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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Can you make your brain more creative?

Want to expand your mind? The latest episode of BrainCraft explores the research on how to make your brain think more creatively, and it turns out that being distracted may be the answer.


For centuries people have been fascinated by the habits of creative people. But is there something that regular people can do to unlock the creative potential of Dickens and Beethoven?


Research suggests that the key may be distracting part of your brain, while the rest is left to wander, as the new episode of BrainCraft explains.


In order to understand more about how to increase creativity, we first need to know how the brain comes up with ideas. And, no, the left hemmisphere of the brain isn't solely responsible for creative thought, despite what you might have heard.


The process is actually controlled by the interaction of three different structures scattered around your brain - the executive attention network, the imagination network and the salience network.


The executive attention network is the part of your working memory that's active when you're focussed on a complex task, like calculus homework. The imagination network creates mental simulations about future events, as you might expect, and the salience network monitors your internal consciousness and what's happening outside of your body.


Read more here: http://www.sciencealert.com/watch-can-you-make-yourself-more-creative

Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Studies involving brain scans have shown that a wandering mind is a hallmark of creative people. http://sco.lt/5kno1J Unfortunately, this has also been linked to schizophrenia being prevalent in families of creative people http://sco.lt/5OSAZl

On a related note, brainstorming has been shown to be a poor method of generating ideas, at least without a good dose of candor http://sco.lt/63k7Zx

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Leaders important to change

Leaders important to change | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
A study has found that it is not only leader's knowledge that makes them successful, but their ability to develop and commit to strategies for the future.


The project canvassed more than 500 Australian higher education leaders from 20 institutions from heads of program to deputy vice-chancellors, about the contexts and challenges they face and the key capabilities that underpin their work.


Professor Geoff Scott, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Quality) at UWS, said the study had taken place during a time of profound change for higher education and had demonstrated that the leaders surveyed are key players in figuring out what to do and how to make it work.


"It has shown, in particular, that a significant and previously poorly understood aspect of their work is to set key change priorities and make them work." The study reveals what type of university culture hinders or encourages change, identifies how leaders themselves like to learn and shows that the best leaders in higher education have a strikingly similar profile to the best teachers.


It demonstrates that effective leaders of learning and teaching in universities not only possess up-to-date knowledge and skills in their area, they are also self-aware, decisive, committed, able to empathise with and influence a wide diversity of people, are cognitively flexible and are particularly deft at diagnosis and formulating strategy.


Read more here: http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20082706-17571-6.html


The research article can be downloaded here:


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

A very interesting insight into how higher education is evolving in Australia that is relevant to academic institutions globally.


More scoops on navigating change:


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Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from Supports for Leadership

Keeping Your Leadership Relevant

Keeping Your Leadership Relevant | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

What a powerful thought to ponder. Leaders have to adjust their mindset. We have to recognize that we operate in a completely different society and culture today, trends in fashion, music, business and technology change as quickly as they are ushered into existence.


In times of change and crisis there are two typical reactions:
1. We panic, we scream and we hope for it to stop
2. We kick-in to a pre-determined course of action


The second more favourable option is available to us immediately when these shifts occur if we have a high degree of clarity about our purpose. Getting in tune with our purpose as leaders keeps us relevant in the face of changing times.


If we know who and what we are, we can make preventative plans for the future. This keeps us relevant both as leaders and as organizations because:

1. Purpose creates relevance
2. Leaders nurture and create purpose through their actions and behaviors


Read more here:



Via Anne Leong, Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Purpose, values and instinct are virtues that are shared by Jack Welch http://sco.lt/8It39l; and John Baldoni http://sco.lt/8gsZM1

I have learnt a lot from their books

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Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from Good News For A Change

Caution: Disruption Ahead. Are You Ready?

Caution: Disruption Ahead. Are You Ready? | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

History is covered with examples of companies that missed the boat on the next big industry disruption. Today such companies are being primed for sale or spin-off due to lagging sales and the fact that many free or considerably lower cost competitors have entered the market.

I do believe there are things companies can do today to prepare for change and possibly be the disruption they fear. They are:


1. Always Hear Your Customers. Hearing is a passionate focus on understanding what your customer is saying and ensuring the fastest possible delivery of that critical information to the right people in your organization.


2. Work Yourself Out of Business. The minute you back off the gas and stop giving 150% effort, is time your competition will inch closer and closer to overtake your place in the world.


3. Solve for Needs, Not Features. Customers will say they have a need for a solution, but may not know how that solution should be created.That's the opportunity for really smart people and companies to deliver a value and disrupt the status quo.


Read more here:


Via Steve Krogull, Bobby Dillard
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Jack Welch considers the ability to look around corners and predict trends to be an important leadership quality. Adapting to change and disruption is becoming  more important with rapidly changing technologies.


An article was scooped from Washington Post that describes five myths of business disruption and innovation http://sco.lt/8QtQpd

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Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from Life @ Work

Balancing Risks and Rewards

Balancing Risks and Rewards | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

Change agents are distinctly different from the pack. Jack Welch estimates that in most organizations, change agents comprise no more than 10% of all employees. These people have courage—a certain fearlessness about the unknown. Something in them makes it OK to operate without a safety net. If they fail, they know they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on. They’re thick-skinned about risk, which allows them to make bold decisions without a lot of data. This leads to the question: How can companies groom change agents, encourage innovation and make it safe to take risk?


When it comes to taking risks, George Reed, of the University of San Diego, advises an approach which incorporates learning. He explains that there must be "some tolerance of mistakes, because we know that most experiments fail and most big ideas don't meet their initial expectations." Without that understanding, he adds, "there is no possibility for the organization to learn. The trick is tolerating mistakes in the name of learning and not tolerating suboptimal performance" that could harm the organization. There is also a balance which Reed calls prudence and timidity -- in short, "known what you can risk and no more."


For individuals, Richard Branson recommends, "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!"


This scoop was created using excerts from John Baldoni's book "Lead with Purpose" and Jack Welch's "Winning", two great books:


Via Barb Jemmott
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

I have recently been offered two amazing opportunities. One involves planning an interdisciplinary project on the Putrajaya Lake at the heart of Malaysia's capital and the other is to forge a research collaboration with Japanese from Neo-Morgan Laboratory Incorporated.


The excerpts in this scoop reflect my current feelings, "with great opportunity comes great apprehension." Apprehension generates resisters which can be considered the polar opposites of change agents.


Nonetheless, I already had a great chance to view how influential resisters who would threaten projects at their outset can be dealt with. The only certainty here is that I must rise up to the challenge and explore these opportunities.

Barb Jemmott's curator insight, July 1, 2014 9:14 PM

What's holding you back?

Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from Good News For A Change

Grooming Divergents

Grooming Divergents | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
When we stop talking about creativity and innovation in abstract terms and start thinking about how they originate, we get divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is more than thinking outside the box; it’s thinking without the box, and imposing structure later.


The benefits of divergent thinking are huge, especially in a day and age where employers value skills over knowledge. The goal of divergent thinking is to generate many different ideas about a topic in a short period of time. This type of thinking is found among people with personality traits such as nonconformity, curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence. Divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing manner and unexpected connections are often drawn leading to new ideas.

Studies conducted by a Cornell University research team in 2012 found that divergent thinking improves language proficiency and performance. That same year, psychologists from the Netherlands revealed that divergent thinking leads to positive mood swings while convergent thinking leads to negative mood swings. An article published this year presents the first measure of divergent thinking that can be used with children as young as 2 years, and shows that some children are better at divergent thinking than others and that children’s divergent thinking increases with age. Scientists have also found a positive correlation between divergent thinking and entrepreneurial potential.

There’s still a lot to be discovered about divergent thinking, but we know that it produces highly intelligent, creative individuals. Teach your students to think divergently and you’ll never worry that you haven’t made a difference.

Here are 30 ways to get started: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2014/06/10/30-ways-to-inspire-divergent-thinking/


Via Anne Leong, Bobby Dillard
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Divergents or more commonly, change agents are often celebrated as champions of change, innovation, and versatility in modern workplaces http://sco.lt/8It39l

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

What is The Secret to Success?

What is The Secret to Success? | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

The modern marketplace demands that people possess a wide range of skills. But what core qualities are truly essential to career advancement, regardless of industry or job? The answer could fill a book and it has, thousands of times, if not more.  There’s so much contradictory advice out there about the core components of success 


Unfortunately, you can’t tweak or overhaul your personality to maneuver yourself to success. In fact, we’d say just the opposite. The most powerful thing you can do is, be real. Real as in not phony. Real as in grappling, sweating, laughing, and caring. Real as in authentic. 


Heavy-duty resilience is another requirement because anyone who is really in the game messes up at some point. You’re not playing hard enough if you don’t! But when your turn comes, don’t make the all-too-human mistake of thinking getting ahead is about minimizing what happened. The most successful people in any new job always own their failures, learn from them, regroup, and then start again with renewed speed, vigor, and conviction.


The other quality we’d mention is really special but quite rare: the ability to see around corners, to anticipate the radically unexpected. Now, practically no one starts their career with a sixth sense for market changes. It takes time to get a feel for what competitors are thinking and what product or service customers will eventually want - once they know it exists. 


To conclude, the modern marketplace does demand that people possess a wide range of skills to achieve success. But the most important one is already inside you. Think of authenticity as your foundation, your center, and don’t let any organization try to wring it out of you, subtly or otherwise. All-knowing bosses can manage, but can’t motivate.


Read the full article by Jack Welch here: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130312190950-86541065-what-it-really-takes-to-succeed


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Change agents have always been celebrated as champions of change, innovation, and versatility. They are the seemingly fearless individuals who spearhead new ventures http://sco.lt/8gjM5B.

Ironically most companies try to make their employees

"fit in" which is in direct contrast to grooming change agents http://sco.lt/7tKynJ


More of Jack Welch's keen insight here:



Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Leadership is Situational, Integrity is Not

Leadership is Situational, Integrity is Not | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
Your leadership style should change according to the situation. Your integrity should be invariable.

I had always thought that people had their own leadership styles. One could be autocratic, consensus building, charming, aloof, data-driven, passionate, etc. What I learned was that leadership is situational and the best leaders ADJUST their styles to suit the situation and the capabilities of their team. 

Leaders ADJUST their styles to the situation. That is, they don’t just have one “style.” Their styles change to address the needs of the moment…hence the term situational leadership. By studying this you learn to alter your style according to the competence, experience and motivation of your team as well as the risk and urgency of the circumstances.

Integrity, on the other hand, should be immutable and unchanging. It’s not for sale, and it doesn’t depend on the circumstances. Of course we’ve all been tempted by morally ambiguous situations, and none of us (myself included) is holier-than-thou. But you really need to have a set of principles for your life to guide you in how you conduct yourself and deal with other people in professional and business situations that shouldn’t change by the minute or by the situation. True leaders develop their principles with a view toward the long run. They don’t sacrifice their integrity for short-term gains.

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Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from LibertyE Global Renaissance

35 Psychological Tricks To Help You Learn Better

35 Psychological Tricks To Help You Learn Better | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

Have you ever considered letting your students listen to hardcore punk while they take their mid-term exam? Decided to do away with Power Point presentations during your lectures? Urged your students to memorize more in order to remember more? If the answer is no, you may want to rethink your notions of psychology and its place in the learning environment.


Below are six proven psychological phenomena that affect you and your students every day:

1. State-Dependent Recall. It is easiest to recall information when you are in a state similar to the one in which you initially learned the material. Urge your students to sit in the same room they studied in when they complete their take-home quiz.


2. The Fundamental Attribution Error. Sometimes students need your help distinguishing between internal and external factors that affect academic performance. The student who says, “Brian got an A on his English paper because he is smarter than I am” instead of “Brian got an A on his English because he visited the Writing Center before he turned it in” suffers from the Fundamental Attribution Error.


3. Effort Justification/Change Bias. Unfortunately, effort does not always correlate positively with performance. Students may be angry if they do not receive the grade they expect on an assignment that cost them a lot of time. In your comments, always mention the work you see even if it misses the mark.


4. Cognitive Dissonance. The feeling of psychological discomfort produced by the combined presence of two thoughts that do not follow from one another, often resulting in the adoption of beliefs that align with one’s actions but contradict the beliefs one held before the action was committed. The world isn’t black or white, and neither is the mind. Share this wisdom with your students to promote critical thinking.


5. Chunking. A term referring to the process of taking individual units of information (chunks) and grouping them into larger units. A great tool for students who must memorize long series of names, numbers, pictures, dates, terms, etc.


6. Positive Reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is anything added that follows a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. Bonus and extra credit assignments are some of the most basic examples of positive reinforcement. More nuanced techniques might include positive verbal feedback, class celebrations (but not reward competitions), or opportunities to contribute individually to the curriculum.


Read the other 29 psychological tricks here: 



Via Erskine S.Weekes-Libert
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Some really good tips here on how to make learning more efficient. Some of these tricks e.g. positive reinforcement, effort justification and managing cognitive dissonance are relevant to the workplace as well. 


More scoops on how to promote engagement can be read here:


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Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from LeadershipABC

5 Steps For Leading Through Adaptive Change

5 Steps For Leading Through Adaptive Change | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

Leadership and management are two distinctly different but complimentary skill sets that all companies need. Leaders make sure the organization is doing the right things, while managers make sure they do those things right. Leadership is about coping with change while management is about coping with complex issues. Both are qualities that can be learned and both require constant focus on improvement.


As markets evolve and new technologies emerge, companies require leadership that can foresee the need to adapt and continually be auditing existing processes and organizational structures. Those companies that get this right continue to grow in value. Those that don’t become stagnant and sometimes fail. Here are five key steps for leading an organization that faces adaptive challenges:


1. Give direction
2. Provide protection
3. Clarify roles
4. Manage conflict
5. Shape the norms


Great leaders that guide a company through necessary changes don’t do it all by themselves. They bring all team members together and leverage their talent pool in a collaborative manner. This creates buy-in at all levels which is critical. They identify stakeholders and place the responsibility on them for rolling out new processes. Change doesn’t have to be stressful. Face it head on and keep the company moving forward.


Read more about the five steps here:

Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

These five steps may seem very simple but they are often taken for granted. To give direction a leader must take ownership and have a vision. Managing conflict and providing protection are often not pleasant and require great maturity from leaders. Shaping the norms and clarifying roles is often not given a very high priority as it involves intangible people skills.


Read more scoops on change and leadership here: http://www.scoop.it/t/on-leaders-and-managers/?tag=Change


God Is.'s curator insight, August 12, 2014 12:00 PM

Seems like we are all experiencing changes in the world we are living in. We have to go thru the changes necessary to succeed. This article explains some of what needs to happen in order to survive and thrive...

Josie Gibson's curator insight, August 12, 2014 6:20 PM

Thanks to @LeadershipABC for highlighting this article.

Jay Roth's curator insight, August 17, 2014 4:33 PM

Perfect article to suggest (in schools) WHY the trainings of Cognitive Coaching, Adaptive Schools, and Polarity Thinking is necessary!

Rescooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang from Good News For A Change

7 Signs You Have a Creative Brain

7 Signs You Have a Creative Brain | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

What is it that sets a creative thinker apart from the everyday individual? You think you might have a creative brain? Then many of these characteristics may seem familiar:


1. You see multiple possibilities
2. You generate new creative output through free association
3. You have multiple passions
4. You seek out new knowledge and skill sets
5. You view your creative output as unsurprising
6. You come from a family of creative thinkers
7. You know what it’s like to suffer a mood disorder


You certainly don’t have to suffer from a mood disorder–think depression or bipolar disorder–to be creative. But, Dr. Nancy Andreasen, a prominent neuroscientist and psychiatrist detected, a trend among artists such as James Joyce and Albert Einstein; they had close family members suffering schizophrenia.


Andreasen’s research coincides with others in the field such as Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. Andreasen notes that “Jamison looked at 47 famous writers and artists in Great Britain, she found that more than 38 percent had been treated for a mood disorder; the highest rates occurred among playwrights, and the second-highest among poets.”


Read more about the 7 signs here:

Via Bobby Dillard
Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Dr. Nancy Andreasen also wrote an article featured in The Atlantic magazine entitled, Secrets of the Creative Brain. It is a summary of her years of research into the creative process and describes the downsides of being too creative. The article was scooped here: http://sco.lt/5kno1J

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Five myths about disruption

Five myths about disruption | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
What businesses have to learn — or fear.


Writing recently in the New Yorker, historian Jill Lepore contends that the prevailing theory of business change — known as “disruptive innovation” — is grounded in poor research and circular logic. While it’s true that talk of disruption is thrown around carelessly (the meaningless advertising phrase “new and improved!” has been replaced with “disruptive and innovative!”), it’s equally obvious to any teenager with a month-old smartphone that the pace of business disruption is accelerating.


Here are the five myths:


1. Disruptive innovations begin as inferior replacements for existing products.


2. The further you are from the technology industry, the safer you are from disruption.


3. The best innovations come from proprietary R&D.


4. Once disruptors gain enough consumers, there’s no way to slow them down.


5. Markets are so complex that no one can predict what innovation consumers will want.


Read more about these myths here:



Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Disruptive innovation is very apparent in the technology industry with new models being developed every few months and radically new devices every few years. However,  all industries are susceptible to disruptive innovation and companies much continually change to remain relevant. 


Read about how companies can adapt to disruptive innovation and generate new innovations http://sco.lt/86WiFV

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

The Leadership Mindset

The Leadership Mindset | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

Too often, people who are promoted to their first leadership position miss the point. And that failure probably trips up careers more than any other reason.

Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It’s about your performance. Your contributions. It’s about raising your hand, getting called on, and delivering the right answer.


When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. It’s about making the people who work for you smarter, bigger, and bolder. Nothing you do anymore as an individual matters except how you nurture and support your team and help its members increase their self-confidence. 


Now, that’s a big transition—and no question, it’s hard. Being a leader basically requires a whole new mindset. You’re no longer constantly thinking “How can I stand out?” but “How can I help my people do their jobs better?” Sometimes that requires undoing a couple of decades of momentum.But the good news is that you’ve been promoted because someone above you believes you have the stuff to make the leap from star player to successful coach.


What does that leap actually involve? First and foremost, you need to actively mentor your people. Exude positive energy about life and the work that you are doing together, show optimism about the future, and care. Make every significant event a teaching moment. Your energy will energize those around you. 


Read the full article by Jack and Suzy Welch here:



Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

One of the most difficult things for new leaders to give up would be their own stellar performance. Many find it difficult to accept their new role in nurturing future starts, future leaders. Jack Welch also write about building a winning team here: http://sco.lt/725e0P ;

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Guy Kawasaki: Lessons from Steve Jobs

Guy Kawasaki: Lessons from Steve Jobs | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
Many people have explained what one can learn from Steve Jobs. Guy Kawasaki was there with Jobs, launching the Macintosh and absorbing everything he could from Jobs' singular collection of talents. Here's Kawasaki's list of the top 12 lessons he learned from Steve Jobs.


1. Experts are clueless. They can tell you what is wrong with your product, but they cannot make a great one.


2. Customers cannot tell you what they need. If you ask customers what they want, they will tell you, “Better, faster, and cheaper”—that is, better sameness, not revolutionary change.


3. Jump to the next curve. Big wins happen when you go beyond better sameness.


4. The biggest challenges beget best work. Changing the world was a big challenge. Apple employees did their best work to meet the big challenges.


5. Design counts. Steve was a perfectionist, and he was right: some people care about design and many people at least sense it.


6. You can’t go wrong with big graphics and big fonts. Look at other tech speaker’s slides — the font is 8 points, and there are no graphics. Don’t you wonder why more people don’t copy his style?


7. Changing your mind is a sign of intelligence. Apps, Steve decreed, were a bad because you never know what they could be doing to your phone. We would not have apps if Steve had not changed his mind.


8. “Value” is different from “price”. It’s pretty safe to say that no one buys Apple products because of their low price.


9. A players hire A+ players. It’s clear, though, that B players hire C players so they can feel superior to them. Hiring B players, my result in   what Steve called “the bozo explosion” in your organization.


10. Real CEOs demo. Many CEOs call on their vice president of engineering to do a product demo. Few CEOs understand what their company is making well enough to explain it.


11. Real CEOs deliver. The lesson is that Steve wasn’t tinkering for the sake of tinkering—he had a goal: domination of existing markets and creation of new ones.


12. Marketing boils down to providing unique value. The iPod was unique because it was the only way to legally, inexpensively, and easily download music from the six biggest record labels.


Guy Kawasaki's closing remarks: The starting point of changing the world is changing a few minds. Read more here:




Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Steve Jobs was one of the biggest game changers of our time. May he rest in peace. Guy Kawasaki together with other former Apple employees are now game changers in their own right.

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Overcome Your Fear of Change at Work

Overcome Your Fear of Change at Work | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it
Many of us desperately crave change at work--and yet we’re uncomfortable and terrified when it occurs. But change is inevitable (and necessary for businesses to survive and thrive), so you’ll need to learn how to overcome those fears.With help from Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work, career coach Phyllis Mufson, Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, Sara Menke, the founder and chief executive of Premier, a boutique staffing firm in San Francisco, Joyce K. Reynolds, an expert business coach, and Stever Robbins, an executive coach and top 10 business podcaster, I've compiled a list of 12 tips for overcoming your fear of change at work.


View the slideshow here: 


Eric Chan Wei Chiang's insight:

Although they may seem fearless, change agents are actually more than a bit paranoid about the future. Their relentless drive for change is often motivated by the uncertain future they foresee. 

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Scooped by Eric Chan Wei Chiang

Millennials: How to Be a Leader in the Workplace

Millennials: How to Be a Leader in the Workplace | On Leaders and Managers | Scoop.it

Millennial leaders, born in the late 20th century, are the movers and shakers of today’s workplace. These leaders are strongly influenced by technology and have a passion to change the world.

Leadership remains the biggest issue facing organizations around the world. It is no longer focused solely on top management; instead, companies are creating leaders at every level. 

Research shows millennials are the 11 percent most likely to drive global change. Unfortunately, 66 percent of employers believe they are “weak” in their ability to develop millennial leaders. Further, only 13 percent of employers say they do an excellent job developing leaders at all levels.

Here are some ways you can acquire leadership characteristics and become the positive change your boss has been seeking.

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