CategoryTime Management

In Search of the Good Life

I

“Happiness is what you get right before you want more happiness.” – Don Draper, Mad Men As humans, we are not very good at predicting how future events will impact our life. We tend to overestimate the degree to which misfortune (divorce, loss of a job, death of a loved one) will set us back. However, when you talk with someone who has lived through such experiences, you’ll find they came through the ordeal intact. Humans have a tremendous capacity for adaptation. It’s a survival mechanism...

Use this Richard Feynman Technique to Increase Your Team’s Productivity

U

As World War II broke out, the physicist Richard Feynman was recruited to Los Alamos to assist in the development of the first atomic bomb. He was tasked with calculating the energy released by the nuclear explosion. Machines were brought in from IBM to assist in the task. Although state of art in their day, they were crude mechanical calculators that used punch cards to execute complicated calculations. The Army dispatched a group called the Special Engineering Detachment to operate the...

If You Want to Succeed, First Define Success

I

In 1934, an English teacher in South Bend, IN was discouraged by parents who complained when their son or daughter received a “C.”  It seems “C” was perfectly fine for their neighbor’s children, because it was average and the neighbor’s children were, of course, average. However, for their own children, a “C” was disappointing, and the parents would try to make the teacher and student feel like they had failed. The teacher didn’t feel this was right. He could see that...

Leadership & Solitude: Scheduling Time to Think

L

On August 11, 1984, the USA Men’s Olympic Volleyball Team faced off against Brazil for a gold medal at the Los Angeles Olympics. The coach of the U.S. Team, Doug Beal, arrived at the arena hours before the match. Joining him was his assistant coach and best friend, Bill Neville. The players would arrive later, closer to game time. They walked into a mostly empty arena. In a few hours it would be a madhouse, but at the moment it was quiet. The two men sat in the empty stands. They reflected on...

Setting A Goal this Year? Make it a Process Goal

S

Source: Reference-Dependent Preferences: Evidence from Marathon Runners It is the distribution of marathon finishing times collected from over 9 million runners. You might expect to see a smooth bell curve centered around the average time, but that is not what is depicted here. The general outline of the bell curve is evident, but it is punctuated with discrete spikes. At each major time interval, there is a peak of finishers followed by a lull. Anyone who has ever run a road race knows exactly...

Deep, Long-Lasting, Meaningful Work

D

How do some athletes and artists stay dedicated to their craft over many years, even decades? And throughout that time, how do they continue to improve, and turn in game-changing performances and create break-through works of art? In their book, Peak Performance, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness explore how some individuals are able to find another gear, and develop the focus and dedication to achieve mastery. What is their secret? Well, it’s not really a secret because almost everyone who...

Good Leaders Promote Emotional Well-Being

G

Things don’t make you happy, but experiences and relationships do. Highly productive people understand this and apply it in their own lives to maintain spiritual and emotional well-being. Great leaders also leverage this truth to create a positive culture and get the most out of their people. If you survey the happiness literature, one theme you’ll find is that happiness depends on one’s ability to accept the world for what it is, and to be content with what you have today. From the ancient...

Slow Down to Speed Up

S

Your cell phone rings. Your laptop alerts you that you have a new email just as you login to participate in an online meeting, while eating a sandwich you purchased from the shop down the street about three hours ago. Does this sound like a typical day during your week? If so, you’re not alone. According to Tony Schwartz, 25 to 50% of people report that they feel burned out at work. Read this post, The Magic of Doing One Thing, to learn more about the consequences of splitting your attention...

Zuckerberg, EQ, Chopra and Benjamin Franklin

Z

How Mark Zuckerberg has grown into his role as CEO of Facebook.
Emotional Intelligence as a predictor of success.
Video of my friend Jit Chopra addressing a group of executives on the creative process.  If you like my post on “start with the bad ideas first“, then you’ll love to hear Jit tell the story about Edward Land and the Poloroid camera.
Benjamin Franklin’s 14 timeless tips on Getting Things Done. – and this man was very productive.

John Wooden on Success

J

As a young high school English teacher in South Bend, Indiana in the 1930s, John Wooden, the legendary former coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team, was not satisfied with the prevailing definition of success.   The conventional wisdom was (and still is) that success is the accumulation of possessions and power.   This definition was unsatisfactory to John, so he came up with his own definition of success: Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the...

Recent Posts

Archives

Categories