Effective leadership is dependent on new ideas and necessary change. Links connects you to leadership articles and discussions that speak of vital evolution of individual and team performance at the workplace and the world.

At times, you may be inspired. At times, you may disagree.

Enjoy!




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Mind Styles Research Supports Complementary Team Members

Helen Fisher notes that personality styles affect relationships, including team relationships. Her questionnaires are seen by some as a new and exciting disruptive form of a personality test. Her findings are based on brain chemistry.

Her survey is based on two areas:

·     Culture is influenced from external input during the life span, and

·     Temperament comes from constitutional genes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Her field of study is how personality is linked to many of these internal factors.

People who are dopamine system expressers are curious, creative, and flexible. Those who express serotonin are social, risk-averse and want to belong. Those who express testosterone are direct and assertive and are drawn to analytics and rules like engineering, music, and IT. Those expressing estrogen/oxytocin are intuitive, empathetic, and long-term thinkers – have good verbal and social skills.

The amazing thing about this work is that with these new methods, looking at qualities of a person can be less binary and more like concurrent “volume controls” that can be turned up or down for each individual in these four basic areas. So, if a team member is risk-averse, this is not a weakness but is based on having a stronger serotonin system. Such a person also fosters more team connections.

It turns out that diversity of temperament is very valuable for higher team performance. This is very different or additive to our current understanding of diversity – and Fisher favors a team of complements of temperament. The conservative serotonin expresser is compatible to exploring dopamine expressers. It also explains why someone can be both extroverted and introverted, which past tests could not explain well.

Her work also shows how people from different parts of the globe can have genetic predisposition to different temperament systems. So, entire countries and organizations can take on specific temperaments.

There may be gender difference associated with high energy testosterone and greater listening with estrogen. However, since each of us have the array of the four systems, the model does better at explaining a more nuanced description of personality than more “all or nothing” theories from the past.

Please read the article and see if you like this new thinking about personality and complements on teams vs. positive and negative traits holding up to your scrutiny.

 

Enjoy the day.

Joe

If You Understand How the Brain Works, You Can Reach Anyone

By Alison Beard in conversation with biological anthropologist Helen Fisher

Harvard Business Review March-April 2017, pages 60-62

 

Simultaneous Low Intensity Exercise Helps Learning Last

 

Two studies have looked at the link of exercise and learning.  One study compared learning among 81 participants in 3 scenarios: after sitting quietly for 30 minutes, after gently biking for 30 minutes, and the third group during biking with mild intensity for 30 minutes. The third group (learning while biking) did best on short-term and long-term learning.

Another study found different results in two groups of only 11 participants. The single group sat quietly for 30 minutes while learning and then the next day exercised intensely for 30 minutes while learning.  Short-term learning was best in the sitting group, but there was no difference found in long-term recall.

One expert suggested that if you have an exam in a few hours, sit quietly as you study for short term recall.  If your exam is the next day, then studying during mild intensity might be a good idea to try.

What do you think?  Maybe we should all do this experiment. Learning during exercise is a form of multi-tasking which, while inefficient during a high intensity workout, has been found to optimize learning when simultaneously carried out at a mild intensity.  Perhaps testing out the author’s finding is worth a shot. Sit on that stationary bike in your basement as you study for an exam?

 

Enjoy your day.

Joe

 

How Exercise Can Help Us Learn by Gretchen Reynolds

New York Times, August 7, 2013

Goals for a Strong Heart in the Fall and Winter Seasons

In 2010, experts from the American Heart Association identified seven key behaviors that can optimize and protect heart health:

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat right
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Lower your cholesterol
  5. Know your blood sugar
  6. Maintain a healthy weight
  7. Don’t smoke

Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, representing the American Heart Association, says this list of 7 actions above is the closest medicine we have to achieving the mythical “Fountain of Youth.”

He emphasizes the following tips:

  • Get regular exercise – Both aerobic and resistance training and even short workouts help (i.e. calisthenics, push ups and sit-ups, walking stairs at work, walking around the neighborhood).
  • Avoid high blood pressure – Lose weight, watch salt and sugar intake, etc.
  • Know and lower your cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) – Eat fatty fish, nuts, tofu, fruit, olive oil, beans, vegetables, and reduce carbohydrate intake.
  • Lower blood sugar – Get a good night’s sleep, reduce extra pounds, lower alcohol intake, and follow your fasting blood sugar with your PCP, etc.
  • Eat healthy food – Eat fruits, vegetables, seafood, yogurt, organic foods, olive oil, etc. and avoid sodas, fruit juices, pasta, bread, processed meats, and trans fats, etc.
  • Don’t smoke – Quitting will immediately lower your risk of heart disease by up to 50 percent
  • Get a dog –It keeps you moving while you are loving and being loved.
  • Reduce stress in your life and work – Chronic mental and emotional stress takes a major toll on your heart.
  • Meditate – Evidence shows that meditating can blunt the body’s maladaptive response to stress.
  • Go regularly to your dentist – Studies have found that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease by 24 to 34 percent.
  • Lower alcohol intake – If going to drink alcohol, drink red wine in moderation – it raises HDL cholesterol, the healthy kind.
  • Walk in nature – Studies show that walking in nature can lead to benefits such as lower blood pressure and lower stress hormones.

 

Based on the heart-healthy conclusions above from the American Heart Association, which ones are you willing to include in your wellness regimen?  You might want to tape this on your fridge!

Enjoy the day!

Joe

7 Habits for a Healthy Heart by Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, Well Column, September 28, 2017.

 

 

Leadership is Hard

Sarah Thompson, chief executive and the subject of this week’s Link, sets the standard for leaders to:

 

  • Be selfless
  • Decide what needs to be done and do it
  • Think how they can make the whole team better
  • Do a great job
  • Set outcomes and give people more and more freedom to achieve them
  • Give people clear feedback in the moment so they can pivot
  • Validate their own energy and do what they need to do quickly
  • Hire people with stamina and commitment to the team and organizational goals

 

What else do you think a leader needs to do?

Enjoy your day!

Joe

 

Sarah Thompson of Droga5 on the Selfless Nature of Leadership

By Adam Bryant, New York Times, August 25, 2017

Changing Throughout Life

Can people change after middle age? Obviously. The right question is: Will you change, or will you remain stuck in your ways?

 

There are artists who start their work in their 50s or 60s, and still achieve greatness. There are politicians who only run for the first time in middle age.  There are runners who run marathons for the first time at 65, and there are people who begin to volunteer in ways they couldn’t have imagined.

 

What do you hope to accomplish in the next-phase of your life?  Do you want to give back in ways you never have before?

 

Or do you want to actually check-off a bucket list activity that you dream of completing?

 

Keep changing, and enjoy the day!

 

Joe

Can People Change After Middle Age? 

David Brooks, New York Times, Op-Ed,  August 4, 2017

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