One trait that everyone needs to have

May 30, 2011

By Heidi Grant Halvorson   Article


The key trait successful people have, and how to get it

“Which character traits do you need to have if you want to work effectively and get ahead?  The answer depends, to some extent, on the kind of work you do — but there’s one trait that everyone needs to have if they want to succeed, and that’s trustworthiness. Technically, it’s not so much being trustworthy, but being perceivedas trustworthy, that matters.  You can be as honest, fair, and reliable as the day is long, but if nobody else sees you that way, it won’t help you.

When your boss doesn’t trust you, you don’t get key assignments, promotions, or the latitude to do things your own way and take risks.   When your employees don’t trust you, you don’t get their best effort, or all the information you need from them to make good decisions.

If you want other people to believe that you are trustworthy, you should be aware that you may be seriously undermining that belief if you appear to lack self-control.   New research shows that people just won’t trust you when you seem like you might have a willpower problem.  If you think about it, this makes a lot of intuitive sense.  We trust people because we know that when things get hard, or when it might be tempting for them to put their own interests first, they’ll resist temptation and do what’s right.

Studies show that when you engage in behaviors that are indicative of low self-control, your trustworthiness is diminished.  In other words, all those things you know you shouldn’t do – smoking, overeating, impulsive spending, being lazy, late, disorganized, excessively emotional, or having a quick temper — may be even worse for you than you ever realized, because of the collateral damage they are doing to your reputation.”

Rethink how you’re approaching your projects

May 30, 2011

From the “Heart of Innovation Blog”  Source

The Real Organizational Chart?

“One reason why there isn’t more innovation in your organization is because too many people are working on their own — unable or unwilling to let go of control and invite others into the picture. The result? Overwhelm. Stress. Bottlenecks. Tunnel vision. Missed opportunities. Long delays. And a major lack of collaboration. If the above chart is all too familiar, it’s time to rethink how you’re approaching your projects and begin inviting others into the sandbox.


1. Identify the bottlenecks
2. Invite your friends to pitch in and help
3. Start small. Find one person, today, to join forces with you.
4. Make your dream list of collaborators
5. One by one, invite your dream list to collaborate with you
6. Delegate more
7. Let go of your perfectionism
8. Let go of your need to be in control
9. Look for interns and volunteers
10. Ask for help

How to create an idea factory


May 30, 2011

by Rajeev Peshawaria  Article

Leading Across Borders? Don’t Change a Thing

“Upon relocating to New York in early 1998, I asked a mentor who had made a similar move many years earlier for advice.

“The most important thing is to remember that you don’t live in India anymore,” he said. “How you managed people there will not work here. The quicker you figure out the differences, the better.”

I heard the same thing from many others during my first few months in New York — and over the next 13 years, as I relocated several times between the U.S., Europe and Asia. These people were no doubt well-intentioned. But experience has taught me that their warnings were totally misguided.

The assumption that people are motivated differently around the world — especially in Asia — and that leaders must adapt their behavior accordingly is wrong. Having led and managed people in eight countries across three continents, I have found the exact opposite to be true. Regardless of geographic location or culture, what drives people to the highest level of engagement is innately human and universal. Thus, great leadership looks the same wherever you are. …

I’d like to point you to two well-known case studies — one from Asia, one from America.”

Life in the shallows

May 30, 2011

by Andrew McAfee   Article

Tune Out, Turn Off: A Mantra Needed for Our Times?

“The brilliant technologists of the 2.0 Era have succeeded at getting us hookedon their offerings. They’ve rolled out hardware and software that are always available, that put us immediately in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and strangers, that are intuitive to use and inherently multimedia, and that present us with a constant stream of new content.

This is potent, addictive stuff, and as Nick points out it does not lend itself to deep thinking and sustained concentration. Instead, it leads us to frolic blithely in the shallows of his title, flitting from one activity to the next. This is fun and can be effective for getting some kinds of work done, but I think he’s right that it’s fundamentally incompatible with writing the Great American Novel, the insightful paper or report, the tight code, or the beautiful song. Wading in the shallows, in short, is incompatible with generating work of any depth, and deep work is more important, not less, in the complex world we’ve built.

As I’ve discussed these ideas, I’ve heard back from more than one Millennial that our shallows are their depths — that skipping among online communities and activities is actually contemplative for them, and that they can get sustained thinking done this way. To which I reply, as gently as possible, “nonsense.”

The research on multitasking is piling up, and its conclusions are consistent and not optimistic. We need to stop kidding ourselves that there’s a lot of intelligent life in the shallows.”

At the speed of trust

May 30, 2011

by Levi Smith   Article

Operating at the speed of trust

“There is a great book written by Stephen M.R. Covey, son of famed productivity author Stephen Covey, entitled The Speed of Trust. Covey argues that the lack of trust in business is extremely costly. All the due diligence, exhaustive contracts, monitoring and the like slows business down and increases costs. Alternatively, what if you trusted the person on the other side of the table? How much quicker and more easily could you do business?

I wholeheartedly agree with Covey’s thesis. I do not suggest being naive, but I do advocate and practice aligning with customers, vendors and employees one can trust and stepping away from those one cannot. My strong conviction wasn’t birthed out of the book though. For me, the seed was planted many years ago when I was a young boy attentively observing my father conduct business.

My father manages ranches raising registered cattle. He’s what people have in mind when they think of Texas. He’s what I have in mind when I think of operating at the speed of trust.

I listened to my father tell customers the truth, not what they needed to hear. I watched my dad resign from a job because vendors were being treated poorly by the ranch owner. I watched employees respect a man for always having their back but never holding back the truth when they failed to live up to his expectations or their potential. I remember people routinely buying cattle over the phone from him, sight unseen, at the price he said he’d pay for the animal. These weren’t cheap cattle either. They were $20,000 transactions.”

Half full

May 30, 2011


Motivation is not enough

May 23, 2011

by Paul Marciano  Article

Motivations vs. engagement

“If you’re not clear as to the difference between employee motivation and engagement you’re not alone — I was once asked to explain it to the CEO of an international consulting firm that claimed expertise on the subject. What I want you to know right off is that there are significant differences between these two concepts and meaningful implications for how we manage people and, in turn, their productivity.

The clearest way to explain the difference between an engaged and motivated employee is as follows: Imagine watching a team of employees working hard to complete a project by a certain deadline. If they do so, they will be rewarded with a bonus from the client. As an observer you see all the employees fully in the game, working hard and you would say, “Everyone is really motivated.”

At the eleventh hour something goes wrong, e.g., a computer crashes or the team realizes that they just don’t have the resources they need to complete the project on time and will not receive the bonus. Now, you have two groups of people — those who look at their watches and say, “Oh well we tried, time to go home” and those who say, “What is it that we can get accomplished?” Who do you want on your team?

Engaged employees are in the game for the sake of the game; they believe in the cause of the organization. Motivated employees are in it for what they can get out of it.”