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“Just How Old Are You?”

<i>How old are you?</i><p>I get asked that question all the time. In meetings, on conference calls, while pitching a new client. The answer really shouldn’t matter. I find myself wondering whether male entrepreneurs get asked the same question, and why the person asking me doesn’t consider it rude.<p>Age is …

How to Deal with a Toxic Client

Law firms have a hard-earned reputation for being really tough places to work. Today I see an increasing amount of toxicity in those firms. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve met with partners and managing partners at regional and national law firms, who have not infrequently found themselves …

The Happiest People Pursue the Most Difficult Problems

Lurking behind the question of jobs — whether there are enough of them, how hard we should work at them, and what kind the future will bring — is a major problem of job engagement. Too many people are tuned out, turned off, or ready to leave. But there’s one striking exception.<p>The happiest people I …

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

How much should people earn? Even if resources were unlimited, it would be difficult to stipulate your ideal salary. Intuitively, one would think that higher pay should produce better results, but scientific evidence indicates that the link between compensation, motivation and performance is much …

Driving Front Line Innovation in Health Care

Jennifer Stinson was a nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto who enjoyed brainstorming new ideas for improving care, especially for the kids with cancer she treats. But even as she gained status by getting her PhD and becoming a clinician scientist, she came up against …

How to Deliver Patient-Centered Care: Learn from Service Industries

Over the past decade, patient-centered care has become a mantra for high-quality health care. Policymakers, researchers, physician-leaders, and patients have all cited the need for care to be tailored to patients’ unique needs and preferences. And there is solid evidence that patient-centered care …

Men: Win at Work by Leaning In at Home

Research shows that many men want to have richer lives, with greater emotional engagement and joy in their family lives and bigger contributions to their households. But they face substantial barriers at work, in their homes, and inside their own heads.<p>Just as women need support from their …

Great Innovators Think Laterally

Do you ever wonder why cars aren’t called “horseless carriages” anymore? Today’s cars are just as horseless as they were a century ago. Horselessness is standard equipment on most new and late models, both foreign and domestic.<p>Framing the question this way may seem a bit absurd; yet, it’s a playful …

How to Really Understand Someone Else’s Point of View

The most influential people strive for genuine buy in and commitment — they don’t rely on compliance techniques that only secure short-term persuasion. That was our conclusion after interviewing over 100 highly respected influences across many different industries and organizations for our recent …

What to Do When You’ve Made Someone Angry

I was running late. My wife Eleanor and I had agreed to meet at the restaurant at seven o’clock and it was already half past. I had a good excuse in the form of a client meeting that ran over and I wasted no time getting to the dinner as fast as possible.<p>When I arrived at the restaurant, I …

Don’t Blame Your Company’s Poor Performance on Its Industry

Between 2002 and 2012, the shareholder return of the average airline company rose an uninspiring 5.6% a year. Diversified consumer services were a notch lower, gaining just 4.2% a year. Worst of all were computers and peripherals companies, with a 3% average annual return — barely the rate of …

Overcome the Complexity Within You

Although it doesn’t show up explicitly in any personality test, some people seem to be more prone to creating complexity than others. Instead of cutting to the heart of an issue, they tangle it further; rather than narrowing down projects, they allow the scope to keep expanding; and instead of …

For Women Leaders, Likability and Success Hardly Go Hand-in-Hand

In their blog post, “New Research Shows Success Doesn’t Make Women Less Likable,” Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman conclude from their analysis of assessments of men and women leaders who have come through their leadership program that “likeability and success actually go together remarkably well for …

New Lessons from Fighting an Ancient Disease

Three people die every minute from tuberculosis — a treatable and largely preventable disease. Resistant forms continue to thrive, and increased travel makes the global threat very real. We face a public health emergency.<p>Without adequate financing, ministries of health and even private hospitals in …

New Research Holds Promise For The Most Deadly Form Of Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer in men and the ninth most common cancer in women. However, it is the most fatal of all cancers – ahead of cancers of the esophagus, lung, and ovary – and is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. The 5-year survival rate is only 4 percent. Thus …

A Most Profound Math Problem

On August 6, 2010, a computer scientist named Vinay Deolalikar published a paper with a name as concise as it was audacious: “P ≠ NP.” If Deolalikar was right, he had cut one of mathematics’ most tightly tied Gordian knots. In 2000, the P = NP problem was designated by the Clay Mathematics …