2015

Via   Article

10 Simple Habits Proven to Make You Happier

“… ten everyday habits which science has shown can make people happier.

Here are the 10 habits, with the average ratings of survey participants on a scale of 1-10, as to how often they performed each habit:

  1. Giving: do things for others — 7.41
  2. Relating: connect with people — 7.36
  3. Exercising: take care of your body — 5.88
  4. Appreciating: notice the world around — 6.57
  5. Trying out: keep learning new things — 6.26
  6. Direction: have goals to look forward to — 6.08
  7. Resilience: find ways to bounce back — 6.33
  8. Emotion: take a positive approach — 6.74
  9. Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are — 5.56
  10. Meaning: be part of something bigger — 6.38

… The survey showed that one of the largest associations between these happy habits and reported happiness was for self-acceptance. This category, though, got the lowest rating for people actually performing the habit, with an average of only 5.56. …

Increase your self-acceptance

Here are three ways to boost your self-acceptance, as suggested by the researchers:

‘1. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. See your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Notice things you do well, however small.

2. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what your strengths are or what they value about you.

3. Spend some quiet time by yourself. Tune in to how you’re feeling inside and try to be at peace with who you are.'”




Warren Buffett and the private pilot

November 23, 2015

By Pascal Finette via   Article

Five Goals

“Warren Buffett, the brilliant billionaire investor, was once asked by his private pilot how he manages to be so successful given all the many, many demands and opportunities he has on his plate.

Contemplating this question, Warren asked the pilot to create a list with all his goals; all the things he wanted to achieve in his career.

The next day his pilot came back with a list of 25 goals. Things like “running my own flight school”, “flying around the world” and “creating a documentary“.

Warren then asked the pilot to circle the five goals which are most important to him. This was hard – as he had to make choices, weigh the trade-offs and really understand what is important to him and what is not. It took the pilot another day of contemplation.

When he came back with his list, Warren said: “Now focus solely on the five things you identified as the most important and ignore all the other things. As a matter of fact – the other list is your ‘NOT to do-list‘.”

This is one of the most powerful pieces of advice you can adhere to:

Identify the main thing and then make the main thing, the main thing. Pick five goals and relentlessly attack them. Only when you have conquered one to your satisfaction, can you allow yourself to add another goal.”

When greed turns to fear

November 16, 2015

By Brad Feld via   Article

“There is a cliche in the financial world that has been around forever.

‘Two things drive decisions: Greed and Fear’

For the past few years, we’ve been a zone where greed has been dominating. Every now and then a little fear creeps in and then gets squished into the corner by chants of ‘things are different this time’ and ‘that’s just PTSD from the Internet bubble.’

Recently, the fear seems to be sticking around. There are plenty of people trying to kick it away, shake it off, or ignore it. But it lingers. And the smell of it gets stronger. …

I once again rolled out my favorite BSG line.

All this has happened before and all of it will happen again.

I’m a strong believer that you can build great companies in time of both greed and fear. But you have to be paying attention and operating under the right assumptions. You don’t have to believe history repeats itself, but you should accept that history rhymes. And one big rhyme is that the shift from greed to fear happens much faster than the shift from fear to greed.”

Strengths based leadership

November 16, 2015


“Have you ever wondered ‘what are the keys to effective leadership?’ … And this is exactly the question which Tom Rath and Barry Conchie seek to answer in the book “Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow”. To answer this question they reviewed a culmination of 30 years of research by Gallup Corporation. The research they reviewed  included over 40,000 personal interviews with leaders from around the world and 20,000 interviews with followers to ask why they follow a leader. The results of the their research lead to the  authors proposing the following three keys to effective leadership.

1. The Most Effective Leaders Are Always Investing in Strengths

The authors found that there is no one leadership strength which all effective leaders possess. Recognising that there is no one best leadership style the authors make a case for leveraging one’s strengths to meet leadership challenges. Effective leaders know their strengths and invest to get the most out of them, they continually expand and enhance them. …

2. The Most Effective Leaders Surround Themselves With the Right People and Then Maximise Their Team

‘Although individuals need not be well-rounded, teams should be.’ – Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, Strengths Based Leadership

Whilst well-rounded individuals don’t make the best leaders the best teams are always well-rounded.  Given that no single leader is strong in every leadership domain, effective leaders work to build a leadership team where each member has a complementary set of strengths. …

3. The Most Effective Leaders Understand Their Followers’ Needs.

The researchers asked followers to choose three words that best describes the contribution that a leader make to their life. Many of them used the same words to describe what they seek from their leaders.

  1. Trust: Nothing happens without a sense of trust between leaders and followers.
  2. Compassion: Followers want to know that their leaders care about them.
  3. Stability: Followers want leaders that they can depend upon.
  4. Hope: Followers want to feel positive about their future prospects.”


It’s not you, it’s your tools

November 16, 2015

By Carson Tate via   Article

Chronically unproductive? It’s not you, it’s your tools

“We all have our own, habitual patterns of perceiving, processing, and managing the information that guides our behavior. … Here are three steps you can take to personalize your productivity.

Identify Your Productivity Style

The first step in personalizing your tool set is identifying your productivity style. Most of us fall within four basic categories:

  1. Logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented
  2. Organized, sequential, a planner, and detailed-oriented
  3. Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented
  4. Big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented

Think about how you prefer to work, communicate, and organize your time. For example, do you usually finish your work work early, ahead of deadline, or do you wait until the last minute? Do you send emails with only a few words, or write novels? Do you gesture and use your hands while talking? Or are you more controlled and stoic in your movements? You can also try taking this quick assessment to help you identify your productivity style.

Play to Your Strengths

Your productivity style is essentially just a way of describing your strengths and skills and how they fit together. The goal once you’ve identified that is to find ways to leverage them.

So for instance, if your style is more logical and analytical, you’re in your element processing data and picking apart complex problems. You can focus like a laser on achieving the intended goal or outcome as though it’s a puzzle to solve.

If you’re organized and detail-oriented, your strengths are in establishing order, structuring projects, and completing tasks. You’re concerned with making sure everything happens on time and none of the finer points get lost.

If you’re supportive and expressive, you’re most skilled at building relationships, facilitating team interaction, and selling ideas. You can keep everyone looped in and help all parties communicate effectively.

If you’re a big-picture, integrative kind of worker, you serve as a catalyst for change, brainstorming solutions to problems, and synthesizing disparate ideas. You think creatively to find new, innovative solutions, and you encourage variety—in both thought and execution.

Choose the Right Tools

So what tools are right for you? Here’s a handful of several productivity tools that are best suited for each of the four main productivity styles. ….”


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