The correct answer is B. As recounted in Angelica Malin’s new book, in which a study of the largest 250 companies on the London Stock Exchange found that companies with more than one third of women in their executive committees enjoyed a profit margin greater than ten times higher. Most times, money talks – or to quote Bob Dylan: “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” So . . . why in the world haven’t more companies pursued a policy of adding more female executives? Is it possible that (white) male leaders are choosing their own comfort level over what would aid the company? Is it possible they are simply unwilling to share the “reins of power” out of fears of being replaced? One’s head spins given all the interpretative possibilities of such a stark, startling statistic. Malin’s book is nothing if not a call for more female entrepreneurship, more empowerment, more determination than ever to break through. No wonder the book is dedicated in part to Taylor Swift.
Angelica Malin is the Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine and she’s the UK’s rising voice for championing women founders and entrepreneurs. She’s appeared on BBC News and LBC Business Hour and has been featured in The Telegraph, Forbes, and Real Business.
The correct answer is C, as it comes the closest to the actual percentage of Americans reporting that they feel lonely: 47%. In other words, nearly one of every two Americans feel psychologically if not physically isolated, too. At work, job insecurity and working-from-home (WFH) can be contributors. When I mentioned to HR consultant Caroline Stokes in a previous interview the estimate is that 25% of all bosses qualify as bullies, Stokes thought that percentage was too low. Add to that mix difficult bosses, then a worker’s day can seem even longer. When loneliness induces sadness (which it typically does), a sense of helplessness and hopelessness can settle in, depriving a person of the energy to get things done and also interact with others. A good manager might intervene to correct that vicious cycle, but not a bully boss. If you’re in an office setting, your desk may be near other colleagues but do you feel connected to them? My favorite statistic of late is that there are only 18 inches separating the head and the heart, but, oh-what-a-distance that can prove to be!
Eileen McDargh is the CEO (Chief Energy Officer) at the Resiliency Group. In 2019, Global Gurus International ranked her first among the World’s Top 30 Communication Professionals. She’s also been elected into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, placing her among the top 3% of speakers in America.
The second point ensures the meeting has a primary purpose, with two or three desired outcomes.
Is that enough? Probably not suggests Ann Latham in her new book The Power of Clarity. After all, outcomes that come from meetings often amount to nothing more than “let’s study this further” or “so-and-so will circle back with some ideas for next time.” Instead, Latham argues in favor of a firmer standard: what is tangibly different as a result of discussing the issue during the meeting? Only then will real progress happen.
Ann Latham has consulted for major global companies like Boeing and Medtronic, as well as Public Television, and she’s the author of two other books: The Clarity Papers and Uncommon Meetings. She’s been interviewed by The New York times, Bloomberg Business Week, and Forbes, where she’s also an expert blogger.
The correct answer is four percent. So, in corporate America, while women constitute about 30% of the personnel in management, African-American women are only one eighth of that 30% total. Or to put it another way: in a more fair world, since black women collectively form 7.4% of the U.S. population, that four percent should be twice as large. You might ask “What are the percentages for other women of color?” The answer is 4.3% for Latinas, and 2.5% for Asian women. No wonder my eloquent guests on this episode refer to the situation women are facing as—not a glass wall—but a concrete wall! Remember Ronald Reagan telling the Soviets to “tear down that wall”? Just like the Berlin Wall, this issue is a matter of justice and liberty, too. To rectify the situation, more compelling steps must be undertaken than mere lectures about the need for greater diversity. For instance, Ella Bell Smith mentions that at Dartmouth’s Tuck School where she teaches, they’re about to take executive groups on an immersive experiential journey: visiting the anti-lynching museum in Alabama. Of all the interviews I’ve taped, this is one of my favorites.
Ella Bell Smith is a professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business. She’s also the founder and president of ASCENT: Leading Multicultural Women to the Top. Stella M. Nkomo is a professor in the Department of Human Resource Management at the University of Pretoria. She was the founding president of the Africa Academy of Management.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is A because to change a habit you need to make it easy. Figure out which elements stand in the way, typically either time, money, physical effort, mental effort, or an unproductive routine. Find a weak link in what author BJ Fogg calls the Ability Chain, and you’ve found a way to break-through. Fogg has been in the business of helping people and companies change habits for a decade now and has a wonderful array of terminology and sayings. “Emotions create habits” is one of them. Another is “Decision and habit are opposites.” Still another is “Celebration is habit fertilizer.” Perhaps most important of all is “Simplicity changes behavior.” Give this episode a try, on behalf of making your listening to my podcast series one of your new habits!
BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He teaches industry innovators and created the Tiny Habits Academy to help people around the world. He lives in Northern California and Maui.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is supposedly C), 30%. At least that’s what Jim Detert has concluded from participants completing the survey that underlies his Workplace Courage Acts Index. In that survey, the questions involve whether one dares challenge an authority figure—defined defined as a manager or a leader one rank or more above your supervisor. A challenge could be regarding a strategic or operating policy; inappropriate behavior; or unethical, even illegal behavior. At the policy level, the percentage of courage nears 40% (managers are easier than leaders to challenge). But when it comes to personal behavior, being a good diplomat is crucial to ensure your career doesn’t get beheaded. Detert’s best advice for how to speak truth to power and survive to tell the tale? Have a solution in mind. Be specific and also be seen as an advocate for growth or improvement, as opposed to merely shaming the other party. Another hint: it helps if you’ve built up your personal brand equity by demonstrating warmth and competency leading up to the moment when you dare to step up.
Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He’s won multiple awards for his teaching and curriculum development at both UVA and Cornell University.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is all of the above, A through C. It’s a trick question because advancing as well as protecting one’s career is a tricky proposition. It’s tempting to say A, competency, is the single most important quality to possess. After all, what’s more fundamental than can you do the job well? And yet, as a university department chair said to me in an interview years ago: “We know you’ll publish and be good in the classroom. What we want to know is can we stand to go to lunch with you for the next 20 or more years?” So in lots of ways, B, compatibility, can you get along with others, proves more decisive in one’s career. Finally, don’t underestimate option C, commitment. Sure, on day one you want to do the job well and get along with others. After three to five years into the job, however, when you’ve been disappointed by sundry developments within your department, can you still summon the energy to care? It’s hard to fake being excited to be there. They give Oscars in Hollywood for playing a role, but you may not be an A-list actor day in and day out.
Released today: episode #62 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Gorick Ng discussing The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right. Click here to get to the new episode.
Gorick Ng is a career adviser at Harvard College. He’s also managed new employees at the Boston Consulting Group, worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse, and been a researcher with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard Business School. Gorick’s book has been featured on “The Today Show,” CNBC, and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is option B. Nor is that the last of the eye-opening statistics contained in the new book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. Workplace anxiety is estimated to cost America $40 billion a year in lost productivity, errors, and health-care costs. Add in stress in general and that number climbs to over $300 billion. What percentage of millennials have quit a job for mental health reasons? The answer is estimated to be over 50%. For Gen Z, the estimate is 75%. Finally, here’s the kicker. In a situation reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous, satirical novel about World War Two, Catch-22, 90% of employed adults report that they would be anxious about reporting their on-the-job anxiety to their bosses. In other words, welcome to the bureaucratic absurdity Heller’s characters encounter on a daily basis: “a problem for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem” itself. A boss causing stress becomes the choke point for resolving that stress.
Adrian Gostick is ranked among the top ten global gurus in leadership and organizational culture. Chester Elton is ranked number two among organizational culture experts around the world and among the top ten in leadership and it shows in my interview in which he’s an exceptionally gracious guest.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is answers A and C, though B is hardly out of the question. That conclusion comes courtesy of Melody Wilding, a self-described Sensitive Striver. What characterizes this type of person in Wilding’s estimation? Sensitive Strivers tend to be sensitive obviously; also thoughtful, responsible, vigilant and full of inner drive. They’re committed and kind-hearted, hence conscientious about the details and eager to get along with others. Their tendency to be “over-everything” can get them into trouble. In other words, they’re perfectionists who get burdened with more work than they or anybody could readily handle. Stress results. To overcome what Wilding calls the Honor Roll Hangover and subsequent burn-out, she suggests cutting your to-do list by 70%. A safer route is to ditch an all-or-nothing approach for something more modulated and realistic. If you can do that and keep your job, another way others might describe you is a Miracle Worker!
Melody Wilding has been named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative Coaches” with clients across a range of Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Fast Company, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University.
The correct answer to this week’s quiz is $1 billion, almost the entire budget for the EPA (which has been cut in half by Congress in recent years). Also, perhaps worth knowing, companies that caused the problem often avoid paying the clean-up costs: most often because offenders can’t be identified, no longer exist, or claim they can’t afford to contribute.
How do toxic waste sites compare to offices? Well, with over 25% of all bosses qualifying as bullies, and burn-out rates in various occupations running in the range of 50% or more, hazards abound. People’s lives feel contaminated by undue and/or uncompensated stress. Who’s to pay up? Just like taxpayers shouldn’t have to compensate for the ill-gotten gains of companies polluting our environment and using citizen’s taxes to finance Superfund clean-ups, why should stressed-out employees be left holding the bag? When will Vice Presidents, Directors and Managers have their pay and career advancements influenced by metrics such as the employee retention rate in their departments along with other metrics like the absenteeism rate vs. the company average, and an accounting of the degree to which the mental health needs of employees reach a chronic level?
Paula Davis JD, MAPP is the founder and CEO of the Stress & Resilience Institute, a training and consulting firm. She’s been featured in The New York Times, O (The Oprah Magazine), and The Washington Post; and she’s also a contributor to Forbes, Fast Company and Psychology Today.