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.


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Millennials Weigh in on Parenting

More than 82% of children born each year are born to Millennial mothers. While they parent in greater numbers, Millennials are actually introducing parenting innovations. One mother developed an app for breastfeeding because many of the existing one’s were built by fathers.

Because of Google, Millennial parents feel overwhelmed by parenting, but at the same time they know more about development than prior generations.  However, they also feel harshly judged by others as they sometimes create social media profiles for their babies before or right after the birth.

A big change for Millennial couples is that young fathers regard being involved with their children as very positive masculine behavior.

Many Millennial parents don’t have much money so often turn to multiple jobs and frequently get financial assistance from parents.

Four in ten Millennials married since 2010 have a spouse who is from a different religious group. In addition, many Millennials decide not to practice their religion of birth.

Millennials believe they are having kids while everything is unsettled in their lives.  This is different than they had hoped.

What do you think of Millennials as a group?  What about as parents?


Enjoy the day.



Millennials Put Their Stamp on Parenting by Bruce Feiler

New York Times, This Life Column, November 5, 2017.

Keep it Simple While Bleeding and Coming Back

At times, leadership wisdom is written into film scripts. One example is from a 2016 film called Bleed for This starring Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart. The film is based on a true story of the boxer Vinny Pazienza. The story comes from his amazing comeback after a serious automobile accident resulting in a broken neck. Against all odds, Pazienza came back to beat Roberto Duran twice.

Here are some of the lines from the movie regarding how someone can achieve a nearly impossible goal:

  • A reporter asks Pazienza: “What’s the truth?” (regarding his success in beating the great Roberto Duran).
  • Pazienza says: “I had a lot of help.” (Family, friends, and his trainer of course)
  • “Filled with promises when most turn out to be lies, you can’t rely on anyone,” he adds.
  • “The biggest lie they tell over and over again to get me to give up is – ‘It’s not that simple Vinnie.’ ”
  • “So, what’s the truth?” the reporter repeats.
  • Vinnie gives his final answer: “That it is.”
  • The boxer adds, “That if you just do the thing that they tell you you can’t – then it’s done. You realize it is that simple, and it always was.”

Now that’s wisdom about simplicity and goal completion.  It always was and always will be.

What helps you complete a challenging goal?


Enjoy your day.



Bleed for This.  Starring Miles Teller.  2016 Film made by Open Road Films. Written and directed by Ben Younger.

Hidden Agendas When It Comes to a Definition of Diversity

Last week, I wrote TheLink about Alison Beard’s HBR article regarding a new assessment tool that looked at the biology behind different types of personality styles.  I was interested in the new method of looking at the characteristics of team members.  Then I read a New York Times Op-Ed (linked below) by Bari A. Williams, and was surprised to learn that an approach like Beard’s can be used by industries like tech to “re-set” the definition of diversity to alter criteria to include white men with different cognitive styles.  This odd definition was actually stated by a vice president of diversity at Apple, Denise Young Smith, and went on to cause an uproar on the internet.  Ms. Smith went on to correct herself: “Understanding that diversity includes women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and all underrepresented minorities.”

But, author Bari Williams adds that her concern is that this new concept of “cognitive diversity” is catching on in the tech industry.  Google calls this new definition: “viewpoint diversity.” Little did I realize, before reading Williams’ Op-Ed, that Beard’s work can now help open the door and pave the road for industries to ignore the situation of marginalized people. Beard’s research seemed so avant-garde. I was mistaken.

What do you think?  What is your definition of diversity and inclusion?


Enjoy the day.



Diversity is Not in Your Head By Bari A. Williams

New York Times, Op-Ed, October 17, 2017


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.


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.



How Exercise Can Help Us Learn by Gretchen Reynolds

New York Times, August 7, 2013

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