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How to get more grit

Persistence beats smarts. Desire precedes skills. And grit is the magical combination of both. Turns out grit is also the number one predictor of success among high-performing individuals and groups. Grit is the perseverance and passion for long-term goals. It’s that spark within all of us that compels us to keep learning, practicing and building new …

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Be the beginner

When looking for a solution to a thorny problem, it’s easy to get stuck in conventional wisdom. We tend to stick to linear thinking and well-worn paths of ideation. We brainstorm, we create long lists of possibilities and then we castoff the least likely ones. Mickey McManus, AutoDesk research fellow and Chairman of Maya Design, …

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Life moves pretty fast

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is one of the most popular and quotable movies of all time. It’s also one of the most inspirational. In this 1986 comedy, a bright, quirky teenager (Ferris, played by Matthew Broderick) cuts school and leads his friends on a day of adventure in downtown Chicago. They attend a Cubs game, …

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Take a hike

Richard Louv, author of the “Nature Principal,” argues that we’re suffering as a society from what he calls “nature-deficit disorder,” which can hurt us mentally, physically, and even spiritually.   It’s been proven over and over again that exposure to natural environments is good for us. It reduces the level of cortisol (stress hormone), heart …

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Working for jerks is not worth it

Life is too short to work for jerks. It’s just not worth it. No matter how much you’re paid, or what position you hold, you always deserve to be treated with respect and decency. So what’s normal and what’s not? You may be working for a jerk if your boss: Undermines employees. Pits people against …

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Trading comfort for courage

Comfort and convenience are easy choices. Stick to what you know. Focus on the familiar. Take the path of least resistance. While we prefer stay in our comfort zones, we also know that it is not always possible. Invariably, we are all faced with challenge and controversy. Molly Fletcher’s book “Fearless at Work” focuses on courage and how …

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How to win the day (it starts with the morning)

When you win the morning, says Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” you win the day. Many studies over the years have provided a mix of anecdotal and empirical data that early morning (4 a.m. to 5 a.m.) may be the most productive time of the day. It’s quiet, there are no distractions, and …

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Putting off procrastination

If you’re prone to procrastination (like me) you can take some comfort in the fact that our brains are programmed for it. In general, most of us have trouble taking action now for the promise of a future upside. That trade-off is an abstract concept, and our brains do better with the concrete rather than …

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How to give a great pep talk

The best pep talks motivate, inspire and energize. They transform teams. They encourage high performance. According to Daniel McGinn, author of “Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed,” there is a formula for motivating people with the spoken word. McGinn says an effective pep talk has three main components: Uncertainty-reducing language. This …

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Working on purpose

Author, pastor, and leadership expert Andy Stanley flashed a quote at the Leadercast Live event in May that seemed to capture the root cause of some of the biggest problems we see in our country, and our world: “Those who devote themselves to themselves will  ultimately have nothing but themselves to show for themselves.” Stanley …

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