How Resilience Works

When I began my career in journalism—I was a reporter at a national magazine in those days—there was a man I’ll call Claus Schmidt. He was in his mid-fifties, and to my impressionable eyes, he was the quintessential newsman: cynical at times, but unrelentingly curious and full of life, and often hilariously funny in a sandpaper-dry kind of way. He churned out hard-hitting cover stories and features with a speed and elegance I could only dream of. It always astounded me that he was never promoted to managing editor.But people who knew Claus better than I did thought of him not just as a great newsman but as a quintessential survivor, someone who had endured in an environment often hostile to talent. He had lived through at least three major changes in the magazine’s leadership, losing most of his best friends and colleagues on the way. At home, two of his children succumbed to incurable illnesses, and a third was killed in a traffic accident. Despite all this—or maybe because of it—he milled around the newsroom day after day, mentoring the cub reporters, talking about the novels he was writing—always looking forward to what the future held for him.Why do some people suffer real hardships and not falter? Claus Schmidt could have reacted very differently. We’ve all seen that happen: One person cannot seem to get the confidence back after a layoff; another, persistently depressed, takes a few years off from life after her divorce. The question we would all like answered is, Why? What exactly is that quality of resilience that carries people through life?

Source: How Resilience Works

To Grow as a Leader, Seek More Complex Assignments

Over the course of my career, I’ve spent countless hours talking to and hearing from leaders around the world. I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates for managerial roles and tracked the performance of those I successfully hired. I led the global management appraisal practice of our own executive search firm, Egon Zehnder. And I’ve spent years with colleagues at Harvard Business School and other academic institutions researching what makes people effective in their jobs.One key lesson I’ve drawn from all this experience? The most successful leaders are the ones who continue to learn and grow, and the best way to help yourself – or your team — do that is through assignments that involve increasing complexity.Several years ago, I worked with Ken Aramaki in Egon Zehnder’s Tokyo office to compare the potential of senior Japanese executives (that is, objective assessments from our consultants about their ability to take on bigger roles and responsibilities) and their competence (that is, objective assessments of their strategic orientation, market insight, customer impact, results orientation, leadership, ability to collaborate and influence, etc.) against the average scores for those metrics from all the executives in our worldwide database. What we found was an incredible paradox. Japanese professionals had higher potential than the global average but lower competence.

Source: To Grow as a Leader, Seek More Complex Assignments

How to create a culture of early technology adoption in the workplace

Tech breakthroughs are making our lives easier — both in and out of the office.Ever-improving Apple continues to launch new versions of the iPhone. Wearable tech now employs apps to tell us what stresses us out and what makes us happy. And thanks to technology, more companies are offering telecommuting options to employees, according to a recent
SHRM study.Yet, amid all these improvements, only a meager 27% of American employees have access to the latest technology in the workplace, according to Oxford Economics’ Workforce 2020 report. Now that millennials, who grew up using new technology, are becoming decision-makers and stepping into middle management, it seems more of the workforce should have already adopted new technology.The problem might be due to difficulties convincing seasoned executives to rethink their current tools. “Our company has been doing things this way for 50 years,” millennials may hear from higher-ups.The challenge is to convince executives from different walks of life to see the value in these newfangled technologies. Ultimately, the next generation of leaders taking over the world’s top organizations need to lead the charge in adopting new technology so the workforce can benefit from innovation to the fullest extent.Here are a few approaches employees can take to lead a team of early tech adopters.

Source: How to create a culture of early technology adoption in the workplace

Happy Friday!!!

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Latest addition to our office wall….you would never guess what the one on  the right is made of??

How Successful People Manage Stress

I’m not a big fan of infographics. When you boil things down to sound bites, you lose all the nuance and context. Not only that, but learning comes from real-world experience and mentorship, not statistics and inspirational quotes.Imagine my surprise to find an infographic that’s actually somewhat useful on how famous CEOs deal with stress. Not that I stress over that sort of thing, at least not anymore. When you’ve been around as long as I have, you’ve either found what works for you or find yourself locked up in a padded room somewhere.Besides, the pressures of being a senior executive in the high-tech industry are enormous. You either learn to control it or it will control you. The same goes for running a small business. It’s always feast or famine and each extreme produces its own unique form of psychological torture.You have to learn to manage whatever life throws at you. And while the Infographic does offer some solid advice, I wanted to provide some context to sort of round it out and make it even more helpful.First, let me dispel a common misconception about stress. It’s not necessarily bad for you. Not to get technical here, but physical and mental stress from competition and adversity can actually drive you to perform your best work. We often come up with our most inspired ideas and innovative solutions under stress. Some people thrive on it. Others, not so much.

Source: How Successful People Manage Stress