Friday, February 28, 2014

The resume that makes for a top executive

An excerpt:
If you were to create a mash-up profile of corporate America's most senior executives, it would unsurprisingly look something like this: A white man in his 50s with an MBA who has switched jobs every four years. 
Still, a new study published this week in the Harvard Business Review, which provides a snapshot over time of the demographics and career trajectories of Fortune 100 executives, shows how much the boardroom is definitely changing...
Read more in the Washington Post. (Thanks, Jordan)

GOP lawmaker accidentally tweets support for same-sex marriage

Read more in MSNBC. (Thanks, Tom)

This 4-Year-Old Makes Paper Dresses With Her Mom -- And They Keep Getting More Amazing

Read more in HuffPo. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Happy Workers, Healthy Bottom Line

Are there forms of compensation that are clearly “win-win” – worth more to workers than the cost to employers?

Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Alessia)

The Little Change That Will Transform Your Late-Night Work Sessions

An excerpt:
Enter f.lux, a little piece of software that will (literally) change the way you look at your computer screen at night. 
Here’s the gist: As the sun sets around you, f.lux will slowly change the coloring of your computer screen, turning the blue tones in the light more orange. Why does this matter? The blue light coming from your computer screen looks great during the day because it mimics natural sunlight. But at night when you’re relying on artificial light, it can be harsh on the eyes (and, as some research indicates, even disrupt your sleep cycle).
Read more in the Daily Muse.

The health hazards of sitting

"We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after a long TV binge. But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a U.S. adult? Many things, say four experts, who detailed a chain of problems from head to toe." Read more in the Washington Post.

Another Pepsi MAX & Jeff Gordon Prank

(Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

HBR Daily Stat: It Matters Which Avatar You Choose When Gaming

Research participants who had played a 5-minute computer game using a Superman avatar were subsequently kinder to other people, and those who had played as the evil Voldemort were less kind, say Gunwoo Yoon and Patrick T. Vargas of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After the computer game, the participants were instructed to provide an unspecified amount of chocolate and hot chili sauce to other people who they believed would be required to eat it all (untrue); those who had been “Superman” provided about twice as much chocolate as chili sauce, while those who had been “Voldemort” did the reverse.

Read more in the HBR Daily Stat.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Say “NO” more.

A couple of my favorite parts of the article:
The positive affect of saying NO on your personal life 
Do not fear the NO. ... The creative process is handicapped when you are playing dodge ball with bullshit you wish you had never committed to. 
Trust your gut, your brain will thank you. 
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life …Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.- Steve Jobs
.... Saying NO is not the equivalent of flipping a giant middle finger. It’s quite the opposite. It shows you have a vision, a plan, and an opinion.

Thanks, +Camille Ratliff 

Different Plans

By Brian Andreas of StoryPeople -- could not have put something so painful more beautifully. (Thanks, Becky)

Vote for Cassie's Design

Neat website concept, too, at Unbranded Designs. (Thanks, +Cassie Coravos)

Marigay McKee Is the New Master of Saks Fifth Avenue

The new president of the retail giant has arrived from London with a single-minded goal: to return America's iconic department store chain to glory.

Read more in the WSJ to learn her badass history. She's definitely a metrics person and sounds like she has strong business acumen. Looking forward to watching her grow the company. (Thanks, Ally)

Recline! Why "leaning in" is killing us.

Thought this was spot on  -- and probably why I think operations work is so important:
The long hours and pervasive crisis atmosphere that characterize most foreign-policy workplaces aren't signs that Very Important Work is being done by Very Important People -- they're just signs of poor management. Good managers, whether they supervise air-traffic controllers, auto workers, or the National Security Staff, recognize that human beings function best when they work in humane and flexible conditions.... 

The Full "Silicon Valley" HBO Trailer Is Here (And It's Awesome)

Reminds me of the "In Praise of Misfits" article. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Exxon CEO Profits Huge As America's Largest Natural Gas Producer-But Frack In His Own Backyard And He Sues

Oh the irony. Read more in Forbes. (Thanks, Tom)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

HBR Daily Stat: A Messy Environment Makes It Harder for You to Focus on a Task

In an experiment, people who sat by a messy desk that was scattered with papers felt more frustrated and weary and took nearly 10% longer to answer questions in a color-and-word-matching task, in comparison with those who were seated by a neatly arranged desk, say doctoral candidate Boyoun (Grace) Chae of the University of British Columbia and Rui (Juliet) Zhu of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. A disorganized environment appears to threaten people’s sense of personal control, and the threat depletes their ability to regulate themselves, the researchers say.

Read more in HBR.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HBR Daily Stat: When You’re Preparing for a Task, Say “You Can Do It,” not “I Can Do It”

"People who referred to themselves as “you” or by their own names while silently talking to themselves in preparation for a five-minute speech were subsequently calmer and more confident and performed better on the talk than people who had referred to themselves as “I” or “me” (3.6 versus 3.2 on a combined five-point scale, in the view of judges), says a team led by Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan. The research participants who talked to themselves in the second or third person also felt less shame afterward. By distancing us from ourselves, the use of the second and third person in internal monologues enables us to better regulate our emotions, the researchers say."

Read more in the HBR Daily Stat.

Powernaps and sleep deprivation according to Dilbert

+Brandon Kearse: "This is how I felt for most of 2010-2013." (Thanks, for the find!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Science of Why We Kiss

Read more in BrainPickings. (Thanks, +Lucy McKinstry)

When You Fall in Love, This Is What Facebook Sees

"During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple."

Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, +Peter Franklin)

Constant Task Switching

So very true: "I know I’m losing focus when I’m constantly jumping around from task to task."

Read more in ZenHabits.

Love, Actually

"Teaching Generation Y the Basics of a Strong Relationship." Another great article referencing Brene Brown's work. Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, Peter)

Friday, February 14, 2014

HBR Daily Stat: Why You Spend More Hours at Work When Your Relationship Is Going Well

Didn't expect this:
Do people in bad relationships escape to the relative sanctity of the office and devote more time to work, as has been hypothesized? Just the opposite, says a team led by Dana Unger of the University of Mannheim in Germany. People put more time in at work when their intimate relationships are going well, cutting back in order to invest in their relationships when things aren’t smooth at home, the researchers found in a diary study of 154 dual-earner couples. A healthy relationship at home gives people emotional, cognitive, and physical vigor, which allows them to put in more hours at work.
Read more in HBR Daily Stat.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?

Read more in NYT Magazine. (Thanks, Lucy)

How Norway Scores So Much Olympic Gold

"If Norway Wins Medal Count at 2014 Sochi Winter Games, One Region's Culture and Lifestyle May Explain Why."

Read more in the WSJ. (Thanks, Lucy)

7 Ways to Sharpen Your Focus

Dan Goleman writes the 7 ways in crease focus in HuffPo.

  1. Manage your settings in a way that you can purposefully avoid distractions of email popups/ mobile message tones etc; else  they will manage your attention
  2. Each time your mind wanders, tell yourself that you are distracted. This activates the brain circuitry and makes it easier to get back to what you were supposed to do
  3. Build up your mind muscle by way of daily meditation focusing on your breath. In the mental gym, the more you focus your mind wandering and take efforts to bring it back to focus on your breath, the stronger your concentration becomes
  4. Focus on a few set of things only and deploy a relaxation method. This helps in reducing stress which often is the cause of lack of focus
  5. Focus on getting a good sleep to reboot your brain, if necessary adopt a short mid day nap
  6. Eat high protein and low carbs at breakfast and lunch. Protein become brain's fuel slowly giving steady energy to remain focused for long
  7. Sipping caffeine slowly allows a more steady dose for long and results on longer period of focus

He's also written a book on the topic, and there is a review in the NYT. and Getty Aim to Change Women’s Portrayal in Stock Photos

Fantastic movement:
... The partnership comes during a renewed national conversation about women and work, spurred in part by the success of Ms. Sandberg’s book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s possible presidential campaign. Its message has the potential to reach a wide area of society, through Getty’s 2.4 million customers who pull from its library of 150 million images. 
There is an appetite for the images: The three most-searched terms in Getty’s image database are “women,” “business” and “family.” 
“One of the quickest ways to make people think differently about something is to change the visuals around it,” said Cindy Gallop, who started the United States branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the advertising agency. “The thing about these images is they work on an unconscious level to reinforce what people think people should be like.”
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

The Paradox of Routine and Productivity

How to establish productivity and get results. It's a 7 minute read in Medium. Love using the Pomodoro Technique. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Google Easter Eggs

YouTube Easter Eggs

"I Tried to Quit & It’s Too Hard!"

Leo from ZenHabits has a good article on overcoming addictions:
You might have uttered the title of this post before — I know I did when I tried to quit smoking. And when I considered giving up meat, cheese, sugar, and more. 
Quitting something can seem incredibly hard, so much so that we don’t even want to put ourselves through the suffering. 
Have you tried giving up alcohol? Marijuana? Biting your nails? Complaining? Cigarettes? Junk food? 
I can confirm that it’s hard to quit an addiction, but there are several things that stand in our way:
  1. The physical addiction — this is hard but it only lasts a few days. Fortunately, I can tell you that if you really put your mind to it, you can do anything hard for a few days.
  2. The reliance on it as a coping mechanism — this is a problem because we’re so used to using the addiction as a crutch when we’re stressed or sad or things are difficult or we need to socialize. Fortunately, there are plenty of other healthier ways to cope. 
  3. You don’t believe you can do it. This is the worst one, because if you give in to this obstacle, the other two are not conquerable. Fortunately, this one is entirely self-caused, and so the solution is entirely within our hands.

Stop Making Plans: How Goal-Setting Limits Rather Than Begets Our Happiness and Success

Maria writes about how people use goals and to-do lists as a way to wrestle with uncomfortable uncertainty in BrainPickings. Leo from ZenHabits has a similar article about 'no goals.'

Mixed feelings about having zero goals at all -- but think it is important to embrace uncertainty and be flexible with goal-making. (Thanks, +Lucy McKinstry)

A Peaceful Death

"Aborting my son was not about when life begins, but how to end it humanely." Author Phoebe Day Danziger courageously opens up about an incredibly difficult life decision.

Read more in Slate. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Twitter's Racial Diversity Becomes Plum Selling Point

Read more in the WSJ. (Thanks, Tom)

A Brief History of Merlot, by Gundlach Bundschu

(Thanks, +Katherine Stiner)

Want to Streamline Your Home? Get a System

Reduce stress and free up more time for the things that really matter by establishing specific procedures for everyday tasks.

Great article -- and it made me laugh. For all the other operations-focused people, one way to bring your work skillz into the home.

Never thought about this aspect of copy machines

(Thanks, Mom)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Little Girl Steals The Show From Nadal, Stiller and Del Potro

Rafael Nadal and Ben Stiller play some hilarious points in a doubles exhibition match against Juan Martin Del Potro and a young female fan at the BNP Paribas Showdown 2013 in New York. (Thanks, +Julia Chou)

Ted Gonder Strives To End Income Inequality

Go Moneythink! Fantastic video on Ted and Moneythink's mission.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Answering Work Emails On Your Phone At Night Makes You Bad At Work The Next Day

An "always on" work style may make you less responsible than you thought. Here's the Centered Leadership summary:
Being able to manage energy is core to being a Centered Leader, but how many of us have been guilty of checking email on our phones just before going to bed?  According to new research coming out of Michigan State University, people who monitored their smart phones  for business purposes after 9 p.m. (as distinct from computers or laptops) were more tired and less engaged at work the following day.   
The researchers had a couple of theories that could explain the phenomenon. The first revolves around "ego depletion" - we only have so much attention we're capable of giving and need alone-time to recharge. Missing that crucial rest period in the evening results in less focus and more lethargy the next day. 
Their other hypothesis is that smartphones disrupt sleep. Many of us sleep with them next to our heads, so when they buzz or light up with new messages, they defer our dreams and REM cycles. Lack of sleep also contributes to lower glucose levels and metabolic rates in the brain's prefrontal cortex, an area linked to self-control.   
So tonight, turn your phone off early, you'll feel better in the morning!
Read more in FastCo. (Thanks, Grace)

Engaged Feedback Checklist

Loved this checklist that Brene Brown made about when you're ready to give feedback.

Stars and Stripes Official Music Video - duoW

Music video by duoW (Arianna Warsaw-Fan and Meta Weiss), feat. Carrie St. Louis, Beni Strebel, and Michael Perkins, performing The Stars and Stripes Forever, arr. Bruce Dukov, BMI, from duoW's debut album, Entendre. Dir. Max Strebel.

(Woo, Andover alums, Arianna, Meta and Carrie!)

Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love"

The 'Tiger Mom' Superiority Complex

A new book from Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld seeks to explain why some groups succeed in America, and some fail. But when does cultural pride cross over into racism?

Read more in TIME. Also check out Amy Chua's NYT article on 'what drives success.'

What Drives Success?

Core thesis:
... It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.
Read more in the NYT. (Thanks, +John Griffin and Kevin)

The Mindful Revolution

Finding peace in a stressed-out, digitally dependent culture may just be a matter of thinking differently. Read more in TIME. (Thanks, +Katherine Stiner)

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .