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The Science of Helping Out

I hope you, your families and friends continue to be well, safe and healthy. Week eight of house arrest continues…well, in much the same way the previous seven weeks have :). Grateful for the beautiful weather in the Bay Area and the ability to enjoy the tranquility and rejuvenating quality of my early morning walks. It’s the little things… 

This week’s missive offers an array of reading and listening material, and I particularly enjoyed Tim Ferriss’s interview with Brene Brown. I always learn something useful from her. And for the uber Brene fans, she now has her own podcast for your listening enjoyment.  

As always, happy reading and listening! And please stay safe and look out for your families and your community. 


Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus. “So how do we balance the pressing need to ensure basic survival — of our families and firms — with what may well be a growing urge to do something new after this crisis has subsided?” 

Make the Right Personnel Decisions Now to Thrive After the Crisis. “This is a time people will long remember, and reputations will be won and lost.  When your leadership is considered, you will be remembered just as much for how you make, communicate, and act on these choices as for the choices themselves. Be honest, be open, have the courage to reset your business and you will not just survive, but thrive.” 

Newly Remote Workers Need Peer Coaching. “Peer coaching allows employees to help each other validate and activate their own knowledge, which helps reduce work stress and increase engagement.” 

We Need Great Leadership Now, and Here’s What It Looks Like. “Leaders who in this pause hear that call — leaders who bring that ethos of saving people today but serving people and society differently tomorrow — will be the ones that will earn our most enduring respect and support.” 

Leadership Skills in an Uncertain World. “‘The VUCA world of the future will be formidable and loaded with opportunities,’ says Johansen. ‘The biggest danger is not being prepared — and you can control that by preparing yourself as a leader and readying your organization for an uncertain future.'” 

Tapping Into the Power of Humble Narcissism. “No, ‘humble narcissism’ is not an oxymoron; it’s a combination of qualities that the best leaders and companies have. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant explains why.” 

The Science of Helping Out. “During a crisis, the people who cope best are those who help others.” 

Online Learning: How To Acquire New Skills During Lockdown. “Millions of users are signing up for free courses taught by professors from Harvard and other top universities.”  

TED Talks/Podcasts

Knowledge at Wharton: Why ‘Radical Self-inquiry’ Can Create a Thriving Workplace. “Executive coach Jerry Colonna wants managers to stop focusing on output and achievement. Instead, he wants them to engage in radical self-inquiry, which builds the maturity required for leaders to lift up others, not just themselves. It’s part of what sees as a bigger rebooting.” 

TED@BCG Milan: ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Are Incomplete Stories We Tell Ourselves. “…In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Heather Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life “good” or “bad,” challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes.” 

The Tim Ferriss Show: Brené Brown: Striving versus Self-Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More. “We chase extraordinary moments instead of being grateful for ordinary moments…And then in the face of really hard stuff — illness, death, loss — the only thing we’re begging for is a normal moment.”  

Blog Posts (excerpt below with links to the full post)

Via Negativa: Adding to Your Life By Subtracting. Via negativa can also be used to describe a similarly “negative” way of improving one’s life; instead of concentrating on what you do, the focus turns to what you don’t do. This path has two main thrusts: stripping bad habits and situations out of your life, and avoiding bad habits/situations in the first place.” 

Your Job is to Get The Best Out of People. “We only control our behavior. We can only fully uphold our standards for ourselves. As leaders, we have to work to meet everyone else where they are—get as much as we can from them and of them—but we can’t make ourselves miserable expecting them to be like us.” 

You Must Find the Stillness. “We need time to reflect. We need focus. We need calm to restore and reboot us…So much depends on it.”  

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

In Conversation: Brian Fallon Wants to Recharge You with Local Honey. “The ex-Gaslight Anthem frontman on leaving his label, therapy, and what Bruce Springsteen told him about writing political songs.” 

The Unsolved Case of the Most Mysterious Song on the Internet. “Twelve years ago, a catchy New Wave anthem appeared on the internet with no information about who wrote or recorded it. Amateur detectives have spent thousands of hours since trying to figure out where it came from — with little luck. Inside the question that’s been driving the internet crazy for years.” 

The Mystery of the Millionaire Hermit. “He spent years scrimping and saving. But without a will, where’s his money going?”

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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