Cultivating Positive Identities

November 20, 2014

By: Max Branson


“What is your vision for extraordinary leadership impact? I could get up and talk to you for forty-five minutes about what I think leadership should be, but at the end of the day, in order to make a connection between positive identities and positive leadership, the leadership vision itself has to be personal. [It has to] connect in some way to your source of inspiration. And your source of inspiration for leadership and action comes from who you are, how you see yourself, and the results you wish to create or contribute.”

With this message, Laura Morgan Roberts began her Positive Links Speaker Series session.

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7 Tips for Asking Highly Effective Questions

November 10, 2014

By: Chris Murchison


Business leaders support individuals and help them perform their best. But providing guidance and feedback to others can be challenging. People have shifting interests, concerns, and worries. So as a leader, you cannot support people unless you know what they think and how they feel. And this can only be done by asking meaningful questions and listening deeply.

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Why It’s Time to Take This Four-Letter Word Out of the Corporate Closet

November 6, 2014

By: Jessica Amortegui

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What’s love got to do with it?” Tina Turner made the question famously seductive. For many, it struck a truthful cord—in their personal lives at least. But recent research demonstrates the nostalgic phrase also extends into our work lives. In fact, if you have ever said “my boss is killing me”—and studies suggest that nine out of 10 employees have-—then you have been afflicted by the harrowing effects of workplace love.

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Don’t Start a Company with Your Friends

November 3, 2014

By: Adam Grant


When we’re launching a new business, we naturally turn to our friends. They’re the people we trust for sharing information and covering our backs. By recent estimates, 40% of founding teams include people who were friends socially before building their startups. But according to new research, starting a company with your friends is a risky endeavor.

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The Practices and Principles of Hope

October 28, 2014

By: Max Branson


Hope. Little word, big concept. In their Positive Links Speaker Series session, Oana Branzei and Neil Hetherington broke it down. Hope is “forward-looking, a passion for what is possible.” It’s “rational, practical, and warranted.” And if you cultivate it, it can be transformational. But how do you do that?

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How I Overcame the Fear of Public Speaking

September 18, 2014

By: Adam Grant


Several years ago, I was invited to give my first public speech, and I made the mistake of saying yes. I was terrified: as a student, my heart used to race at the mere thought of raising my hand in class. For weeks beforehand, I had nightmares about forgetting my lines, waking up in a cold sweat. No matter how much I practiced, for the three days leading up to the speech, I could hardly breathe.

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Reflecting on the Summer Fellows Program

August 1, 2014

By: Allison Sheehan

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One of the things that I value most about the Center is the people. As I wrote in my initial blog about first impressions, right away what caught my attention about the Center were the bright-colored walls and the collaborative set up of each room. However, I quickly realized it’s the interesting people and conversation that make this place so unique. It has only been eight weeks since the Summer Fellows started at the Center, but I have built high quality connections with my fellows much faster than I have in any of my other jobs. I think this is due to the focus on recognizing and sharing positive identities with one another, and our weekly celebrations at the beginning at every Lunch and Learn.

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What Does Mentoring Look Like in Today’s Context?

July 31, 2014

By: Kathy Kram, Wendy Murphy

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Today’s career environment is very different than it was two decades ago. The pace of change is ever increasing. Globalization is inevitably requiring most of us to work effectively and learn from individuals who are from different countries and ethnic backgrounds, requiring well-honed communication skills. And, technology has significantly changed the way we work and the way we create and sustain relationships with others. These trends make us all novices over and over again, as we necessarily move to a new job, new organization, or new country. It is almost impossible to be an expert for very long.

So what does mentoring look like in this new context? Our review of three decades of research and our own observation and experiences clearly indicate that rather than seek out one mentor who can provide all of the guidance that is needed at a particular point in time, we all need to build a network of developers that can help us to continuously learn, innovate, work with others, and realize our goals.

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One Size Doesn’t Fit All

July 25, 2014

By: Allison Sheehan

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I’m always amazed when I walk into a store and read the label on a piece of clothing to see the size, and the tag simply reads “one size fits all.” I specifically remember the first time I saw one of these labels–I was young, with my mom. The piece of clothing was a Disney nightgown, and there was only one size that claimed to “fit all.” I remember looking up at my mom, wondering how this gown could possibly fit both her and me. There was no way it was going to fit her adult body and my eight-year-old body. The only way she could describe it was that there was only one size made for everyone to fit into, and it would just fit everyone differently, or realistically, some wouldn’t fit into it at all.

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Three Leadership Lessons We Can Learn from America’s Best Teachers

July 21, 2014

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While debates over education reform pick up steam across the country, Ross professors Robert Quinn and Gretchen Spreitzer hope to add a little analytical rigor to the discussions with their new book, The Best Teacher in You, out this month from Berrett-Koehler in partnership with Battelle For Kids.

In the book, Quinn and Spreitzer (along with co-authors Mike Thomas and Katherine Heynoski of BFK) explore interviews, workshops, and studies with more than 350 highly effective teachers from across the country and reveal some interesting details.

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Finding the Light in Darkness: The Heliotropic Effect

July 18, 2014

By: Allison Sheehan

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If you walk into a dark, unfamiliar room, what is your first instinct? Probably to find the nearest light and turn it on. If you’re stressed and under a lot of pressure at school or work, why do people say, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel?” And why was there an Oprah quote on my Starbucks cup today, telling me to “know what sparks the light in [me],” and to “use that light to illuminate the world”? Finding “the light” is a common thing that people are searching for.

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