MARSANTANA

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Should Leaders Focus on Results, or on People?

A lot of ink has been spilled on people’s opinions of what makes for a great leader. As a scientist, I like to turn to the data. In 2009, James Zenger published a fascinating survey of 60,000 employees to identify how different characteristics of a leader combine to affect employee perceptions of …

The downside of diversity

THE closest thing the business world has to a universally acknowledged truth is that diversity is a good thing: the more companies hire people from …

The Neuroscience Of How Sleep Deprivation Can Kill You

If you don’t get enough sleep, research suggests that you’ll be worse at dealing with information, more likely to cheat people, and unable to clean up your brain.<p>What’s the thread running between Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Deepwater Horizon, and New York’s recent Metro North train …

How to Transform Daily Achievements Into Lasting Contributions

This year, focus on doing more than just work–make a positive contribution to those around you.<p>Chances are, you have days where you get to work early, put your head down at the start of the day, answering emails, going to meetings, and writing reports until it is time to go home. And when you look …

Good Behavior Is Just As Contagious As Bad Habits

Microclinic International (MCI) founder Daniel Zoughbie decided to hedge his bets that good behaviors could be just as contagious as bad ones after …

Blame Me

My hunch is that, at some point in your career, your reliance on someone else to get a job done has left you angry, confused, frustrated, and maybe even deeply concerned for your own professional standing. Especially when the stakes are high in a complex, troubling situation, depending on …

Building a Game-Changing Talent Strategy

Artwork: Freegums, Spacial Tension, 2011, acrylic on wood, 55″ x 44″<p>Founded 25 years ago by eight partners, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, rewrote the playbook in financial services. While many of its peers were stumbling and retrenching in the aftermath of the 2008 …

Can a Strong Culture Be Too Strong?

HBR’s fictionalized case studies present dilemmas faced by leaders in real companies and offer solutions from experts. This one is based on the HBS Case Study “Zensar: The Future of Vision Communities” (case no. 311025), by David A. Garvin and Rachna Tahilyani. It is available at hbr.org.<p>“How long …

Where There’s a Why, There’s a Way

At least once a week, I hear my son, a junior in high school, say, “What is the point of school? I am never going to use [insert subject] again.” He may or may not, depending on his chosen profession. My counter-argument tends to be, “You may not use all of it. Some of it you will. Regardless, good …

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: A Guide for the Terrified

No one likes to move beyond his or her comfort zone, but that’s really where the magic happens. It’s where we can grow, learn, and develop in a way that expands our horizons beyond what we thought was possible.<p>Also, it’s terrifying.<p>For me, operating beyond my comfort zone was participating in …

How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family

Matthew Beason is a well-respected executive at a non-profit with a multi-billion dollar endowment. On top of continual domestic travel, countless dinners with donors, and constant planning meetings, Matthew is also a married father of four children. While his work schedule sometimes leaves him …

Achieve Your Goals in 2014 — Here’s Research That Can Help

1. Successful people do nine things differently than everyone else.<p>2. The rest of us hold ourselves back in five major ways.<p>3. But don’t stress! Just change the way you think about stress.<p>4. To spot new opportunities, imagine yourself in the future.<p>5. And act like a leader before you are one.<p>6. …

Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence

To get a more confident You in the new year — or a more confident company, community, family, or team — first know what gets in the way. The best resolutions will go nowhere without the confidence to stick with them.<p>Confidence is an expectation of a positive outcome. It is not a personality trait; …

Boards That Lead - When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay Out of the Way. An Interview with Dennis Carey, Vice-Chairman Korn/Ferry

Dennis Carey<p>Welcome to 2014 and our first <b>Leadership Channel</b> interview of the new year! This is <b>Peter Clayton</b> reporting. Joining me today is our good …

Building a Feedback-Rich Culture

As an executive coach and an experiential educator, I’m a passionate believer in the value of interpersonal feedback. To become more effective and fulfilled at work, people need a keen understanding of their impact on others and the extent to which they’re achieving their goals in their working …

Shopping for Things Brings Emotional Benefits

Research participants who had viewed a movie clip of a sad scene (the death of a boy’s mentor in <i>The Champ</i>) registered a <b>sadness decline of 2.28 points</b> (on a 100-point scale) as a result of shopping for small quantities of office supplies such as ball-point pens, according to a study led by Scott …

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

Do you value friendly relations with your colleagues? Are you proud of being a nice person who would never pick a fight? Unfortunately, you might be just as responsible for group dysfunction as your more combative team members. That’s because it’s a problem when you shy away from open, healthy …

When a Successful Company Shrinks its Workforce

I completely support the right of companies to stop paying people they don’t need any more, but the latest round of recent and planned layoffs from United Technologies is troubling me. Because UTC is doing great; its stock is at an all-time high, and sales have grown by more than 35% since 2005, to …

How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication

Why is miscommunication common in the virtual workplace? Lack of context. And it’s not just that e-mails and phone conversations lack a person’s visual reaction to what you’ve said.<p>Think about the information you can glean just from the seating arrangement in a physical conference room — who sits …

Take Control of Your Personal Brand

Are You Listening to Your Most Important Customers?

You don’t see many tweets touting companies as #betterthanaverage. But there’s plenty of social media chatter about really good or bad customer experiences. The same holds true for the feedback companies receive directly via e-mails or phone calls. Customers are most likely to offer feedback when …

Turn Yourself Into a Star Sales Leader

You are a star salesperson. And after years of exceptional performance, you’ve just become the sales leader. How can you translate star sales performance into star sales leadership?<p>If you are like many sales leaders I’ve worked with your first impulse will be to try to clone yourself — that is to …

The New Kind of Worker Every Business Needs

We live in a world in which <i>amplified individuals</i> — people empowered by technologies and the collective intelligence of their social networks — can do things that previously only a large organization could. Indeed, they can do some things that <i>no</i> organization could do before. For better and worse, …

Foster a Culture of Gratitude

In the movie <i>Remember the Titans</i>, Coach Herman Boone takes his high school football team to the battleground of Gettysburg. Having inherited a fractured and divided squad, Coach Boone implores the players to “take a lesson from the dead. If we don’t come together, right now on this hallowed ground, …

How to Explain Your Career Transition

Shifting careers is often hard to explain. Whether you’re moving from one department to another in your own company or starting over in an entirely different field, you’re likely to face a litany of rejoinders: Why would you want to do <i>that</i>? Isn’t that a little risky? Are you really qualified? …

How to Influence People with Your Ideas

One of my young clients, let’s call her Julie, is on a mission. Julie has an idea, one that has been gestating in her mind for quite some time, but now she realizes that for her idea to have any impact at all she will have to “go public” with it. Julie believes there are countless intelligent, …

Your Optimism Might Be Stifling Your Team

I admit that I’m prone to an optimistic outlook, a belief that most problems can be tackled with hard work and the right mindset. I’ve read the research that indicates that positive thinkers tend to do better in school, work and life. Perhaps I even assumed that optimism was infectious and that …

Act Like a Leader Before You Are One

If you want to become a leader, don’t wait for the fancy title or the corner office. You can begin to act, think, and communicate like a leader long before that promotion. Even if you’re still several levels down and someone else is calling all the shots, there are numerous ways to demonstrate your …