Friday, June 13, 2014

"How to Manage the Angry Birds on your Project"

"Does your problem come in red, orange, black, or blue?"

Chris Hare asks that question in an article posted in edutopia, and goes on to suggest effective ways of communicating and engaging with what she identifies as four differing "Angry Bird" personality types: Red Birds, Orange Birds, Black (or Bomb) Birds, and Blue Birds.

For each personality type, she describes the type, suggests how best to communicate with the, and also suggests modes of communication they appreciate.

It's an interesting and informative read. Here's the link to the article:

"Why good leaders make you feel safe"

What makes a good leader?

In this TED Talk filmed in March 2014, management theorist and leadership expert Simon Sinek "explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change."

According to Sinek, a great leader is "someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety - especially in an uneven economy - means taking on big responsibility."

Viewing this video is twelve minutes well spent!

"Great Leaders Don't Have To Know All The Answers"

Leadership is about knowing the right questions

Author Robert S. Kaplan is also Professor of Management Practice at Harvard. In a recent guest post on he writes:

As a leader, you don't need to have all the answers or have superhuman traits. Instead you need to focus on asking the right questions, engaging your team and focusing on what you're actually doing. All great leaders have moments of doubt and go through periods of struggle. Focus on having the wisdom to ask the right questions of yourself and others, and have the courage to act on what you learn.

To read his post, go to

"Six Signs Your Boss Is a Coward"

Is your boss a coward?

In a recent post Rob Wyse writes:
In my decades as a communications consultant, I have worked directly with, and observed, hundreds people who are bosses. The best are genuine, expose their own weaknesses, deal with controversy directly, and do not sweep issues under the rug so they become larger problems.
The worst are cowards – and the way they go about trying to hide their insecurities have just the opposite effect. You can see their fear a mile away.
Now, the question is: Do you have the strength to leave that cowardly boss and find a new one who is a true brave leader?
Here's the link to his checklist of six ways you can find out if your boss is a coward:

"Can Skipping a Meeting Make You a Better Leader?"

Some tips and tools for becoming a better leader

In an article posted by, influencer Ilya Pozin writes:
It’s not easy being a great leader. One of the marks of good leadership is the ability to look at problems in new ways, find creative solutions, and think outside-of-the-box in order to inspire others to greatness. Leadership isn’t all about you, after’s about how you communicate and motivate others.Unfortunately, many of today’s current leaders are falling down on the job. We’re in the middle of something close to an employee engagement crisis, with Gallup finding 70 percent of the American workforce checked out on the job. This probably explains why CareerBuilder discovered 77 percent of employed workers are actively searching or open to new career opportunities. Without effective leadership, employees eventually start eying the door.Sometimes effective leadership means throwing conventional wisdom out the window. After all, the traditional way things are done might have you stuck in a rut. It’s time to break free and embrace some left-of-center techniques to grow your leadership skills or reconnect with your team.
Here's the link to his four ways to grow your leadership without following the pack.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The fallacy of multitasking

It's really "task-switching" - the brain cannot multitask

Multitasking continues to be regarded as a required and prized skill because the idea that the brain can focus on more than one task at a time still prevails among students, employees, and employers in various settings and workplaces. However, modern neuroscience and numerous studies have shown multitasking is a fallacy. Although we can walk, talk, and breathe at the same time, the brain can focus attention on one higher-level task at a time.

When we think we're multitasking, we are in fact task-switching - i.e., interrupting our attention from one task to pay attention to another. Driving while talking on the phone is one example. While "multitasking" may be a requirement of managing our responsibilities at home, on campus, and in the workplace, interruptions and
task-switching compromise results and efficiency. Research shows there's a 50% increase in error rate, and it takes twice as long to finish tasks. In the workplace, the result is higher costs, inferior results, and more stress.
To reduce time and improve efficiency, whenever possible, focus on and complete one task at a time. As we often don't have that luxury, manage the interruptions and your time in a way that best allows you to focus effectively on one task before switching to another. Consider tracking the number and degree of distractions and interruptions occurring between tasks. Heightened awareness will contribute to enhanced time management strategies and improved results. A record of interruptions and distractions may also help to inform conversations as well as improve conditions and efficiency in the workplace.

On the roadways, driving while talking - like drinking and driving - yields tragic consequences.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Skills for the 21st Century

here's the learning that really counts, says tony wagner

Think of all that content we study, are examined on, and forget soon after we graduate. Knowledge is important, but according to Tony Wagner from Harvard University, here's the learning that really counts:

Critical thinking and problem solving
The ability to ask the right questions
Reasoning skills 
Accessing and analyzing information, away from textbook-bound education
Curiosity and Imagination
Collaboration across networks
Leading by influence
Respecting differences
Agility and adaptability
Continuous learning
Effective oral and written communication
Writing with voice and originality

Worth reading - The Global Achievement Gap by Tony Wagner