Hot Topic Friday: June 14

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my June 14 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: When You Make a Big Mistake is Your Career Screwed?

Source: The New York Times.

What It’s About? This superb article explores what happens when we screw up at work (and we all will). We usually make a bigger deal out of it than it is. and the author offers the following practical guidance: “The first step to correcting a monumental blunder is to be honest and critical with yourself and to acknowledge that it was indeed a mistake. The second step is even more crucial: Accept that it was a mistake, but don’t allow it to define you or your self-worth” Then move forward by embracing what’s in the way, is the way.

Why It’s Important: Both individuals and organizations can progress by recognizing and accepting the wonderful authenticity of human failure. We all make mistakes, and very rarely (if you look at the statistics), are they the end or derailment of a career. In my 40 plus years of experience, I honestly cannot recall when a mistake unilaterally ruined a career unless an illegal or egregious, immoral act was involved. Most times, good intention underscores a mistake. To create highly innovative, adaptive organizations, management’s constructive approach to dealing with blunders is important. However, we as individuals also would benefit from a growth and non-judgmental mindset. What if after all mistakes we just became fiercely accountable and curious to learn fast?

Hot Topic 2: Is Empathy Truly Valued or Mushy Silicon Valley Crap?

Source: Harvard Business Review.

What It’s About: Based on recent research, only 20 percent of U.S. employers offered empathy training for managers. Yet, in a survey of 150 CEOs, over 80 percent recognized empathy as key to success. Why the gap? Jamil Zaki, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of The War For Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, notes that empathetic workplaces tend to enjoy stronger collaboration, less stress, greater morale, and their employees will bounce back more quickly from difficult moments such as layoffs. Still, despite their efforts, many leaders struggle to actually make caring part of their organizational culture. In fact, there’s often a rift between the culture executives say they want and the one they actually have.

Why It’s Important: Compassion and empathy are such important values to espouse at the top and practiced by all. As Zaki describes in his book, people conform not just to others’ bad behaviors, but also adhere to kind and productive norms. His research also demonstrates that empathy is contagious: People “catch” each others’ care and altruism. To build empathic cultures, leaders can begin by identifying connectors, and recruiting them for help champion the cause. In this case, listen to those top CEOs. We can not assume people know how to be compassionate and empathetic based on their ability to define it. Teach it. Practice it.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 1 California N.V. 

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world.” – Dan Pink

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: June 7

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my June 7 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: Learning from a Drag Queen.

Source: The New York Times.

What It’s About: This is a raw and important story about the challenges we face being our true and authentic selves. The author, a gay man, married with a young son, experiences an event and becomes aware of a small inner wish that his son “would not be like me, that he would blend in and not suffer the way I did. My scar is rooted in anger and fear — and shame, the part I thought was gone but is still there.

Why It’s Important: A drag queen (a key subject throughout the story), gives the author simple and practical advice, “just listen to your son.” None of us should feel the need to hide who we really are. The author goes on to reflect: “There’s no guarantee what kind of person my boy will become, what his dreams will be, and I can’t expect his path to align with mine. I can’t protect him from prejudice. He will have scars. But I can choose not to pass my scar on to him.” Let’s work hard not to pass on our scars, and let’s learn more about being allies so none of us need to hide.

Hot Topic 2: The Connection Between Resilience and Inclusion

Source: Forbes

What It’s About: Forbes has published an important article about the connection between diversity, inclusion and resilience. The article notes we have this illusion where we mistake signifiers of surface differences, like skin color, language, religion, lack of religion, geography, etc. as true difference. However, the author points out that true difference doesn’t dwell in the surface stuff. It’s how we see, understand, and then choose to act in the world.

Why It’s Important: We need to progress our thinking and action to respect identity diversity, while we evolve to embrace comprehensive cognitive inclusion. This is sometimes counter-intuitive to an organization’s slavish commitment to alignment and harmony. What’s in the way, is the way. And the paradox is that cognitive diversity actually leads to more inclusion, hence more advanced harmony and adaptive resilience. Please read the full article. This way of working will become more strategically important and mainstream in the best institutions.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

The Investor Red Blend Napa Valley 2015.

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

Having a purpose statement doesn’t equal having a purpose.” – Aga Bajer

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: May 31

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my May 31 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: ‘Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington Seeks Therapy.

Source: Page Six.

What it’s About: Kit Harington, best known for playing Jon Snow in HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones,” spent time recovering from exhaustion and alcohol use at a rehab retreat in Connecticut. There was no spin or hiding the story. The actor was very transparent and proud of his decision to get help.

Why it’s Important: There is still too much negative stigma attached to declaring the need for mental wellness help. This is starting to change based on the courage of public figures like Harington, and radio personality Howard Stern, personally emphasizing the need and benefit of therapy. Mental health is perhaps the most important wellness issue of our time, and frankly, many of us need help. Our self-awareness and ability to confidently ask for it will move each of us forward.

Hot Topic 2: Mental Health: Truth is Lots of Us Need Help.

Source: Forbes.

What it’s About: To get a better sense of workplace mental health and stigma, 1,500 individuals were surveyed online between March and April, 2019. Nearly 60 percent of respondents experienced symptoms of a mental health condition in the past year. Half of those lasted from one month to the entire year. The most common symptoms were related to anxiety (37 percent), depression (32 percent), and eating disorders (26 percent). Perhaps even more surprising is that mental health symptoms were equally prevalent across all levels of seniority within companies, from individual contributors to the c-suite.

Why it’s Important: We have to make it acceptable and necessary to recognize when we are personally experiencing mental health issues. This includes more self-awareness. From drinking too much alcohol, eating disorders to depression, most of us can benefit from serious, competent therapy. Organizations need to lead the way with support services and leadership from and for top execs. That takes courage.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley 2015

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

Do what you are scared to do and watch your confidence grow.” – Grant Cardone

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: May 24

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my May 24 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: We Are More Adaptable than Top Leaders Think.

Source: Harvard Business Review.

What it’s About: According to a recent HBR article, the Project on Managing the Future of Work at Harvard Business School, teamed up with the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute in 2018, to survey 6,500 business leaders and 11,000 workers about the various forces reshaping the nature of work. The responses revealed a surprising gap: While the executives were pessimistic about their employees’ ability to acquire the capabilities needed to thrive in an era of rapid change, the employees were not. The employees were actually focused on the benefits that change would bring and far more eager to learn new skills than their leaders gave them credit for.

Why it’s Important: This idea that people are automatically resistant to change, and mostly need to be coerced to move forward, has been perpetuated and given rise to the idea we need to manage the changing of others. What if we assumed people were eager to adapt, grow, and improve instead of resistant, fearful, and ambivalent? Most people are eager to learn and thrive, and I need to lead in that context rather than managing their change.

Hot Topic 2: CEOs Are Held Accountable for More Than Financial Results.

Source: NPR.

What it’s About: NPR reports that the main reason chief executives were ousted from their jobs in 2018 was due to misconduct and ethical lapses. Historically, it’s mostly been financial results that has driven the termination criteria, with boards  too willing to close their eyes or cover up other “personal matters.” The #MeToo era has impacted governance. However, my view is that attention to purpose, values and culture conversations has changed expectations regarding the corner office as well.

Why it’s Important: Corporations and their CEOs have an obligation to contribute to the well-being of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. In Canada, fiduciary board responsibility extends beyond shareholder return. It would serve all boards in every jurisdiction to govern this way. Stories about the “bad boy” behavior of CEOs, while touting their brilliance in delivering double digit shareholder returns, used to be the quiet after dinner chuckle amongst board members as they sipped on 18 year old scotch. Most CEOs get paid a ridiculous amount of money relative to the average employee. Get financial performance and BE the values you expect from the organization, or get fired!

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Gran Vino Tinto Mendoza Argentina 2015

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

“Truth – or more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for any good outcome.”Ray Dalio

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: May 17

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my May 17 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: New Long-Term Stock Exchange to Open in California

Source: Investopedia.

What it’s About: On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted approval for a new national securities exchange, the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). The LTSE (aka the Silicon Valley Stock Exchange), expects to begin accepting listings of companies and commencing trading sometime later in 2019. The exchange has high profile backers like venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen, who came to fame in the 1990’s as the co-developer of the pioneer browser, Netscape Navigator, and Eric Ries, who will be the CEO.

Why it’s Important: I’ve always believed that a CEO wringing his or her hands in quarterly increments is way more distracting than beneficial. Yes, businesses are expected to create sustainable value. However, short-term thinking can cause near-sighted, myopic decision making at the top of the house. A 2017 study by public policy think tank, Third Way, found that within five years after going public, the pressures to meet analysts’ short-term profit estimates leads to, on average, a 40 percent decline in patents; an indication that innovation momentum slows. Short-term focus can set you back. If you’re in the c-suite or board, keep your eye on this experiment and understand the implications for you. The long view is an important trend for the rest of us to be aware of.

Hot Topic 2: Adidas Will Sell 11 Million Ultra Cool Shoes Made of Plastic Waste.

Source: Goodnewsnetwork.org.

What it’s About: Adidas first started making the recycled shoes in collaboration with environmental group, Parley for the Oceans, in 2015. They developed the very cool kicks using plastic waste intercepted on beaches, before it can reach the oceans. The Parley shoes will reuse designs from the UltraBoost collection, and newer versions of Adidas Originals. They are as “hot” as these topics!

Why it’s Important: Before we are consumers, we are all citizens first. Many of us are looking beyond just a transaction. We want things that are hip, functional, available, and at value. Many of us will pay somewhat more when all four elements are achieved. The current plan, as I understand it, is to make the Parley originals out of recycled plastic and when they deteriorate, to grind and micro-manufacture your next pair out of the old pair; a continuous, local, personal supply chain. This is an example of how being purpose and value focused can drive innovation; maybe even market disruption.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Checkered Lily Pinot Noir Anderson Valley California 2016.

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

“There is no innovation or creativity without failure.”Brené Brown

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: May 10

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my May 10 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: Read 500 Pages a Day!

Source: Inc.

What it’s About: We should read much more than we are currently. The average person reads four books per year. Famous investor Warren Buffett, is quoted: “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will.”

Why it’s Important: There is ample research on the many physical and mental benefits of reading, and not just on your iPad or Kindle, either. Reading is different, and has additional and unique benefits not available from listening to podcasts or Audible books at 1.5x speed. Read more! Some tips: 1. Read physical books. 2. Set a reading goal and stick to it. 3. Read between the lines. 4. If the book sucks, move on. 5. Read several genres at once. 6. Make reading an experience.

Hot Topic 2: Ditch Netflix for a Novel.

Source: New York Times.

What it’s About: Did you ever play the game as a kid where you search for a certain color of car? After you find it, when you really look, they seem to be everywhere. This applies to the “read more books” theme. As I was finishing the Inc. article above, another showed up in the Sunday New York Times: “I had accidentally discovered one of the great disadvantages of books (a medium that is not exactly short on disadvantages at the moment). There is no team of brilliant and vaguely sinister engineers, cooking up ways to get you binge reading.”

Why it’s Important: Look, the fact is that most of us are just too darn screen addicted. As novelist Ben Dolnick emphasizes: “When I’ve found the right book, and I’m reading it the right way, reading is fun — head-tingling, goosebump-raising fun. It’s a vivid and continuous dream that is somehow both directed from without and cast from within, and I get to be awake for it… Netflix can wait.” I hope you read more. Your brain and body will like it. P.S. this is a tribute to my wife Kathleen, a ferocious physical book reader. She is the most read and best writer in our family.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Napa Valley 2014.

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

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

“You’re never as smart as you think you are when you are winning and never as dumb as you feel when you are losing.”Michael Hyatt

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.