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Mediocre Me
Mediocre Me - How Saying No to the Status Quo Will Propel You from Ordinary to Extraordinary! (A Book by John Michel - Copyright 2013)
Curated by John Michel
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What The Hell is Wrong with… Mission and Vision Statements?

What The Hell is Wrong with… Mission and Vision Statements? | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Let’s face it; most company mission and vision statements are horrendously bad. They are wordsmithed to the max in long-drawn meetings where in the end everyone is so tired that they sign up to

Via John Thurlbeck, FCMI FRSA, AlGonzalezinfo
John Michel's insight:

Let’s face it; most company mission and vision statements are horrendously bad. They are wordsmithed to the max in long-drawn meetings where in the end everyone is so tired that they sign up to any old rubbish.

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John Thurlbeck, FCMI FRSA's curator insight, July 2, 2013 12:26 PM

Being clear about vision and mission or purpose and ambition, as Bernard Marr describes them, are two of the key fundamentals for any leader!

AlGonzalezinfo's curator insight, July 5, 2013 8:53 AM

Love the image and the article is very good too!  Great scoop John!

 

From the article:

 

Here are some good mission statements that explain in clear and succinct words what the company does. By the way, I prefer to call it 'Purpose' rather than 'Mission':

 

~eBay: ”At eBay, our mission is to provide a global online marketplace where practically anyone can trade practically anything, enabling economic opportunity around the world.

 

~”Google: "Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

 

~"Walt Disney: "We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere."Amazon: "To build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online"

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 6, 2013 12:34 PM

They are usually written by a small group of handpicked people and then forced on the workers.

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Daniel Kahneman on Leadership, Optimism, and the Work-Life Balance - Motley Fool

Daniel Kahneman on Leadership, Optimism, and the Work-Life Balance - Motley Fool | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Daniel Kahneman on Leadership, Optimism, and the Work-Life Balance
Motley Fool
Dr. Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, joins us to discuss his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.
John Michel's insight:

In this video segment, Kahneman explains how his work in psychology and behavioral economics has affected his own life, and the life lessons he feels it offers to all of us.

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Five Lessons on Leadership From FDR

Five Lessons on Leadership From FDR | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Five leadership lessons we can learn from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Five Lessons on Leadership From FDR: Five leadership lessons we can learn from President Fra...
John Michel's insight:

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the most important statesman of the 20th century. He saved American democracy from the Great Depression, led the Allies to victory over the dictators, won an unprecedented four consecutive elections, and did all this with a broken body.

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Can You Teach Emotional Intelligence?

Can You Teach Emotional Intelligence? | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

The Secretary of Education isn't the only one who thinks so. Behind the growing movement for social and emotional learning.

“For the kids, it’s really, really working!”

 

Excellent article, with study numbers and examples. 


Via EQRocks, Garth Sanginiti
John Michel's insight:

Empowering students with tools and techniques to calm themselves, observe the world, and exert positive pressure on their environments reduces the distraction caused by inner and outer turmoil, freeing kids up to concentrate more effectively on the rest of what they are learning. In this way, SEL not only helps enhance students’ emotional wellbeing and maturity but also improves their academic achievement.

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Florentine van Thiel's curator insight, February 27, 2013 3:03 AM

Article très intéressant sur l'enseignement de l'intelligence émotionnelle. Oui! Cela s'enseigne vite et bien chez l'enfant. Chez l'adulte? ... aussi! ... même si c'est un peu plus long, cabossés que nous sommes parfois par des expériences de vie professionnelle et/ou privée un peu difficiles.

Minarni Tirta's curator insight, July 1, 2013 10:33 PM

EQ really rocks! its presence is subtle but the result is real! To illustrate this :I was looking for my friend in one of those employment agencies when the scenario unfold.Later, I found out a little bit more about  " the offender" as I felt so sorry for her and chatted with her. Apparently 'the offender' is a trainer but was unfortunately finding it hard to land herself a job in the new land she just came to. She was 'enrolled' in one of the government's employment agencies, which was supposed to help her find a job ( by sending her CV to reverse marketers, setting up seminars for her to attend - on revamping CV and tailoring her cover letter to the job she is applying.) She was glad as these means she will also find new friends. One day she said she made a pact with her new found friends to practice one of her tools that she uses in her coaching/ training business. She was practicing one of her tools in one of the rooms in that organisation, when someone came up to her asked her what she was doing ( as it seemed to the untrained eyes, she was playing a board game but once she explained it, that someone told her that she needed to book the room first. So she duly waited for the manager and put what she was doing on hold. The way the manager came  & told the "offender" that was definitely not fitting what I expect of a manager. ( this was the part where I  actually the witnessed) I looked at the unfolding scenario with a sense of disbelieved.  While the manager maybe correct (all organisations have in place their rules and regulations), the way 'the offender' was being handled was really demeaning and lacking of respect.  Instead of saying "I am sorry but this place is strictly for job searching only and you will need to practice elsewhere"( or something along the line) , she came up with words that were quite hurtful and the attitude was one of " I am the rule here, follow or out". what makes it worse was the fact it was on the public domain part of the organisation.Undoubtedly 'the offender' reacted in ways fished out by the manager heavy handling of her(she later told me) . She felt like a criminal and at any one time, there were 2 people ( the manager and another sturdy man, next to the manager, ever ready to bounce her from the organisation).

 

understandably the manager has to be firm and stern as some of the unemployed probably already demoralized and not themselves, can be insensitive or even unreasonable, but I wonder at the same time, if the manager was also proactively looking for that kind of behaviour by the way she handled the 'offender'?

ALL jobs need EQ, but especailly so with jobs that connect you with others and jobs that need you to built human relationship, having human touch. With EQ tools we will be able to diffuse the situation in a better way. Like everything else EQ gets better with more practice. so kids and EQ is definitely a good idea, no, It is a great idea! and it is definitely "TAUGHTABLE!" ( did I just coined a new word?):)

Garth Sanginiti's curator insight, July 3, 2013 10:49 PM

"At a recent congressional hearing, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agreed with Shriver’s positive assessment of SEL’s potential. "These are learned skills," he said. "Children can have huge challenges, but when you help them learn how to handle them, you have a chance … If we are not addressing this, we're not in the game."

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Why Leaders' Thinking Is Often Wrong

Why Leaders' Thinking Is Often Wrong | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

Research conducted by Gallup and many eminent scientists, including Nobel Prize winner and Princeton Senior Scholar Daniel Kahneman, shows that evolution has predisposed people to think quickly but not deeply. That sort of reaction is fine when your problem is evading immediate bodily harm, but it's a bad basis from which to run a company -- and leaders may not even realize they're doing it.


Via Thomas Gelmi, Jose Luis Yañez, Philippe Vallat, David Hain
John Michel's insight:

We like to think the decisions we make are good ones, based on solid reasoning. And when you're in charge of a function or selecting leaders for a company, you need to believe that. Second-guessing every judgment can lead to paralysis. And in a state like that, nothing gets done. Yet research into decision making shows that everyone is prey to serious cognitive flaws.

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Philippe Vallat's comment, July 4, 2013 2:37 AM
I disagree with following statement: "Gut instinct doesn't work either". If system 1 according to Kahneman is meant, it's ok. But there are experts intuition (needs to be trained in a specific context) and intuition itself defined as "direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process". Intuition DOES work, very effectively when coupled with sane reasoning.
Philippe Vallat's curator insight, July 4, 2013 2:39 AM

I disagree with following statement: "Gut instinct doesn't work either". If system 1 according to Kahneman is meant, it's ok. But there are experts intuition (needs to be trained in a specific context) and intuition itself defined as "direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process". Intuition DOES work, very effectively when coupled with sane reasoning.

David Hain's curator insight, July 4, 2013 3:02 AM

Kahneman's book, Thinking Fast and Slow, is amazing - and very persuasive.  Must read if the content here is of interest.

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The top three leadership lessons from the battle of Gettysburg

The top three leadership lessons from the battle of Gettysburg | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Jeffrey D McCausland: At the 150th anniversary of America's bloodiest civil war battle, here's what military and civilian leaders should remember

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge, Bobby Dillard
John Michel's insight:

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. We have an opportunity to reflect on many important leadership lessons that are as relevant today as they were in 1863. Let's consider three:

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Not The Same Old Garden Path - How We Can Literally Think Differently - TanveerNaseer.com

Not The Same Old Garden Path - How We Can Literally Think Differently - TanveerNaseer.com | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Best-selling author William A. Donius shares what neuroscience has revealed about how we can learn to literally think differently to be more innovative.

 

The process of using the non-dominant hand, considering a question and allowing an answer to flow forth from that hand without consciously thinking about it, is in effect, walking yourself down a new garden path – a truly amazing experience. 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN, Bobby Dillard
John Michel's insight:

As we age, neuroscientists tell us, our thoughts and patterns become more ingrained. The way our brains process, sort and ultimately respond to questions is akin to taking the same path through the garden over and over. We get to know the path very well, and it becomes familiar to us. As long as the problems we face are familiar, so are our approaches to solving these problems. We are in our intellectual “comfort zones.”

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Deborah Long's curator insight, July 6, 2013 8:57 PM

Drawing on both sides of the brain particularly the non dominant side opens one to new experiences and ways of thinking.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 11, 2013 1:20 PM
Breaking through our patterned thinking is essential to adaptive and agile learning, esp. when we don't know what we don't know." Getting out of that comfort zone is a challenge, books like this help.
Free Your Mind's curator insight, July 31, 2013 1:00 AM

Neuroplasticity has proven that we can really re-train our brains for just about everything.  Given the right amount of effort and time you really can train yourself to react differently and be happier.  It's worth trying!

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9 Negative Social Habits to Quit Today

9 Negative Social Habits to Quit Today | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Practical Tips for Productive Living
John Michel's insight:

There’s something to be said for slow and steady progress.  But there’s also something to be said for strong, decisive, sweeping action.  When it comes to bad, self-defeating habits, there’s no time like today to quit cold turkey.  For some reason I’ve been more aware lately of the annoying social habits of other people.  Worse than that, I’ve then been noticing many of the same behaviors in myself.  Cutting out these negative habits makes it simpler to foster good relationships by getting to the heart of productive communication, so why not start today?


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Will Your Leadership Improvements Stick?

Will Your Leadership Improvements Stick? | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
An interactive tool helps measure how effectively you're turning training into action. (RT @HarvardBiz: Will Your Leadership Improvements Stick?
John Michel's insight:

Debate rages about how much of what is taught in leadership courses actually transfers to leadership practice. Some have suggested that knowledge transfer is as low as 10%. Other studies show the number closer to 60%.

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Jeff Bezos's Top 10 Leadership Lessons

Jeff Bezos's Top 10 Leadership Lessons | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
see photosEmile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesClick for full photo gallery: Jeff Bezos This story appears in the April 23, 2012 issue of FORBES magazine, accompanying the cover story, Inside Amazon's Idea Machine.
John Michel's insight:

With the passing of Steve JobsJeff Bezos is now tech’s leading philosopher-CEO. His advice ranges from what to read (give the Declaration of Independence a shot) to how to deal with stress (“Laugh a lot”). Mostly, though, Bezos sticks to business


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Gayle King On Success: Grow Up And Figure It Out

Gayle King On Success: Grow Up And Figure It Out | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
With aspirations of becoming a child psychologist, Gayle King, a self-described “nosy kid,” found her true passion thanks to a local TV newsroom job during college. “I was hooked from day one,” she recalls.
John Michel's insight:

Great wisdom in this interview...enjoy! 

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6 Must-Have Skills for Leading from the Middle | Leading Effectively: Official Blog of the Center for Creative Leadership

6 Must-Have Skills for Leading from the Middle | Leading Effectively: Official Blog of the Center for Creative Leadership | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

If you are a mid-to-senior level manager – a leader of managers - you lead in what CCL calls “the middle zone.” You operate up and down the organizational hierarchy, as well as across functions and silos. To achieve results, you must effectively manage people and processes.

Middle-zone roles can also be some of the most difficult. Leaders who live and work in the middle often grapple with competing business priorities, competing vested interests and competing centers of influence and power. They feel pressure from above and blame from below. Influencing peers, navigating partnerships and finessing politics are also on the daily agenda.

So, how can you adjust and thrive in the middle zone?  Here are six crucial skills to master.


Via Ron McIntyre, Wise Leader™, David Hain
John Michel's insight:

Middle-zone roles can also be some of the most difficult. Leaders who live and work in the middle often grapple with competing business priorities, competing vested interests and competing centers of influence and power. They feel pressure from above and blame from below. Influencing peers, navigating partnerships and finessing politics are also on the daily agenda.

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David Hain's curator insight, July 3, 2013 7:16 AM

Excellent stuff for the many people stuck in the middle of a matrix!

donhornsby's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:03 AM

Together, these six leadership competencies give leaders a roadmap for navigating the twists, turns and complexities of life in the middle zone.

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 3, 2013 11:06 AM

The communication point is critical. It involves deep listening and being fully present.

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We All Need Friends at Work

We All Need Friends at Work | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Promoting camaraderie does great things for engagement. (Latest on HBR: We All Need Friends at Work http://t.co/W3S3ZRBsj9 #leadership)
John Michel's insight:

Research shows that workers are happier in their jobs when they have friendships with co-workers. Employees report that when they have friends at work, their job is more fun, enjoyable, worthwhile, and satisfying. Gallup found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.

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9 Ways to Motivate Employees When You Don't Set the Goals - Trailblaze

9 Ways to Motivate Employees When You Don't Set the Goals - Trailblaze | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
One of the most challenging leadership situations is finding ways to motivate employees when you don't set the goals. You can motivate your employees..

Via Bobby Dillard
John Michel's insight:

When you have goals thrust upon you, it may not feel good initially, but it is also one of the greatest opportunities you have to increase your influence and grow in your leadership.

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The military needs to reach out to civilians

The military needs to reach out to civilians | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Soldiers need to engage with their fellow citizens.
John Michel's insight:

A great read...and exactly why we started www.GeneralLeadership.com 

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6 Reasons We Hang on to Marginal People, and What to Do About it (The Recovering Leader)

6 Reasons We Hang on to Marginal People, and What to Do About it (The Recovering Leader) | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Recognizing and addressing your pattern of holding on to a low-performing person helps your organization, and is the right thing to do. (#Leadership means having the courage to change without undue delay what (or whom) is holding mediocrity in place.
John Michel's insight:

When someone on your team is performing marginally, it’s hurting themselves, their colleagues, and you. So it’s up to you first to support any potential positive change for them by offering the resources in your power to help them improve.


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Helping Values To Grow

Helping Values To Grow | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

Values and ethics have become an important part of company culture, but how effective they are depends on a variety of factors. Sue Weekes asks how you can get your values embedded into an organisation


Via Roger Francis, David Hain
John Michel's insight:

A raft of high-profile scandals has led to a growing culture of accountability. Consumers who feel let down by major brands, or indeed public sector organisations, because of their behaviour are far more likely to take a negative view towards them today and in the future. For instance, when coffee chain Starbucks was accused of tax avoidance last year, it saw a significant drop in its YouGov BrandIndex rating, a daily measure of brand perception among the public.

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Kenneth Mikkelsen's comment, July 4, 2013 2:17 PM
Thank you for sharing, Roger.
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5 Ways Managers Can Avoid Killing Employee Creativity

5 Ways Managers Can Avoid Killing Employee Creativity | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

Via Daniel Watson
John Michel's insight:

If you want your team to be more successful, then you need to create a creative work environment. Creativity is very important to organizations that want to solve new problems, fix current ones and be innovative in their industry.

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Douglas Arnold's curator insight, July 18, 2013 7:57 AM

The investment in time and attention to creative workers is essential to any long term relationship with the employee. Organizational process -- along with zealots preaching unrealistic productivity goals -- all too often quelch the imagination and extinguish innovation.

Rolf Hagenow-Jansen's curator insight, July 28, 2013 2:32 PM

In my point of view create diverse teams is the most important point to foster creativity. 

CineversityTV's comment, September 9, 2013 1:23 PM
changing the paradigm. Sir Ken Robinson
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Classic Leader Traits: 5 Lessons from Lincoln

Classic Leader Traits: 5 Lessons from Lincoln | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

"Leaders are rarely the first person to see an opportunity, but they’re the first to seize an opportunity."

 

Excerpted from 5 leadership lessons from Lincoln.

 

 


Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN, Bobby Dillard
John Michel's insight:

Have you ever wondered what makes a leader? We’ve heard that leaders have followers, but is there more? Leaders are going somewhere. What would you think of someone who claimed to be a leader, was surrounded by followers, but was going nowhere? Unfortunately, that’s the situation for many teams, organizations, and nations. So what really makes a leader?

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 3, 2013 7:04 PM

It's a helpful post:  simple, clear and well-timed for the July 4th holiday, referencing the critical impact of followership on leadership and Lincoln's great model for us all.  ~  Deb

David Hain's comment, July 4, 2013 3:06 AM
Happy 4th July to all my American friends!
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Nelson Mandela's Leadership Legacy to Us

Nelson Mandela's Leadership Legacy to Us | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
When Mandela reappeared on the world stage on February 11, 1990 he told the world, "Our long march to freedom is irreversible." In that moment it was clear he had never left the world stage; he was re-entering it with even greater moral gravitas.
John Michel's insight:

We have much to learn from Nelson Mandela's leadership grounded in generosity of spirit, authenticity and moral authority that transcends human divisiveness. Two things stand out about his leadership legacy -- his open mindset and the choice to make human calculations rather than political ones.

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David Hain's curator insight, July 4, 2013 3:07 AM

A great light is flickering now, but we have the power to rekindle it, like the passing on of the Olympic torch!

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Imperfect Spirituality | Three ways to cultivate compassion

Imperfect Spirituality | Three ways to cultivate compassion | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Offering compassion rather than judgment can ease difficulties and leave you feeling better too.

 

Compassion is a choice you can make it at any time. It requires no special schooling, no extra time or money, nada but awareness and a decision to lead with love.


And, while you think you are acting with compassion to help someone else – and it certainly will help them – compassion is really more about you and how close you want to live to your heart. In the end your compassionate action says more about you than the person receiving it, but it is the one thing that will change both of us.

 

By Polly Campbell


Via Edwin Rutsch
John Michel's insight:

When we cannot offer compassion, we limit ourselves more than the other guy. We dim a bit, become less creative, more reactive and worried and caught up in what others have done instead of what we can do.

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A Declaration Of Independence For Millions Of Entrepreneurs

A Declaration Of Independence For Millions Of Entrepreneurs | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
We are endowed by Adam Smith with the right the to change the world.
John Michel's insight:

The unanimous Declaration of 27 million entrepreneurs in America,


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Creating A First Impression: Are You Strong? Or Trustworthy?

Creating A First Impression: Are You Strong? Or Trustworthy? | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
Great leaders aren't in a rush to project strength, says Harvard Prof. Amy Cuddy. The top priority: building trust.
John Michel's insight:

In a new piece in Harvard Business Review, “Connect, Then Lead,” Prof. Cuddy and two coauthors argue that anyone who projects strength before establishing trust risks creating a climate of fear. In that case, everything starts to go wrong. Creativity suffers. Problem-solving withers. Employees get stuck and disengage. A culture of wariness sets in, where people spend more time looking out for their own safety than trying to build success with others.


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How to Master Both Sides of Creativity

How to Master Both Sides of Creativity | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it
To be a successful creative, you need to be not only a good generator, but also a good evaluator.

Via Bobby Dillard
John Michel's insight:

Promotion focus causes you to have a more exploratory information-processing style and greater comfort with risk, which facilitate creativity. The promotion-focused worry less about every idea being perfect or even feasible, so they are open to more possibilities.

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How to create the perfect team.

How to create the perfect team. | Mediocre Me | Scoop.it

What is the number one difference between the average companies and the great companies?

 

They have teams that care and respect each other. They watch each other’s back and push each other to achieve results together that they couldn't do on their own.  Sounds fantastic but how do you make this happen?


Via donhornsby
John Michel's insight:

During the course of our lives there's one question that we ask more times than any other. That question is "why?" We all have an innate desire to seek meaning in everything. Make sure the team doesn't come to work wondering what the point of being there is. Everyone should be able to go home at night and explain to their partners not just what they do but why.

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donhornsby's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:21 AM

One of the most effective ways to create an elite team is a simple one that is -make people smile. You can spend hours putting together scientifically researched team building exercises but no one has designed a session that is more effective than people having fun together.