Feeling Happy (or Sad) Affects Your Productivity

Feeling Happy (or Sad) Affects Your Productivity

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Does happiness make people more productive? Yes, say researchers at the University of Warwick and IZA. In a series of experiments, randomly selected individuals who were made happier exhibited approximately 12% greater productivity, as measured by a standardized task of correctly adding combinations of numbers for 10 minutes. In one experiment, a comedy movie clip was played to a group of subjects. Their subsequent productivity was found to be substantially greater (approximately 13%) than the control group that did not see the clip. In another experiment, the researchers gave treatment subjects chocolate, fruit, and drinks. Those subjects’ productivity was higher, by approximately 15%, than the control group’s. A fourth experiment found that subjects who had recently experienced a family tragedy, such as recent bereavement, were noticeably less happy and less productive. To find…
Read More
Invest in Talent Now

Invest in Talent Now

Featured, Improvement
As strange as it may seem, the current crisis may be a great time to hire top talent. There are an unprecedented number of people looking for work. If your company has the resources to hire, set up a task force to source potential candidates who may now be looking for work or open to a change. Ask your colleagues whether there are any vendors, advisors, clients, or previous job candidates that they’ve been keeping an eye on, then check in with those people to gauge their current job status. Interview and check references virtually with the same rigor you would in person. Once you’re convinced that you have the opportunity to bring in someone who’s a good fit, learn what motivates them. It’s not always pay — sometimes people…
Read More
Protect Your Non-Work Time

Protect Your Non-Work Time

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Some jobs have very clear lines between when you’re “on” and when you’re “off.” But when you work in a role where the lines are blurred — or potentially nonexistent — it’s important to protect your non-work time. If you feel like work is taking over most of your waking hours, start by clearly defining what “after hours” means for you. Take into account the number of hours you’re expected to work each week, as well as personal commitments like taking your kids to school, making a certain train, or attending an exercise class you really enjoy. When do you need to start and stop to put in the appropriate amount of work time? Then, develop mental clarity about what needs to get done and when you will do it.…
Read More
Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Don’t Let “Perfect” Be the Enemy of “Good”

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
We should all strive to do our best, but if you always aim for perfection, you may blow deadlines, annoy your colleagues, and miss out on opportunities. Instead of never being satisfied with “good enough,” talk to others about their standards. What does a good job look like to your boss, peer, or client? Seek their feedback on expected results, costs, and timelines rather than trying to meet your extremely high standards. Then check in regularly with these colleagues. Don’t wait until you think the project is finished, build in checkpoints where you share your progress at 50% or 80% done. Your boss or client just might tell you that the work is good enough at that point. You can also try small experiments where you relax your standards slightly.…
Read More
If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

If You Can’t Name Your Company, You’re In The Wrong Business

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Often I meet someone at a networking event who tells me they are a consultant. I follow up by asking what kind of consultant. They will toss around all kinds of buzzwords. They won't say what company they work for. They are vague about what they actually do. Finally, they will state that they work for a network marketing company. There isn't anything wrong with working for a network marketing company per se. Many of them offer excellent products at good prices. If you are too embarrassed to say you are selling their products, or worse, if your focus is on getting other people to sell rather than selling the products yourself, you are in the wrong business. There is nothing wrong with sales. Most of us, in one form…
Read More
How To Encourage Participation During Virtual Meetings

How To Encourage Participation During Virtual Meetings

Communication, Featured
It’s hard to get people to pay attention in meetings when everyone’s in the same room — let alone if they’re all calling in from home. How can you get people to actually participate in a virtual meeting? The key is to create structured opportunities for attendees to engage. Do something in the first 60 seconds to help participants experience the problem you want them to solve. For example, you might share statistics or anecdotes that dramatize the topic. Then assign people to groups of two or three and give them a very limited time frame to take on a highly structured and brief task. Be sure to give them a medium with which to communicate, like a Slack channel. If you’re on a virtual meeting platform that allows for…
Read More
Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Don’t Operate Out Of Fear

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
Whether it is fear of failure, fear of a virus, or just general fear, the worst thing you can do for your business or yourself is to operate from a place of fear. No one has ever succeeded by giving in to fear. While it can be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of failing or making mistakes, operating your business in a constant state of fear could be the reason your business is unsuccessful.  Of course, you should always be trying to protect your business and your livelihood, but be aware of the consequences when unhealthy fear begins to take over your mindset. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. The best way to avoid fear is to plan for what frightens you. If you…
Read More
Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Overestimating Is Not Better Than Underestimating

Evaluate, Featured
In a recent interview about the COVID-9 pandemic, mayor of New York City Bill DiBlasio reveled that he had overestimated the number of respirators they needed. He had estimated they needed between 200 and 300 each day. The real number was under a hundred. When criticized people took a quote from Dr. Fauci who said that he would rather be criticized for overestimating than underestimating. The fact of the matter is neither one is good. Using this example, let's look at it from the perspective of the mayors of Philadelphia, Houston and Chicago. If New York gets 100 - 200 more ventilators per day than they need, they have to come from a limited stock. How many people in those other cities couldn't be put on ventilators because New York…
Read More
Misunderstanding Value

Misunderstanding Value

Attitude and Mindset, Featured
The show Wicked Tuna follows tuna fisherman off the coast of Massachusetts. These fishermen are trying to catch enough tuna to cover their costs and bring home money to live on. Each boat is its own business. In recent episodes there are more tuna than can be sold, prices go down and as a consequence, each boat needs to catch more to cover their expenses. One fisherman was complaining that he wasn't being paid what the tuna were worth. This is a common complaint of business people and it is because they misunderstand value. Value is not determined by the seller. It is determined by the buyer. The law of supply and demand states that if supply is high and demand is low the value goes down. The same happens…
Read More
An MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

An MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Featured, Innovation
Millions of dollars in student debt has been created by people seeking an MBA degree. Business have paid out millions of dollars in salary and bonuses to people with MBAs. Schools churn out MBA graduates and make a fortune by convincing students that they need one to succeed. The MBA degree is its own industry, but the value of the degree itself to a business is nothing. Why? The answer is best illustrated by a piece of advice a Harvard MBA gave to Jeff Bezos. Bezos was told, "You seem like a really nice guy, so don't take this the wrong way, but you really need to sell to Barnes & Noble and get out now." Obviously, Bezos did not take the advice. Why would an MBA give such bad…
Read More