(Artist, poet, and MoMA security supervisor extraordinaire Chet Gold wears a custom jumpsuit by Ariel Adkins inspired by his favorite artwork: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.)
Twenty-five articles that made me a better manager this year
The articles, infographics, blog posts below were some of the things that supported me this year in addition to the random sparks of joy that I find on the internet. Cue the man in the waterlilies jumpsuit.
- How to lead when your team is exhausted and you are too
“Personal resilience in the second wave is a different story because it relies on psychological stamina. Psychological stamina rests on more deep-seated emotional patterns shaped by our individual needs, histories, and experiences. Stamina is required because, frankly, the second wave is not exciting at all. People report feeling bored, disconnected, and unnerved. In contrast to the skin-deep reactions of the first wave, the second wave requires perseverance, endurance, and even defiance against the randomness, gloom, and burden of the pandemic.”
- Define effective criteria before making critical decisions about employees.
- Align all decision makers
- Engage others in being consistent and equitable
“No one wants to stay a beginner. We all want to get better. But even as our skills improve, and our knowledge and experience grow, what I hope to encourage is the preservation, or even cultivation, of that spirit of the novice: the naive optimism, the hypervigilant alertness that comes with novelty and insecurity, the willingness to look foolish, and the permission to ask obvious questions – the unencumbered beginner’s mind.”
“At a high level, our research showed that achieving better balance between professional and personal priorities boils down to a combination of reflexivity — or questioning assumptions to increase self-awareness — and intentional role redefinition. Importantly, our research suggests that this is not a one-time fix, but rather, a cycle that we must engage in continuously as our circumstances and priorities evolve. “ The cycle includes five steps including “pause and denormalize.”
This article was a standout for me and will be a piece I will keep sharing with newer employees.
Two nuggets: Do your homework and find the best person at the best time.
9. The warrior and the caregiver – we inhabit both during the pandemic.
In this year of disappointments, this article hit the mark for me:
You may want to consider landing on a different goal and seeing the silver lining.
These include: withdrawing from your supports and failing to use your subconscious as a tool.
12. Should that be a meeting be an email? A flow chart.
13, Top ten ways to get some rest (regardless of whether you are introverted or extroverted)
- Meditation or practising mindfulness
- Watching TV
- Taking a shower or bath
- Doing nothing in particular
- Listening to music
- Being alone
- Being in a natural environment
“Actually, I think now is the perfect time for a more mature gratitude, one that doesn’t pretend that everything is fantastic—because it never is—but which recognizes the good fortune many of us are enjoying, while at the same time being mindful of the challenges that remain. Holding both of these truths is the essence of equanimity.”
“The truth is pretty simple: All we do, all we ever do, is trade one set of problems for another.
Problems are a feature. They’re the opportunity to see how we can productively move forward. Not to a world with no problems at all, but to a situation with different problems, ones that are worth dancing with.”
“It turns out that the people with the potential to benefit the most from a coach are often the most hesitant precisely because of what coaching involves.
Talking about our challenges. Setting goals. Acknowledging that we can get better. Eagerly seeking responsibility…
And yet we avert our eyes and hesitate. It might be because having a coach might be interpreted as a sign of weakness. And what if we acknowledge our challenges but fail to overcome them? It could be that we don’t want to cause change to happen, or that we’re worried that we will”.
17. How to deal with frustration A two minute video from Dan Pink – just take a pause.
Focusing on professional growth and opening up to a trusted colleague.
How do you know you can get through hard things?
“Because you’ve done them before. You ended a toxic friendship. You stood up for yourself in your family. You asked for a raise. You raised a teenager. You bravely told your partner how you felt. You applied for a job you weren’t sure you’d get. You blended two families together. You got an A in that awful professor’s class. You told your truth. You dealt with a health scare. You wrangled two toddlers through an airport. You got yourself out of debt. You moved forward, even in the face of horrific grief.”
“Take five minutes or so to write out the story you’re telling yourself, and then dig deeper. If the story is that if you don’t send out those last few emails, you’ll be behind tomorrow, ask yourself: Then what? Perhaps the answer is that then you’ll feel rushed to get your proposal in by the end of the week. Ask yourself again: Then what? Keep digging until you get to the core story. It will often be something like, “I’ll lose my job and then lose everything.” Once you’ve reached this point, ask yourself: Is it true?”
“Actual community isn’t like Triple-A — you can’t buy a membership. But it’s more likely to happen if you cultivate circumstances for it to flourish.
You can show up for others, which can mean so many different things. You can talk to people you don’t know, which can take many other different forms. You can give alms willingly and without expectations. But most of these things involve taking time away from the concentration on your own to-do list. Community is showing up to weed the library garden even though it’s on a Saturday and you like a certain routine for your Saturday. It is actually joining the volunteer fire department. It is committing to a two-hour-a-week volunteer spot even though it feels weird because you’ve learned to dedicate all hours to work, and then blocking it off the same way you would block off any other commitment. It is offering assistance before it is asked for, even if it means camoflaging it in the form of “I’m going to the store, can I pick anything up for you?” It is having conversations that go nowhere even when you have dinner to start. It is unlearning so much of what many of us have taught ourselves about making every moment of our lives as efficient and optimized as possible.”