Get Out of Your Head to be a Good Leader

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Thinking Man - ShutterstockAs a leader, do you believe your job is all about using your intelligence? I work with a team leader who believes just that. I’ll call him “Martin”, and he manages a team that builds software. He thinks he’s a good leader because he’s really smart. He can recall facts that others have forgotten, he can quickly do math in his head, and he’s very articulate. The ...

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Start Capturing the Benefits of Team Negativity

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Angry DavidOutspoken and aggressive, David Weiss, a web developer at General Engines, has always voiced strong opinions about the look and feel of the company’s website. When his manager, Nancy Colletto informs his team that she cannot approve their urgently needed budget request, David loses his cool. Turning red in the face, he shouts, “This company doesn’t give a damn about the customers who visit our website. They’ll take ...

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Beginners Mind: A Source of Innovation

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Beginners Mind and InnovationSome people approach each situation with a beginner’s mind, which is an attitude of openness and lack of preconceptions, even when they’re a highly accomplished professional. These people are more innovative than others, and you can facilitate this attitude in a team.

A great example of this comes from a team I work with that writes software to run the operations of a trucking company, which I’ll ...

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How Much Team Diversity is Optimal for Innovation?

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DiversityI used to think that the purpose of creating diversity on a team was simply to give people of various races and orientations equal opportunities. When I create a team, my main concern is achieving the business goal, not being a do-gooder in society, so I never cared too much about intentionally creating diversity on a team. That was before I understood that diversity is a key requirement for ...

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Combat Negativity by Bringing the Positive to Life

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Enliven the PositiveDoes it seem like some people choose to be negative? In many ways it’s our basic nature, but it has damaging consequences to our creative and cognitive performance. Here’s a remedy for shifting a team’s emotions from negative to positive, but it requires understanding a bit about our conscious minds.

Understand Conscious Awareness

Our conscious minds are attracted to the emotional. Our cognitive and emotional systems constantly process a ...

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Our Brains are Wired for Emotional Bias in Decision Making

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DecisionDo you think you make business decisions based on logic? If you’re like most people, you make decisions based on emotion and then find the facts to substantiate them. Even if you use the most sophisticated data analytics, your bias influences the hypotheses you pursue, the alternatives you consider, and the decisions you make.

A study by Antoine Bechara, Hannah Damasio, and Antonio Damasio shows that we all make decisions ...

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