Saturday, January 20, 2018

5 Surprising Ways to Get People Excited About Their Jobs
Brains, like hearts go where they are appreciated

President and CEO, Lead From Within

CREDIT: Getty Images
A recent Gallup poll shows something many of us already suspected: people are not terribly enthusiastic about their work.
In a measure of employee engagement--that is, involvement, enthusiasm, and commitment--51 percent were described as "not engaged" while another 17 percent were "actively disengaged."
If those numbers seem to reflect your team, you probably don't need me to tell you that you've got a big problem.
So what can you do to get your people more engaged at work? A lot of the usual methods--extravagant raises, bonuses, incentive trips--involve huge levels of spending. And even if you had that kind of money, those things still don't get people excited and engaged in their work.
Why not try one of these novel approaches instead?
1. Empower people through collaboration. Whether you're talking about work, leadership, or life, the most rewarding experiences are rarely a solo act. Life at its core about collaboration, and part of building a successful team is giving people the opportunity to come together and learn to care about and support each other. When they know that they--and you--are all in together, the scene is set for a culture of active collaboration boosts productivity and engagement.
2. Entrust people with more freedom. People feel secure when they know they can trust and be trusted. Trust gives us freedom, and freedom fosters creativity and innovation. When people don't have to look over their shoulder or wonder if they're good enough, they discover the freedom to do what they do and do it well. If you more engagement, establish policies and an atmosphere based on trust.
3. Focus on core values. Our values are our blueprint. They tell us how to be, how to act, how to think. At the bottom line, they tell us what drives us. If you want people who are driven, connect with the values that resonate with them. That doesn't mean pandering but subordinating people's feelings to their more enduring principles. A values-based workplace turns employees into advocates.
4. Create a compelling vision together. Success is not a destination but a road that we need to take. Chances are you didn't go into the work you do with an ultimate goal of increasing third-quarter profits. What helps people excel is creating a compelling vision and working together to make it happen.
5. Find meaning in the work you do. As the old saying goes, the only inheritance we will leave that has eternal value is our influence. There are three fundamental concepts to remember when you're trying to achieve meaning--hard work, persistence, and common sense. People who have those raw materials and a tie to a greater meaning can truly accomplish great things. And if you and your team can be engaged in what you do, the work will renew your passions, and your passions will fuel your work. It's the best kind of loop to be stuck in. And it's all grounded in shared meaning, the most powerful weapon we have.
The bottom line is this; to get people excited about their job-- you have to learn what matters to them most, and share with them what matters to you most. Find common ground and establish an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring. Make the connections with and among your team members the most important thing every day in everything you do.

Monday, January 1, 2018

10 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Get Smarter

Motto: Words to Live By. From the Editors of TIME.
By Jessica Stillman / Inc

Intelligence is a work in progress. Maximize yours with these simple habits


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business ownersThe article below was originally published at

You might be under the impression that intelligence is a fixed quantity set when you are young and unchanging thereafter. But research shows that you’re wrong. How we approach situations and the things we do to feed our brains can significantly improve our mental horsepower.
That could mean going back to school or filling your bookshelves (or e-reader) with thick tomes on deep subjects, but getting smarter doesn’t necessarily mean a huge commitment of time and energy, according to a recent thread on question-and-answer site Quora.
When a questioner keen on self-improvement asked the community, “What would you do to be a little smarter every single day?” lots of readers–including dedicated meditators, techies, and entrepreneurs–weighed in with useful suggestions. Which of these 10 ideas can you fit into your daily routine?
1. Be smarter about your online time. 
Every online break doesn’t have to be about checking social networks and fulfilling your daily ration of cute animal pics. The Web is also full of great learning resources, such as online courses, intriguing TED talks, and vocabulary-building tools. Replace a few minutes of skateboarding dogs with something more mentally nourishing, suggest several responders.
2. Write down what you learn.
It doesn’t have to be pretty or long, but taking a few minutes each day to reflect in writingabout what you learned is sure to boost your brainpower. “Write 400 words a day on things that you learned,” suggests yoga teacher Claudia Azula Altucher. Mike Xie, a research associate at Bayside Biosciences, agrees: “Write about what you’ve learned.”
3. Make a ‘did’ list.
A big part of intelligence is confidence and happiness, so boost both by pausing to list not the things you have yet to do, but rather all the things you’ve already accomplished. The idea of a “done list” is recommended by famed VC Marc Andreessen as well as Azula Altucher. “Make an I DID list to show all the things you, in fact, accomplished,” she suggests.
4. Get out the Scrabble board.
Board games and puzzles aren’t just fun but also a great way to work out your brain. “Play games (Scrabble, bridge, chess, Go, Battleship, Connect 4, doesn’t matter),” suggests Xie (for a ninja-level brain boost, exercise your working memory by trying to play without looking at the board). “Play Scrabble with no help from hints or books,” concurs Azula Altucher.
5. Have smart friends.
It can be rough on your self-esteem, but hanging out with folks who are more clever than you is one of the fastest ways to learn. “Keep a smart company. Remember your IQ is the average of five closest people you hang out with,” Saurabh Shah, an account manager at Symphony Teleca, writes.
“Surround yourself with smarter people,” agrees developer Manas J. Saloi. “I try to spend as much time as I can with my tech leads. I have never had a problem accepting that I am an average coder at best and there are many things I am yet to learn…Always be humble and be willing to learn.”
6. Read a lot.
OK, this is not a shocker, but it was the most common response: Reading definitely seems essential. Opinions vary on what’s the best brain-boosting reading material, with suggestions ranging from developing a daily newspaper habit to picking up a variety of fiction and nonfiction, but everyone seems to agree that quantity is important. Read a lot.
7. Explain it to others. 
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough,” Albert Einstein said. The Quora posters agree. Make sure you’ve really learned what you think you have learned and that the information is truly stuck in your memory by trying to teach it to others. “Make sure you can explain it to someone else,” Xie says simply.
Student Jon Packles elaborates on this idea: “For everything you learn–big or small–stick with it for at least as long as it takes you to be able to explain it to a friend. It’s fairly easy to learn new information. Being able to retain that information and teach others is far more valuable.”
8. Do random new things. 
Shane Parrish, keeper of the consistently fascinating Farnam Street blog, tells the story of Steve Jobs’ youthful calligraphy class in his response on Quora. After dropping out of school, the future Applefounder had a lot of time on his hands and wandered into a calligraphy course. It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later baked into the first Macs. The takeaway: You never know what will be useful ahead of time. You just need to try new things and wait to see how they connect with the rest of your experiences later on.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” Parrish quotes Jobs as saying. In order to have dots to connect, you need to be willing to try new things–even if they don’t seem immediately useful or productive.
9. Learn a new language. 
No, you don’t need to become quickly fluent or trot off to a foreign country to master the language of your choosing. You can work away steadily from the comfort of your desk and still reap the mental rewards. “Learn a new language. There are a lot of free sites for that. Use Livemocha or Busuu,” says Saloi (personally, I’m a big fan of Memrise once you have the basic mechanics of a new language down).
10. Take some downtime.
It’s no surprise that dedicated meditator Azula Altucher recommends giving yourself space for your brain to process what it’s learned—“sit in silence daily,” she writes–but she’s not the only responder who stresses the need to take some downtime from mental stimulation. Spend some time just thinking, suggests retired cop Rick Bruno. He pauses the interior chatter while exercising. “I think about things while I run (almost every day),” he reports.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Microsoft veteran Julie Larson-Green is known for building successful teams — here’s how she does it
Julie BortBusiness Insider US
December 25, 2017

Julie Larson-Green
Julie Larson-Green 
Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED

  • Julie Larson-Green spent 25 years at Microsoft, rising to executive vice president and chief experience officer. She lead teams for products used by billions of people every day including Office, Windows, Internet Explorer, Xbox and Surface.
  • Although Microsoft has a reputation for a rough competitive culture, Larson-Green earned a manager who built collaborative and efficient teams.
  • She shares her tips for building great teams with Business Insider, such as how to help people focus on their strengths.

Julie Larson-Green had a storied 25-year career at Microsoft where she worked on everything from Windows to Microsoft Office to Surface devices.
She left Microsoft in November and landed at Qualtrics, the Provo-Utah based startup valued at $2 billion that offers survey software. She’s taking on the role of Chief Experience Officer there.
One of the things that drew Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith to woo Larson-Green was her reputation for building great teams within Microsoft.
“If you talked to anyone who worked with her, and every single back channel I talked to, everyone told me about the culture she built on teams,” Smith told Business Insider.
So we asked Larson-Green to tell us some of her tricks for building and managing great teams. She gave us these four bits of advice.
1. Stay curious about what other people think. Instead of working toward “culture fit,” which can be a lead to hiring like-minded people, build teams to “bring together different viewpoints,” she said.
2. Help people focus on what they uniquely bring to table. Don’t spin your wheels looking for golden people that do everything well. Do look for people who excel in specific areas.
One may be an engineering genius but not a great designer. Another may be excellent at communications but not an engineering genius. Another may be a great designer but not a good communicator.
“Don’t try to make an apple into an orange or a pear. Do hire an apple, an orange, and a pear, and then the team as a unit operates at a much higher level together,” Larson-Green said.
3. Don’t force people to work too hard on their weaknesses. If you are going to jigsaw-puzzle a team together based on everyone’s strengths, that also means that you have to support your people using those strengths and not constantly telling them to improve their weaknesses.
Make sure your employees are giving their “exponential effort on the things they like to do,” she said. “If they are working super hard on the things they are not super good at, it takes a lot of more effort.”
4. Give everyone room to shine. The final piece is to build a collaborative environment. That not only involves having everyone “focus on their gift,” it also means “leaving people a path” on how to accomplish their tasks as a unit.
Managers, Larson-Green said, often “get focused on how to do something and not on the goal.”
But if you give your team a goal and leave it up to them how to get it done, each one can take ownership of the parts of the task they do well. Everyone’s contributions will be appreciated.
“This creates less competition on the team and a more collaborative style,” she said.

You are naturally biased to be negative. Here's how to change
James HewittHead of Science & Innovation, Hintsa Performance
A white lion named Brutus is seen at the Drakenstein Lion Park near Cape Town December 29, 2015. Brutus, who fathered three "miracle" cubs despite having had a vasectomy in his youth, is going back to the vet to have the operation a second time. Brutus and his partner Nala, who live at the Drakenstein Lion Park, stunned staff at the sanctuary when she gave birth to the cubs just before Christmas. REUTERS/Mark Wessels   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX20F58Our skew to the negative is an effective way to avoid predatorsImage: REUTERS/Mark Wessels

Imagine you are living thousands of years ago among our ancestors. Unlike many of your peers, you’re an outrageously optimistic prehistoric person, roaming the savannah feeling grateful to be alive.

One day, in the middle of a hunter-gatherer mission, you pause and take a moment to look around and scan the scene. Over to your left, lurking behind a bush, you see an animal. You’ve never seen this animal before. It’s a lion. “Wow, what a fascinating creature.” you think. “I’ll head over there and take a closer look”.

Perhaps the lion is friendly, in which case you may enjoy an interesting encounter. More likely, you’re mauled to death.

A negativity bias

For most of human history, cost-benefit decisions have favoured those with a pessimistic view. We may have missed out on some opportunities but in a threat-filled world, expecting the worst significantly increased the probability that our DNA would remain in the gene pool. A negativity bias in our thinking was adaptive.

Fast forward a few millennia and our bodies and brains continue to be built according to much the same genetic load that influenced our ancestor’s predispositions.

Our brains continue to operate in accordance with this negativity bias. Many forms of evidence suggest that ‘bad’ is stronger than ‘good’ as a general principle, across a wide range of psychological phenomena.

Does the threat of illness motivate us to change behaviour?

Unfortunately, while an effective way to avoid predators, our innate skew toward the negative does not seem to be very effective at motivating us to make good decisions in the modern world. We’re much less likely to be eaten by a predator, but chronic diseases, associated with poor lifestyle decisions, are an increasingly aggressive global killer.

If you were diagnosed with a serious health condition such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease or diabetes, you might imagine that this would be sufficient motivation to change your behaviour. In 2012, researchers posed this question based on longitudinal data from 17,276 individuals. The primary focus was to investigate how patients behaved, before and after a serious diagnosis.
After analysing the 12 years of data covered by the study, the researchers concluded that people rarely made positive changes in lifestyle behaviours, even after they had been diagnosed with a chronic condition.

This is despite strong evidence to suggest that adopting a healthier lifestyle can extend longevity, reduce the likelihood of the condition recurring and enhance quality of life. Bad news does not appear to be an effective motivator for change, but still we persist in using a negativity bias to try to influence behaviour. Are there any other options?

A solution to negativity bias?

Dr Richard Boyatzis is an expert in the field of emotional intelligence and behaviour change. In 2013, Boyatzis and his fellow researcher, Dr Anthony Jack, collaborated on a study to assess contrasting coaching and mentoring approaches.

The researchers divided a cohort of volunteers into two groups. Each volunteer was interviewed for 30 minutes on themes relating to ‘life coaching’ and performance, but the coaches who conducted the interviews used two contrasting techniques.

Group one:

Coaches asked questions that focussed on the problems and challenges the volunteers were facing. The coaches emphasised problem-solving techniques to try to identify solutions. This approach tended to bring up issues associated with other people’s expectations, weaknesses, obligations, and fears.

Group two:

Coaches asked questions designed to encourage the volunteers to imagine a positive future, such as how they would like their lives to look in 10 years’ time. The questions drew out the volunteer’s vision in more detail.

Dr Boyatzis describes the coaching approach in group two, which emphasised vision, hopes and dreams, as “coaching and mentoring to the Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA).” This contrasts with coaching in group one where the approach is characterised as coaching to the “Negative Emotional Attractor (NEA).”After a period of five to seven days, both groups of volunteers were asked to return and answer a series of follow-up questions by the same coach, using the same approach as in the first interview.

During this second round of questioning, the students' brains were scanned using fMRI, a brain imaging technique which detects changes associated with blood flow, to measure brain activity. The results demonstrated that the two contrasting interview approaches activated different and distinct regions in the brain.

The Negative Emotional Attractor approach, which emphasised the problems over the vision, activated the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ nervous system and regions of the brain associated with blaming ourselves and experiencing negative moods. When we experience NEA, our sympathetic nervous system becomes more dominant. Physiologically, heart rate and blood pressure increase, but we are also more likely to make decisions based on fast, instinctive, but sometimes faulty, shortcuts in our thinking. We are more likely to be fixed, rather than flexible.

A plausible mechanism for PEA

The difference in brain blood flow between the two conditions points to an underlying mechanism that may help to describe why the Positive Emotional Attractor approach is more effective. In the study, it appeared that coaching and mentoring to the PEA resulted in activation of regions in the brain associated with developing a plan or vision for the future.

When we focus our attention on positive themes, reward circuits and areas of our brain associated with experiencing positive moods activate. In addition, our parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system becomes more dominant.
When we reduce our perception of threat, our mind may consider that it’s safe to take more time over decisions and think more deeply. We become more cognitively flexible, able to simulate multiple future possibilities and consider new ideas, as well as taking into account how other people think and feel.

These patterns of activity are vital for motivation, sustaining positive feelings and keeping going when we experience challenges – characteristics that are crucial if we are trying to change our behaviour and work towards a goal.

A positive focus to thrive

Psychologist and journalist Dan Goleman quotes Dr Boyatzis as saying: “You need the negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive.”

Coaching and mentoring that encourages us to imagine a positive vision of the future, focussing our attention on possibilities and dreams has been shown to enhance behavioural change and increase the likelihood that we will achieve what we are hoping for.

That’s not to say that we should ignore problems entirely. Rather, consider the starting point when you next begin to think about a new challenge or opportunity. Will you begin by listing the problems and threats, or take a step back, make a conscious challenge to your negativity bias and make your starting point a vision for a more positive future, characterised by growth, learning, development and possibility. Evidence suggests this may be the most effective approach; unless, of course, you are staring down a lion.

Here's why your attitude is more important than your intelligence
Dr Travis BradberryCoauthor of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0 & President at TalentSmart

A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London, Britain February 26, 2014.      REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo                GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE Ð SEARCH ÒBUSINESS WEEK AHEAD 5 SEPTEMBERÓ FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX2O4AU
Psychologist Carol Dweck has found that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.
Image: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).

Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.

Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.

Image: LinkedIn

Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.

According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,
Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”

Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.

Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.

Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls, the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.

Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.

Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?

Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?

Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.

Don't complain when things don't go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.

Bringing It All Together

By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the right side of the chart above.

About The Author: 

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Economy of Indonesia: Shifting from Consumption to Investment? | Indonesia Investments

Economy of Indonesia: Shifting from Consumption to Investment? | Indonesia Investments

Thomas Lembong, Head of Indonesia's Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said the 5.01 percent year-on-year (y/y) economic growth pace of Indonesia in the second quarter of 2017 was rather disappointing as consumption remained bleak. Only Indonesia's export and investment realization showed an improvement, Lembong added. But, overall, Indonesia's economic growth stagnated.

Growth of gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) picked up in Indonesia at a pace of 5.35 percent (y/) in Q2-2017 due to rising investment (accelerating from a growth pace of 4.18 percent in the same quarter one year ago). However, Lembong said direct investment actually only forms a small portion of GFCF. The contribution of state-owned companies expenditures, re-investment by corporations, and government spending are much bigger.
However, corporations' re-investment remained weak over the past quarter as companies are holding back on expansion plans. That also partly explains why funds in Indonesia's banking sector have risen sharply over the past couple of quarters. Therefore, key to boost the Indonesian economy - in the words of Lembong - would be rising confidence among businesses. The government can help to boost confidence by further slashing regulations that are regarded as undermining the attractiveness and competitiveness of Indonesia's business climate. With Indonesia's business and investment environment still being difficult due to excessive regulations, Indonesia not only misses out on investment but the country's competitors become stronger because investors turn to these markets.
Investment growth in Indonesia during Q2-2017 was better compared to household consumption growth in Q2-2017. Lembong said that this development is no surprise because Indonesian President Joko Widodo already stated earlier that he wants the government to aim for a shift from consumption to investment. Therefore, this development is in line with government targets. In fact, Lembong sees plenty of room for further growth of foreign and domestic direct investment realization in Indonesia up to 2019 when the first term of Widodo ends.
Although Lembong could not deny or confirm anything, there are rumors that the Indonesian government will again revise the Negative Investment List before the year-end in an attempt to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI).
The tourism sector is one of the sectors that should play a strategic role in the shift from consumption to investment, Lembong said. Moreover, this sector would open plenty of employment opportunities for local Indonesians, as well as in other sectors that are related to tourism, for example transportation. Another advantage is that investment in the tourism sector tends to be realized much quicker compared to investment in other industries (when complex factories need to be developed). Meanwhile, on the long-term there should be a continuous flow of foreign exchange earnings brought in by the arrival of foreign tourists. Lembong added that investment in the tourism sector should help to compensate for bleak foreign demand for Indonesia's export products.
According to data from the BKPM released last month, total direct investment realization in the first half of 2017 in Indonesia reached IDR 336.5 trillion (approx. USD $25.3 billion), or 49.6 percent of the BKPM's full-year target.