We have all heard the admonition to “be still” at various times in our lives. Usually, at least for me, it was when I was much, much younger and my mother or father or grandparents thought I was squirming too much in my chair at dinner or running around in the house, knocking into adults, or playing too rambunctiously with other kids. It was a physical thing.
“Humble listening" is among the top four characteristics of leader.1 — Jeff Immelt, Former Chairman and CEO, GE.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”2,3 — Henry Ford.
Where are you on the burnout scale — exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy — to fully engaged — energy, dedication, and absorbed?1
In a 2018 paper, Seppälä and Moeller2 introduce a young woman who is in a new workplace. She really liked her new job and was highly motivated to perform well. She undertook, and was highly successful at, organizing a large conference, accomplishing what was seen as a remarkable feat.
Several years ago, in a series of Tuesday Readings,1,2,3 I introduced the idea that when we understand how our brain works, we can better understand why we react the way we do. I wrote, then, that an individual’s brain, in the days of our early ancestors, had one key goal – survival, avoiding threats and seeking food (rewards). And, avoiding threats had a much higher priority with five times more neural networks devoted to threat detection than to identifying rewards.
… Which do I need?
I’ve been working on a rollout plan for a new major application. And, before I present that plan to the clients, I need to give the presentation a test run. I can ask my test audience to give me feedback or I could ask them for advice. What do I do? Does it make a difference?
In previous Tuesday Readings we have focused on the importance of planning,1 on being intentional about how we use our time,2 and on the importance of regularly moving items from our one To Do list to our calendar.3 Returning to this topic as the school year begins, seems particularly important. Each year our pace seems to be more hurried and our time more precious. It becomes increasingly easy to rationalize that you can “just wing it,” that you don’t need to plan. Nothing could be further from the truth. You do need to plan.
Several years ago, at the Harvard Business School, Frances Frei, UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management, and Amy Schulman, Senior Lecturer in Technology and Operations Management, taught a new course “Why You Should Care: Creating the Conditions for Excellence” to a group with equal numbers of law and management students. The purpose of the course was to help the business and law students help each other define and achieve their own interpretations of success.
Today’s Tuesday Reading is an essay by Maria Curcio, Director of Administration, Harvard College Admissions & Financial Aid. Maria is a 2016 alumna of the MOR Leaders Program. [She may be reached at email@example.com.]
… and Why It Matters
Today’s Tuesday Reading is an essay by Julian Koh, Associate Director of Telecommunications and Network Services at Northwestern University. Julian is an alumnus of the MOR Leaders Program. [He may be reached at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.]