I enjoy Victor Davis Hanson‘s historical perspective on modern day events. He makes the stories of ancient Rome and Greece come alive and his lectures on WW2 are detailed and much different than we hear from textbooks.
Hanson is an American classicist, military historian, columnist, and farmer. He has been a commentator on modern and ancient warfare and contemporary politics for National Review, The Washington Times and other media outlets.
A couple of recent interviews on current topics rung true for me. Give a listen to this podcast and a new interview and catch a historical perspective on current events.
Abstract – J Higgins 2018
Numerous studies have pointed to teacher quality as a major predictor of student outcomes. To define quality teaching, this paper will focus on evidence-based strategies that can be implemented in a school network that will translate into student achievement. The leadership skills needed to implement these strategies will be outlined and real-world application in a mid-size school district will show how these strategies can be.
The biggest predictor of success in the classroom is a strong teacher. How do we find, train, support and reward strong teaching? This paper will spell out the importance of teacher quality as the single largest impact on student achievement. To arrive at teacher quality this paper will and analyze the myriad of attempts to impact teacher quality in the US. Putting the hypothesis that teacher quality will translate into market success, I will also lay out a real-world case with measurable outcomes to argue that there is a scalable way to fill schools, delight stakeholders (parents, regulators, teacher) and create a culture that leads to student achievement, all with a singular focus on strong teaching. To improve our schools, leaders must learn from best practices from top quality schools, analyzing the data on teacher impact on learning and experimenting with real-world ideas in an active school network. Fixing American education can be done by one teacher and one classroom at a time.
Teacher quality and student outcome have been a much-studied topic in America. Work by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality aggregated the myriad of completed studies and surmised that not all measures of teaching quality produce results in the classroom. Of the four areas measured, I’m going to focus on two characteristics that as an operator of schools I have the biggest impact on. Those areas are Teacher Practices and Teacher Effectiveness. The other two areas that the study covers; Teacher Licensure and Teacher Characteristics are important but are more human resources and screening functions and should be implemented before a teacher joins a school. The focus of this paper is to use researched-based findings that can improve the performance of teachers in my school network.
The following research-backed techniques have been found to lead to higher student outcomes,
- A induction and mentoring program for new teachers into the school network (Cohen & Hill, 1998; Kannapel & Clements, 2005; Wenglinsky, 2000, 2002),
- Teacher subject knowledge, studies point to both elementary and high school teachers’ mathematics pedagogical knowledge as the strongest teacher-level predictor of student achievement (Hill, Rowan, & Ball, 2005; Rowan et al., 1997).
- Attract students’ attention and interest in learning through creative and varied learning activities. Engaged learning is important to hold student attention and for deeper learning.
- Align the taught and tested curriculum so all students have opportunities to learn content and skills on which their academic progress will be measured (Hill and Crevola 1999).
- Use student assessment data to diagnostically plan instruction for individual students and the whole class, determine student mastery and provide feedback to students that they can promptly use to increase learning (Danielson 1996; Darling-Hammond 1999; Hill and Crevola 1999).
- Collaborative decision making between teaching staff and administration are some of several cultural characteristics that researchers say can differentiate high- from low-performing elementary schools (Kannapel & Clements, 2005).
- Teachers that provide students with clear learning objectives and performance expectations is associated with student achievement in mathematics and reading at least at the elementary and middle school levels (Matsumura et al., 2006; Schacter & Thum, 2004).
- Several researchers observe that teachers who consistently provide students with opportunities to explain and discuss projects and assignments is positively associated with middle school achievement in mathematics, reading, and science (Frome et al., 2005; Marcoulides et al., 2005; Matsumura et al., 2006).
- Frequent assessment and feedback is one of the school-level practices that distinguish high- from low-performing schools (Kannapel & Clements, 2005)
- Teachers’ use of interactive or hands-on teaching practices is positively associated with student achievement in elementary school mathematics and reading (Smith, Lee, & Newmann, 2001) and in middle and high school mathematics(Frome et al., 2005; Wenglinsky, 2000, 2002).
- Jacob and Lefgren (2005) found that principals’ subjective assessments of teacher quality are substantially related to elementary school students’ mathematics and reading test scores.
School Leaders and Content
A comprehensive program to train teachers is the most impactful long-term strategy that a school system can implement. The research supports substantial investment in developing teachers. In order to lead a school, a leader must have a firm understanding of what makes teachers successful in the classroom. The leader must understand the role of standards-aligned curriculum that scaffolds from year to year and the role of constantly monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of the curriculum being used. Starting with a foundation deep rich curriculum and consistent use of data-driven instruction ensures that the school system has the WHAT to teach and the classroom teacher can focus on the HOW and WHY of the content.
School Leaders and Teacher Development
The research points to a need for school leaders to create a training plan that encompasses the entire professional life of a teacher in the school. From a new hire induction program followed up with a strong mentoring program to ongoing professional development programs, a school leader must recognize the time and investment required to perfect the craft of teaching. In addition to a comprehensive training program, a site leader must implement a culture of adult learning that is open and encouraging. Feedback both informally and formally is an important step on a successful teacher development program. We’ve learned the difference between a Newtonian school culture that is rigid, bureaucratic and has silos throughout the campus in contrast to Glickman’s SuperVision model whereby the culture is collaborative and trust based. In a SuperVision school, the entire staff’s input is valued and there is a safety to experiment and share ideas is encouraged. Teaching is such a personal process. Good teachers pour their hearts and souls into not only the technical aspects of their job but the emotional connection that occurs between them and their students. Giving feedback that is well received and taken constructively only occurs with school leaders that have built the trust with their staff.
School Leaders and Technical Skills Needed for Success
First and foremost a good school leader must possess a strong knowledge of what good teaching is. From the almost 75 years of research in the field of quality teaching, student engagement is paramount to student achievement. How one teacher achieves engagement compared to another is the art of teaching, but a strong school leader must respect the differences in style and personality but hold true to the end outcome of student engagement. From humor to connecting uniquely with each student, to high energy and frequent formative assessments, each teacher has their own unique way of keeping students engaged. A school leader must know what engagement looks like and trust that their teaching staff is getting there in their own unique way. A school leader must monitor, have a strong culture of ongoing learning and improvement and know the best way to impact each of their teachers without slaying their spirit. A school leader must also have a strong understanding of data-driven instruction and what story the data is telling. Data can point to global problems with curriculum, refinements needed with a particular teacher or issues within the classroom that may be beyond a teachers control. With a firm understanding of data-driven instruction, a school leader can adjust and monitor their teaching staff to ensure student achievement.
My District Wide Leadership Plan – Technical
The foundation that successful school has and that our organization strives for begins with a standards-aligned curriculum that matches our pedagogy, which happens to be classical education. A public school district in Arizona that consistently achieves the high end of year testing has developed a curriculum delivery model called Beyond Textbooks. Their content is now licensed to schools around the country. Our network embarked on creating a similar program that is uniquely matched to Classical Education. The curriculum program launched this school year and teachers are discovering the benefits daily. With our Schoology (learning management system) we can provide our teaching staff with WHAT to teach and allow them to focus on the HOW and WHY of the content. The rollout process is intentionally explained as this the curriculum is available as guide rails and not a tract or script. We are careful to respect the professional choices of the teacher in the classroom. We are finding that with the addition of 120 new teachers this year, having a foundation of standards-aligned curriculum that classically interconnects all the subject areas has taken a lot of stress off new teachers. We find that over time, as new teachers advance in our system they customize their content more to what their students engage with. With our Schoology program, we can quickly grow and add on campuses with the knowledge that we have a firm foundation of content at each campus.
The role of data-driven instruction is as important as the curriculum and content to our organization. Our team is in the fourth year of operation and each year our interpretation and adjustments towards data-driven instruction get better and better. Our team approach brings our leadership team together to go over the best practices that they have implemented at each campus. Last year, I let each Principal develop their own corrective plans with approval and oversight by me. This year, our leaders met over the summer to codify the best practices for interventions and build out a toolbox of practices that each campus could choose from. We increase and formalized our intervention programs at each campus, we brought in digital tools to extend our intervention teams reach and each campus has a concerted focus on differentiation in the classroom and breaks intensive standard strand focus for those scholars in need.
Pulling It All Together
To exemplify how all these programs come together, last year our state tests showed a system-wide gap in grammar and editing and writing. Since the problem was system-wide and not isolated to a campus or a particular grade we implemented the following fixes for this school year;
- Our virtual academy teachers and Principal built into our Schoology learning management system, writing prompts to mirror state standards by grade for narrative, informational, creative and opinion writing styles. We front-loaded narrative and informational text as the state tests are heavy in those areas. Schoology embedded writing prompts across subjects. Writing prompts are built into history and science to ensure emersion.
- Our campuses carved out specific time for writing to occur in the English blocks. We added in a grammar program from Shurley English with foundational memorization in K3 and application in 4 to 5 and made the grammar program optional (to new schools in particular) in 6-8th grades.
- Our Professional Development department held summer workshops including flying in Collins Writing to PD our English department and lead teachers on the program we embedded into our Schoology curriculum delivery. The PD department then holds campus-wide training once per quarter at each campus and offers full day, job-embedded training for teachers through the year.
- Our final step is to change our grading and assessment program to include campus-wide grading protocol that has a heavy focus on writing.
- We implemented a teacher evaluation program system-wide that was beta tested last year. The evaluation system was developed by Dr. Chris Moersche from San Diego and it focuses on the Danielson Rubric with elements of scholar engagement, teacher planning, and we’ve customized it to include aspects of classical educational elements that are unique to our model. The PD department and site leaders use the system teacher pop-ins or formal observations. We have a goal for each Principal/VPrincipal each month. The 5 point scoring scale is tracked and aggregated system-wide. The benefit of the program is that if our district Professional Development Director and a site based Principal are off on their scoring of a particular teacher we can discuss the difference and move towards consistency. The aggregate data that comes back to us also helps us to tailor our future professional development offerings.
I call this our full court press on writing and we anticipate positive outcomes this year.
My District Wide Leadership Plan – Cultural
Struck with our rapid success in Arizona, I detailed out my ideas of the WHY of why our school system is working. I followed up the WHY is this working with my district team and site-based leaders. We spend intentional time in executing these five cultural foundations just like we do in curriculum design and data analysis. The consensus from our team as to WHY this is working was, in order of importance;
- Trust – Relational Management style and a Family Feel and people feel that their co-workers genuinely care – the opposite being guarded and self-centered
- Servant Leadership – from every level, we model service to others. Glickman defines the concept as SuperVision, I’ve learned it as Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership. My entire day is anticipating the needs of those below me and sweating the small stuff. We’ve parted ways with Principal’s and in the end, life was about them and not about how to serve our families.
- Gratitude and Purpose – We all realize that we are a part of something big and important. Our staff came to this profession for a reason, we all desperately create an organization that focuses on kids first.
- Respect for the Profession of Teaching – I was CEO/COO of a mid-size medical and it was my first exposure to leading professionals. Medicine was changing and regulations were piling on. I watched these seasoned professionals that had dedicated their lives to their craft being relegated to button pushers. I make sure that in every decision my team makes, we don’t turn our teachers into robots. We welcome and encourage their creativity and uniqueness.
- Change is in our DNA – The hardest part of my transition from business to leading in education is instilling a culture of change. There are so many people that have risen up to leadership only in the teaching profession that falls back on what they’ve learned before and become resistant to change. In the business world we change or die, I’m trying to bring that mentality to the education field but it remains a daily struggle.
TQ Research and Quality Brief. Goe and Strickler. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED520769.pdf
Teacher Quality and Student Achievement. Kaplan and Owings. Research Gate https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249794839/download
My process is that when I find something I like or that speaks to me I save it. Like the old days of clipping newspaper articles, I’ll typically email the content to myself, then clear through my articles/podcasts and then edit down the nuggets. Life and been crazy and these past few months have gone by so quick, I haven’t had a chance to edit down and post individual pieces of wisdom.
To clear out one of my to-do lists, these are the best of the stuff I’ve learned from in these past few months;
The Good Life – Seth Godin – HERE
We read the book Linchpin with our leadership team. He writes about (https://www.sethgodin.com/) the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. His latest book is This Is Marketing (https://amzn.to/2JzNkMD)
Second City Works presents “Getting to Yes, And” Pastor MaryAnn McKibben – HERE
The more I listen to this Second City Works podcast series the more I want to take Improv classes! As I listen, Improv is all about supporting your cast mates. The Yes, And theory is that moment (after much practice) when you can perform with a team and constantly be feeding your team mates with positivity and the setting them up for success.
Kelly has a powerful conversation with pastor MaryAnn McKibben Dana whose new book explores how she has incorporated her improvisational training into her spiritual life and pastoral work.
HERE is a list of all their episodes – Poke around and find some you like.
Finding Mastery; Conversations With Michael Gervais – Dr. Brene Brown – HERE
This podcast format is Gervais does long form interviews with people at the top of their game in multiple fields. His format is amazing, he’s prepared and his graciousness with his guests get them to open up and become very comfortable. He’s vulnerable which in turn opens up the guest to be the same. Having done radio for 7 years, I can really appreciate the art of the interview. Gervais has it.
- Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views.
- The relationship between vulnerability and courage is a focal point of our conversation.
- In Brené’s words: “You cannot get to courage without walking right through vulnerability.”
- So what is courage all about and when is it the right time to be vulnerable?
- Whether it be with a loved one or in the corporate world, do you have the courage to say or do the difficult things?
- And if you’re a leader, do you have the courage to create a culture that actually allows for people to fall on their face and get back up?
- Brené has an amazing way of putting her researching into action with simple and applied strategies so I can’t wait for you to learn from her.
The Good Life – Mitch Albom – HERE
I read and LOVED Tuesday’s with Morrie. My daughter just discovered it 21 years after I did. Our discussion was amazing. What I love about getting to know Mitch’s back story is his unending GRIT! How does a kid obsessed with making it in the music end up becoming an internationally renowned, best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and…and yes, musician? That’s what we explore in today’s wide-ranging conversation with Mitch Albom(https://www.mitchalbom.com/).
21 lessons for how to get the most out of life, from a guy who retired at 50
Marketwatch -Jonathan Look HERE
I was going to detail the ones I like but there are too many. This has so many of the Stoic philosophies that I try to live by, which is probably why I’m sharing it.
I can’t stop the news cycle, but maybe I can change the way I process it. Would the ancient teachings of Stoicism help?
The Roman Stoics believed that unhappiness was caused by trying to control events that we have little say over. The only thing we can control is our thinking. By practising Stoicism, we cultivate an attitude of “calm indifference to external states”. Virtues such as rationality and courage are prized.
Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that preaches fortitude and self control. It was developed in the third-century BC and has had a revival in recent times with a range of books, online communities and YouTube channels.
Things are only bad if we think they are bad
Achieving your goals will not make you happy
Stoicism similar to Buddhism
As philosopher and author Nassim Taleb once wrote on the similarities between the two: “A stoic is a Buddhist with attitude.“Those details begin with how both systems seek to reduce suffering by helping us to better understand the world and how we interact with it.“For the Stoic, all happiness is internal.”
Difficult people have been around forever
“Say to yourself first thing in the morning: today I shall meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, aggressive, treacherous, malicious, unsociable. They are subject to these faults because of their ignorance to what is good and what is bad.”But Stoicism teaches us that all human beings are our relatives – we are like “two sets of teeth in the same jaw” – and when we meet hostility from others we should greet it with tolerance and affectionate care for them.
Finding Mastery; Conversations With Michael Gervais – Producer Marty Callner – HERE
I am Marty Callner! As I listened to Marty’s story, the things that resonated with me were; the desire to create, the attention to detail, the pre-work and research is key, dream big, don’t chase money – chase a lifetime body of work. I particularly love how he found the accolades unimportant and superficial. The pay off is great work that moves people. Give a listen if you want to know what makes me tick.
For Marty it all started with his learning to “dream big.”
His mom taught him that, “A man who doesn’t build castles in the air doesn’t build them anywhere.”
How cool is that thought?
Marty is a risk taker, an innovator, and to this day he’s looking for ways to reinvent himself.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Robert Green – HERE
I stumbled on 48 Laws and loved it. I liked the narcissist discussions in this interview. The Psychology Podcast has so many great thinkers on human nature, development, and interactions between people. DIG IN.
Today we have Robert Greene on the podcast. Robert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, and Mastery, and is an internationally renowned expert on power strategies. His latest book is The Laws of Human Nature. In this episode we discuss:
- What is human nature?
- How to transform self-love into empathy
- The deep narcissist vs. the healthy narcissist
Why Every Man Should Study Classical Culture – HERE
November 23, 2015 –November 6, 2018 A Man’s Life |
1. Enhances your cultural literacy.
2. Allows you to take part in the “Great Conversation.”
3. Allows you to see the interconnectedness of ideas.
4. Instills virtue and morality.
5. Increased understanding of your government and founding principles.
6. Disciplines the mind.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Jonathan Haidt – HERE
I’ve read, blogged and shared a bunch of Jonathan Haidt stuff over the past few years. His analysis of what’s happening in our Universities is really interesting to me. I caught in on an AEI interview and his theory of what happens to children between the ages of 9 and 11 aligns with what I’m seeing in schools at and around 5th grade. HERE is the AEI panel discussion or the embedded video below. We need some free-range kids at critical junctions.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Can science ever solve the mystery of the existence of God?HERE
Michael Shermer and Philip Goff Michael is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things, The Believing Brain, and Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia. Goff is an associate professor in philosophy at Central European University in Budapest. His main research focus is trying to explain how the brain produces consciousness. His first book, which was published by Oxford University Press, is called Consciousness and Fundamental Reality. Goff is currently working on a book on consciousness aimed at a general audience.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Dr. Plomin – How DNA Makes Us Who We Are – HERE
Because I’m in the education field I found this discussion fascinating. Kaufman challenges Plomin on some of the Nature v Nurture research that has been debated for years. The role of early education jumped out at me in this discussion.
The genetic influence on television viewing
How virtually everything is moderately heritable
The effects of extreme trauma on the brain
How the abnormal is normal
The potential for misuse of genetic information to select children for particular educational tracks
Recent research on shared environmental influences on educational achievement
The “nature of nurture”
The role of education on intelligence
How teachers can and cannot make a difference
The genetics of social class mobility
Free will and how we can change our destiny
These Are the 4 Most Important Things I’m Looking for When I Interview Job Candidates
After conducting hundreds of interviews, I’ve learned just how much these things matter. Rapidly scaling your…
Read it on inc.com
1. Mission and values alignment.
The fundamental thing I look for in any candidate, regardless of department or level, is alignment with our company’s mission and values. We’ve taken a lot of time to define exactly what our company has set out to do in the world, and the five traits and qualities that we feel are most important.
Anyone who wants to join our team should demonstrate that those same things matter to them.
To test whether a candidate fits this qualification, think about what living your values and mission would mean for someone in that particular role in your company. Ask questions that get to the heart of how they think about those things and what they’ve done in relation to them in the past.
2. A problem-solving mindset.
In a rapidly scaling business like ours, the challenges we face day-to-day are often new and ambiguous. Most roles require someone who can remain graceful under pressure and think independently.
Another useful skill is the ability to put structure around problems — the ability to take an amorphous issue and think about it in a systematic way.
Situational interview questions, in which a candidate describes how they would handle a hypothetical scenario, are useful in teasing out problem-solving abilities. The person’s conclusion is important, but pay just as much attention to the thought process they used to reach it and how they defined the problem.
3. A clear vision about how they fit in.
Few jobs today require order-taking automatons. For every position, I am looking for candidates who demonstrate leadership qualities and a sense of vision for themselves, their team, and the company. Even if the role doesn’t involve leading an office or a department — today — the team member will likely lead a project or a process at the very least.
You can ask the person about their leadership style and goals, but you’ll also want to pay attention to whether they demonstrate other skills and traits you expect a leader in your organization to have — for example, how they think about mentorship or whether they learn from their mistakes.
You should also evaluate the person’s perspective about the business and its capabilities, an understanding of the broader field, and a view about how to succeed with those factors in mind.
4. Strong communication skills.
This may seem like a basic one, but it’s hard to overemphasize just how important good communication skills are. To be successful in many roles, you need to be able to communicate in the right way with many different types of stakeholders.
Interviews are good opportunities to assess someone’s communication skills. Are they clear about what they are looking for and how that aligns with the role they’ve applied for? Are they honest? Do they avoid giving superficial answers? Do they know who they are and what they want, and clearly and consistently communicate this throughout the interview process?
An interview is an opportunity to determine whether a job candidate is a good fit for an open role — and vice versa. By focusing on these four areas, you can hone in on a few of the things that matter most to the success of both the candidate and your company.
Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education – HERE
As more computers equal or surpass human cognitive capacities, I see three broad purposes for education:
Most obviously, to instil thequality STEM skills needed to adequately meet the needs of our ever-more-technological society;
Just as importantly, to instil the civic and ethical understanding that will allow human beings to wield these powerful technologies with wisdom, perspective and due regard for the wellbeing of others;
To find much more creative and compelling ways to meet these first two needs across a far wider range of ages and life situations than has traditionally been the case in our education systems.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Dr. Flynn – HERE
Dr. Flynn is literally the pioneer in intelligence and G Factor. Well worth a listen in particular their discussion on Charles Murry (of Bell Curve) and meritocracy. Flynn sort of debunks the Murry thesis on black-white intelligence. Family plays a major part in intelligence. EXPECTATIONS are the key!
- Flynn’s attempts to clarify intelligence and its causes
- The g factor, and what gives rise to it
- The validity of multiple intelligences theory
- Intergenerational trends (the “Flynn effect”) vs. Within-generation trends
- The “social multiplier” model of intergenerational trends in intelligence
- The multiple causes of black-white differences in IQ
- Charley Murray and the meritocracy thesis
- Transcending the politics of intelligence research
- The dangers of suppressing ideas and research
- The 20% wiggle room of autonomy on IQ tests
- The difference between internal and external environment
- The impact of having a “family handicap” on SAT scores
- Toward a more humane society
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Anxiety and Fear – Dr. Ellen Hendriksen – HERE
Her latest book is called “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.” What is your real self? What is social anxiety? What is the opposite of social anxiety? What’s the goal of therapy to treat social anxiety? How to be comfortable when you are “caught being yourself” The importance of self-compassion The difference between introversion and social anxiety Techniques to overcome social anxiety The Orchid-Dandelion Hypothesis The relationship between the highly sensitive person and openness to experience The importance of going out and living your life first, and letting your confidence catch up The importance of turning attention “inside out” How perfectionism holds us back The importance of “daring to be average” The myth of “hope in a bottle” Gender differences in the manifestation of social anxiety
How To Become An Effective Leader – HERE
1. Know your concrete guideposts.
For others to like you, they must know you. For them to know you, you must know yourself. Every likable CEO has foundational principles for who they are and the person they desire to become. These are concrete guideposts that shape their thinking and their decisions. When you communicate these guideposts, others are attracted to your leadership and your core values.
What are the concrete guideposts that guide your decisions in leadership and life?
2. Be curious about other people.
In How to Win Friends and Influence People, the notable Dale Carnegie stated the importance of being “genuinely interested in other people.” Every CEO should make it a priority to be curious about their team and the people they meet. Any one person has the ability to teach you something. When you are curious about others and seek to learn what they can show you, it often leads them to like you.
How curious are you about others? What’s the one thing you might be interested in learning about any person you meet?
3. Grow yourself and your outlook.
People are attracted to people who focus on their own growth and development. Growing CEOs have a different outlook on life and experiences because they continue to stay fresh and up to date on the newest thinking that is changing the marketplace. People like to learn from these leaders.
What experience has allowed you to grow your outlook in the last six months?
4. Be diligent about acts of thoughtfulness.
Many times, likability is a direct result of thoughtfulness. Though you don’t read about thoughtfulness in many business books, it’s a key element to good business and to developing a likable personality. Thoughtful acts of kindness such as writing notes, acknowledging great work, or offering words of affirmation can go a long way in developing a friendly spirit.
How diligent have you been lately at performing acts of thoughtfulness?
5. See the best in others.
People like to be around people who see their potential. There is an old saying: “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”
One complaint that many leaders and CEOs receive from their key staff is that they only focus on the negative or on what needs to be improved. Although it is essential to focus on improvement, it is equally as important to find and elicit the best in others.
Can you name the best ability of every person on your team?
Here is an essential truth that leaders would be wise to embrace: You will never become the best leader you can be until you become a likable one.
I am the CEO of the CXP – CEO Experience. My mission is to provide resources to leaders who desire to learn fast to lead further.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – Organization Theory and Meaning at Work – Dr. Wrzesniewski – HERE
Another interview with a giant in their field. Dr. W has spent a life looking at Organization Behavior and the intersection on work and fullfillmnet. I liked the ongoing reference that Scott makes to Maslow and how deep these two got on his hierarchy of needs. I particulary enjoyed the discussion on faith and spirituality in being fully actualized. Dr. Wrzesniewski is a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. Her research focuses on how people make meaning of their work in difficult contexts, such as stigmatized occupations, virtual work, or absence of work, and the experience of work as a job, career, or calling. Her current research involves studying how employees shape their interactions and relationships with others in the workplace to change both their work identity and the meaning of the job. Topics incude: – The definition of meaning – The four main sources of meaning – Spirituality as a potential source of meaning at work – The way work allows us to transcend the self – The definition of calling – How to find your most meaningful calling – The importance of “self-resonance” – The difference between consequences and motives – What is job crafting and how can it help you increase your calling?
Four Habits Of Highly Ineffective Companies – HERE
What are the characteristics of these highly ineffective companies? Here are four of them:
- They fail to adapt to the reality of the changing environment: In other words, leadership is satisfied with the status quo.
- The leaders of these companies are in a state of denial: They are resistant to change. They don’t realize that the competition is out there getting ready to disrupt them. They don’t believe they can be disrupted. This is a very dangerous way for a leader to think.
- They have adopted a “heroic” leadership model – employees are waiting for directives and instruction from above: The focus of this concept is on the employee. Employees are waiting for their leaders to tell them what to do. They won’t act on their own. They are corporately paralyzed. It could be due to fear. It could be due to lack of training. More than anything, they lack empowerment. And who’s to blame? While the spotlight is on the employee, the leadership is at fault for creating a culture in which good people, who are capable of doing good work, aren’t allowed to exercise their creativity and initiative.
- They have an overreliance on hope: There is an old saying, “Hope is not a strategy.” You can’t hope your way into success. When good things happen, it usually isn’t because of hope. It’s because of preparation and planning, which sets a company up to adapt and accept opportunities that come its way. Another old saying, “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity,” is not about hope or luck at all. It’s about positioning and being ready to move when the opportunity presents itself. The company that is relying on hope may be waiting a long time for it come around.
Companies that are highly effective take the opposite approach.
They don’t settle for the status quo: They don’t sit idle. They consistently look to move forward and improve. They know that they must stay relevant to their customers, or they will be disrupted by a competitor.
Leadership knows the customers and the competition: They have a pulse on the marketplace. They listen to their customers and observe their competitors. They make the necessary moves to stay relevant to their customers and push to stay ahead of the competition.
They have an empowering culture: Leadership recognizes that some of the best ideas are going to come from the people who do their jobs day in and day out. They not only listen to their customers (point No. 2 above), but also to their employees, and give them permission to make good decisions for the company.
They are proactive in seeking opportunities: Akande quoted the great philosopher (and comedian) Milton Berle, who once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock … build a door!” They don’t wait – or hope – for success to come to them. They go after it.
The Psychology Podcast – Scott Barry Kaufman – The Path To Purpose – HERE
I’ve been fascinated with the role of a leader and communicating purpose in an organization. From Maslow to Frankl the desire to for humans to strive for purpose in their life is a powerful motivator. Dr. Damon’s most recent books include The Power of Ideals, Failing Liberty 101, and The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life. In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover the following topics: –
- The definition of purpose –
- The role of values in purpose –
- The difference between purpose and meaning –
- Vicktor Frankl’s “will to meaning” –
- How purpose is a late developing capacity –
- The difference between purpose and resiliency –
- The paths to purpose among young people –
- Methods for developing purpose –
- Moral commitment among moral exemplars –
- Purpose among leaders –
- The importance of taking “ultimate responsibility” in life –
- How we are leaving young people unprepared in a civic society
These Are the Skills That Your Kids Will Need for the Future (Hint: It’s Not Coding) – Inc. HERE
The jobs of the future will involve humans collaborating with other humans to design work for machines, and value will shift from cognitive to social skills.
The subjects we learned in school were mostly static. Two plus two always equaled four and Columbus always discovered America in 1492. Interpretations may have differed from place to place and evolved over time, but we were taught that the world was based on certain facts and we were evaluated on the basis on knowing them….
So kids today need to learn less about how things are today and more about the systems future technologies will be based on, such as quantum dynamics, genetics, and the logic of code. One thing economists have consistently found is that it is routine jobs that are most likely to be automated. The best way to prepare for the future is to develop the ability to learn and adapt.
Applying empathy and design skills
While machines are taking over many high-level tasks, such as medical analysis and legal research, there are some things they will never do. For example, a computer will never strike out in a Little League game, have its heart broken, or see its child born. So it is terribly unlikely, if not impossible, that a machine will be able to relate to a human as other humans can.
The ability to communicate complex ideas
Much of the recent emphasis in education has been around STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and proficiency in those areas is certainly important for today’s students to understand the world around them. However, many STEM graduates are finding it difficult to find good jobs.
On the other hand, the ability to communicate ideas effectively is becoming a highly prized skill. Consider Amazon. Though it is one of the most innovative and technically proficient organizations on the planet, a key factor to its success its writing culture. The company is so fanatical about the ability to communicate that developing good writing skills are a key factor to building a successful career there.
Collaborating and working in teams
Traditionally, school work has been based on individual accomplishment. You were supposed to study at home, come in prepared, and take your test without help. If you looked at your friend’s paper, it was called cheating and you got in a lot of trouble for it. We were taught to be accountable for achievements on our own merits.
Narcissism Explained: Jungian Theory – HERE
4 Habits of Ultra-Likable Leaders That Are Hard to Find – Inc. HERE
1. Every good leader turns away from arrogance.
Because society places so much value on external accomplishments, appearance, and self-aggrandizement, the virtue of humility is mistakenly viewed as soft or weak–it’s the skinny kid who gets sand kicked on him by the neighborhood bully.
The Washington Post reports that, according to a 2016 College of Charleston survey, 56 percent of 5th and 6th graders believe that “the humble are embarrassed, sad, lonely, or shy.” And when adults are asked to recount an experience of humility, “they often tell a story about a time when they were publicly humiliated.”
That’s the perception of humility. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Groundbreaking research by Bradley Owens and David Hekman, as reported by The Post, concluded that a humble leader doesn’t believe success is inevitable. “He constantly tests his progress. He revises and updates plans, in light of new situations and information. Acknowledging he doesn’t have all the answers, he solicits feedback. He encourages subordinates to take initiative. He prefers to celebrate others’ accomplishments over his own,” states The Post.
2. Every good leader soaks up the wisdom of others.
Smart leaders stretch their knowledge beyond intellectual pursuits. They continually evolve by soaking up the wisdom of others, acknowledging that they don’t know it all. Remember this quote?
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
You must view yourself as a small fish in the great big pond of life–seeking out connections and appointments from those further down the path than you in order to master new things.
3. Every good leader practices patience.
A leader who practices patience and is slow to anger receives far less attention and acclaim than a charismatic leader with a commanding presence but a short fuse. Yet the former has the clear edge.
In one 2012 study, researchers found that patient people made more progress toward their goals and were more satisfied when they achieved them (particularly if those goals were difficult) compared with less patient people.
4. Every good leader is self-aware.
In a study reported by Harvard Business Review, teams with less self-aware members substantially suffered; they made “worse decisions, engaged in less coordination, and showed less conflict management” as opposed to more self-aware individuals.
Self-awareness is crucial in leadership roles. Self-aware leaders look at the whole picture and both sides of an issue. They tap into their feelings and the feelings of others to choose a different outcome to solving organizational or personal challenges.
Daniel Goleman, the foremost emotional intelligence expert, once said:
If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.
10 unmistakable habits of utterly authentic people – The Ladders – HERE
They help others to be their authentic selves
Authentic people don’t expect others to play a role either. They don’t make people feel as though they have to fit into a certain mold or to project a certain image to be a part of their lives. Their commitment to being authentic gives other people the freedom to live authentically too.
They let go of negative people
Authentic people have too much self-respect to put up with people who treat them badly or have ill will toward them, and they have too much respect for other people to try to change them. So they let go — not out of anger, but out of their need to be true to themselves.
They express their true feelings and opinions, even when they’re not popular
Authentic people don’t live a go-along-to-get-along lifestyle. They’re simply not capable of acting in a way that’s contrary to what their principles dictate, even if there are repercussions. They prefer not to lie to other people, and they especially can’t lie to themselves. This means that they’re willing to live with the repercussions of staying true to themselves.
They are confident
Much social anxiety stems from the fear we have of being “found out.” We’re afraid that somebody is going to discover that we’re not as smart, experienced, or well-connected as we pretend to be. Authentic people don’t have that fear. Their confidence comes from the fact that they have nothing to hide. Who they appear to be is who they really are.
They prefer deep conversations to meaningless chatter
Eleanor Roosevelt nailed this one. She once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” You won’t find authentic people gossiping about others or giving their opinions on the latest celebrity scandals. They know all of that stuff is nothing more than cultural trappings, and they choose to talk about things that matter.
They don’t take anyone’s advice without evaluating it carefully first
It’s not that authentic people aren’t willing to take advice; they are. But they don’t put that advice into action just because other people have. First, they’ll run it through the wringer from a critical perspective so that they can be sure it makes sense for them.
They don’t complain about their problems
Complaining is what you do when you think that the situation you’re in is someone else’s fault or that it’s someone else’s job to fix it. Authentic people, on the other hand, are accountable. They understand that they — and no one else — are responsible for their own lives, so there’s no point in complaining.
They’re internally motivated
Authentic people don’t sit at their desks thinking, “Well, if my boss would just make this job worthwhile, I’d do a better job.” The carrot-and-stick approach just isn’t relevant to them. They’re motivated from within.
They make the best out of any situation
Authentic people have a very firm grasp on reality. When things don’t go their way, they don’t get trapped in denial, and they don’t sit around whining about how things should be different. They simply take stock of the way things are and, if there’s nothing they can do to change the situation, they figure out a way to make the best of it.
They don’t get stressed or upset when someone doesn’t like them
It’s never fun accepting that someone doesn’t like you, but a lot of times that discomfort comes from trying to figure out what you did wrong or how you can fix it. Authentic people don’t have that anxiety because they would never try to change themselves to influence someone else’s opinion. They accept that other people have a right to be authentic about their own feelings, even if those feelings are negative toward them.
Bringing it all together
Living authentically is a perpetual challenge that yields great rewards. It’s a noble path that you won’t regret following.
A Journalist Who Interviewed 585 CEOs Says They All Have These 3 Things in Common
The journalist who has interviewed CEOs for the New York Times for a decade shares his observations. If you’re aiming…
Read it on inc.com
1. Applied curiosity
Are CEOs smart? Sure, but maybe not in the way you expect. Most are bright, though plenty didn’t particularly thrive in an academic environment. Instead of being universally good at book learning, Bryant observed that most if not all were fiercely curious about the world around them.
“They share a habit of mind that is best described as ‘applied curiosity,'” he writes. “They tend to question everything. They want to know how things work, and wonder how they can be made to work better. They’re curious about people and their back stories.”
2. Comfort with discomfort
It’s not exactly breaking news that fighting your way to the top of a company involves plenty of hard work and sacrifice. But some aspiring CEOs fail to understand the full implications of that obvious truth. It’s not simply that you have to be able to take some lumps to get to the top, Bryant insists. To thrive as a leader you have to actually like the challenge and the pain.
“Usually, I really like whatever the problem is. I like to get close to the fire,” banking industry CEO Arkadi Kuhlmann explained in his interview. “Some people have a desire for that, I’ve noticed, and some people don’t. I just naturally gravitate to the fire. So I think that’s a characteristic that you have, that’s in your DNA.”
3. Focus on the present
You might think that most successful CEOs are super ambitious, and in many ways you’d be right, according to Bryant’s interviews, but the high-achieving leaders he spoke with had a very special type of ambition. Yes, they have big goals, but they don’t let those big goals distract them from whatever they’re currently working on.
The top CEOs Bryant spoke to “focus on doing their current job well, and that earns them promotions,” he writes. “That may sound obvious. But many people can seem more concerned about the job they want than the job they’re doing.”“That doesn’t mean keeping ambition in check,” he clarifies. “By all means, have career goals, share them with your bosses, and learn everything you can about how the broader business works. And yes, be savvy about company politics… But focus on building a track record of success, and people will keep betting on you.”
Building a great culture is simple but not easy. Here are 7 leadership behaviors to avoid like the plague.
Sloppy Talent Acquisition PracticesInconsistent Reward MechanismsBehaviors That are ToleratedPlaying FavoritesPulling the “Firing” Trigger to SlowlyIgnoring Your Star PlayersInauthentic Value Systems
How to have a productive conversation with your local alternative facts fan.
First, build trust. You may disagree entirely with your conversational partner, but try to convey to this person that you share his or her bedrock values. Rephrase what this person is saying so that he can see that you understand where he’s coming from. In the case of the CEO who refuses to acknowledge a bad hire, you might convey that you too worry about the cost of recruiting. If your uncle won’t believe in climate change out of economic concerns, start by explaining you are also worried about unemployment.
Now, you’re all set for the real conversational ninja move — you need to show the other party that his beliefs are actually in conflict with his own values and goals, all without making him defensive. It sounds like a tall order, but Tsipurksy insists it is possible. Offering concrete examples of people who have changed their minds can help. So can suggesting that a person’s previous opinion was understandable given the information he or she had at the time.
After Studying the Lives of 724 Men for 79 Years, Harvard Reveals the 1 Biggest Secret to Success and Happiness
Want to improve your success in life and business? The results of this 79-year old study…
Read it on inc.com
Social connections are good for us; loneliness really kills.
While calling loneliness toxic, Waldinger said social connections made people happier and physically healthier. It made them live longer too.
On the other hand, he also said:
“People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely. And the sad fact is that at any given time, more than one in five Americans will report that they’re lonely.”
As companies become more distributed, allowing employees to work remotely, it seems important to ensure that teams stay connected. Collaboration tools, such as Slack (and all of its competitors) and Cisco Spark can be essential in minimizing isolation.
The quality of our close relationships matter.
Good relationships protect our brains, not just our bodies.
The study found that being attached to a relationship in your 80s is protective. Such people had sharper memories while people who were in relationships where they couldn’t really count on the other person experienced gradual memory decline.
The Results of Google’s Team Effectiveness Research Will Make You Rethink How You Build Teams
Read it on inc.com
1. Psychological safety
As Google put it, psychological safety is based on a primary question: “Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?”
The researchers found it to be the most important factor, by far, that could determine a team’s likelihood of success.
Ultimately, people want to protect themselves from harm and negative judgments made by others. So, if coming forward with an idea or asking for clarification on a goal or task can damage our reputation, we are more likely to keep quiet for the sake of professional self-preservation. Professionals, including entrepreneurs, often fear being wrong, and having an idea shot down with bravado can often bring that fear to the surface.
When it comes down to it, no one likes working with someone who can’t be depended on, and having an unreliable team member is guaranteed to cause problems, regardless if the person is not otherwise toxic.
To be a dependable team, all of its members need to complete their tasks on time and to the expected quality standards. Without that, the entire group will struggle, regardless of whether some are willing to pick up the slack.
3. Structure and clarity
Google also identified another good business basic as being particularly relevant: structure and clarity.
Employees need to clearly understand their role within the team, any current plans, and business goals that affect their work. Without this, workers may have a difficult time identifying who is responsible for what, why certain actions need to be done, and what the broader objectives happen to be. Cumulatively, this leads to uncertainty that can harm the team’s ability to focus on what matters and cover all of its duties.
In a world where cultural fit has become increasingly important, it’s no surprise that those who feel personally connected to the business and their work are more likely to excel. People who are passionate about the company’s mission experience higher levels of job satisfaction, which ultimately improves performance.
Beyond finding the work meaningful, the most talented teams also believe that what they do matters in a real way; that their contributions provide value and support positive change. This makes the day-to-day feel more important, as employees understand how their assigned tasks impact more significant goals in a fundamental way, making even tedious work seem valuable.
By creating teams that possess the five traits above, you are setting them up for success. So, instead of focusing solely on hard skills and education (even if the candidate has a degree from an Ivy league school), examine the personalities of your employees and make sure that they come together in these key areas. That way, they’ll be primed to exceed expectations, innovate, and work like a well-oiled collaboration machine.
Why Leadership Development Programs Don’t Work (And What Does)
Leadership development should be approached like a fitness routine. Companies in the United States spend more than $14 billion each year…
Read it on inc.com
What is a more effective way to develop leaders?
Leadership development should be approached like a fitness routine. If you truly want to get into shape, you must work at it. A few training sessions per year isn’t going to lead to lasting results. Leaders need to commit to ongoing efforts to develop their capacity to lead.
If a leadership development program is going to be effective, it will require a proper assessment of the organization and its leaders to uncover dysfunctional behaviors. The training should be based on what is actually happening in an organization, not on a standard framework or workbook.
Perfectly timed insights will make more sense to the leader, and they can immediately and permanently put them into practice.
Leadership development should also focus on business outcomes. Think of business outcomes you need to achieve, such as hitting your annual revenue goal. What’s getting in your way of achieving the goal? Are there any dysfunctional behaviors that are putting that goal in jeopardy?
Effective leadership development programs will surface these types of issues and equip leaders to deal with any and all dysfunctional behaviors that are putting that outcome at risk.
And here is the really good news. A leadership development program focused on delivering real-time guidance on overcoming actual challenges in your company will help you achieve your desired business outcomes.
Even more, you will have teased out dysfunctional behaviors, and created peak performance leadership, teamwork, and culture along the way. That is the enduring value and will make all the difference.
The Difference Between Leadership and Management
A common question with a simple answer that will help you with each As a professor of leadership and management and author of a bestselling leadership…
Read it on inc.com
Managers deal with behavior and things you can see.
Effective management results in compliance. The person you manage does what you instruct.
Managers’ influence comes from authority. To improve as a manager, improve your ability to give instruction.
Leaders work with emotions and motivations. They are less tangible than behavior, but equally systematic.
Effective leadership results in desire. The person you lead wants to do what you motivate.
Leaders’ influence comes from emotional and social skills. To improve as a leader, develop your social and emotional skills.
Extreme cases help illuminate the difference.
Leadership without management is dreaming. A team with leadership but no management is lucky to get jobs done.
Management without leadership is the DMV–bureaucracy without passion. A team with management without leadership rarely excels, nor do people like working in it.
Both involve motivating and influencing others. But improve with experience. Both are necessary.
Which should you develop?
You don’t personally need both, but a team with complex goals does.
If you lack one and the team needs it, you can find someone whose skills complement yours to do what you lack.
If You Want to Succeed, You Need to Hit Rock Bottom First – Inc. HERE
None of us ask for life’s greatest challenges, but that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from them.
1) It Could Be Worse
Few things sound more cliche when you reach what feels like rock bottom, but there is incredible power in realizing that whatever it is you’re dealing with you may have had to deal with something much worse. According to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, about the sudden death of her husband, “it’s very counterintuitive to try to recover from tragedy by thinking about an even worse tragedy, but it’s a very powerful lesson because it gets us to gratitude for what is still good in our lives.”
2) You Are Much More Resilient Than You Thought
When the world seems to have thrown the absolute worst it has at you this is one of the most important things to keep in mind. One thing that we can all be assured of is that the longer we live the more often we will have to reach into that well of resilience. Of course, it’s easy to say that resilience is a choice, but what prevents us from making that choice is most often the fear that doing so somehow minimizes the loss. We need to grieve, it acknowledges the magnitude of a loss. But grief and resilience are not a zero sum proposition. They can coexist if we allow them to.
According to the American Psychological Association resilience isn’t about overcoming grief, instead it’s about adapting “in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” I define it in even simpler terms. Resilience is the ability to grieve without turning your grief into regret.
3) Don’t Sidestep The Pain
The best piece of advice I ever received about dealing with adversity came from a friend who had seen more than her fair share of adversity. I was going through a difficult period and complaining mostly about how I was unable to overcome the pain of the situation I was in. Not only did I feel as though I’d failed at the situation but I was compounding it by feeling like a failure for not being able to stop the pain. What she told me has stuck with me. Very simply it was, don’t try to run away from the pain. Instead sit in it and ask, “What is this experience and the pain trying to teach me.”
4) Don’t Judge
Nowhere are we quicker to pass judgment than when it comes to judging ourselves. I’ve especially noticed this among entrepreneurs who are ruthless at blaming themselves when something goes horribly wrong. You may very well have made a bad decisions, hired the wrong person, blown the negotiation, dropped the ball, not followed your instincts, and, as if that’s not enough, now you beat yourself bloody as a result. It makes little sense.
If you knew someone who was the single most important person in your life or your company and they made a horrible mistake I doubt that your first response would be to start flogging them for it. There’s always time to ask what you could have done differently, it’s called learning. However, the less you judge yourself the more likely you will be to take the next risk, and the one after that. We don’t stop moving forward because we’ve faltered. We stop moving forward because were afraid. Withhold the judgment, learn the lesson, and, if success is your objective, expect to have to repeat that same cycle many times over again.
5) Keep Reminding Yourself Of What You’ve Learned
Lessons aren’t of much use if we keep repeating our past patterns. Life isn’t an academic test where the simple knowledge of how to solve a problem is enough to get the grade. It’s about putting into practice what you’ve learned. One of the best ways to do that is by writing a long letter to yourself that captures exactly what you were feeling and what you learned from your adversity. When you find yourself falling into a past pattern read that letter again. One of the most amazing things about adversity is how often we forget what it felt like. In some ways that’s a good thing, otherwise we might never take another risk. But when we recognize the patterns that created the problem emerging once again it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of what it felt like and what we learned because of it the last time around.
6) Give Yourself Credit
When you were in grade school you’d likely jump through flaming hoops to get praise and a gold star. Well, learning and growing only gets harder as you get older. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, often there’s nobody around handing out gold stars. Acknowledge your own efforts and resilience. Celebrate the lessons you learned. After all, you earned them.
7) Let It Go
I’m not going to suggest that you forget those times that you hit rock bottom. They are powerful reminders of what you have achieved and invaluable parts of who you are. They have shaped you and strengthened you. That isn’t the “it” you need to let go of. What you need to cast off is the very human desire to go back and make things right, to somehow get a do-over, especially now that you know better. Every moment spent wistfully thinking of that is a moment you do not get to spend applying your hard won lessons to what’s right in front of you.
Or, as J K Rowling, the wildly successful creator of Harry Potter, once said, “Rock bottombecame the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
The most influential factor in the development of wisdom appears to be an openness to experience and different modes of representing experience. Wisdom appears to stem from a capacity to reflect on and grapple with difficult existential life issues.
Wise people are not Pollyannaish. They are willing to explore the shadow side of life and are capable of expressing the wide array of human emotions in such a way as to derive meaning. This fosters a general sense of hopeful-ness. They seem able to first embrace and then transcend self-concerns to integrate their capacity for introspection with a deep and abiding concern for human relationships and generative concern for others.
Consequently, they reflect global concerns in their understanding of human issues and also project a sense of ease with themselves and others, as well as warmth and compassion. Consequently, wisdom as currently defined and measured in Western Psychology appears to have benefits both for the mental health and well-being of both the sage and those who are impacted by the sage’s actions.
To put this in the form of poetry – Rudyard Kipling’s poem IF, read by Sir Michael Cane fits (once again, because it’s so personal to me!)
More from Kaufman;
Thus, wisdom involves exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge about the conditions of life and human affairs and reflective judgment about the application of this knowledge. In order to exert judgment about when knowledge is applicable in a complex, dynamic human sphere, it is important to reflect on one’s own subjective standpoint to consider alternative frameworks and to be receptive to alternative modes of representation
Wise people are particularly adept at taking the perspective of others and providing a safe setting in which others can explore their own values, thoughts, actions, and decisions. By all research accounts thus far, it would be a useful skill for society to promote in its citizens because of the generative concern shown by wise individuals and their ability to engage others in an accepting, compassionate manner without judgment.
Wisdom has been conceptualized as:
(1) a rare, highly exercised and developed form of cognitive expertise about the domain of human affairs that allows for multiple conduits or
(2) a constellation of personal attributes reflecting a high degree of cognitive, affective, and behavioral maturity that allows for an unusual degree of sensitivity, broad-mindedness, and concern for humanity.
Using either conceptualization, wisdom research shows that it is a rare achievement, most often evolving
from unusual life experiences that foster introspection, reflection on the human condition, and counseling others. Openness to experience is the most frequent predictor of wisdom. Wise people are also found to think more dialectically, exhibit generativity and compassionate concern for others, and accept life’s limitations. Wise people show less despair and less dissatisfaction by grappling with existential issues and finding purpose and meaning in adverse experiences.
When in doubt, turn to the Stoics
My twelve arguments on the Decline of America. Demographics is destiny Japan style.
According to the UN’s most recent projections, the share of the Japanese population that was age 65 and older in 2015 was 26 percent. That compares to 14.6 percent in the U.S., 18.9 percent in France, 21.1 percent in Germany, and 22.4 percent in Italy. Further, Japan had a total fertility rate (TFR) — a measure of births per women of child-bearing age — of 1.41 from 2010 to 2015. Over that same period, the TFR was 1.88 for the U.S., 1.98 for France, 1.43 for Germany, and 1.43 for Italy. Japan’s TFR fell quickly in the post-war period, to 2.17 for the years 1955 to 1960, which was down from the TFR of 2.96 that the country experienced from 1950 to 1955. Most other advanced economies experienced much larger and longer “baby booms” after the war.
Japan has now experienced four straight decades of birth rates below the population replacement TFR of 2.1. Low rates of birth, and limited immigration, lead inexorably to a contracting workforce, which is debilitating for a pay-as-you-go pension system. Japan’s working age population — those age 20 to 64 — peaked nearly two decades ago. In 2000, there were 79.4 million people in Japan who were in this age group. By 2015, the number had dropped to just 72.1 million people. The UN’s median projection scenario forecasts Japan will have just 50.8 million people age 20 to 64 in 2050 — a remarkable 36 percent contraction over a half century.
Japan’s steady improvement in lifespans and its declining workforce has created tremendous financial pressure within the nation’s social security program. Japan’s system shares similarities with U.S. Social Security. It combines social welfare goals, which are met with income transfers, with an earnings-related benefit, and the system is financed mostly with payroll taxes imposed on current workers. Japan differs from the U.S. in that it chose to divide up its program into two tiers. The first is a flat-rate benefit, called the National Pension (NP), which gets half of its funding from a government subsidy financed outside of the payroll tax; the second is the earnings-related benefit, or Employees’ Pension Insurance (EPI).
….The reality is that Japan has no good options. When people live longer and have fewer children, the inevitable consequence is a shrinking pie from which to draw retirement benefits. The pie can be expanded by having workers stay employed longer, and the portion going to retirees can be reduced by having workers retire later in life. But these shifts won’t be enough to offset the effects of a rapid contraction of the workforce.
I’m a John Mauldin reader. His analysis is always deep, grounded in facts/data and he’s been in the financial world long enough to add a historical perspective to modern events. His series on the Great Reset (link below) is long but worth a read.
His recent article in Forbes explains where I think we are as a world economy. Since 2008 there has been a massive run-up in all sorts of debt. We never really took our medicine after the housing crash and instead inflated our way to a bigger potential issue.
The series of blog posts paint a picture of where we are as a State/County/City (pensions), Country ($21t in debt) and Globe (global debt to gdp is at 318%). There are ramifications for all the monetary policy. We can only speculate on the outcomes.
Forbes – Earlier this year, I wrote a series of articles (synopsis and links here) predicting a debt “train wreck” and eventual liquidation. I dubbed it “The Great Reset.” I estimated we have another year or two before the crisis becomes evident.
Now I’m having second thoughts. Recent events tell me the reckoning could be closer than I thought just a few months ago….
Here’s a note from Economic Cycle Research Institute’s Lakshman Achuthan:
Notably, the combined debt of the US, Eurozone, Japan, and China has increased more than ten times as much as their combined GDP [growth] over the past year.
Yes, you read that right. In the last year, the world’s largest economies are generating debt 10X faster than economic growth. Adding debt at that pace, if it continues, will boost the debt-to-GDP ratio at an alarming rate….
This Won’t End Well
I am trying to imagine a scenario where this ends in something less than chaos and crisis. The best I can conceive is a decade-long (and possibly more) stagnation while the debt gets liquidated.
But realistically, that won’t happen because debtors won’t let it. And they outnumber lenders. For this reason, something like “the Great Reset” will happen first.
The rational course would be to delay the inevitable as long as possible. Yet in the U.S. we’re rushing it.
I’m also reading a book, The Day After The Dollar Crashes, by Damon Vickers and although the run up and political theories that are nothing new took 3/4th of the book to get to the ‘what happens when that happens’ part, Vickers hypothesis is an either we go back to a money backed by a gold standard or we move to one currency. He does mention that we need to be very careful about a potential wag the dog war to deflect from the pain.
“A speculator is one who runs risks of which he is aware, and an investor is one who runs risks of which he is unaware.”
– John Maynard Keynes
“The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment.”
– Ray Dalio, founder, Bridgewater Associates, LP
A couple of documentaries that help to paint a deeper picture of money and the future:
End Of The Road – How Money Became Worthless
97% Owned – Economic Truth – How Money is Created
The Nature Of Money
The Big Short – 2015
This is a bit long, but it’s a good debate between the Republican Establishment and the Republican-Populist movement. The sides have ratcheted up and this is a debate within just one side of the two party system. Similar debates are happening in the Democratic party between the Bernie Sanders wing and the Hilary Clinton wing of their party. Sprinkle in the non-voting millennials and we have a recipe for a new America.
I’m hoping that there is a child in school right now that will bring sanity back to the public square. My theory on the direction America is playing out. Can the Elephants get their act together? Will the Donkeys find there a way? Who knows. Trump is a symptom of where we are as a society. The first Reality TV Presiden is playing out the drama and cliffhangers and manufactured tensions…just like you would see….on an episode of the Kardashians. And we are supposed to be surprised.
I cued this up to 1 hour 20 minutes, but worth a listen to the whole thing.
Interesting read on the purpose of education.
- Wisdom to understand the parts and know how they come together
- Wisdom to know when to pull out the cards and what response to use at what times
- Ability to get across your ideas
How are we doing as a society achieving these lofty goals? Should education be teaching practical skills like welding;
Recall Marco Rubio’s quip three years ago that “[w]e need more welders and less [he meant ‘fewer’] philosophers.” (He recanted earlier this year, realizing that, after all, both are important.)
or computer programming? Is STEM the answer, how about if we add STEAM (the arts)?
Rethinking the Purpose of Education
… First, education aims at “wisdom.” What is wisdom? It is, in the opinion of the ancient philosophers Cicero and Seneca, “knowledge of things human and divine.” It is an ordered reflection on the nature of reality in the broad sense. It is reflection on how the parts comprise a whole, and it is knowledge of that whole. Wisdom knows the human arts and sciences, it has some sense of the way those are ordained and arranged by God, and it knows how to tell the difference between the two.
Second, education aims at “prudence.” What is prudence? It is improvisatory wisdom. It is the application of the contemplative knowledge of the whole to the practical considerations of everyday life. It asks, “What does wisdom require of me in this situation?” And it knows how to answer.
Third, education aims at “eloquence.” What is eloquence? It is not flowery speech. It is not purple prose. It is not verbal pyrotechnics. It is the cultivated ability to discuss a subject with intelligence from all angles and comprehensively. It is the transformation of wisdom’s knowledge into human speech. This third aim is not optional, but is demanded by our very nature. For man is a speaking animal, and if ratio, “reason,” compels us to seek the fellowship of other rational animals, no less does oratio, “speech,” compel us to find the company of other creatures as loquacious as we are. Eloquence, furthermore, makes what we have learned available to others and makes it known in a persuasive way.
There is little hope that such a view of education will make great waves with our current educational establishment. It is too impractical, offers few material or corporate rewards, and creates too much potential for thought and the unapproved opinions to which such thought will give birth. Still, perhaps it’s not too late to see that this view is more in keeping with the kind of beings we are — those whose heads are raised from the earth — and is therefore better attuned to our higher aspirations. We are men before we are employees. Perhaps it is time for our educationalists to acknowledge that fact.
E.J. Hutchinson is Associate Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.