Saturday, June 30, 2020

News and Views: June 30th 2007

The Performance Review lottery

Are performance appraisals are either an unscientific lottery or just a measure of your popularity with the boss? It seem that there is new evidence to back either position. Research has revealed that the majority of employees who report to multiple bosses get completely inconsistent ratings. It seems that today’s obsession with “measuring” everything isn’t matched by an ability to get the measures right. [link]

The arrogance of macho managers

One of the commonest characteristics of macho, grab-and-go managers is their unbelievable arrogance. In this thoughtful article, Daryl D. Green reflects on what happens when a leader gets side-tracked by his ego and personal pride. The list of companies and other organizations brought nearly to ruin by arrogant leaders is a long one. Personally, I can’t think of a single case where a leader’s arrogance has been other than harmful. [link]

Getting away from it all

James Dale gives a long list of top leaders who sneak off to play golf, play in rock bands, go fishing, or “waste” their time in other ways. His point is that: “Sometimes you should do something that isn’t work, refreshes your mind and body, and gets you out from behind your desk, computer, car, or airport lounge.” Not only is it a great way to give yourself perspective, he argues. It’s a great way to get ahead at work too. [link]

Is working less better for the world?

That’s the argument made by Dara Colwell. Her view is that Americans are working harder than ever before and at a greater cost to the environment, while research suggests that practicing a simpler lifestyle made people happier and used fewer resources. Maybe slowing down is the best way to go “green?” [link] [via]

Mindlessness rules!

Robert Waterman, Jr., in his book Adhocracy, says that: “ Stress—the kind produced by rapid change—seems to make us revert to mindless, programmed behavior.” True enough. This post suggest four ways to deal with that. [link]

Can technology reduce stress?

The Chicago Times thinks so. They say that technology is playing an increasing role in helping workers combat stress: everything from relaxation techniques perfected with a computer program to software that alerts office workers when their stress levels reach a certain threshold. Peter Buttrick, head of the cardiology division at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, doesn’t agree. He says making major lifestyle changes, such as exercising, moderating the foods you eat and eliminating things that are stressful, are key to producing long-term effects on stress levels. [link]

Fired by your family?

Tom Stern, author of CEO Dad: How to Avoid Getting Fired by Your Family, believes that there can be many reasons for the fracture between your work and your family life. “In mine, it was both nature and nurture--a genetic high-drive component that I was born with and a family culture that overemphasized overachievement and underemphasized closeness and fun,” he explains. Try his website at [link]

Busy Girls’ Guide

Did you know that there’s a site for women trying to handle a life and a career? That it dispenses advice on areas from organizing your life to dating and romance? You didn’t? Well check it out . Here’s a sample of Is your laptop wrecking your back? “The simplest rule to follow is: ‘do the opposite movement to the one that is causing the problem’. e.g. if your screen is to your right, move it to the left. This can be applied beyond just working practice - sleep on your other side, carry your bag on the other shoulder, hold your phone in the other hand.” [via]

Is self-discipline the answer?

CIO Magazine offers “Five Sensible Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance,’ including Maintain boundaries between work and home, Stick to a schedule, and Delegate. Not rocket science, eh? [link] [via]

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