Morning Advantage: Learning to Love the Struggle

Is American education to blame when people too easily give up on a difficult task? NPR's Alix Spiegel takes a close look at how Western children learn versus those in Eastern cultures. The major difference is how they approach struggle. Spiegel offers a great example from psychology professor Jim Stigler who, when visiting a Japanese school in 1979, observed something you would never see in the U.S.: the student having the most trouble with a problem was brought to the front of the class to ponder the task in front of all his peers. And while it took him a while, the entire class cheered when he finished.

"I think from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you're just not very smart," Stigler says. "Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity." Granted, both educational systems have their faults. But it might be worth focusing on how you complete a difficult project, rather than just the outcome.


How to Better Measure Your Hiring Decisions (

There are many ways to bring someone onboard. But according to a new study, too few companies are measuring how people outside of HR are hiring. And those that do might have a competitive advantage. In a survey of 390 senior executives by the Institute of Corporate Productivity, only 15% said their companies analyze talent acquisitions that don't go through the HR pipeline. The Institute also found that measuring all of one's HR decisions is an excellent predictor of good performance.


Does the President Need a "Council of Psychological Advisers"? (The Atlantic)

Yes, according to Swarthmore psychology professor Barry Schwartz. While POTUS has a whole host of experts guiding him on economic, health care, and climate change issues, there's no one charged with helping him understand the hidden and very human roots of decision making. Schwartz explains how such a council can tag-team with the Council of Economic Advisers "to bring actual experts on human behavior into the most senior levels of conversation."


Look for the Blue Tent

Why Is It So Hard to Give Good Directions? (BBC)
Visualizing the Biggest Questions in the World, in Stark Black and White (Fast Company)
Paying Doctors Differently to Save Lives (Washington Post Wonkblog)

This entry was posted in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.