“You don’t have to be a ‘person of influence’ to be influential.” — Scott Adams
It’s the weekend as I write this and you read it (I hope).
Just hours before the start of a new week and a chance for us to write a new chapter in our story.
We’re staring at 168 hours of blank canvas. At 10,080 minutes worth of story we get to create.
That’s quite an opportunity. Let’s take advantage of it.
Now, on to this week’s ideas…
“We need action. No matter what we want to accomplish, our success depends on our ability to convince others to take action.”
I’ve thought a lot about how to incentivize action and believe no matter what we hope to achieve, there are universal things we can do to increase our odds of success.
Here are seven keys to getting others to take action including to earn people’s trust, solve their problem, show people what’s in it for them, and more.
“Whoever your boss is, or your bosses are, they have 20% of their job that they just don’t like. So if you can ask them or figure out what that 20% is, and figure out a way to do it for them, you’ll make them really happy, improve their quality of life and their work experience.”
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has not only been the architect of championships for the Cubs and Boston Red Sox, but he’s also been named the greatest leader in the world according to Forbes magazine.
Long story short, he knows a few things.
CNBC explains how Epstein approaches his work and to what he credits his rapid rise and career success — most notably his 20% rule for getting ahead in your career.
Epstein also believes it’s important to work with people who aren’t just talented individuals, but who are capable of handling setbacks because “failure is inherent.”
“Pressure is not stress. But the former is converted to the latter when you add one ingredient: rumination, the tendency to keep rethinking past or future events, while attaching negative emotion to those thoughts.”
Stress is not caused by events, it’s caused by our reaction to them. It’s a choice.
Harvard Business Review breaks down four ways to prevent pressure from turning into stress including to break out of your “waking sleep,” control your attention, put things in perspective, and let go.
“I will listen to you. Your experience at work, in previous jobs, at home, and in the community are valid. You know things that I don’t know. Your perspective on our work together is invaluable and can only enrich our product. I want to learn from you.”
If you’re a manager, this is worth reading and sharing with your employees. If you’re not a manager, you’re going to wish your manager read this and shared it with you.
Thea Joselow has written a simple Manager’s Pledge, a 10-item list of promises managers should make to their employees including to help them play to their strengths, encourage their growth, inform them, and more.
“Perfection is never as interesting as imperfection. The flaws, rough edges, broken rules, and counter-intuitive choices are what makes our work unique, effective, and memorable.”
Voltaire once said, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” He was a smart guy.
I’m no Voltaire, but I also see tremendous value in imperfection and believe there are five reasons to embrace your imperfections.
They include that perfect isn’t relatable, it’s limiting, and…it doesn’t exist.
“Perhaps the biggest disservice done by the outsize glorification of ‘leadership skills’ is to the practice of leadership itself — it hollows it out, it empties it of meaning. It attracts those who are motivated by the spotlight rather than by the ideas and people they serve. It teaches students to be a leader for the sake of being in charge rather than in the name of a cause or an idea they care about deeply.”
We’re in the midst of a leadership crisis right now, but it’s not in the way you think.
The New York Times explores the way colleges — and particularly their admission boards — overemphasize leadership and the detrimental impact it’s having on students and leadership in general.
Susan Cain explains why the world needs more followers and suggests the qualities colleges should look for in students shouldn’t be leadership, but rather “excellence, passion, and a desire to contribute beyond the self.”
“Once other people start telling you what they like via Like buttons, you inevitably start hewing to their idea of what’s good. The stuff you publish will start looking a lot like the stuff that everybody else publishes, because everybody sort of likes the same thing and everybody is fishing for Likes.”
A lot of people are trying to figure out how the internet lost its way these days and this Atlantic article offers up a compelling take on the matter.
It suggests the Like button ruined the internet because it’s a form of engagement that actually makes the internet a less engaging place.
I completely agree, which is a weird stance for me to take considering I also believe you should Like more things.
“When a problem keeps manifesting in an organization or relationship you need to resolve it, and that begins by putting it into words. But purposeless complaining can just as easily be a way to avoid moving on.”
Before you vent about today’s latest annoyance, you might want to read this article. If you do, you’ll discover complaining isn’t helping you get it out of your system.
The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest reveals new research has found that complaining about negative events actually cements their impacton you.
Plus, those complaints don’t only ruin your current day, but they also carry over to the next day as well.
“Shocking rules — particularly when you get into a company — end up being the important thing because people have to question, they have to ask themselves why does this rule even exist in order to change their behavior.”
For all the talk about the importance of company culture, there sure seems to be a lot of confusion about what it actually is and how to develop it.
The Startup Grind Team shares an overview of a recent Ben Horowitz talk in which he explains why the way to create a culture is to start a revolution, using the story of the only successful slavery revolt in history as an example.
Horowitz’s suggestions include to keep what works, create shocking rules, incorporate other cultures, and make decisions that demonstrate priorities.
“Employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect.”
Self-reflection can be a vital success tool, but too often leaders are hesitant to embrace it and we all find excuses to avoid it.
Harvard Business Review shares six ways to become more self-reflectiveincluding to identify important questions, select a reflection process that matches your preferences, and more.