The moment you doubt

February 20, 2017

From Peter Pan by J._M._Barrie

“… the moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”


Increased effort, greater persistence, and better performance

February 20, 2017

By Dick Grote via   Article

3 Popular Goal-Setting Techniques Managers Should Avoid

“In 2002, professors Edwin A. Locke and Gary P. Latham, two of the best known academic researchers on goal-setting, wrote an article in American Psychologist summarizing their 35 years of research. Among their findings:

  • Setting specific, difficult goals consistently leads to higher performance than just urging people to do their best.
  • High goals generate greater effort than low goals, and the highest or most difficult goals produce the greatest levels of effort and performance.
  • Tight deadlines lead to a more rapid work pace than loose deadlines.
  • Making a public commitment to a goal enhances personal commitment.
  • Whether the goal is set by mutual agreement or by the boss alone doesn’t make a big difference in goal achievement.

So the argument for strategic goal setting seemed settled. Set specific, difficult goals with tight deadlines. Don’t be too concerned about whether the goal is jointly set by the individual and manager together, or whether the boss just hands the subordinate the list of goals he expects the subordinate to achieve together with a tough due-date. Let everybody know what your goals are. The predictable result: Increased effort, greater persistence, and better performance.”

Hard lessons

February 20, 2017

By Quora via   Article

What are 20 harsh life lessons everyone should learn in their 20s? …

  1. Life has already begun. There is no interlude. Nor is there a trial version. Your every decision matters.
  2. Your online friends are fake friends. … UMost of them do not care about you and will not come in your hour of need.
  3. If you fall in love, be ready to get your heart broken. … 
  4. Your studying career does not end after prom. Knowledge is crucial. If you are not willing to be left behind, keep studying.
  5. Your family members are the most important people in your life. They are the only ones who care about you. Treat them well and appreciate them.
  6. Your weaknesses do not matter. Learn to accept this. The only things that matter are your strengths. Improve them.
  7. Everything worth doing takes years. … It will probably take much longer than you imagine.
  8. All the opportunities for growth are beyond your comfort zone. Make leaving it a habit. Find your discomfort zone. Enter it.
  9. Broken relationships are not worth staying in. Do not waste your time on things you cannot fix anymore. …
  10. The world is full of injustice. There are plenty of unjust things you are likely to face within your lifetime. Be ready!
  11. Luck comes to those who work hard. Good things do not come to those who wait. …
  12. There is no perfect moment to start. If you want to start doing something, act now. Do not wait for a better moment. It will never come.
  13. You cannot be everywhere and have everything. Learn to make the right choices and commit to the things that matter most.
  14. Every person in your life should be appreciated. Do not take people for granted.
  15. Experience and emotions are your best investments. The traditional measures of success — fancy cars and houses — are no longer relevant. Emotions, memories, experience, knowledge. These are the things that matter.
  16. Later often means never. Do not postpone anything. Live now!
  17. Success equals perseverance. … Stay dedicated to your dreams. Chasing them is difficult, but it’s worth the struggle.
  18. Regular workouts are crucial. Take care of your health and body. …
  19. Your failures do not matter. Only wins count. … do not be afraid to fail.
  20. Nobody will help you. You have to help yourself.”

What you don’t do

February 20, 2017

By Jocelyn K. Glei via   Article

Productivity Is Really About What You Don’t Do

The best productivity tip I ever got was the idea of a ‘stop-doing list‘ from Jim Collins. In this Age of Distraction, we’re all dodging and weaving between so much incoming information that what you don’t do on a daily basis has become as important—if not more—as what you do execute on.

Here’s a list of the things I don’t do while working:

I don’t schedule meetings in the morning.

I don’t listen to music or radio that has words.

I don’t look at my email until I’ve done 90 mins of deep-attention work.

I don’t treat emails from people I don’t know as urgent.

I don’t look at social media until the afternoon, and then only on breaks.

I don’t tweet live. (I schedule almost everything in advance.)

I don’t over-program my daily schedule so that there is no downtime.

I don’t work more than 3 hours without a break.

I don’t answer my phone or texts in the morning.

I don’t use Slack.

I don’t read the news.

I don’t eat at my desk.

I don’t work past 6pm.

And here’s a list of things I make sure to do:

I do make my to-do list for tomorrow the night before.

I do focus on deep-attention before hyper-attention work.

I do regularly identify and update my goals for the next 6 months, and the actions I need to take to meet them.

I do always have a variety of projects on my slate so I can shift tasks based on my mood and energy level, while still getting important stuff done.

I do meet (or catch up with) one interesting person a week. 

…when you’re creating your to-do list, try to focus as much as possible on the big picture—the long-term goals and projects that really matter to you. Once you’re clear on where you want to be in 6 months, it’s easy to break out the small, daily tasks that will make the most impact.”


We sell hope

February 13, 2017

Via   Article

What Are You Selling?

In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope. – Charles Revson

“Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon Cosmetics, was not a well liked man.

He was so offensive in fact that vendors often refused to do business with him. But in spite of his personality he still managed to build a multi-billion dollar cosmetic empire.

That’s because he knew what he was selling – and it wasn’t cosmetics.

His quote above said it all. His ads sold hope by using most of the ad’s space on images of beautiful movie stars and glamorous models. The add copy made bigly promises of instant beauty with nearly no effort. He understood that nobody really wanted cosmetics, what they wanted was the beauty. So that’s what he sold.

I remember one of my first sales managers telling me that the best salespeople sell verbs, not nouns. When it became obvious that I didn’t understand what he meant he clarified it by saying they don’t sell the steak, they sell the sizzle.

Through the years I’ve come to understand that the best salespeople don’t sell their product, they sell what their product can do for a prospect.

The challenge here is really two-fold. First you have to be selling a product that benefits someone. Then you have to find that someone it benefits and show them how it helps them.

By the way, if you are trying to sell a product without benefits then you need to find another product. If your product is the equivalent of an artificial appendix then it may work great but finding a market for it will be nearly impossible.

If you want to sell more next year then don’t sell what you’re selling, sell what people are buying. Don’t sell what your product is, sell what it does and most importantly sell “why” it does it.

Develop the mindset of helping your customer, not just making the sale. The very best sales professionals know that the more they help the more they sell. The very best sales professionals are passionate and enthusiastic about how their product or service helps a customer and they pass that enthusiasm to their prospects.

Just remember, people will seldom actually buy your product, they will buy what it does….for them.”


The joy of being wrong

February 13, 2017

By George Bradt via   Article

The Joy of Being Wrong When a Subordinate Disagrees With You

“My favorite leadership moments have come when people that worked for me disagreed with me, chose their way and proved me wrong. These happened when we had the right people in the right roles with clear direction and guardrails and different perspectives who learned through practice.

‘Remember how we disagreed on this and we chose to do it your way? Turns out you were right. Good for you. Do it again.’

Right People in Right Roles

Not everyone has the two-way confidence to disagree with his or her boss successfully. The people that do have the talent, knowledge and skills required to their jobs well and have built a trusting relationship with their bosses. They have confidence in themselves, in their relationship with their bosses; and their bosses have confidence in them.

This is a prerequisite for disagreeing. If your people can’t get to this point relatively quickly, you probably don’t have the right people in the right roles. The number one regret experienced leaders have looking back on their careers is not moving fast enough on their people. If you don’t have the right people in the right roles, shame on you.

[Note to people thinking about disagreeing with your boss. You should check by asking your boss how he or she likes to be disagreed with. There tend to be five modes:

  1. Don’t disagree with me. I’m the boss. Therefore I’m right.
  2. Disagree with me one-on-one in private.
  3. Disagree with me in small groups (and never let anyone outside the family know we disagree)
  4. Disagree with me in public – but politely.
  5. Disagree with me in public, gloves off, brutal honesty to set an example.

Ask your boss which level he or she prefers. Then don’t believe them. Most people over-estimated their appetite for disagreement by at least one click. So ask and then watch to see what happens to others that disagree first.] …

Different Perspectives

It’s often said that if everyone in a meeting agrees, the meeting is probably a waste of time. New ideas are born out of creative tension. You want the people around you to bring their different perspectives to the game. It’s not that they are necessarily smarter or less smart than you. It’s that they see things differently.”

Once a minute

February 13, 2017

By Dr. Travis Bradberry via   Article

How Complaining Rewires Your Brain For Negativity

Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. Complaining is tempting because it feels good, but like many other things that are enjoyable—such as smoking or eating a pound of bacon for breakfast—complaining isn’t good for you.

Your brain loves efficiency and doesn’t like to work any harder than it has to. When you repeat a behavior, such as complaining, your neurons branch out to each other to ease the flow of information. This makes it much easier to repeat that behavior in the future—so easy, in fact, that you might not even realize you’re doing it. …

Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you. …

Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought. …

The Solution to Complaining

There are two things you can do when you feel the need to complain. One is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. That is, when you feel like complaining, shift your attention to something that you’re grateful for. Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. …

The second thing you can do—and only when you have something that is truly worth complaining about—is to engage in solution-oriented complaining. Think of it as complaining with a purpose. Solution-oriented complaining should do the following:

  • Have a clear purpose. Before complaining, know what outcome you’re looking for. If you can’t identify a purpose, there’s a good chance you just want to complain for its own sake, and that’s the kind of complaining you should nip in the bud.
  • Start with something positive. It may seem counterintuitive to start a complaint with a compliment, but starting with a positive helps keep the other person from getting defensive. …
  • Be specific. When you’re complaining it’s not a good time to dredge up every minor annoyance from the past 20 years. Just address the current situation and be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, ‘Your employee was rude to me,’ describe specifically what the employee did that seemed rude.

  • End on a positive. If you end your complaint with, ‘I’m never shopping here again,’ the person who’s listening has no motivation to act on your complaint. In that case, you’re just venting, or complaining with no purpose other than to complain. Instead, restate your purpose, as well as your hope that the desired result can be achieved, for example, ‘I’d like to work this out so that we can keep our business relationship intact.'”