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by Alan Hargreaves



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Entries in personal development (11)

Tuesday
Jun202017

Beware the Big Wins

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Successful learning

Recently published research suggests smiling excessively in victory can lead to defeat in the next round. 

There may be something to it. The results, yet to be widely repeated, touch a nerve. I do know that in business the after-effects of a big win can be dangerous.

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Tuesday
Jul292014

Work happens to be part of life

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Is work-life balance such a good idea?

It has a nice ring to it, like it’s a state of calm. In the office, we’d competently manage stressful issues. At home, the family room would overflow with fulfillment.

Yet the conversation is never balanced. The focus is always on time, mainly a demand for more of the free variety. Work is the enemy, somehow divorced from life rather than an integral part of it.

Other judgments intervene. Women feel guilty of being absentee parents. Men feel they should be more than just providers. The conversation gets hijacked by working mother arguments.

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Tuesday
Jul152014

The Mindfulness Thing

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How doing nothing helps.

What do Google, Rupert Murdoch and KPMG have in common with Apple, eBay and Ford Motor Company?  

All of them embrace the notion of mindfulness.

A decade ago, it was virtually unheard of outside spiritual circles. Now everyone is trying it. Even Goldman Sachs offers employees in-house courses on the practice. That’s a firm that regularly turns up in lists of the world’s least-respected corporations. What’s going on? 

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Tuesday
Aug062013

Delegation: the power of someone else

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Smart Vs dumb.

I’ve made some great decisions but also plenty that weren’t so great. What’s the difference between them?

Try this. Write down ten decisions, five smart, five dumb. They can be about anything, business, sport, personal. Then look for some common threads. Years ago, I did this on the back of a napkin.

This is what I found.

With smart ones, I knew what I was doing, was good at doing it, and sought help where I knew I needed it. Dumb ones were the opposite. I didn’t really know what I was doing, wasn’t good at it and was so afraid people would discover my lack of expertise I didn’t ask for advice. 

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Tuesday
Jun112013

Leadership? No Worries

Things to do about that fear stuff.

The deep end can be scary. When I was sixteen, I led an advance party to prepare the site for our annual cadet camp. Small beer, you would think. But not for me.

I was chosen because I’d performed well in other roles but this was different. When I assembled the team, I had no idea what I was doing. The main task was to create tent lines for about 300 cadets. I explained the job to the team. Then everything went quiet.

What got us started?

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