Lessons you don’t learn in school

November 30, 2015

By Lolly Daskal via inc.com   Article

8 Success Lessons Richard Branson Didn’t Learn in Business School

“1. ‘You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.’ …

2. ‘When people are placed in positions slightly above what they expect, they are apt to excel.’ …

3. ‘As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation.’ …

4. ‘Do not be embarrassed by your failures–learn from them and start again.’ …

5. ‘You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.’ …

6. ‘The best way to learn about anything is by doing.’ …

7. ‘A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.’ …

8. ‘Good people are not just crucial to a business. They are the business!’  …”

Money is not the goal

November 30, 2015

By Steve Denning via forbes.com   Article

Can The 21st Century Corporation Operate Without Agile?

“In traditional management … ‘Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Managers assess performance. Rules tightly circumscribe discretion.’ The purpose of this world is self-evident: to make money for the shareholders, including the top executives. …

The Agile mindset is quite different. Its purpose is to delight customers. Making money is the result, not the goal of its activities. Its focus is on continuous innovation. Its dynamic is enablement, rather than control. It coordinates work with structured, iterative, customer-focused practices. Its communications tend to be horizontal conversations. It aspires to liberate the full talents and capacities of those doing the work.

… The sovereign concept of the new mindset — the guiding star of the Agile organization — is to delight the customer. Everyone in the organization is focused on adding value and innovation for those for whom the work is done. Everyone in the organization has a clear line of sight as to how their work contributes to that. Profits—and increasing shareholder value—are seen as the result, not the goal of the organization.”

Traditional Management

Creative Economy

Would you want to work for… You?

November 30, 2015

By  via linkedin.com   Article

“Over the past 15 years, I’ve held Q&A sessions with over a million people at more than a thousand events around the world. In all but a handful of these events, people bring up their bosses – and vent about them. This topic comes up without fail, no matter where I am, or what industry or company I’m speaking to.

The troubles range from, ‘My boss is too difficult and demanding’ to ‘My boss doesn’t really care about me, it’s all about her’ to ‘I’ve been busting my butt and my boss just doesn’t recognize my performance — he feels that everyone is equally wonderful’ to ‘There’s no focus on how much you do, it’s who you know.’ I can’t think of a lament I haven’t heard. …

For years, I’ve tried to give advice …. Several months ago, I came up with what I think is the better answer, as far as career development is concerned. I’ve turned the question back on the questioner, by asking a new question that might prove helpful, not only in their current situation but going forward – a question, I hope, will help more people become better bosses in the process:


Yes, it takes a certain threshold of self-awareness to recognize your own flaws, but you should see the look on people’s faces when they stop to honestly think through their own leadership characteristics. The self-confident, self-aware person, upon reflection, seems to really respond to this question. The follow up reception I have received has been incredibly positive, demonstrated by the emails and letters from people in the audiences who found this exercise really useful. Many of them had taken the chance to spend some quiet time reflecting on both their strengths and their flaws — and, from their notes, appeared open to dealing with their weaknesses in order to become stronger, more effective leaders. Leaders who people want to follow.”


From star performer to star manager

November 30, 2015

By Annie McKee via hbr.org   Article

“You’ve always been a high achiever—top of your class, captain of your sports teams, star performer at work. Now, you’re going to be managing a team of high-performers in a division of your company that everyone’s buzzing about. You’re confident that you can navigate this new challenge with characteristic success.

You’re pumped. You set clear goals for yourself and targets for the division. You’re well aware that you’ll need to rely on your emotional intelligence skills to understand and work through your new team’s dynamics. You’re focused on achieving your goals and getting results… but before long, you’ve got problems. Your team doesn’t seem to be on board with your plan and they’re not delivering. Worse, they seem to be shutting you out. …

The late, great scholar David McClelland studied three human needs, or motivatorsthat are profoundly important when it comes to managing people: the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation. …

Need for Achievement

… Unfortunately, a lot of star performers have a really hard time re-directing their achievement drive away from their personal goals and toward others’ success. …

Need for Affiliation

… But you need to be really careful. The boundaries between you and your employees are real. They work for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly and human. In fact, learning to be warm and authentic with people who report to you will serve you for the rest of your life. …

Seek out your peers for friendship. This might be hard for you, because coming up, most star performers focus on the boss, not their peers. But your peers will either help you succeed or pull you down as you move up. …

Need for Power

…Even good people fall prey to the temptation to use power for their own good. This is what McClelland called ‘personalized power.”’You can, however, channel your need for power toward the betterment of others, and of the group — this is socialized power.”



Fires employees accused of test cheating

November 23, 2015

By Liz Moyer via nytimes.com   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 nytimes.com   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 spring.org.uk   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.'”