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What You Eat Affects Your Productivity

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?<p>When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, …

4 Steps to Dispel a Bad Mood

You know you’re in a bad mood. You know it’s hurting your performance at work. But how do you get yourself out of it?<p>We investigated how 740 leaders tried to solve this problem for themselves, and we presented their best practices in a previous HBR article. But when we took a deeper look, we …

Managing the Critical Voices Inside Your Head

At 8:20 am, my twelve-year-old daughter, Isabelle, was rushing to meet her ski group. She was 20 minutes late and stressed – she takes her skiing very seriously and was training for a race in a couple of days.<p>Near the competition center, she ran into one of her coaches, Joey. He looked at her, then …

Don’t Write Off the (Western) Focused Firm Yet

The rise of Tata in India, Koç Holding in Turkey, and Grupo Carso in Mexico have some management thinkers contending that the conglomerate is back at the expense of the focused firm. In his article “Why Conglomerates Thrive (Outside the U.S.)” in the December 2013 issue of the <i>Harvard Business …

Write Your Brand’s Obituary

What would happen if your company ceased to exist?<p>Would journalists write headlines heralding your past achievements, or would their stories simply add you to a list of bygones? Would analysts express disappointment or would they point to indicators that made your death predictable? Would employees …

Simplify Outdated Corporate Processes

Unlike suburban housing developments or modern cities, organizations don’t grow with some sort of rational, master plan. They evolve naturally over time. In urban areas, this organic development leads to a chaotic mess of narrow, twisty, confusing streets and dead-ends instead of a broad, easy to …

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; …

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 …

Dealing with Team Members Who Derail Meetings

What does your team do when someone takes a meeting off-track? If your team is like most, the leader says something like, “Lee, that’s not what we’re talking about now” or “Let’s get back on track” or the team simply ignores Lee’s comment and tries to bring the conversation back to the original …

Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders

A young manager accosted me the other day. “I’ve been reading all about leadership, have implemented several ideas, and think I’m doing a good job at leading my team. How will I know when I’ve crossed over from being a manager to a leader?” he wanted to know.<p>I didn’t have a ready answer and it’s a …

4 Steps to Building Greater Resilience

Over the last seven years or so, I’ve been on a journey to discover what it really means to be ‘me’. This time has included some of the darkest …

Want to Know What Really Makes You Happy? Try Tracking It

Throughout our careers and lives, the big decisions we have to make usually lead back to a single, overriding concern: What really makes me happy? Too often we try to answer these questions without knowing or understanding the real data from our lives. Our self-analysis devolves into speculation or …

Surprises Are the New Normal; Resilience Is the New Skill

The difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing.<p>That’s a key finding from my ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders: no one can completely avoid troubles and potential pitfalls are everywhere, so the real skill is the resilience to climb out of the hole and …

Successfully Integrate Your Work, Home, Community, and Self

You can be a committed A-player executive, a good parent, an attentive spouse, and a healthy person with time for community engagement and hobbies. How on earth do you do all that? Stop juggling and start integrating. Begin with a clear view of what you want from — and can contribute to — each …

Make Time for Growth Assignments in Your Daily Work

Your job probably includes some responsibility for researching new trends or dreaming up innovative ideas. Lucky you! Alas, if you’re like most people, you probably never feel like you have enough time to devote to those important projects. Often the activities with the most learning opportunity …

Practical Tips for Overcoming Resistance

<i>Although many managers and leaders are under pressure to get things done quickly, pressuring subordinates frequently leads to resistance. This is not due to stubbornness as much as it is due those subordinates simply feeling overwhelmed by the volume of work they have. Emotions also come into play;</i> …