Morning Advantage: Make Time to Really Manage

The purist in me loves this piece from Business Strategy Review out of London Business School. Julian Birkinshaw and Simon Caulkin report on an experiment they did with a sales team at the Stockholm offices of a major insurance company, in which they asked the team's manager to free up two additional hours a day to, well, manage. She handed off some admin work, excused herself from less-important meetings, and spent the extra time giving more guidance to her team, both as a group and one-on-one (read the full piece for the details). After three weeks, sales were up 5% over the previous three-week period, low performers had greatly improved, and no one one — not the manager or her direct reports — wanted to go back to the old ways of working.

But wait! you cry, Surely it can't be that simple. Indeed, Birkinshaw and Caulkin caution that this way of managing may not be for everyone, and many managers "might be happier dealing with numbers behind a desk." But, they say, for those who can handle the intensity of "full-on management," the result can be a much more satisfying job and a much more motivated team. I'd hardly be so charitable; why are you a manager if you don't want to really manage?


Want to Be CEO? What's Your BMI? (Wall Street Journal)

As if you didn't have enough to worry about with global volatility, office politics, regulatory uncertainty, ever-shorter cycles of competitive advantage, always-jammed photocopiers, meetings without agendas, and the sorry state of office coffee, now this: a new study showing that your extra pounds are making you less "leaderly." "Executives with larger waistlines and higher body-mass-index readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace, both in performance and interpersonal relationships," reports the Journal, according to a study by the Center for Creative Leadership. But note: CCL also provides executive coaching services, so ah, perhaps consider the source with a grain of salt (that is, if you're not watching your sodium).


The Myopia of Farsightedness (Psychology Today)

Here's a question for all you salarymen and salarywomen: When should you stop the self-flagellating behavior of postponing present-day gratification so that you can be comfortable "someday"? Raj Raghunathan writes in Psychology Today that if your current and predicted assets and/or income stream already guarantee that you and those who depend on you will never go hungry, you should ease off already! Stop being so far-sighted. Focus, instead, on enjoying the present. Most people are afraid to do this. They fear that if they take their eyes off the future for even one second, those around them who continue to be hungry for success will overtake them in the “game of life.” But if you focus on taking care of yourself, you've already won the game of life.—Andy O'Connell


More Effective than "Stress Management"

13 Simple Steps to Get You Through a Rough Day (BuzzFeed)
Is the College Bubble Bursting? (Here and Now)
The Life and Death of the American Arcade (The Verge)


MLK Jr's Real Leadership Lessons

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