You are out running in the park. Instead of your mind thinking about the office tasks on Monday, your attention is focused on the act of running and nothing else. You can feel the ground beneath your feet, the tension in your legs and how you are feeling as you breathe in and out. You are somehow completely focused on this and nothing else seems to matter. Suddenly you notice you have been running for twice as long as usual and you are not even tired.
This article is based on the concept of self-deception in the book Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute.
I like to conduct this activity in some training courses where I ask the participants to rate themselves as leaders on a scale of 1 to 10. I ask them to write down the score they give to themselves on a piece of paper without showing the score to others. When everyone is done, I ask each individual to tell me their score and then plot this on a line on the board that goes from 1 to 10. 90% of the responses are usually between 7-9. This is people basically saying they’re very good but they hold back just a wee bit to show some humility by not scoring themselves as 10. You may find the odd outlier – a 3 or a 10 – but this is quite rare.
As I point out how all the responses lie within a very narrow zone, the participants start to laugh as they realize that there is a coincidence, a pattern here. I then ask them to do the same exercise but this time imagining how their colleagues would score them. This time, the zone is not 7-9, it is more like 4-6. The question I then ask them is “what is this distance between the 7-9 and 4-6 due to?” The answer of course is self-deception.
This is one of those articles you simply have to read. Arthur Rosenfeld, a Tai Chi Master, provides an amazing insight on how sometime it might be better not to rely on our instinctive and primitive emotions. Based on his article in the Huffington Post Blog
Just before Christmas of 2007, almost exactly a year ago, I steered into a Starbucks drive-thru line for a cup of tea on my way to teach a morning tai chi lesson. There were a few cars in line, and I got in behind them. When my turn came I gave my order at the billboard menu and moved up as far as I could while waiting patiently for the cars in front of me to get through the cashier line. While the South Florida weather would probably would have felt tropical to much of the rest of the country, I was a bit chilled and was looking forward to my hot drink.
Based on an article in Harvard Business Review by Roger Martin
Strategy is sometimes made out to be much more complex than it actually is. This is usually because of too much focus on complex-sounding tools like environmental scans, SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, financial modeling etc. Another issue seems to be that strategy is thought to be about some conceptual and deep into the future stuff. Building a strategy does not have to be a complex approach. We can simplify strategy by thinking of it as a set of answers to 5 interlinked questions in a specific sequence…
There are a number of facts about the human brain – our mind – that are not well-known. There are also a number of myths that have been around for a long time and need to be dispelled. Here are some mind facts based on research from neuroscience that can help managers to appreciate how the brain actually works and to use this knowledge to advantage for personal and organizational development.
For most of us – other than the 2% of people who are really successful at what they do – there is a big challenge we face every day. We like to dream about what we want to become or what we want to have in the future but we can’t seem to take action. We have ideas but we can’t execute. As a human species, we are essentially lazy – we seek reward without working for it. So what is the solution? How does one get better at following up by taking action?
In an article published in the Harvard Business Review in July/August 1999, the leadership guru and the author of the best-selling book Good to Great, Jim Collins, wrote about something he termed as catalytic mechanisms. Catalytic mechanisms are mechanisms used in organizations to create a compelling alignment between a business and its strategy to differentiate itself.