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Einstein & Creativity

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In 2015 we celebrated the one-hundred-year anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. What Einstein was able to achieve was so astounding and so creative, it is worth reflecting on how he did it. Thought Experiments. Einstein’s intellectual journey toward the General Theory of Relativity did not begin with complex equations and high level mathematics; rather it started with a simple thought experiment when he was just 16 years old. Young Einstein imagined he was...

3 Tips for Improving Decision Making

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You walk into the conference room for your fourth meeting of the day. It’s a cross-functional committee and you’ve been tasked with making a big decision. You’re pretty sure the committee made a decision during last week’s meeting, and you’re hopeful today’s topic is focused on execution. After all, a solution was discussed thoroughly and you felt that consensus was finally achieved. As you scan the agenda you get a sinking feeling in your gut. You realize the decision is still on the table and...

A Company that Builds People First and Machines Second

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Bob Chapman is not your typical leader.  Take, for example, the mission of Barry-Wehmiller, the $1.5 billion company where Bob is Chairman and CEO: We build great people who do extraordinary things. You might be confused if someone told you that Barry-Wehmiller builds capital equipment and delivers consulting services, because what Bob will tell you is “building great people is our business.” Many companies espouse the importance of building and developing talent by investing in people, but few...

Leadership and EQ

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In the past, it might have been true that leaders could succeed simply because they were smart. But that’s no longer all it takes. While technical skills remain important, our emotional intelligence (referred to as EQ or EI) is just as important as our IQ. In fact, research shows that a leader’s emotional intelligence has a direct impact on the success of an organization. Daniel Goleman, a thought-leader on the topic of EI, says this about emotional intelligence: “If your emotional abilities...

Slow Down to Speed Up

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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

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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

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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...

5 Steps to Business Impact

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  I will be speaking at the 2011 ASTD International Conference in Orlando (May 22nd – 25th) on how to achieve business results from training. The following is a description of the presentation and learning outcomes for the event. Those of us who have been in and around the learning  industry a long time know that the quality of instructional design, materials, delivery, and facilitation of training has steadily increased through the years and continues to improve.  In addition, technology...

The 8 Most Important Qualities of Leadership at Google

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For most of Google’s history, and especially in the early years, it took a laissez-faire policy toward leadership. The company hired smart engineers, promoted the most brilliant into leadership positions and then pretty much left them alone. The assumption was that they were smart and would figure it out or ask questions if they needed help. As Google evolved, it became apparent that some managers thrived in this environment more than others.  In a recent article, Laszlo Bock, Google’s...

How Effective Leaders Deal with Information Overload

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Information overload is not only a productivity killer; it can also lead to low morale, anxiety and mistakes.  The U.S. Military has identified “information overload” as the underlying cause of several major mistakes in the war in Afghanistan, and is taking steps to address the issue.  A recent article in the New York Times explains that modern warfare generates unprecedented amounts of data to help soldiers make better decisions, but: Research shows that the kind of intense multitasking...

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