What has a greater influence on being perceived as a leader? Your ability, or your willingness to speak up?
Gavin Kilduff, a Ph.D candidate at UC Berkeley, has been working very hard on the question of how leaders and winners are determined in the workplace, particularly in the context of rivalry. Recently, a study he and professor Cameron Anderson published in the February 2009 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has been getting a lot of attention.
In this study Kilduff and Anderson discuss carefully-designed studies showing that whether we are part of a group or an outsider, we judge as the most competent leaders those who speak up confidently and frequently. This is true regardless of gender or demonstrated ability.
“Yes, confidence and ability are often correlated, as when people who are truly talented exhibit more confidence in their opinions and ideas,” said Anderson.
“But, often confidence and ability are only mildly related, or even unrelated,” he added.
As the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) advises, those who hesitate to speak up – a common trait of politeness for women – may be well-served to get just a little bit rude, and speak up to project those leadership qualities.
ON A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NOTE, perhaps I don’t watch enough television. High points here for creativity and memorability.
Any of us who have ever been in school remember that stressed-out ”I MUST REMEMBER THIS” feeling. Now I am comforted to know that I may have been doing myself some good by triggering those thoughts. A group of German scientists recently published a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that certain activations in your brain (theta waves) actually do precede better recall. See the Neurophilosophy blog for study design and details. But don’t stay up too late reading it — adequate, uninterrupted sleep is still crucial in laying down memories.
During World War II, Winston Churchill took nearly two hours to nap every day, even going so far as to get undressed and crawl under the covers. He insisted that his nap was essential, and allowed him to fit two days into every one.
Sleep is essential to stamina, and to good decision-making. And what better day to ponder these facts than National Nap Day?
Having a little trouble justifying that extra sleep to others? If your most cheery disposition isn’t enough inducement, you could cite the NASA study showing its pilots improved their performance by 34% with just a 26-minute nap. Or if you’d like more entertainment with that same high data quality, spend a few minutes reading up on the benefits of sleep from Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules.
And when is the best time for your nap? Generally 3pm will give you the most relief and largest performance boost, but any time is good. Zzzzzzzzz
A centenerian’s perspective on the current economic crisis, what we remember, and what your life is for. This happens to be a commercial that flashes the Coca~Cola symbol a couple of times, but I still think it’s a wonderful 90-second perspective re-set. From Spain, with subtitles.
At branes we have a constant emphasis on the Peter Drucker truism that about 10% of efforts and resources usually generate about 90% of results. For our clients, and in our own work, we focus on redirecting resources devoted to the 90% of low-contributing efforts to high-contribution activities. In this piece May will draw you in with demonstrations of elegance and stories of lives and organizations changed because of it. In line with Peter Drucker, Jim Collins, Marshall Goldsmith and many others, May emphasizes that so much of success is about what we need to stop doing.
So stop what you’re doing just a little longer, and check it out.
“Thousands in this world have lived without love. None have lived without water.”
Businesses and the economy are systems, just as life on earth is a system. In an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore and Nancy Duarte awakened a sense of urgency about how we are damaging one part of that system. In this TED talk, Sylvia Earle and Nancy Duarte show us how we’re damaging another crucial part, and why the next ten years are crucial. View this moving TED Prize talk. Then act.
In difficult times we see a lot of advice about what to do, and a lot of that involves setting goals to do whatever it is the author is advising. While goals can be inspiring and useful for managing the tactical day-to-day, they have a dark side too. A dark side we spend too little time talking about.
As crafters of even the most successful and sophisticated sales compensation plans can attest, even the most carefully thought out goals carry hidden imbalances and unintended consequences. Or as the authors of Goals Gone Wild, a recently-published Harvard Working Paper, put it, common dark side effects include, “a narrow focus that neglects non-goal areas, a rise in unethical behavior, distorted risk preferences, corrosion of organizational culture, and reduced intrinsic motivation.”
Like anything that gets out of balance, it’s common sense. Hammers work well on nails, but they’re not so great with screws, glue and more, and not everything can be fixed with nail. Implement with caution.