Hot Topic Friday: April 19

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Respect

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Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.

Hot Topic 1: Phone Love!

Source: New York Times,  Samantha Irby, comedy writer.

What it’s About: Irby writes a brilliant, somewhat tongue-in-cheek article about how we love our phones in spite of everything we know to be harmful about our relationship with them. The following excerpt is a taste of her earthy perspective: “I have long understood that I am a tiny, powerless cog in the wheel of modern America, plus I’m not a hacker, so what do I even know about keeping things hidden? Is it even possible for me, a regular person who cannot figure out how to program the television remote, to circumvent the eyes of all of the faceless technology corporations analyzing my information? What am I going to do, cheat Amazon? Outsmart Google? No, I’m going to do what everyone else does: enter my credit card information when prompted and get that thing I need two days from when I decided I needed… Yes, your phone is potentially hazardous to whatever semblance of security you might have. Yes, there are many medical professionals who would attest to the deleterious effect modern technology has on the brains and interpersonal skills of adults. But hear me out: Maybe it’s worth it?…”

Why it’s Important: For those of us who design experiences in the world of work, I believe we need to pay very close attention to Irby’s honest self-reflection. In spite of all the hazardous issues to our security and physical/mental well being, we are likely to increase our love affair with our phones. 5G, Moore’s law, and a host of other exponential technology and content explosion will make us even more “one.” It’s our job to embrace and humanize for the greater good, rather than wish for a breakup.

Hot Topic 2: 996.ICU, Have We Lost Our Way Regarding “Success?”

Source: Reuters, ARYNEWS.tv.

What it’s About: Alibaba Group founder and billionaire, Jack Ma, defended the grueling overtime work culture at many of China’s tech companies, calling it a “huge blessing” for young workers. In a speech to Alibaba employees, Ma defended the industry’s “996” work schedule, which refers to the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week. “I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” he said in remarks posted on the company’s WeChat account. ‘Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996,’ Ma said. ‘If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?… Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?’”

Why it’s Important: This 996 perspective as an expectation and assumption for so-called “success,” may roll off the tongue of a billionaire a little too glibly. This month, activists on Microsoft’s GitHub, the online code repository site, launched a project titled “996.ICU” where tech workers listed Alibaba among the companies ranked as having some of the worst working conditions. 996 is even being questioned in China, where an opinion piece published in a state newspaper argued that 996 violated China’s Labor Law, which stipulates that average work hours cannot exceed 40 hours per week. I think thoughtful leaders have to challenge the narrow definition of “success,” and confront the assumptions underlying 996. At what cost? For whose benefit? Let’s have a rich and meaningful conversation on this. Jack Ma offers just one world view. Let’s hear others’.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Montemajor ‘Quattronotti’ Appassimento Special Edition Puglia Italy 2017.  

Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

 “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – 
Anais Nin

[Cecil is the mascot for LorneRubis.com] 

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

Hot Topic Friday: April 12 Newsletter

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Personal leadership Respect

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Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.

Hot Topic 1: Modern Coaching for New Leaders.

Source: Forbes, Susan Galer.

What it’s About: Forbes published an interesting article featuring a leadership coaching platform called Sounding Board. The startup uses a proprietary “Sound Coaching” methodology, assigning coaches (trained contractors) to executives, based on a six-point matching process. According to the company, Sounding Board has a 95 percent success rate on first matches to date. The method also collects feedback from managers, peers and others regarding development areas for the executive, aligning information with the company’s goals and values. Executives can chat with their coach anytime on their desktop or mobile device, and through collaborative social apps. The relationships are typically 12 to 18 months. A dashboard tracks executive feedback on their coaching sessions, including progress against their individual plan.

Why it’s Important: The idea of having an executive coach used to be the privilege of the C- Suite. And when I started my career, the idea of a coach was unheard of. However, modern leaders at ALL levels are now looking for one-on-one coaching. Also, more young leaders are stepping up to leadership roles at much earlier stages in their careers. At whatever point, leaders are incredibly pressured to get results while developing themselves and others. This is another example were platforms are providing new value and scale to the “masses.”

Hot Topic 2: The Starbucks of Yoga and the (Down) Side Hustle.

Source: The New York Times, Alice Hines.

What it’s About: This is a fascinating article about the self-proclaimed “Starbucks of Yoga,” CorePower. The company describes itself as a mission-driven fitness company dedicated to changing lives, all while expanding to new cities every year. Today, CorePower has 200 locations in 23 states and Washington, D.C. A key part of its business model is selling customers on the idea of becoming yoga instructors. CorePower offers a full training package that may or may not end up in an employment possibility. CorePower has also faced four federal labor lawsuits, one of which is still pending. In the latest, about 1,200 teachers have signed on to a collective-action suit that argues that CorePower pays them less than minimum wage because of the amount of off-the-clock work they are required to do. As Hines’ article notes: “‘We believe it’s without merit and are defending the company aggressively and appropriately,’ said Eric Kufel, the C.E.O. of CorePower, in a statement.”

Why it’s Important: This is another example where companies and independent contractors are relying on the side hustle to make a business model work. And these new business models, perhaps reflected in the lawsuits faced by CorePower, are challenging many assumptions regarding the relationship between employer and worker. Alissa Quart, the author of “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America,” underlines the following point on this situation: “Ultimately, like so much of this lexicon, the ‘side hustle’ describes the overworked outsiders to privilege, who are forced into informal vocations by the absence of a legitimate economy. They are then told that suffering is valiant and also groovy. In a recent viral BuzzFeed piece describing millennials as the ‘burnout generation,’ side hustles are listed as one of the main culprits.” We need to have an ongoing conversation on this.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Goretti Sagrantino di Montafalco 2011

Picture and ratings provided by Vivino. 

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” – Mary Oliver

[Cecil is the mascot for LorneRubis.com]

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.