Morning Advantage: Deal with Your Dark Side

Writing on INSEAD's blog, Professor Michael Jarrett reminds us that we all have a dark side: a Mr. Hyde to our Dr. Jekyll. "It is usually a part of ourselves that we would rather deny — a sort of motived forgetting," he writes. But that doesn't mean it's not there. "Studies show that we tend to deny this ‘negative’ part of ourselves as a form of self-protection. We split off these bad feelings and project them onto others," he writes. "Thus, we see these traits in others but definitely not in ourselves."

Jarrett runs through three types of dark sides that have been identified by psychologists, and discusses why some leaders are able to manage their dark sides better than others. And that's definitely worth reading in full. But I'll skip ahead to the "so what do you do about it?" part. First, stop denying that you have a dark side. Everyone has one, and so do you — but the more you try to ignore it, the more it will find its way into your management style. Instead, face up to your flaws so you can regulate them. That's not going to be easy to do on your own, so don't hesitate to ask for help.


Scandals Show California Is Broken, Not Broke (Bloomberg View)

California may be the world's ninth-largest economy, but the Golden State is going through some dark days, argues Steven Greenhut in this column. Amid well-publicized budget woes, politicians are trying to convince voters to pay higher taxes by threatening to cut beloved services like state parks. Unfortunately for the pols, it turns out the state parks have plenty of money, because of their own financial chicanery. (One official kept track of payouts to employees on Post-Its to avoid detection.) Instead of more brinksmanship, Greenhut recommends an approach we can get behind: more disciplined management.


How to Market in Lower-Tier Cities in China (AdAge)

Laurel Wentz begins this piece with a study of Starbucks' Chinese-marketing practices, but quickly moves into generalizable advice. Among marketers' tips: Don't assume if you have a premium product that everyone can see it's a premium product. A lot of shoppers miss the cues. If a product is elegantly displayed with a lot of empty, white space around it, that's a sign "it's a product nobody wants." Convey how your product protects safety, stability, and order. Remember that family comes first, and fitting in trumps standing out.
—by Gardiner Morse


Young, Old, and In-Between

How Children Succeed (Slate)
Why Teens Should Memorize Facts in the Afternoon and Practice Piano at Night (BPS)
The "Eureka" Moments Now Happen Later in Life for Scientists (The Wall Street Journal)

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