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How to prevent top producers from defecting

How to prevent top producers from defecting | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

Employees who pack up and move down the street to a rival bring more with them than a cardboard box full of personal items.

Bankers have extensive knowledge about the successes and failures at their old job, something a new employer can utilize, industry experts say. So it is critical that community banks take steps to make sure that highly regarded employees and valuable executives stay put.

"Next to capital and regulatory issues, talent is the burning issue facing the industry today," says Alan Kaplan, chief executive of executive search firm Kaplan & Associates. "You have to win with better execution, and that always comes down to people."

KeyCorp (KEY) in Cleveland recently snagged Don Kimble, who had been the chief financial officer at Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), as its new CFO. The defection is a loss for Huntington — based in nearby Columbus, Ohio — since Kimble is highly regarded, says Scott Siefers, an analyst at Sandler O'Neill.

"It's not a game changer but it's unfortunate they are parting ways," Siefers says of Kimble leaving Huntington. "It was a good announcement for Key. Don already knows the area well and I imagine there's broad overlap of investors and analysts between the two banks, so there shouldn't be much of a learning curve."

Huntington did not return a call seeking comment. Key could not provide someone for comment.

There are huge advantages in hiring talented employees who already know the local market, says Robert Voth, a managing partner at executive recruiting firm CTPartners. Such hires know how their former employer thrived or struggled in areas like attracting and retaining customers and expanding wallet share with existing clients. Those items are "of great interest," he adds.

Customers often react differently to products or marketing based on geography, so understanding the dynamics of a specific area is a huge plus, Voth says. Hiring talented employees from rivals that serve in revenue-producing roles is ideal, but snagging other high-level managers can also prove beneficial.

Switching jobs is a decision that typically involves several factors, including compensation, corporate culture, advancement opportunity and personal considerations such as family, executive recruiters say.

"People won't usually make the move without getting enhanced compensation," Kaplan says. "But another job might have more responsibilities or more opportunities for succession. Or maybe they just don't like who they are working for."

"People don't leave companies, they leave bosses," says William H.W. Crawford 4th, president and CEO of Rockville Financial (RCBK) in Connecticut. Because of this, Rockville works hard to make sure its managers have the right skills and personality to successfully lead their teams.

"Talent is the one sustainable advantage you can get in this business," Crawford says. "Any other advantages like products or pricing are not really an advantage since the competition can catch up in that."

Rockville has expanded significantly since 2011, when it converted to a stock-owned bank from a mutual holding company. Its assets have increased about 18% from Dec. 31, 2011, to March 31, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Its work force has increased by 19% over the same period, to 335 employees.

Rockville's compensation is similar to that of its competitors. So market disruption, including First Niagara Financial Group's (FNFG) 2010 acquisition of NewAlliance Bancshares, has produced a bigger benefit.

The company has tried to create an environment where "top performers want to work since they can get things done for customers," Crawford says. Many current employees provide recommendations and referrals for new hires, he says.

Rockville also keeps tabs on "all of the all-stars out there," Crawford says, including rival banks' branch managers and loan officers. Competitors who succeed at stealing business from the company get noticed.

To keep talented executives, it is important to focus on a few things such as pay structure to make sure that the best employees are appropriately compensated, industry experts say. Deferred compensation benefit plans are a good idea, says Rod Taylor, CEO of executive search firm of Taylor & Co. "If they don't have substantial walk-away costs then there is no financial incentive to stay," he adds.

Community banks should also work with promising employees to map out career paths, so those workers will know they have a future at the institution, Kaplan says. Mentoring programs and training are other low-cost ways to keep employees engaged, he adds.

If a bank loses a talented executive, then management must honestly reflect on the reason for the departure. "Many banks underestimate and under-address the war for talent in banking," says Carlos Arboleda, managing director of COI Access.

"Banks that prioritize talent retention and talent acquisition are undoubtedly bound to be far more successful and profitable than their competitors who don't," Arboleda says.

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

"In a low-growth market, aggressive banks are seeking to grow by poaching top performers from rivals. There are effective ways to keep top talent on board." ~ This "poaching" method is all to common but there are better ways to retain talent as the article speaks to.

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Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence? | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
It's a noble quest, but a tough one.
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Angelina Jolie Stuns in Ralph & Russo at the "World War Z" Berlin Premiere

Angelina Jolie Stuns in Ralph & Russo at the "World War Z" Berlin Premiere | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
This white peplum, halter ensemble looks amazing! Love the form fitting, below the knee cut. Very sleek! ~ V.B.
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Teenager Selling Flights on Vintage Jets

Teenager Selling Flights on Vintage Jets | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
A California teenager has figured out a way to do what plenty of adults wish they could -- turn their hobby into a money-making business.
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Google+ is The Matrix

Google+ is The Matrix | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

Trying to analyse the amount of activity on Google+ in comparison to Facebook or Twitter yields little useful information - because it doesn't have the same purpose as them

In The Matrix, the hacker Neo discovers how the world is keeping track of what he does. Google+ likes to do the same.

Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly. Because it bears many superficial resemblances to social networks such as Facebook or Twitter - you can "befriend" people, you can "follow" people without their following you back - we've thought that it is a social network, and judged it on that basis. By which metric, it does pretty poorly - little visible engagement, pretty much no impact on the outside world.

If Google+ were a social network, you'd have to say that for one with more than 500 million members - that's about half the size of Facebook, which is colossal - it's having next to no wider impact. You don't hear about outrage over hate speech on Google+, or violent videos not getting banned, or men posing as 14-year-old girls in order to befriend real 14-year-old girls. Do people send Google+ links all over the place, in the way that people do from LinkedIn, or Twitter, or Facebook? Not really, no.

There's a simple reason for this. Google+ isn't a social network. It's The Matrix.

Yes - you know, the one from the film. The one that knows everything you're thinking, and which guides what you see and experience.

Consider: if you create a Gmail account, you'll automatically get a Google+ account. Even if you don't ever do anything with it, the Google+ account will track you wherever you're signed in to your Google account.

If you're not signed in when you visit it, Google's front page has a "SIGN IN" button in red and white in the top right: prime colouring and location to grab your attention.

Maps? If you want to save locations, Google+ is pushed at you (for sharing too, though you can avoid it). You have to sign into your Google+ account to edit anything with its Mapmaker facility. (You have to have an account to edit OpenStreetMap too, though there are lots of accounts you can use - an OSM one, or Google, Yahoo, Wordpress, AOL.)

YouTube? You can use it without signing in (you'll get a "Sign in" label in the top) but of course you can't participate by, say, commenting. Drive? Shopping? Wallet? The soon-to-come paid music service? Google+ demands that you log in, so it can sees it all, and log it.

The reason why it doesn't seem like much of a social network is that the "friending" and "following" are just an accidental outgrowth of what it really does - being an invisible overlay between you and the web, which watches what you're doing and logs it and stores that away for future reference.

That's where the "Matrix" part come in. Next time you're searching for something, or looking on a map, or searching on YouTube, you'll see what Google has decided are the "most relevant" results (and of course the "most relevant" adverts). If you frequent climate change denial sites, a search on "climate change" will turn those up ahead of the sites run by rational scientists. Whatever your leaning, politically, sexually, philosophically, if you let Google+ see it then that will be fed back to you. It's the classic "filter bubble".

(You can, by the way, escape from the Google+ filter bubble by using its Ajax search API, which simply gives the "pure" results like you might have received back in, oh, 2007. But not for much longer. It was "deprecated" in November 2010. Although it's still working as of this writing, in future you'll need to sign in with - you guessed - a Google account.)

Of course, in the post-Google+ world, the "most relevant" results are increasingly those which also point to content on Google properties. The idea of the Matrix is that there's less and less outside the Matrix. But some people have noticed. The outcry when this version of search was switched on in the US in January 2012 was remarkable: Twitter, Facebook and MySpace developers united in writing a plugin called "Don't Be Evil", which stripped out the search biasing that Google seemed to be adding in so as to push its product in peoples' faces, and make it seem more popular than it was. Well, the Matrix doesn't really allow for things outside the Matrix; and Facebook, Twitter and (less so) MySpace all lie beyond its spidering. And in Europe, the antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia has said that Google has to make "more concessions" over how it presents search results - where it presently gives its properties a lot of prominence - if it's to avoid a big court battle.

Google+'s designs on our movements haven't gone unnoticed. Ben Thompson, author of the Stratechery blog, has made this point recently, as has Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis in his Google I/O impressions.

Thompson first:

    Think about it: what is more valuable? [Facebook's] Inane chatter, memes, and baby photos, or every single activity you do online (and increasingly offline)? Google+ is about unifying all of Google's services under a single log-in which can be tracked across the Internet on every site that serves Google ads, uses Google sign-in, or utilizes Google analytics.

    Every feature of Google+ – or of YouTube, or Maps, or GMail, or any other service – is a flytrap meant to ensure you are logged in and being logged by Google at all times.

And Evans:

    Just as Microsoft cross-leveraged Windows and Office, and then Internet Explorer, Google is cross-leveraging search, Gmail, Maps, Android and everything else, tying them together with Plus.

    The objective is to index not just the web but the users - to drive better understanding of the data by knowing how and where people use it. This is the point of Google Plus - it's not a social network, but a unified Google identity to tie all of your search and indeed internet use together in a Google database just like Pagerank.

If you want an alternative way to think about Google+, you could start with Horace Dediu's wonderful metaphor comparing what Google does to catching fish:

    Google tries to make a business succeed through having a huge amount of _flow_ in terms of data, traffic, queries and information that is indexed. So think about this idea of them tapping into a vast stream. The more volume that is flowing through the system the more revenue they generate.

    As so given this very rough analogy I try to sharpen it up by saying: imagine it more as a river. And even more than a river, as a watershed, a river basin. Perhaps a giant basin the size of a continent. The business is, let's say, capturing fish at the mouth of the biggest river, before it exits into the ocean at its delta.

    And so your job (as Google) is to catch fish mostly at one point. It's the most efficient way to catch fish because you have the most flow of water at that point and building nets is not trivial.

If you use that metaphor, then Google+ puts radio tags on all the fish. It's so much easier to know where they're going. (Ignore for a moment that you're the fish. It only gets in the way.)

The question really is, now you know that, are you comfortable with it? Personally I always found the choice at the heart of The Matrix a puzzling one. The choices seemed to be: you can know that the world you live in is a blasted, awful place with a dire climate, or you can live in what seems like a fairly comfortable world (as long as you don't mess with the agents, of course).

To be honest, I always wondered whether the people whose "lives" (computer-generated or no) were upended by Neo, the hacker hero of the film, really liked having that choice made for them.

Anyhow, that's what Google+ is about. Discussing it as if it were a social network which needs activity in the way that Facebook and Twitter do misses the point. It really doesn't matter if you never use it, never fill out your profile, never fill a circle, never get added to anyone's circle. What matters to Google is that you're signed in, in order that it can form its matrix of knowledge about you.

So now that you know: red pill or blue pill? Sign in or sign out?

 

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Risk-Averse Culture Infects U.S. Workers, Entrepreneurs

Risk-Averse Culture Infects U.S. Workers, Entrepreneurs | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
U.S. workers and entrepreneurs have long taken pride in their willingness to bet it all on a dream. But that spirit appears to be fading. Three long-running trends suggest the U.S. economy has turned soft on risk.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
Interesting finding on risk aversion and the economy. Not a good trend.
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STOP! You are Ruining Your Career

On any given day, the Million Dollar Man hears all sorts of stories from all sorts of people. There are the commonplace chats with money managers that passionately talk their books (that is code for: “humans in financial services that excitedly explain why the stock they have bought for clients will be 100% higher in a month). At least a couple days in the week there are convos with executives at public companies. The mission here is twofold: (1) extract useful information so as to make clients wealthy; and (2) learn interesting things about a company to sound like the s*it in front of family and friends (quick, did you know that Starbucks is using recycled materials to build its newer stores?). Naturally there is small talk here and there, for example with a cabbie or barista that is serving me coffee number six…before noon.

As I have aged, I have found the most interesting discussions are with industry acquaintances and friends. Maybe this is so because the Million Dollar Man’s time is usually booked well in advance, and when opportunities to be “normal” arise they are super appreciated escapes Of late I have detected a rise in overall miserableness amidst acquaintances and friends regarding their careers. It’s odd considering the unemployment rate has improved in 2013, hence making it easier to job hop, and the start-up world is still on fire (develop a social media app, get funding, boom you’re set for two years). I listen to them complain on the inability to advance in their career, how the worlds hates them, and why they may ultimately die immediately after retiring from their present employer 30 years from now. To me, these words are mentally taxing (though I always offer smiles and nods) since I am cut from the opposite cloth; I will strategically smash down doors in the pursuit of achieving the goals I believe are within reach (which is every goal).

There is a common thread to these talks I have realized: the individual is so caught up in negativity they are unaware they are ruining their careers! So I have devised a checklist to rundown to see if you are ruining your career through daily actions. Don’t you want to finally know WHY you have been in the same gig for 15 years post college? Addressing the cause is the first step in enacting change, in other words getting the hell out of that employer that I guarantee is taking advantage of your career complacency.

10 Signs You are Ruining Your Career
1. First thought upon waking up to go to work is how much you hate waking up at that time for work.

2. You leave your office computer on overnight to save time in the morning for the usual boring tasks. In effect you have removed any chance of leaving tomorrow amid a job offer (memo: there is no job offer because you have given up the search).

3. Your desk has become cluttered with free mementos received from events through the years as well as personal artifacts. The desk has become a comfort zone and an extension of your home, instead of a place to drive innovation and career advancement!

4. At meetings, you arrive with no notes or questions. Hey, you have done the same job for 15 years, why bother voicing new ideas and concerns?

5. Your resume was last updated for the random job interview you should have nailed…three years ago.

6. LinkedIn profile either doesn’t exist or is woefully designed, failing to capture all of your professional amazingness. Check out the Million Dollar Man’s Linkedin profile for guidance.

7. Your email inbox contains over 50 emails. Why assign them to different folders, you lost the desire to be quick and organized years ago.

8. Outside of the office, you have abolished any effort to self-improve in the current field or to set the steps in motion to work in a more senior capacity at another employer.

9. You are extremely awkward at networking events, and have no on trend networking event outfits. Last network event attended: five years ago.

10. Hurry, go check your pocket…have a business card handy? Of course you don’t. Why have one, you are complacent in your career and believe an opportunity for advancement will never, ever materialize.

Read more at Men's Health: http://blogs.menshealth.com/million-dollar-man/stop-you-are-ruining-your-career/2013/06/03/#ixzz2VGmEbGPw

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Very good piece on career complacency from the Million Dollar Man.

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Mango Just Proved It Understands The US Market Better Than Zara

Mango Just Proved It Understands The US Market Better Than Zara | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Mango could succeed where its competitor failed.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
The trend is bigger clothes.
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Housing Market Trends

Housing Market Trends | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
It's real and it's getting stronger.
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Aston Martin Celebrates Its 100th Birthday

Aston Martin Celebrates Its 100th Birthday | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Our automotive columnist delights in the CC100 Speedster, the latest futuristic concept car from Aston Martin.
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Father's Day Gifts | Way better than a tie!

Father's Day Gifts | Way better than a tie! | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Geek? Grill-Master? Be sure to check out 27 drool-worthy Father's Day gifts for the guy in your life.
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
Cool ideas for Dad.
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Barbers make a high street comeback as men go retro and abandon salons

Barbers make a high street comeback as men go retro and abandon salons | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Neat hair is back – one reason why 150 men's hairdressers have opened in Britain in the past year
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
Love this trend!
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Happy Friday!

Happy Friday! | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
This mommy is looking forward to an awesome birthday weekend with family. My son is turning 3 years old!
Vilma Bonilla's insight:
Enjoy your weekend everyone e! #Grateful
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The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World

The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

A longtime tech executive, Linda Stone worked on emerging technologies at Apple and then Microsoft Research in the 1980s and ’90s. Fifteen years ago, she coined the term continuous partial attention to describe the modern predicament of being constantly attuned to everything without fully concentrating on anything. Since then, she has frequently written and lectured about the challenges of living in an always-on, hyperconnected world.

James Fallows: You’re well known for the idea of continuous partial attention. Why is this a bad thing?

Linda Stone: Continuous partial attention is neither good nor bad. We need different attention strategies in different contexts. The way you use your attention when you’re writing a story may vary from the way you use your attention when you’re driving a car, serving a meal to dinner guests, making love, or riding a bicycle. The important thing for us as humans is to have the capacity to tap the attention strategy that will best serve us in any given moment.

JF: What do you mean by “attention strategy”?

LS: From the time we’re born, we’re learning and modeling a variety of attention and communication strategies. For example, one parent might put one toy after another in front of the baby until the baby stops crying. Another parent might work with the baby to demonstrate a new way to play with the same toy. These are very different strategies, and they set up a very different way of relating to the world for those children. Adults model attention and communication strategies, and children imitate. In some cases, through sports or crafts or performing arts, children are taught attention strategies. Some of the training might involve managing the breath and emotions—bringing one’s body and mind to the same place at the same time.

Self-directed play allows both children and adults to develop a powerful attention strategy, a strategy that I call “relaxed presence.” How did you play as a child?

JF: I have two younger siblings very close in age, so I spent time with them. I also just did things on my own, reading and building things and throwing balls and so on.

LS: Let’s talk about reading or building things. When you did those things, nobody was giving you an assignment, nobody was telling you what to do—there wasn’t any stress around it. You did these things for your own pleasure and joy. As you played, you developed a capacity for attention and for a type of curiosity and experimentation that can happen when you play. You were in the moment, and the moment was unfolding in a natural way.

You were in a state of relaxed presence as you explored your world. At one point, I interviewed a handful of Nobel laureates about their childhood play patterns. They talked about how they expressed their curiosity through experimentation. They enthusiastically described things they built, and how one play experience naturally led into another. In most cases, by the end of the interview, the scientist would say, “This is exactly what I do in my lab today! I’m still playing!”

JF: When people talk about attention problems in modern society, they usually mean the distractive potential of smartphones and so on. Is that connected to what you’re talking about in early-childhood development?

LS: We learn by imitation, from the very start. That’s how we’re wired. Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl, professors at the University of Washington I-LABS, show videos of babies at 42 minutes old, imitating adults. The adult sticks his tongue out. The baby sticks his tongue out, mirroring the adult’s behavior. Children are also cued by where a parent focuses attention. The child’s gaze follows the mother’s gaze. Not long ago, I had brunch with friends who are doctors, and both of them were on call. They were constantly pulling out their smartphones. The focus of their 1-year-old turned to the smartphone: Mommy’s got it, Daddy’s got it. I want it.

We may think that kids have a natural fascination with phones. Really, children have a fascination with whatever Mom and Dad find fascinating. If they are fascinated by the flowers coming up in the yard, that’s what the children are going to find fascinating. And if Mom and Dad can’t put down the device with the screen, the child is going to think, That’s where it’s all at, that’s where I need to be! I interviewed kids between the ages of 7 and 12 about this. They said things like “My mom should make eye contact with me when she talks to me” and “I used to watch TV with my dad, but now he has his iPad, and I watch by myself.”

Kids learn empathy in part through eye contact and gaze. If kids are learning empathy through eye contact, and our eye contact is with devices, they will miss out on empathy.

JF: What you’re describing sounds like a society-wide autism.

LS: In my opinion, it’s more serious than autism. Many autistic kids are profoundly sensitive, and look away [from people] because full stimulation overwhelms them. What we’re doing now is modeling a primary relationship with screens, and a lack of eye contact with people. It ultimately can feed the development of a kind of sociopathy and psychopathy.

JF: I’m afraid to ask, but is this just going to get worse?

LS: I don’t think so. You and I, as we grew up, experienced our parents operating in certain ways, and may have created a mental checklist: Okay, my mom and dad do that, and that’s cool. I’ll do that with my kids, too. Or: My mom and dad do this, and it’s less cool, so I’m not going to do that when I’m a grown-up.

The generation that has been tethered to devices serves as a cautionary example to the next generation, which may decide this is not a satisfying way to live. A couple years ago, after a fire in my house, I had a couple students coming to help me. One of them was Gen X and one was a Millennial. If the Gen Xer’s phone rang or if she got a text, she would say “I’m going to take this, I’ll be back in a minute.” With the Millennial, she would just text back “L8r.” When I talked to the Millennial about it, she said, “When I’m with someone, I want to be with that person.” I am reminded of this new thing they’re doing in Silicon Valley where everyone sticks their phone in the middle of the table, and whoever grabs their phone first has to treat to the meal.

JF: You say that people can create a sense of relaxed presence for themselves. How?

LS: When we learn how to play a sport or an instrument; how to dance or sing; or even how to fly a plane, we learn how to breathe and how to sit or stand in a way that supports a state of relaxed presence. My hunch is that when you’re flying, you’re aware of everything around you, and yet you’re also relaxed. When you’re water-skiing, you’re paying attention, and if you’re too tense, you’ll fall. All of these activities help us cultivate our capacity for relaxed presence. Mind and body in the same place at the same time.

Vilma Bonilla's insight:

Love these thoughts on living a satisfying life by staying in the moment or what Linda calls our capicity for "relaxed presense." ~ V.B.

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Why Your Team Matters More Than You

Why Your Team Matters More Than You | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Contrary to popular belief, the success of a business isn’t ensured by an amazing CEO or even the work of a few all-star employees -- it’s all about the team. Even without your key players, your business should function without change.
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Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it
Handy, handsome, heroic, or hungry: honor the many sides of dad this Father's Day with gift ideas from House of Earnest.
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Negative Beliefs | Unhappy People

Negative Beliefs | Unhappy People | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

And like a ray of sunlight peeking through dark clouds, your inner capacity for joy will begin peeking through, brightening up your life once again.

Here are the most common negative beliefs that can limit your potential for happiness:

1. “People are either good or bad”

If you tend to see the world as either black or white, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

No one is always good (or bad). Inside every person, including you and me, are good thoughts and bad thoughts, things we are proud of having done and things we wish we could change. Someone may be a great father but a poor husband.

Another person may act out of love at home but feel bitter when she is at work. Many of us wouldn’t harm a living thing consciously, but enjoy eating meat. Contradictions are a part of life.

Here's the solution:

Next time someone disappoints you, or you face a part of yourself that is not perfect, remind yourself that perfection is a dangerous illusion. Then, try to consciously recall something about the person or situation that you love. For example, if your spouse annoys the heck out of you by being messy at home, accept the anger, but also recall a specific time in the recent past when he made you happy. It could be something big, like supporting you when no one else did, or even something small, like getting you morning coffee in bed.

When you can see yourself and others as flawed but still beautiful and worthy, you will love and forgive more easily.

2. “Anyone different/unknown is weird”

To a conservative, being liberal is weird. To a vegetarian, all meat eaters seem weird. Rich folks look at poor neighborhoods with fear and mis-trust; and vice versa.

When we don’t know or understand something, it scares us.

The solution?

When you have this reaction to something or someone, challenge yourself to learn more about it.

For example. let’s say your religion is very important to you and your daughter is dating someone of a different faith.

Rather than jump to the conclusion that you will never be able to “get” him, challenge yourself to be curious. Ask open, gentle questions about his faith and his upbringing. You don’t have to agree, but you can still try to understand.

Whenever ignorance is replaced by understanding, there is hope and possibility for joy.

3. “Believing in myself requires me to block out other opinions”

We are often told to “Stand tall”, “Believe in yourself” and “Drown out the voices that disagree.” While it’s important to stand behind your beliefs, it’s also essential to know how to react to differing opinions.

Truly successful people welcome other people’s opinions, even if they contradict their own.

Why?

Because they understand that each person has a unique perspective. And that there is often more than one right answer to a problem.

So how do you deal with this limiting belief?

Whenever I’m tempted to think my opinion is THE right one, I recall the story of the four blind men:

Four men were arguing about religion and God, each insisting that their God was the “real” one. Unable to convince one another, they went to Buddha.

Buddha brought the four blind men to an elephant and asked them to tell him what they “see”. One man was near the trunk and thus said it is a cylinder, the next was near the stomach and so insisted it was a wall, the third was near the leg and felt sure it was a pillar and the fourth man got the tail and was adamant it was a rope.

Buddha asked “So who is right?”

Every problem or situation has many sides to it. While yours may be true for you, other opinions can also be true.

Perspective changes everything.

4. “I have to feel whatever my thoughts tell me to”

Thoughts are extremely powerful and we’ve all felt their power at one time or another. But unhappy people are constantly overwhelmed by their thoughts and believe that if they have a sad thought, they have to feel sad.

Genuinely happy people know that thoughts are temporary, like clouds in the sky, and they often come and go randomly.

Just because you have an angry thought, you don’t have to end up feeling angry. You can choose what to do with that thought. You can either let it pass and focus on other thoughts, or you can obsess over it, making it stronger and more powerful.

The solution?

Try this out: Next time you have an unhappy thought, just acknowledge it and bring your attention to your body and the present moment.

For example, if you are at a meeting, focus on the feeling of the chair against your back or your shoes on the floor. If you are drinking something, fill your awareness with the sense of taste and smell. Then, bring your mind back to what you want to learn or take away from the meeting. As you do this, the angry thoughts will linger for a while, and then float away, to be replaced by other thoughts.

“I have to act out whatever I’m feeling.”

This is part 2 of the “thoughts-feelings-actions” loop.

For example: If you feel the urge to skip your morning work out, it doesn't mean you need to act on that feeling. You may choose to consciously skip it, because maybe it’s a saturday morning and you decide to snuggle with your kids instead. But you can also choose to work out, in spite of what you feel.

Feelings too are temporary, like thoughts. The feelings you pay attention to will stay and expand, whereas the ones you choose to let go of, will float away.

5. “Control is a part of love”

True love is freeing and unconditional. It does not seek to control, intimidate or change.

When you try to control your loved ones, you will slowly but surely lose them. Real love is about open listening, positive regard, and encouraging autonomy, while being available to protect and support. It’s a delicate balance. And people who know how to do it well are rewarded with loyalty and trust.

Unhappy people try to control others. They worry that without the control, the other person will leave them.

The solution?

Learn to love others freely. But before you can love others, you have to love yourself. If this is a struggle for you, I highly recommend reading this article for some powerful ways to begin the journey.

6. “More is better”

Many of us have almost unlimited choices in many areas of our life, from politics and education to fashion, so why then are we unhappier than ever before?

I spent much of my 20‘s chasing after things and achievements. Yes, they gave me some happiness, but it was always be temporary. When the happiness wore off, I chased after something else, hoping this new thing would finally lead to lasting happiness. It took me a few years to really understand that I could not buy my way to true joy.

Happiness is internal, a way of thinking.

So, what's the solution to "more is better"?

If you think that you can achieve happiness by acquiring more or having more choices, please do yourself a favor and watch this short TED talk by psychologist Barry Schwartz.

It will blow your mind.

7. “The worst things always happen to me”

Do you often feel like you are singled out for life’s miseries?

Do you feel like you always seem to get the short end of the stick?

If you do, check out this true story:
Your beliefs shape your life.

Trust me, I know that life can be hard.

Really, really hard.

But how you see the world is ultimately responsible for whether you are overall a happy person, or whether you end up feeling bitter and unhappy most days.

Negative beliefs act like a filter. They change the way you experience people and events, and over time, they chip away at your sense of self.

The good news is, once you recognize negative beliefs in yourself, they begin to lose their power over you.

One day, the son of a wealthy merchant fell into a well and was saved by a passing farmer who heard his cries for help. The merchant came to thank the farmer for saving his son’s life, and offered him money as a reward.

The farmer declined to take money but agreed to the merchant's offer to educate the poor farmer’s son for free. The boy was brilliant and loved to learn and eventually grew up to be Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin.

A few decades later, the rich merchant’s son caught pneumonia. This usually meant death in those times, but he was saved by the penicillin that Alexander had just discovered.

The boy had a full recovery, and grew up to be Winston Churchill.

In every situation, there is a silver lining. What seems like the worst luck today, may indeed save your life tomorrow. And as Carl Sagan said, “We are all star dust.” Every living thing is connected and each of us have our share of suffering.

So remember to look for the silver lining in your difficulties.

Your life is a garden and these negative beliefs are like weeds. If you allow it, they will take over and destroy your life. So begin weeding them out of your mind today and make room for joy to take root and grow.

Because you deserve it.

 

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Leading with Intellectual Integrity

Leading with Intellectual Integrity | Cultural Trendz | Scoop.it

By the time people reach the most senior levels of a company, they are expected to have a degree of personal competence and a strong gut feel for making good executive decisions. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be considered for a top job. But how do they attain this acumen? At Procter & Gamble (P&G)—where we (A.G. Lafley and Roger Martin) served as chief executive and one of the senior advisors to the company, respectively—we developed a systematic approach to cultivating that skill among emerging and senior executives. We found that business literature contains a great deal of advice for chief executives about strategy and execution, but much less is written about how to become the kind of person who can bring the right judgment to bear on business decisions, especially when facing a disruptive environment. Thus, many CEOs develop their own form of on-the-job training, quietly honing their own heuristics for strategic thinking. That makes it difficult to tease out and develop the personal attributes that separate successful leaders from less-successful ones.

In our view, leaders would do well to take a more systematic approach to developing their decision-making capabilities. The place to start is where we started at P&G: with intellectual integrity. In common usage, the word integrity means honorable or virtuous behavior. For our purposes, though, we draw a distinction between exhibiting honorable behavior (moral integrity) and exhibiting discipline, clarity, and consistency so that all of one’s decisions fit together and reinforce one another (intellectual integrity).

In our work with companies, boards, and government agencies, we see people wrestle with the need to make tough choices—those critical decisions made in service of a relevant strategic goal for which there is no fully satisfactory option and every path seems to demand a trade-off. These are the kinds of decisions for which intellectual integrity is particularly vital.

Most people, including experienced executives, don’t like to make choices because it means giving up options. There is a clear temptation to hedge bets, to try to do everything, to attempt to keep all doors open at once by refusing to pick from among existing options or to work to create a better answer. Procter & Gamble was certainly not immune to this phenomenon. At certain times in the 1990s and 2000s, for instance, it was tempting to compete in as many markets as possible, as quickly as possible. Internally, there was a good deal of concern that competitors would make inroads into important emerging economies that P&G had not yet entered. But P&G couldn’t be everywhere at once and succeed. Judgments had to be made about which markets to enter, and in which ways. We explicitly chose to enter first those promising but underd