A Different Kind of Civil-Service Organization

from The Atlantic The U.S. national government is failing in its response to the pandemic. One recent example: A month ago, on March 20, the United States and South Korea had about the same number of coronavirus deaths: nearly 100 in South Korea, versus somewhere over 200 in the U.S. Since South Korea has a much smaller population—about 50 million, versus more than 300 million for the U.S.—its per capita death rate was actually much higher. One month later, South Korea’s death total had risen to only 236—while that in the U.S. was rising quickly past 40,000. With adjustments for […]

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Thoughts On “I’m Bored”

from Seth’s Blog If you’re under 14: “Good.” It’s good that you’re feeling bored. Bored is an actual feeling. Bored can prompt forward motion. Bored is the thing that happens before you choose to entertain yourself. Bored is what empty space feels like, and you can use that empty space to go do something important. Bored means that you’re paying attention (no one is bored when they’re asleep.) If you’re over 14: “That’s on you.” As soon as you’re tired of being bored at work, at home, on lockdown, wherever, you’ll go find a challenge. You don’t have to quit […]

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These 5 Tools Helped One Woman Increase Her Income By 30%

from Forbes My former colleague and current friend, Liz, feels she now makes, “a ludicrous amount of money.” Recently, she accepted a new position after having negotiated a 30% increase from her previous salary. We chatted about how she used the strategies I taught her, along with some of her own, to make the leap. Here are the 5 tools she used: More here.

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The Transition To Leadership

from Seth’s Blog The flawed theory is that A+ students become good leaders. There’s no reason to think that this should be true. Doing well on tests, paying attention to what’s being asked, being diligent in short-term error correction–these are three hallmarks of someone who is good at school. None of these are important once you’re charged with charting a new path, with figuring out what to do next. In fact, they get in the way. We invented the educational regime to produce compliant factory workers. But the most compliant aren’t always suited to be the bravest, the most empathic […]

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Out With the Old, In With the Young

from NYTs IT’S NOT JUST THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP is a well-seasoned 73 and his three top Democratic Party challengers are also septuagenarians. The average senator is now almost 63 and the average member of the House nearly 58, making them roughly 20 years older than their average constituent, and nearly a decade older than they were in 1981. Older people today hold disproportionate power because they have the numbers and the means to do so. People 65 and older, for example, are more than three times as likely to make political donations as those under 30. As a result, their […]

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Leadership Tips: Empathy Is Key

from Forbes For everything that goes into products and marketing and every other aspect of your company, running a business is very much a proposition about people. Facing outward, it’s about convincing people to buy your product, partner with you, invest in you; internally, it’s about the work done by the people you bring in and the relationships that enable everyone to work together. Any leader or manager can be said to be as much a manager of people as tasks and responsibilities, and part of effective management is being able to understand and connect with co-workers and employees, often […]

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The Professional Triumph of the Firstborns

from The Atlantic When corporate boards pick out new CEOs, they scrutinize candidates’ qualifications, studying their performance in previous jobs and vetting their academic credentials. But a recent study suggests they might want to look even further back in the histories of corporate hopefuls: CEOs’ experiences in childhood seem to shape what kind of leaders they grow up to be. The study—co-authored by the University of Chicago’s Todd Henderson and Florida State University’s Irena Hutton—looked at more than 650 CEOs’ birth order, family size, and history of childhood trauma, as well as their parents’ occupations and socioeconomic standing. This information […]

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Yale University Doubles Down On Female Entrepreneurs With Social Ventures

from Forbes On a recent Tuesday evening, while most people were leaving the Market Street area of downtown San Francisco, more than 100 executives, investors, and entrepreneurs headed to Google for the Women at the Forefront of Social Change conference. Centered on women transforming the world of responsible investment and entrepreneurship, events like this are part of a growing movement to recognize the voices of women who are challenging conventional paradigms. Since the beginning of 2016, women-led companies have received only 4.4% of all venture capital, according to PitchBook Data. Furthermore, while teams led by men receive an average of […]

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The 12 Crucial Leadership Traits Of A Growth Mindset

from Forbes Employees are tired of being told what to do and just checking the box.  So are their leaders – even if they won’t admit it.  They are tired of just doing what they are told. By following the same corporate playbook, they have little room to grow and evolve as individuals.  They want to do more and be more entrepreneurial. They want their professional goals and those of their organization to be in alignment. The result is most leaders are conflicted, battling the gulf between assimilation to what the corporate playbook dictates and being the authentic and vulnerable […]

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Warren Buffett Says These 4 CEOs Are Among the Best

from Inc. Millions of Americans admire Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett as one of the smartest, most effective, and most personable CEOs in the United States. But which CEOs does Buffett himself admire? In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC that aired this morning, Buffett discussed everything from changes in the tax law to the fact that he’s never visited a Taco Bell. Along the way, he named some CEOs he believes are doing a particularly good job. And you know he means it, because he’s put Berkshire Hathaway’s money where his mouth is, investing in (or with) the companies these […]

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President George Washington’s Farewell Address — 1796

Friends and Fellow Citizens: The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made. I […]

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Who Will Lead In The Smart Machine Age?©

from Forbes We are on the brink of a technology tsunami that will likely be as challenging and transformative for us as the Industrial Revolution was for our ancestors. This tsunami will be led by artificial intelligence (AI), increased global connectivity, the Internet of Things, major advances in computing power, and virtual and augmented reality.  As a result, the Smart Machine Age (SMA) will fundamentally change the availability and nature of human work and make obsolete the dominate Industrial Revolution model of business organization and leadership. The organization of the future will be staffed by a combination of smart robots, […]

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How to Become a C.E.O.? The Quickest Path Is a Winding One

from NYTs How does a person get to be the boss? What does it take for an ambitious young person starting a career to reach upper rungs of the corporate world — the C.E.O.’s office, or other jobs that come with words like “chief” or “vice president” on the office door? The answer has always included hard work, brains, leadership ability and luck. But in the 21st century, another, less understood attribute seems to be particularly important. To get a job as a top executive, new evidence shows, it helps greatly to have experience in as many of a business’s […]

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Coercion

from Seth’s Blog “You are with me or against me.” “Being against me is the same as being against us.” “If I determine that you are against us, you deserve all the problems that you brought on yourself by your actions. Don’t make me hurt you again.” We are fortunate to live in a civil society that is governed by ideas, ideals and laws. Lincoln correctly warned us about the mob and the bullying leader who eggs them on. Coercion can make change happen (in the short run). Coercion can look like leadership. But it doesn’t scale and it doesn’t last, because ultimately, it burns down […]

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The First Fifteen Minutes

from Seth’s Blog Learning something new is frustrating. It involves being dumb on the way to being smart. Once we get good enough (at our tools, at our work) it’s easier and easier to skip learning how to do the next thing, because, hey, those fifteen minutes are a hassle. Learning to use the new fax machine, or a different interface on the voice mail or even, yikes, a new version of Photoshop. (I confess that I dropped off the Photoshop train a half dozen versions ago, much to my chagrin.) And so we get in the habit of giving […]

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Why a Harvard Professor Has Mixed Feelings When Students Take Jobs in Finance

from NYTs This is a bittersweet time on campus. Seniors are beginning to find jobs, and while their enthusiasm is infectious, some of their choices give me pause. Many of the best students are not going to research cancer, teach and inspire the next generation, or embark on careers in public service. Instead, large numbers are becoming traders, brokers and bankers. At Harvard in 2014, nearly one in five students who took a job went to finance. For economics majors, the number was closer to one in two. I can’t help wondering: Is this the best use of talent? Of course, […]

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How To Manage For Collective Creativity

from TED What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” has studied some of the world’s most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated “creatives.” More here.

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How To Prepare For An Important Presentation

from Forbes How do you prepare for an upcoming presentation? Let’s say it’s an important one, so you’re not going to wing it, just showing up in the moment and saying whatever comes into your mind. Not a good idea, really, even for a minor presentation, so good for you for prepping – this time. A recent study about dealing with stress highlighted two of the worst ways to deal with that pesky phenomenon: worrying about it without solving anything specific, and fantasizing that the whole thing will just go away on its own. It struck me that I’ve used both methods […]

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The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on This Bet

from Medium Humans are driven by metaphors. We can’t help it. “Internet access is like electricity,” we say, and that leads to a host of other mental images: standard plugs for a wealth of devices, warm light against a dark frozen landscape, the burdens of life made more bearable. The warring metaphor now is “the Internet is the new TV,” thoroughly managed, channelized, bent on entertainment, ad-driven, interactive only when it suits someone’s business plan. Both of these metaphors are limited and not quite right. That’s the way metaphors work. But we are in fact ants on a wrinkle of […]

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