Margy Cooney

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A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier

Actually, don't trust me either. Trust neuroscientists. They study that gray blob in your head all day and have learned a lot about what truly will make you happy.<p>UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb has some insights that can create an upward spiral of happiness in your life.<p>Here's what you and …

Self-improvement

Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced …

The 10 (and a Half) Commandments of Leadership

Do you have what it takes to become a great leader--the kind of leader who not only attracts people but actually makes things happen as well?<p>If you want to achieve your true potential and become the leader you are meant to be, you must start by being aware of who you are.<p>If you can become the …

This Quality Is the Key to Great Leadership (Hint: It's Not What You Think)

Many would describe this trait as a weakness. But it can actually be your greatest strength.<p>In business, it's often the self-promoters who command attention. They think of themselves as 'self-made success stories'-proud of what they've built on their own.<p>Hogwash.<p>We all learned from someone. And we …

How to Work with People Who Aren’t Good at Working with People

Twenty five years after the term “emotional intelligence” was first introduced by academics, thousands of independent scientific studies have highlighted the importance of managing your own and others’ emotions in relation to career success, job performance, entrepreneurship, and leadership.<p>But …

Get in the Right State of Mind for Any Negotiation

Photo by Andrew Nguyen<p>Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had a prickly relationship. On the one hand, their two companies did significant business with each other. (Microsoft actually wrote software for some Apple devices.) But the two men also were rivals, both in the marketplace and in the public …

How Authenticity Can Keep Professionals From Growing Into Effective Leaders

The concept of “authenticity” means many different things to different people: not putting on a show, being true to one’s values, being transparent, feeling aligned with one’s integrity, etc. For many, the practice of authenticity feels positive, liberating and growth-inducing. But, in practice, it …

5 Easy Ways to Cheer Up at Work

Sadness is both self-perpetuating and highly contagious. Fortunately, there's an easy way to turn "the blues" into "blue skies ahead."<p>Even if you've got your dream job (and especially if you don't), work isn't always fun. A combination of stress, overwork and tough breaks can leave even an optimist …

5 Tips to Stay Present in Business and in Life

A successful investment banker went on vacation to a tropical island. There he met a fisherman who had a unique way of catching fish. The banker immediately saw a business opportunity.<p>The banker said that eventually the fisherman would be able to make an initial public offering, so that he could …

To Stay Focused, Manage Your Emotions

A leader’s most precious resource is not their time. It’s their <i>focused attention</i>. Time merely passes, while focused attention makes things happen. When we’re able to gather and direct our attention toward a particular task or interaction, we can have a significant impact in a minimal amount of …

The three personal development goals successful people pursue habitually

If you Google "daily habits of successful people" you'll find almost every business-focused media outlet represented in the results. But if you're looking for a guaranteed roadmap to success, don't get excited just yet. If you read all of those articles, or even a few of them, you'll soon realize …

Leadership Courage: Creating A Culture Where People Feel Safe To Take Risks

The human ingenuity within any organization is it’s greatest competitive advantage. Yet the fear, complacency and outright disengagement that can exist within it’s walls are the biggest barriers to leveraging it.<p>The number one responsibility of any leader is to create an environment that not only …

2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share

Millennial customers—80 million in the U.S. alone–are about to become the most important customers your business has ever seen. In spite of the clichés you see in the media about this generation (ramen-eating, impecunious, underemployed, and so forth), millennials are not only the largest …

Is Your Brain Trying To Sabotage Your Leadership?

If you’ve ever tried to lead a group of people—even a small group—you’ll know it can be a real challenge.<p>Everyone has their own personality and way of doing things, so no two situations are ever the same.<p>Now you can add another complicating factor into that leadership equation: <b>your brain</b>.<p><b>Know Your</b> …

What Bosses Gain by Being Vulnerable

One morning in Bangalore, South India, Archana Patchirajan, founder of a technology startup, called her entire staff in for a meeting. When they were all seated, she announced that she had to let them go because the startup had run out of funds. She could no longer pay them. Shockingly, her staff …

How To Increase Productivity By Employee Happiness

Whether you are an entrepreneur managing a startup, or a corporate executive with thousands of employees, it’s hard to ignore the evidence of big value from happy employees. For example, the Harvard Business Review a while back included an analysis of hundreds of studies showing an average of 31% …

The Two Most Common Mistakes New Managers Make

Becoming a new manager is one of the most difficult transitions in business. For first-time managers, moving from an employee concerned only about your own tasks to a role more broadly concerned with the accomplishments of others requires a major change of focus – and not always an easy one. With …

You're Hired And It's Mutual: 5 Ways Employee Culture Is Great For Leaders

In the world of work, there’s a new type of relationship agreement to be forged — a win-win built on trust between employer and employee that reflects a clear shift in workplace and social media culture. It’s mutually productive, an entirely different way of viewing work, and it should form the …

4 Ways Leaders Effectively Manage Employee Conflict

Conflict resolution is a daily occurrence at work that can either propel or disrupt the momentum for a leader, a team or the entire organization. The workplace can become a toxic environment when leaders allow conflict to fester rather than confront it head-on. Managing conflict can be a tricky …

Tell Your Team What Customers Should Say About Them

How do you get employees to behave in ways that differentiate your brand to the people that matter most to your business: customer prospects, clients, partners, colleagues, and recruits?<p>Too many companies are still trying to create thick manuals that lay out every possible scenario and a …

Give Your Unsung Office Heroes a Raise

The single most important thing you do at work is interact with other people. That’s the key insight from <i>Workspaces that Move People</i>, the HBR feature I co-wrote with Greg Lindsay and Jennifer Magnolfi.<p>If it sounds like unprovable generic wisdom, academic puffery, it’s not. We have data, collected …

5 Tips for New Team Leaders

I’ve been a new manager five times in my career: once as a first-time manager at Google going from being a teammate to leading peers, three times as I was promoted within Google, and most recently as the new Chief Revenue Officer for UberConference, a teleconferencing startup in San Francisco. What …

9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions

Several years ago we came up with a great idea for a new leadership-development offering we thought would be valuable to everyone. We had research demonstrating that when people embarked on a self-development program, their success increased dramatically when they received follow-up encouragement. …

Great Leadership Isn’t About You

The year 1777 was not a particularly good time for America’s newly formed revolutionary army. Under General George Washington’s command, some 11,000 soldiers made their way to Valley Forge. Following the latest defeat in a string of battles that left Philadelphia in the hands of British forces, …

Save Your Next Staff Meeting From Itself

While many leaders see staff meetings as vital to the success of their organization, most employees see them as a painful waste of time. As a result, employees arrive or leave whenever they wish; check their emails; doodle; or use the time to make to-do lists of all the things they’re <i>not</i> getting …

The Best Leaders “Talk the Walk”

One of the most ubiquitous aphorisms in business is that the best leaders understand the need to “walk the talk” — that is, their behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organization. But the more time I spend with game-changing innovators …

Don’t Try to Read Your Employees’ Minds

In <i>An Essay on Criticism</i>, Alexander Pope famously wrote, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” I think of this quote often when observing executives with a “little learning” of emotional intelligence (also called “EQ”).<p>Don’t get me wrong; the beneficial insights and managerial advances derived …

How to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Day

If you’re working in the kitchen of Anthony Bourdain, legendary chef of Brasserie Les Halles, best-selling author, and famed television personality, you don’t dare so much as boil hot water without attending to a ritual that’s essential for any self-respecting chef: <i>mise-en-place.</i><p>The “Meez,” as …

10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

Over the last 12 months I have conducted countless productivity experiments on myself, interviewed some of the most productive people in the world, …

The Power of Dignity in the Workplace

Imagine that you’ve been working in your job for a while. You enjoy your work, know how to do it well, and take pride in the results you produce. And then one day things change. Perhaps a new boss is hired from the outside, who doesn’t talk to you or your colleagues in sufficient depth to …