The Value of Short-Term Goals

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A couple weeks ago I ran the Sundown Marathon in Singapore. I last ran that race in 2014, and had figured I probably wouldn’t run it again. Only about 6 weeks beforehand, though, I decided to go run 42.195km through Singapore, starting at 1am. Why would I do that? For the last ten years I […]

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It’s OK to Change Your Mind

A lot of leaders seem to have trouble making decisions (which is unfortunate, when you consider that’s pretty much what they get paid to do). One reason people don’t like to make decisions is that they see a decision as a point of no return, and they hesitate to block off all other options unless […]

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That’s Why It’s Anonymous

In Kuala Lumpur last week our team met with a software developer who recently had a strange experience: His office — the Malaysia branch of a large multinational — has a workforce of about 15 people. They recently completed an anonymous climate survey that examined how people felt about their workplace. This office ranked lowest […]

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Minimize Uncertainty

It has been 20 years since someone first pointed out that we are living in a VUCA world. What started as a military term describing the post-Cold War environment has been adopted to describe the competitive markets most companies face today. The “U” in VUCA stands for “uncertainty,” and ironically, the one certain thing about […]

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Things Work in Japan

The Designing Leaders team is in Japan for the next week, with stops in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. It’s been over a year since we last sent people here, and nearly 10 years since one of us first visited, and so as you can imagine there are plenty of things that have changed. One thing […]

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Disengaged Employees Aren’t Helpful

Just because your employees are sticking with you for now does not mean they’re happy; it may just mean they are afraid to jump out of their comfort zone and look for something else. Ultimately, though, they may decide to leave, or take other actions that hurt your organization. Employee engagement — measured by such […]

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Never Give Up

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Marathon runners have many sayings, one of which is “The race truly begins when you are ready to quit.” The point here is that when you feel like giving up, that’s when you need to dig deep and call upon all the strength you have. Nobody wants to stop 10 kilometers from the Finish, so […]

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There Will Always Be Those People

Talking recently with an experienced employee in Malaysia’s creative industries, he told us about a certain type of person he had been dealing with lately. As he moved from assignment to assignment he kept encountering supervisors who seemed closed-minded and who had attitudes suggesting that they, and only they, knew everything, and didn’t want to […]

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Don’t Jinx Me

Tomorrow your Facebook news feed may be filled with videos, photos, and status updates warning of bad luck. Yes, Friday the 13th strikes a chord with so many people, for absolutely no rational reason. It just does. Superstitions abound in the world; athletes are well known for following certain rituals to ensure a great performance. […]

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It’s Tough to Build a Team

In “Building Effective Teams Isn’t Rocket Science, But It’s Just as Hard,” former Campbell Soup CEO and president Douglas Conant reminds us that putting teams together might be easy, but putting effective teams together is hard. His four key suggestions are: – Hire Highly Effective Team Members (so when you hire employees, look for teamwork […]

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