Book review by Susan Palmer of "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World" featuring his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams (Avery, 2016)
“I’m so good that I’m replaceable……” – I must admit, this headline from a recently published blog on LinkedIn by a C-level executive named Rudolph Rosenberg, really caught my attention.
Mr. Rosenberg’s central question is whether you should “make yourself irreplaceable, center to key processes and sole holder of high value knowledge or should you do the exact opposite and make yourself as replaceable as possible by organizing processes, knowledge and power so that people could wonder if you’re actually needed for things to run smoothly?”
In October 2014 I published a blog entitled Let’s Ban Multitasking. It was filled with advice (from high up on my soapbox) about how we should eliminate distractibility that inevitably arises when we multitask in favor of adopting a singular focus. The examples cited were all from the workplace – don’t multitask in meetings, don’t document multitasking as a required skill in job descriptions, etc. I still stand by these suggestions –and I make a conscious effort to apply this logic to increase my effectiveness as situations present themselves.
Daylight savings time came to town this weekend, signaling a shift in the seasons and shining a light on new possibilities. Longer days and warmer temperatures are perfect for rethinking stale habits and rebuilding lost boundaries. Try one (or all) of these hacks for a week and watch yourself spring into wellbeing:
BOOK REVIEW: Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders, Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston (Standford, 2015)
Star Trek: Next Generation fans remember episodes that included an alien race called the Borg in which their stock phrase was “Resistance is futile” where they would assimilate other cultures into their world forcing them to become part Borg. I think they were right in that generally resistance is futile. In my experience, there really isn’t a way to stop the sensation or feeling of not wanting to comply or accept something. When resistance (a force that opposes or slows down motion) arises, it is difficult to prevent the energy from taking over us and halting the ease and flow.
Many of us will have time off during the holidays, but will we really take a break? Despite being out of the office, 44% of us will be checking work email during vacation. Instead of that, be part of the 56% who unplug and take a real breather. Try one of these easy ways to take the first step:
Does sitting for hours staring at screens while monitoring the endless flow of interruptions lead to improved engagement, innovation and creative thought? What about unplugging, going to a gorgeous, off-the grid location and spending a few days with the crew as a way to boost team performance, inspire better leadership and promote wellbeing? Science suggests that taking the team outdoors could trounce training time in conference rooms when looking for ways to optimize performance. Here are five scientific reasons why:
Taking time to reflect is baked into the holiday season like those colorful chewy bits in a fruitcake. Resolutions abound and gym memberships fly off the shelf as we review the passing year and make plans for the coming one. But why limit this educational practice to an end of year frenzy? Reflection is a free, easy, no technology needed method of digesting the present and nourishing plans to thrive in the future.
Fourteen years ago, I graduated college and moved to a small, rural village in Burkina Faso, West Africa as a community health Peace Corps Volunteer. Thus began my quite accidental career in the learning and development profession. Little did I know at the time, but I would also be forging relationships that would endure time and space across oceans.
I remember when I learned to drive. There were no cell phones back then or GPS, just my 8-track tape deck and AM/FM radio. Fast forward to Oct. 1st, 2014 when a new law went info effect where I live in Vermont that bans the use of handheld portable electronic devices while operating a car. Vermont is only one of 12 states (plus D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to have such a law, although there are 44 states (plus D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which have laws banning text messaging for all drivers.
When you had your last BIG IDEA, where were you and what were you doing? Based on the answers I’ve heard, many of us meet the muse while running/biking/working out, showering or vacationing. I’d be willing to wager that there aren’t many who’d cite sitting at their desk or post-lunch meetings as incubators of Ah Ha! moments. So, when it comes time for a retreat, why head to the same old catered conference environments? Here are six reasons to head beyond the box:
Working within your comfort zone has its moments. There is a period of time (for some it might be months, for others it might be a year or more) when you’ve hit your stride – you’re working efficiently and effectively with no discernible downside. The effort is reasonable, the quantity is manageable, the time spent is acceptable, and the output is respectable, perhaps even impressive. Overall it feels predictable.