What defines a successful career? Why is it that, by conventional definitions, only the few people at the top of the ladder have successful careers, while the majority just survive and plenty fail? These questions have been been on my mind and in my heart for more than two decades, as I led the Human Resources department in several organizations. Let’s start with the first question. Let’s start with how we define a successful career.
The usual understanding of success revolves around two basic assumptions. The first: the hero of the workplace is the person who climbs all the way to the top. The second: getting to the top - winning promotion after promotion – is therefore the only thing that matters. This mindset leads us to endlessly climb the corporate ladder, adhering to the cult of physical and mental endurance to finally attain the status of corporate hero.
Maybe your business has failed or your venture gone off track.
Maybe you were supposed to be the next Steve Jobs, but it's all gone bad. For whatever reason, you find yourself in a place you never imagined--rock bottom. But failure is not fatal and rock bottom is not forever, unless you make it so. There are very important lessons to learn when you've hit rock bottom. Here are nine of the most important:
Conflict wreaks havoc on our brains. We are groomed by evolution to protect ourselves whenever we sense a threat. In our modern context, we don’t fight like a badger with a coyote, or run away like a rabbit from a fox. But our basic impulse to protect ourselves is automatic and unconscious.
Here are four steps to get out of “fight or flight" mode.
Although a lot of people are reminded to be thankful on Thanksgiving, gratitude shouldn't be reserved for special occasions. Showing just a little appreciation for what you have could greatly improve your life year-round. Here are nine powerful ways gratitude can change your life:
These people were all prone to the constitutional. They believed that it cleared their brains. Many of them, though, operated before the long walk was replaced by the StairMaster, the elliptical machine, and the, um, hike. It's understandable, therefore, that walking was one of their few options for exercise. It's known that Steve Jobs was and Mark Zuckerberg is partial to walks (and perhaps one of these two qualifies as a genius). But wouldn't it be lovely if there could be a few more beautifully sculpted geniuses for us to look up to?
2. They stop when they're on a roll.
This is profoundly un-American. Surely, you might think, they'd want more and more of their genius to pour out while they were feeling geniusy. But, no. They always want to leave something in reserve, perhaps to help them get on a roll the following day. The exception to this was Mozart, who apparently just couldn't help himself.
When you understand what it's like to be both an extrovert and an introvert, it can help you relate to the people you work with better. Especially, if you are in a leadership position. Here are the ways I've used being an ambivert to my advantage.
1) I know when to give introverts time to collect their thoughts. Introverts aren't comfortable being put on the spot. They appreciate time to contemplate and then respond. I allow my introverted coworkers ample time to review and come to their own conclusions so they can feel comfortable articulating their ideas and responses.
2) I know when to give extroverts the opportunity to speak their mind. Extroverts want to openly contribute. They are energized by speaking and engaging with others. I create opportunities for my extroverted coworkers to talk and share their thoughts and feelings so they can be heard.
3) I can sense when an extrovert is overwhelming an introvert. When an extrovert is spending too much time talking, it can be a major distraction for the introvert. There are times when I need to step in and create opportunities for the introvert to have some quiet time to calm his or her brain.
Volkswagen shocked the world. The world’s largest automaker admitted to creating software that would deliberately generate false exhaust emission information on many of its popular cars. Making matters worse, Volkswagen’s top leadership seemed unsure about how to respond to the crisis as it threatened the company’s reputation, operations, and long-term strategy.
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