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Showing posts with the label Managing Yourself

The Ways Your Brain Manages Overload, and How to Improve Them

Information overload is   everywhere , from non-stop news to rat-a-tat email inboxes. At the receiving end of this deluge of verbiage is   thehuman brain — your   brain— metaphorically endowed with a vacuum cleaner that   sucksup information;  a container for   short-termmemory;  a blender for   integratinginformation;  a memory bank for storing   long-term information;  a garbage disposal for   getting rid of information;  and a   recycling machine   extraordinaire. Using each of these functions effectively is critical if one wants to manage information overload ̶ simply using your brain for crossing items off your to-do list is poor use of a very sophisticated machine. Yet few people build the habits and lifestyles that allow for their brains to function at their best. At the core of managing information overload is the ability to know which function to use, and how and when to use it. The six principles below can serve as a guide to the proper brain hygiene for managing infor

When You’re Leaving Your Job Because of Your Kids

You’ve decided to leave the organization, and the decision was driven by your needs as a working parent. Maybe you’re taking a new job with fewer hours or less travel so you can spend more time with the kids; maybe you’re “up-ramping” and taking on a position with more responsibility, pressure, and pay – so you can afford those looming college bills; or maybe you’ve decided to put your focus on responsibilities at home before looking for a different opportunity. Regardless of the specific reason why, the question now is how – how to leave in the right way, how to be credible, honest and transparent while acting in your own best interests, and how to preserve the long-term career capital you’ve worked so hard to create. Unfortunately for working parents, there’s no offboarding playbook, and when you’ve got your kids and family in mind, the raft of emotions attached to a professional exit can swell to very large proportions. You may feel guilty, excited, conflicted, angry, or rel

5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

The best teachers all have at least one thing in common: they ask great questions.  They ask questions that force students to move beyond simple answers, that test their reasoning, that spark curiosity, and that generate new insights. They ask questions that inspire students to think, and to think deeply. As a business leader, you might have years of experience and the confidence of your organization behind you, so it may be tempting to think that your job is to always have the right answers. But great leaders have to inspire the same curiosity, creativity, and deeper thinking in their employees that great teachers inspire in their students – and that starts with asking the right questions. Any answer is only as good as the question asked. As a dean, I find it useful to remember the statement often (perhaps  spuriously ) attributed to Albert Einstein that if he had an hour to solve a problem, and his life depended on it, he would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining t

3 Small Things Every Person Can Do to Reduce Stress in Their Office

In a world of tight deadlines, it’s no wonder that some of your stress might seep out and affect your colleagues. But — because they’re under pressures of their own — you risk perpetuating a vicious circle, where you mirror and magnify each other’s frenzy. You can’t control their behavior, but you can take charge of your own. There are obvious ways to tamp down the stress you inflict on others, such as refraining from yelling or making sarcastic comments. But those are only the most visible ways one risks alienating one’s coworkers; to truly stop the office pathology, you have to look deeper. Here are three subtle but powerful strategies to ratchet down the pressure and ensure you’re not subjecting your colleagues to undue stress and frustration. First,   stop being vague . If someone doesn’t know the full context of a situation, vague messages — which might be quite harmless — are often read like a Rorschach test, with fears and interpretations piled on. If you send a late-nig

How to Improve Your Finance Skills (Even If You Hate Numbers)

If you’re not a numbers person, finance is daunting. But having a grasp of terms like EBITDA and net present value are important no matter where you sit on the org chart. How can you boost your financial acumen? How do you decide which concepts are most important to understand to your work and your understanding of the business? And who’s in the best position to offer advice? What the Experts Say Even if you don’t need to know a lot about finance to do your day-to-day job, the more conversant you are on the subject, the better off you’ll be, according to Richard Ruback, a professor at Harvard Business School and the coauthor of the  HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business . “If you can speak the language of money, you will be more successful,” he says. After all, if you’re trying to sell a product or strategy, you need to be able to demonstrate that it is both practical and high margin. “The decision-makers will want to see a simple model that shows revenue, costs, overhead, and

Review: Warren Buffett's Management Secrets: Proven Tools for Personal and Business Success

Overview Even in today's economic climate, when so many investors and major companies are failing, Warren Buffett continues to be successful in all aspects of his life. Mary Buffett and David Clark have written the first book ever to take an in-depth look at Warren Buffett's philosophies for personal and professional management — what they are, how they work, and how you can use them. Through close examination of Warren Buffett's life and career from his earliest days to now, Buffett and Clark shed light on his decision-making processes and reveal his strategies for keeping on track and maintaining focus. They examine Buffett's inimitable leadership qualities and explain how Warren integrated what he learned over time into a winning management formula and became not only the manager whom other managers want to emulate but also the second richest man in the world. A true companion volume to Buffett and Clark's successful Buffettology series, Warren Buff