Which Emotions Facilitate Cognitive Performance?

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I recently had to identify the sharpest person on a team. I needed to choose a software designer, from a group of four, who would do the best job designing a solution to an extremely complex problem. I work with these designers on a regular basis, and I know they’re all super-smart and experienced, but I needed the one who was performing ...

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Boost Employee Performance by Relaxing Authority

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Once when I was a systems analyst for a large, national firm, I worked in the Seattle office while reporting to a manager, Brad, who was in the San Francisco office. He had an annoying habit of calling me on my office phone almost every Friday afternoon around 5pm. He never said it but I knew he was checking to make sure I was still working and hadn’t left early. ...

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8

Is It Time to Update Your Beliefs?

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Businesses that evolve along with society have a strong competitive advantage. The Judeo Christian doctrine has had a huge impact on the way we conduct business in Western society, where our business practices have mirrored our religious beliefs, yet the practices in many businesses haven’t caught up with our changing beliefs. Is your business one of the laggards?

Our roots in Western society, through our interpretation of the Judeo Christian ...

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7

It Pays to be Exclusionary

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Is the membership boundary in your organization tight enough? We hear so much about the importance of being inclusive in organizations, but it’s equally important to know when to be exclusive. When everyone in a business organization is keenly focused on achieving a particular mission or purpose, the energy becomes concentrated and potent. In contrast, if a business tries to be too inclusive, by including people whose roles don’t have ...

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How Do You Define a Powerful Purpose?

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I think there’s no longer a question about whether it’s a good practice for a business to articulate a clear purpose. The question now is what makes a good purpose.

Dan Pink has become well known with his research concluding that purpose, in the sense of achieving a greater social good, is a huge motivator of employees. And Simon Sinek’s popular Ted Talk says we should focus on the “why” of ...

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12

Too Much Passion Will Get You Nowhere

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I remember when George was appointed the new CEO, and he called the first meeting of officers. He stood at the podium in front of about twenty people, and he gave an impassioned speech about how we were going to increase the profits of the company. He was standing up there with his arms waving and shouting things like “we’re all going to improve our numbers!” and “I can’t ...

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Get Smart about Energizing Your Organization

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Employee engagement is now a high priority in most corporations, yet most of these efforts are pursuing the wrong tactics. Research shows that most elements of employee engagement don’t lead to higher success or profitability. If you’re going to invest in energizing your business organization, get smart about it.

Have you ever tried to energize a lifeless organization?  I recall one time ...

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Tune into Innovative Ideas

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Steve Jobs once said “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have.  When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D.” So how do innovative ideas arise? Science is showing us that they come from a source that is best known as intuition, and we can increase our ability to tap this source.

Successful entrepreneurs are ...

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7

The Secret to Team Spirit

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We’ve all seen some teams, whether in sports, music or business, whose performance transcends the normal. It’s as though the team members have each surpassed any personal performance limitations and are cooperating at some unseen energetic level. What is the key to team spirit and can we intentionally create it?

As a leader of project teams, I admit that I can get impatient with the slow process of team development, ...

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15

Make Your Employees Brighter

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As leaders, we all understand the importance of supporting our people. Traditionally, this includes giving them the resources they need, defending them from criticism, and showing them they’re appreciated. These are all important, but now science shows there’s something even more profound that we can do for them. We can intentionally help them improve their ability to think.

When I first became the CIO of a large transportation company, it was ...

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