Daniel Kwong

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Matthew Toren's 24-minute morning routine to kickstart a successful day

<b>1. Brush your teeth (2 minutes)</b><p>A little on the obvious side perhaps, but important nevertheless.<p>And not just so you are presenting your pearly whites …

Workouts

Don’t Make New Hires Conform; Instead, Focus on Their Individual Strengths

Newly hired employees of an Indian call center were at least <b>60% less</b> likely to leave within a period of a few months if they went through an onboarding process that, instead of emphasizing conformity, focused on their individual strengths, for example by highlighting what was “unique” about them, …

Connect, Then Lead

<b>Is it better to be loved or feared?</b><p>Niccolò Machiavelli pondered that timeless conundrum 500 years ago and hedged his bets. “It may be answered that one should wish to be both,” he acknowledged, “but because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.”<p>Now …

Disengaged Employees? Do Something About It

New data on employee engagement is in, and it’s downright discouraging. As this post by HBR’s Gretchen Gavett noted, Gallup’s research shows that engagement among US workers is holding steady at a scant 30%. This means seven out of ten people are either “checked out”, or actively hostile toward …

How Criticism Creates Innovative Teams

It’s tough to find examples of successfully challenging the boss, even tougher to find stories of leaders who specifically ask to be challenged. The most common is a tale of Alfred P. Sloan at General Motors. During a meeting in which GM’s top management team was considering a weighty decision, …

Increase Your Team’s Curiosity

Does your team have a difficult time making decisions that everyone supports? If so, you may be suffering from a lack of curiosity.<p>Try this: Next time you’re in a team meeting, count the number of times you make a statement and the number of times you ask a question. If you’re like most team …

Avoiding the Soft “Yes”

It was undoubtedly a high-quality piece of work. The project team had spent the past six months designing a new strategy to accelerate growth in a critical emerging market for a multibillion-dollar multinational. The summary document had that rare combination: a compelling long-term vision and a …

Innovation Isn’t an Idea Problem

When most organizations try to increase their innovation efforts, they always seem to start from the same assumption: “we need more ideas.” They’ll start talking about the need to “think outside the box” or “blue sky” thinking in order to find a few ideas that can turn into viable new products or …

Don’t Neglect Your Power to Bring People Together

Out of the many ways that managers get things done, one of the most underused is what I call “convening authority”: the ability to bring people together to share information, build alignment, or solve problems. To explain, let me share a quick example, in two acts:<p>In Act One, the manager of a …

Slingshot Your Career

Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers

Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable in marketing circles. I have ambivalent feelings about this. On the one hand, as a lifelong advocate for the power of story in business, I find this very encouraging. For all companies, having a story and knowing that story are crucial …

How to Fix the Bad Employee Syndrome

We’ve all wanted to please the boss. And if that sometimes means that we do something we think is stupid or misguided so be it — is it worth spending our social or political capital on making a fuss about just one small thing? Better to shrug and accept it and maybe build up some goodwill for when …

How Experts Gain Influence

Artwork: Jessica Snow, Board Game, 2011, acrylic on panel, 18″ x 18″<p>In 2006 the risk management chiefs of two British financial institutions—we’ll call them Saxon Bank and Anglo Bank—were in similar situations. Each reported directly to the CEO and had, in theory, the same influence in their …

Why Productive People Get Up Insanely Early

If you want to do your best work, distraction is your enemy. So wake before it rises.<p><i>Editor’s Note: This story is part of 5 Habits Changes You Can Actually Make In 2015. Check out the full list here.</i><p>I am not a successful entrepreneur. I do not know the secret to life. I know that I love what I do …

Time I

7 Steps To Curing Your Empty Promise Disease

Time is precious, but being busy is no excuse to ignore the people you work with. Here are a few tips to help you distill your messages, and follow through.<p>Busy people often don’t do what they say they will. It’s just so easy to ignore an email, leave a phone call unreturned, delete a text message. …

Pandemic

How I Learned To Get The Most Out Of Every Week’s 168 Hours

Would you rather flip through a Pottery Barn catalog or train for and run a half-marathon? The secret to time management is all about priorities.<p>I’ve always loved the phrase “the truth will set you free.”<p>While I’ll admit that objectivity is hard to achieve, when you face reality as head on as …

Time Management

How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Creative Performance

Are you a certified organizational ninja? It’s okay, nobody is–so steal this idea from career kickstarter Amber Rae, who shares her “Work, Play, Fit, Push” framework for getting things done while staying inspired.<p>About four years ago I started working for myself. I wanted the freedom and …

Creativity