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Myths, Motivation and Pseudo-Psychology

Posted on 14 August 2020

There is a dangerous belief that you, the observer, may know better than the person does him or herself why they do what they do, much of it based on popular myth and pseudo-psychology. It claims to ‘explain’ the links between what may be observed and the supposed underlying or unconscious motivations behind those actions. As a result, people act on presumed knowledge of others’ intentions and motivations without seeing the need to slow down and inquire into what facts might be proven first. As a result, many a relationship is ruined that might readily have been rescued, and stereotypes replace thought and understanding as the basis of dealing with those around us.

How to be Bored and Constructive — Simultaneously

Posted on 12 August 2020

One of our society’s besetting sins is filling every waking moment with activity. Yet research shows that being bored is often useful — even essential for provoking you into more innovative and creative ways of thinking. Research is suggesting a very different value for those times when our brains are apparently idling. Falling into a quasi-trance allows the brain to recast the outside world in ways that can be both productive and creative, at least as often as they’re disruptive. Carmine Coyote suggests at least four constructive ways to use that time when boredom sets in for useful purposes.

Coyote’s Workplace Tales

Posted on 07 August 2020

In the first of our Coyote Tales, Coyote explains how to avoid overwork and exhaustion, while still getting things done — and why time management is rarely, if ever, the answer. [Podcast]

Five Questions That Can Save You From Messing Up

Posted on 05 August 2020

Many of our problems we bring on ourselves, usually by failing to think carefully at some critical point. We go so fast that we don’t see the looming pothole until we hit it. We dig the hole before falling into it. Success generally hinges on avoiding such unforced errors. Next time, before jumping in to anything, slow down and ask yourself these five questions. They’ll save your credibility — and your ass — nearly every time.

Baa, Baa, Baaaaa!

Posted on 31 July 2020

If we want a civilized and ethical way of living and working, we must accept the responsibilities and perils that come from being authentic as individuals. We cannot hide behind the norms and notions of the herd. Humans collectively have a lot of bad beliefs and assumptions in their heads, placed there by cultural and tribal forces and ancient survival instincts. Seeking the safety of the herd comes with a heavy price: all herd thinking is ultimately a loss of human freedom, authenticity and creativity. Besides, you can hardly call yourself a leader if all you do is follow the herd.

“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

Posted on 29 July 2020

Instead of standing back and making long-term decisions based on seeking sustainable differences, businesses have mechanically worked to do the same as everyone else, only bigger and more efficiently. ‘Making the numbers’ has overtaken making sound judgments. Conventional management thinking and analysis aren’t the answer, they’re the problems that got us into this mess. The only true answer is to think deeply about the full nature and extent of the problems we face, free from any preconceptions. Analysis won’t save us, but creativity just might.

Gresham’s Law and the Shaky Nature of Today’s Business Ethics

Posted on 24 July 2020

Gresham’s Law explains why the ‘good coinage’ of ethical business is constantly under threat from sharp practice and dishonesty. We want to believe that corporations and executives are honest, just as we want to believe in the value of the currency. So long as we take both on trust, forgers and cheats will seek to exploit our gullibility.

See more articles in the archive

Authenticity

Hanging on for dear life

Posted on 15 August 2020

Life evolves continually — at work, at home, at play and in relationships. Yet, if pain and suffering accompany change, they are less likely to come from the experience of change itself than from trying to hold on to the past and your familiar ways of thinking, being and doing. Underneath reactivity to change is fear of the unknown, fear of new ways of doing or thinking about things, fear about having to learn something new, and fear of letting go.

Balance

The Misnomer Called ‘Work-Life Balance’

Posted on 19 August 2020

As someone who has been in the professional workforce for the entirety of the “work-life balance” debate, Nina Simosko says she has never agreed with the notion of achieving some kind of balance between competing segments of life. For her, life is a continuum: while there are clearly times when work-related responsibilities demand more of the 24 hours available in any given day, there are also times where personal matters rightly claim the lion’s share. The answer is to focus on outcomes, not some illusory and theoretical balance.

Better Management

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Posted on 13 August 2020

In 1837, Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote a wonderful fairy tale called “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. It’s the story of a leader who was so enamored with the idea of looking good to his subjects that he had a different suit for every hour of the day. Some modern day corporations have inadvertently created leaders with the same persuasion of the ruler in the fairy tale.

Business Ethics

Maybe Honesty Does Pay After All

Posted on 13 May 2020

Researchers at the Wharton School of Business claim to have shown that playing fair with customers and suppliers, and being transparent about who gets what out of any deal, can be the best way for everyone to benefit in the long-term. Despite the predictions of classical economic theory, it seems many people value fairness highly enough to walk away from any deal they believe won’t give them a proper share of the rewards, taking nothing rather than allowing the other side to profit unfairly.

Guest post

How Far Have Today’s Women Come?

Posted on 11 August 2020

While not necessarily perfect, today’s corporations do in fact offer far greater opportunities for women to achieve influential leadership positions than any other time in our history. And these trends seem as though they will continue. But, as with anything else, don’t wait for society or a corporation to ‘make things right’ on their own. Take responsibility for your circumstances and proactively request what you genuinely believe you deserve.

Leadership

How to Renew Yourself as a Leader (Part 1)

Posted on 18 August 2020

There are times when it’s extremely tempting to believe that the world is composed of two kinds of leaders: stiff-necked, puritanical and rigid conservatives; and free-flowing, wishy-washy, politically-correct liberals. Tempting, but wrong. The best approach to leadership combines elements from both right and left — and it has been around since at least 1805.

Success

Seeing Beyond Procrastination

Posted on 25 July 2020

Why do some people constantly put things off? Most often, something is operating “underneath” their procrastination — some conflicting commitment or fear that explains why they are resisting what they know needs to be done. Peter Vajda takes you through questions that can help you probe beneath the symptom of procrastination to get at the root causes. By staying with your responses and inquiring deeply into them, you can raise your level of awareness about the true nature of your resistance.

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