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Surviving Leadership Chaos
" We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. " - Winston Churchill
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A creative life is a healthy life

A creative life is a healthy life | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The link between creativity and better mental and physical health is well established by research.

 

There are many conversations taking place right now about creativity -- how our future depends on it, how our kids are losing it, how most schools are killing it, and how parents ought to be nurturing and encouraging it.

 

I recently attended a lecture on the topic by Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow at Harvard's Technology & Entrepreneurship Center and author of "Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World." The lecture took place in an auditorium that was packed with parents, well-motivated on behalf of their kids.

 

As the mother of two small children, I, too, am very interested in what enables young innovators to flourish and perhaps even go on to change the world.

 

But I am equally interested in what reignites "old" innovators. That is, how can people well past what our culture defines as their prime awaken to mobilize dormant creativity?

 

"I loved your book for young innovators," I told Wagner a few days after his lecture.

 

"But what about the rest of us? Where's our path to innovating, to changing the world?"

 

"The path is still there," Wagner said with a chuckle, "but it can become more difficult to find later in life."-

 

Why is that?

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Sacrifice and Teamwork

Sacrifice and Teamwork | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

 

Teamwork presents itself in many flavors and forms. Teamwork is the art of joining others in pursuit of a common goal. But it’s not just joining. We don’t join a team. We become a team. Becoming a team requires sacrifice.

 

Michael Jordan’s whole quote shows the connection:

 

“There are plenty of teams in every sport that have great players and never win titles. Most of the time, those players aren’t willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. The funny thing is, in the end, their unwillingness to sacrifice only makes individual goals more difficult to achieve. One thing I believe to the fullest is that if you think and achieve as a team, the individual accolades will take care of themselves. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” -  Michael Jordan

 

Great players don’t win titles. Individual accomplishment shrinks when delivered by itself but it grows when sacrificed to a team. When any player clings to accolades and achievements for personal benefit above team benefit, both suffer.

 

No person is an island.

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Information Overload Is Not a New Problem

Information Overload Is Not a New Problem | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

There is a wonderful essay in The Hedgehog Review about the promise and perils of information overload. Titled Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart, this essay written by Chad Ellmon explores the history of information overload and explores its implications.

 

But Ellmon also spends some time demonstrating that information overload is far from a new problem:

 

"These complaints have their biblical antecedents: Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Of making books there is no end”; their classical ones: Seneca, “the abundance of books is a distraction”; and their early modern ones: Leibniz, the “horrible mass of books keeps growing.” After the invention of the printing press around 1450 and the attendant drop in book prices, according to some estimates by as much as 80 percent, these complaints took on new meaning. As the German philosopher and critic Johann Gottfried Herder put it in the late eighteenth century, the printing press “gave wings” to paper."...


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Five Keys to Conflict Resolution

Five Keys to Conflict Resolution | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Ignoring  conflict or hoping it will go away is rarely the best course of action for you as a manager or employer.

 

Left unresolved, serious conflicts can undermine morale, cause excessive turnover, lead to legal claims and, in extreme cases, even result in violence.

 

What exactly is “conflict”? A simple but useful definition is: a disagreement which causes in each of the affected persons, organizations or groups a perception that their physical or emotional needs, interests or concerns are threatened. It is this threat element that makes a conflict more significant than a simple “I like chocolate, you like vanilla” difference of opinion.

 

As with a threat of physical harm, conflicts trigger in humans a so-called “fight or flight” emotional response. Some people respond to conflicts by fighting - becoming angry and defensive - while others “flee”, removing themselves emotionally or even physically from the situation.

 

Conflict in the Workplace


Some level of conflict between team members and between managers and employees is an unavoidable part of almost every workplace. Fortunately, many disagreements are minor and soon forgotten, and an effective manager recognizes when he or she can afford to simply overlook a conflict or rely on the parties to resolve it on their own....


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It’s Easier to Give Than to Receive, But Not Necessarily Better

It’s Easier to Give Than to Receive, But Not Necessarily Better | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
9 reasons why it's better to receive than to give. If you are a leader, you probably believe you should always be competent and strong. Allowing others to help you is a sign of strength, not weakness.

 

How many times have you heard, “It’s better to give than receive?” It’s so ingrained in our culture, we don’t even question it.

 

If you are in a leadership role, chances are you believe this wholeheartedly. Which means you also probably believe you should

 

always be competent,

 

never make mistakes,

 

and always be strong.

 

 And likely you believe you should only receive when you have something to give in exchange.

 

One problem with this attitude is that when you are in a situation where you don’t have a choice and must receive, you are likely to feel

 

…humiliated

 

…incompetent

 

…stupid

 

because it challenges your self-image.

 

It is easier to give than to receive, but not necessarily better. Allowing others to help you is a sign of strength, not weakness...

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How to Be Happier at Work

How to Be Happier at Work | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
It would be nice to think that you're going to be just as excited about going to work tomorrow as you were on your first day on the job.

 

But between increased workloads caused by your company's reluctance to hire more people, or a change in management that has put less than stellar people in charge of your little corner of the universe, or maybe the fact that you have done the same job for a while now, you may be feeling....well, not exactly burned out, but fatigued.

 

What to do?

 

• Telling yourself to get more excited about the same old thing isn't going to work. (It never does.)

 

• Retiring in place and simply going through the motions is not an option. (You'd be replaced a week from Thursday by someone who might not be better, but by a person who certainly has more enthusiasm.)

 

• And while looking for another job is clearly a choice, terrific jobs are hard to come by in this limp-along economy and you may not be ready to undergo that kind of disruption.

 

Let us suggest another alternative: Start something.

 

More specifically, start something outside of work.

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Leadership and Emotions

Leadership and Emotions | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Like it or not, emotions are a big part of leadership. Here's how to deal with them--without becoming your team's therapist.

 

I once had a coaching client express her frustration with the inability of a senior team to get behind a plan and get moving. The client was a good leader with a good team.

 

But the organization’s growth, its pace of change, and uncertainty about its future had led to a series of false starts. The CEO was exasperated and asked, essentially, “What is it that the team does not get?”

 

While the team may have intellectually “got it” about the new plan, their collective emotions did not. Eventually, the CEO had a powerful insight: It takes a large heart to be a good leader.

 

If leadership is mainly engaged in human relations, then leadership, at its core, is largely about emotions.  Leaders would do well to reflect on the emotionality of leadership, especially during challenging situations and periods of self-doubt. 

 

Here are three factors to consider...

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The Top 4 Qualities of Successful Leaders

The Top 4 Qualities of Successful Leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
You can’t lead when you know too much.

 

Education establishes barriers to thinking. Everything that comes your way is instantly judged by what you know. In some cases the less you know the more open you are.

 

People with knowledge say things like, “We can’t do that because…”

 

Another reason you can’t lead is too much experience.


You’ve been doing your job for years. You say things like, “We’ve always done it this way.” People with experience resist change.

 

Knowledge and experience hold leaders back when they result in closed minds.

 

Three qualities:...

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10 Tips for Taking Notes

10 Tips for Taking Notes | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Winston writes: On my job, part of my responsibility is doing transcription. Often I attend scientific meetings and have to . The notes/minutes are written as indirect quotes. Can you please give some guidance on taking meeting notes and minutes?

 

On my job, part of my responsibility is doing transcription. Often I attend scientific meetings and have to [take notes].

 

The notes/minutes are written as indirect quotes. Can you please give some guidance on taking meeting notes and minutes?


The purpose of taking minutes at a meeting is to create a record that can be used later to verify what took place. Minutes need to be accurate, but they don’t need to be lengthy.


My suggestions are based on the idea that the notes are going to be handwritten....

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Does a Holiday Weekend Ruin Your Productivity?

Does a Holiday Weekend Ruin Your Productivity? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

In the U.S., we are headed back to work after a three-day holiday weekend.

 

Many people were looking forward to the break. A chance to unwind, have fun, and get away from work. (And of course, to remember those that came before us.)

 

However, I am sure quite a few people overdid it during the long weekend. They may be returning to work even more worn out than when they left.

 

Are you returning from your holiday weekend refreshed and ready to work?

 

Or worn out and needing another break?

 

Break or Breakdown?

 

Many workers live for their time off.

 

They can’t wait until the next holiday, vacation day, or even weekend.

 

However once they get to the break, instead of taking it easy, they end up running themselves ragged.

 

Sound familiar?...

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Questionable Leadership

Questionable Leadership | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

There is a theory that the two sides of a conversation are talking and waiting to talk. Well, we know that’s a rather cynical view, but what if we decided to do the listening for a change and give others the time and space to share their thoughts and ideas?

If you’re like me, this isn't always an easy tactic. We get passionate and want to genuinely improve the ideas presented. The two focus words this year for me are listening and patience. They are powerful and empowering to everyone involved.

Three Essential Words

Chris Westfall reminds us of a significant phrase we can use that will change every conversation, connection and communication and it is – tell me more. It will show others we care about their ideas and want to see how they will expand on them. 

It's one of the toughest lessons I've learned. I get passionate and want to help. But the danger is I can give the impression that I've stopped listening. It's powerful to sit back and let the others talk and think. Sometimes the best move we can make is to simply be present for them. As my colleague Greg Zlevor reminds me, less is more.

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Art of Leadership: Weston doctor’s study prompts leadership debate

Art of Leadership: Weston doctor’s study prompts leadership debate | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Exploring the dynamics of leadership, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra cites the shifting roles of birds flying in V-formation, taking turns directing the flock before dropping back to less strenuous positions.

 

In his new book, “Leadership by Example,’’ the Weston resident observes humans, like migrating birds, can rise beyond their expectations to the demands of leadership.


“Very few of us are leaders all of the time and in everything we do,’’ writes Chopra, professor of medicine and faculty dean of the Department of Continuing Education at Harvard Medical School, “but all of us can become a leader for a certain time, in specific situations.’’


For Chopra, the best leaders inspire by living exemplary lives and encouraging others to “dream big.’’


A graceful writer, he packs his 208-page book with stories about everyday folks like 9-year-old Melissa Poe of Nashville, Tenn., who, inspired by an episode of “Highway to Heaven,’’ started an international environmental organization that has planted more than a million trees in 15 countries.

 

A native of India, Chopra draws from a global pantheon of great leaders throughout history, from Buddha to FDR, from Soren Kierkegaard to Gandhi, to illustrate the power of selflessness and idealism.

 

Read more: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1347548604/Art-of-Leadership-Weston-doctor-s-study-prompts-leadership-debate#ixzz1wAJFhID0


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Leadership Skills Training is All About Vision and How You Portray it To Staff

Leadership Skills Training is All About Vision and How You Portray it To Staff | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
As a leader, you must always be aware of the way others see you and what they come to expect of you.

 

As a leader, you must always be aware of the way others see you and what they come to expect of you. Many leaders are focused on the organisation and its objective and neglect the “means” for the “goals”. This is a short-term attitude since over time staff can no longer understand or even appreciate the leadership.

 

In this article, a number of critical areas are identified that leaders must pay particular attention to so they can stay inspiring and be in control of the direction of their organisation.

 

Inconsistent Actions

 

A leader must follow a consistent strategy and treat everyone with the same principles. A leader who says something and does something else will quickly develop a reputation of someone who cannot be taken seriously. For example, some leaders are notorious in scheming and plotting to ruin their rivals. Staff can see this and the leader would no longer be trusted. This dampens morale and creates negative emotions which in turn reduces productivity.

 

Empty Words

 

Some leaders are good with words. They give speech after speech thinking that all they have to do is talk with confidence about the great future that awaits everyone. Words must be followed with actions. If not, the next speech or inspirational remarks will have less effect. This erodes trust. People would think that whatever the problems they will pass as they have heard all of this before and nothing actually happens. They would start to believe that nothing would come of it anyway and lose faith in the vision and leadership. Hence, leaders must act on their vision or risk devaluing their statements in the future.


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge, Roy Sheneman, PhD
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Ten Truths about Leadership

Ten Truths about Leadership | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Kouzes and Posner's ten truths about leadership.

 

Kouzes and Posner have compiled more than one million responses to their leadership assessment survey.  Their book “The Truth about Leadership” explores the fundamental, enduring truths of leadership that hold constant regardless of context or circumstance.

 

The ten truths they espouse are:

 

1. You Make a Difference. When you believe you can make a difference, you position yourself to hear the call to lead.

 

2. Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership. You must do what you say you are going to do and you must clear about your beliefs and live them every day.

 

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On Leadership, Skepticism and Cynicism

On Leadership, Skepticism and Cynicism | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

While facilitating a session earlier this year, I was greeting the staff members as they arrived, and there he was: The group’s cynic.


He proudly announced when I greeted him, “Hi, I am the cynic…”


Oh My…


As he was ignoring my request to fill out a name tag, his body language and demeanor warned me that he would not be engaging during the session. His colleagues, looking a bit embarrassed, quickly greeted me, thanked me for coming and asked me about the medicine wheel activity we were about to start in the next few minutes.


Fortunately, the cynic kept to himself through the session and was not abusive or openly critical. While he didn’t engage in the activities and mostly fell asleep on his chair, he didn’t disrupt others, as is often the case with cynics.


"As you may know, there is usually a skeptic or cynic in every group."


Sometimes, in large groups, there are a few. One thing that I appreciated in this case was the cynic’s honesty. He accepted being a cynic. Many times, I encounter cynics who disguise themselves as skeptics and I find that the difference is very important.


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Leadership’s Greatest Value

Leadership’s Greatest Value | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Problems are giant black holes that capture focus, drain vitality, and divert resources. Solving problems seduces leaders away from future opportunities to focus on past inadequacies.

 

Problems that threaten organizations must be addressed, admittedly.  Sadly, many leaders are simply problem solving machines; they jump from one fire to the next.

 

You never build the future by solving the past.

 

The problem with solving problems is we think we’ve created results when we haven’t. Solving problems doesn’t create value.

 

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” - Peter Drucker

 

Most calls I receive are problem centered calls. The pain of past deficiencies or failures drives us to seek solutions.

 

We’re looking for an “ahhh” moment to make the pain go away. We falsely believe if the pain goes away we’re heading in the right direction.

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A Room With a View

A Room With a View | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Life is a mix of the good and the bad. Optimism isn't about happy talk or denial--it is about what you choose to focus on.

 

It was my first trip to Rome. I had finally made the time to visit one of the cities of my dreams, and I was excited. The cab let me out in front of the Hotel Eliseo, near the Via Veneto, and the reception desk manager told me I had a room on the first floor.

 

“Do you have a room with a view?” I asked.

 

He paused, deliberated purposefully, and let me know in no uncertain terms that he was doing me a great favor by giving me a room on the fifth floor. “A panoramic view!” he exclaimed.

 

The bellhop helped me get my bags to the room. I walked to the balcony and took in a breathtaking view of the city. It couldn’t have been lovelier.

 

Suddenly I heard a noise I can liken only to a violent earthquake. It was coming from the wall behind the headboard of my bed—a great shaking and gnashing of steel. After a little investigation, I discovered it was the elevator equipment. Every time somebody pushed the elevator button, I was treated to that monstrous rumbling.

 

Then it hit me: what a metaphor for life! The perfect view accompanied by the elevator shaft. The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, side by side.

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5 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence is Critical for Leaders

5 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence is Critical for Leaders | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

When asked to identify the necessary traits for leaders, most would propose answers that fall within a wide range of topics.Charisma, purpose, determination – these are just a few of the traits that are typically used to define a leader.

 

However, many leaders have a single quality in common. In short, what distinguishes the best leaders from the majority is their level of emotional intelligence.

 

Emotional intelligence is defined by the ability to understand and manage our emotions and those around us.

 

This quality gives individuals a variety of skills, such as the ability to manage relationships, navigate social networks, influence and inspire others. Every individual possesses different levels, but in order for individuals to become effective leaders, they’ll need a high level of emotional intelligence. 

 

In today’s workplace, it has become a highly important factor for success, influencing productivity, efficiency and team collaboration. The following are important reasons why leaders should cultivate their emotional intelligence:

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6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them

6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Great leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal, and the best tool for the job.

 

Taking a team from ordinary to extraordinary means understanding and embracing the difference between management and leadership. According to writer and consultant Peter Drucker, "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." 

 

Manager and leader are two completely different roles, although we often use the terms interchangeably. Managers are facilitators of their team members’ success. They ensure that their people have everything they need to be productive and successful; that they’re well trained, happy and have minimal roadblocks in their path; that they’re being groomed for the next level; that they are recognized for great performance and coached through their challenges.

 

Conversely, a leader can be anyone on the team who has a particular talent, who is creatively thinking out of the box and has a great idea, who has experience in a certain aspect of the business or project that can prove useful to the manager and the team. A leader leads based on strengths not titles.

 

The best managers consistently allow different leaders to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves!) to the next level.

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How to Say No When You Feel Pressured to Say Yes

How to Say No When You Feel Pressured to Say Yes | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Do you have a difficult time saying no? I do. Here’s how to do it without sacrificing your relationships or your priorities.

 

But at some point, you realize that you can’t say yes to everyone else. Attempting to do so puts at risk your own agenda and the things that matter most.

 

Recently, at the recommendation of my friend, Mary DeMuth, I started reading The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes by Harvard professor William Ury.

 

It has strengthened my resolve to say No when necessary but to do so in a healthy, respectful way.

 

In the introduction to the book, the author explains that there are three responses to someone who asks us to do something we don’t want to do...

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Recognizing Great Ideas From the Developing World

Recognizing Great Ideas From the Developing World | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Innovation isn't the trickle-down process we often imagine it to be. Two authors envision the developing world as a fertile research-and-development lab for companies in any market.

 

We imagine innovation as a trickle-down process. Companies in places such as the United States, Europe, and Japan deploy sophisticated technology to produce premium products for developed markets. Then they strip out some features, maybe substitute cheaper materials and eliminate most options, and ship their diminished creations to presumably less-demanding customers in Africa, Asia, and South America.

 

But the days of rich countries' hegemony over innovation may be numbered. In their new book, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere (Harvard Business Review Press), Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble describe the developing world as a fertile research and development lab for companies in any market. The authors, both professors at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, argue that increasingly, breakthrough ideas will sprout in poor countries and be replanted here.

 

Govindarajan spoke with Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan about how U.S. entrepreneurs can take advantage of this bidirectional model.


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Leaders: It’s Not All About the Money

Leaders: It’s Not All About the Money | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
It is time that all of us get into the 21st Century about motivation and driving high-performance in the workplace.

 

Over 20 years of research about what motivates people and teams to perform at their highest levels, have consistently shown that it is not money.


What Motivates Us


Yes, it’s true. Money is not a primary motivator for a highly engaged and high performance workplace. There are many Organization Development, Human Resources, and other professionals that understand this fact.


The research that leads us to this conclusion includes, but is not limited to:...


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How to Get Feedback When You're the Boss

How to Get Feedback When You're the Boss | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

The higher up in the organization you get, the less likely you'll receive constructive feedback on your ideas, performance, or strategy. No one wants to offend the boss, right?

 

The higher up in the organization you get, the less likely you'll receive constructive feedback on your ideas, performance, or strategy. No one wants to offend the boss, right? But without input, your development will suffer, you may become isolated, and you're likely to miss out on hearing some great ideas. So, what can you do to get people to tell you what you may not want to hear?

 

What the Experts Say


Most people have good reasons for keeping their opinions from higher ups. "People with formal power can affect our fate in many ways — they can withhold critical resources, they can give us negative evaluations and hold us back from promotions, and they can even potentially fire us or have us fired," says James Detert, associate professor at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management and author of the Harvard Business Review articles "Debunking Four Myths About Employee Silence" and "Why Employees Are Afraid to Speak". The more senior you become, the more likely you are to trigger this fear. "The major reason people don't give the boss feedback is they're worried that the boss will retaliate because they know that most of us have trouble accepting negative feedback," says Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. While you may be tempted to enjoy this deference, the silence will not help you, your organization or your career.


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20 Books that are Unrequired Reading For the Skool of Life

20 Books that are Unrequired Reading For the Skool of Life | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

When you start most classes you get a syllabus, and on the front page there is usually a required reading list. Since there are no grades, tests, or term papers in the school of life, I decided to make an “unrequired reading list”.

 

In the years I’ve been running this blog, I’ve read more books than I probably did the entire time I was in school and I actually read them out of choice. So, I thought I’d share them with you.

 

Creativity 

 

We’ve entered an age in which the gap between creativity and technology has been bridged. People are doing work that matters and tapping into their creativity like never before.

 

We’ve all been given back our box of crayons and you can stop waiting for permission to be extraordinary.

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Difficult Conversations: Nine Common Mistakes

Difficult Conversations: Nine Common Mistakes | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Mistake #1: We fall into a combat mentality.

When difficult conversations turn toxic, it's often because we've made a key mistake: we've fallen into a combat mentality. This allows the conversation to become a zero-sum game, with a winner and a loser. But the reality is, when we let conversations take on this tenor – especially at the office – everyone looks bad, and everyone loses. The real enemy is not your conversational counterpart, but the combat mentality itself. And you can defeat it, with strategy and skill.

 

Mistake #2: We try to oversimplify the problem.
If the subject of your argument were straightforward, chances are you wouldn't be arguing about it. Because it's daunting to try and tackle several issues at once, we may try to roll these problems up into a less-complex Über-Problem. But the existence of such a beast is often an illusion. To avoid oversimplifying, remind yourself that if the issue weren't complicated, it probably wouldn't be so hard to talk about.

 

Read more: http://bit.ly/LwQSce


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