The Boring Trait Google Looks For in Its Leaders

A really interesting article about leadership turned up in my Facebook stream. It’s The Boring Trait Google Looks For in Its Leaders.

The prototypical leader is a hero: gives the rousing speech, inspires the troops, and shows up at the last minute to save the day. At least that’s how leaders are portrayed. but that’s not at all what Google discovered as their most important qualities.

At Google, they’re obsessive about looking at data to determine what makes employees successful and what they found in the numbers was surprising. The most important character trait of a leader is one that you’re more likely to associate with a dull person than a dynamic leader: predictability

The article says “Autonomy is the key to employee happiness and outsized performance” which is interesting. Autonomy is one of the factors that Dan Pink mentions as essential in modern motivation (see links below).

I like the summary:

Great leadership is never about being a dramatic hero. It’s just not about you. Instead it’s about providing support to your team by being willing to be seen as boring and predictable.

Provide information they need, work from their perspective, cultivate their performance by offering them the oxygen to succeed. Then they’ll have the breathing room and self-determination to shine.

Read about motivation:
Motivation, Drive and Dan Pink
Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

Listening matters!

Conscious listening is important, especially in conversations. Paying full and undivided attention to the person you’re talking with makes a huge difference.

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.

Julian’s fifth way of listening is an acronym worth remembering:
R as in Receive.
A as in Appreciate.
S as in Summarize.
A as in Ask.

Video: Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better

Watch the video below or at TED: Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better

#blogg100

How to Write a Professional Bio For Social Media

A question that both clients and I myself wrestle with is how to best write bios for social media. In some social media, like Twitter, there are restrictions and limited space while others offer “unlimited” space. Either way, it’s all about capturing the readers and get your message through. You need a hook and to tell the readers what’s in it for them.

When talking about how to write bios I mention three things you need to get across: what you deliver, your skills and something about yourself.

A professional bio on a social network is an introduction – a foot in the door so your potential audience can evaluate you and decide if you’re worth their time.

That’s a brilliant summary. Read about six rules for a foolproof bio in the excellent post over at Buffer: How to Write a Professional Bio For Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Google+. There are some really great comments too.

Credit: I found the Buffer-post through How to write a professional bio for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+ which is a re-post of the Buffer-post.

The Mental Leap

I had four core websites, two in English and two in Swedish. One in each language is for business, the other ones are for myself. It turned out that there was a larger overlap in topics relevant for my business and personal sites. At times I had (created) problems with where to post.

In October 2013 a new project popped up. It resulted in a new website, The Mental Leap, which is about change, growth and related topics. In addition to what The Mental leap project itself will result in over time it solved my problem with overlapping topics. From now on they will end up on the Leap site. I will also move older posts there, when I have some spare time.

You find links to all my sites and social media at My sites and profiles.

Boost Your Creative Productivity

I found The Real Reason Coffee Shops Boost Productivity through Twitter.

Coffee Shops have been known to boost creative productivity. But it’s not the caffeine that does it.

The blog post refers to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research that explored the effects of various levels of background noise on individual creative thinking. What’s really interesting is this:

the researchers found that those in the moderate-noise condition outperformed those in all the other conditions, hence moderate-noise was amplifying their creative output

Drink whatever you want at the coffee shop (I drink hot chocolate), it’s the background noise that makes you creative.

Get The Coffee Shop Noise At Home

In one of the comments on the blog post above is a link to Coffitivity. They describe the site as “Ambient sounds to boost your workday creativity! ” I have Coffitivity on right now and really like the sound.

Is there an app for that?

There’s Ambiance thats described as an “environment enhancer” designed to help you create the perfect ambient atmosphere to relax, focus or reminisce on the go.

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