Issue No. 79 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting features an astounding book on the brain. Stop asking job applicants if they can multi-task. The brain can’t multi-task. It’s a myth, says John Medina. Remember that you can delegate this book and DVD to other team members and ask for mini-reviews at your weekly staff meetings. And this reminder: to review all the books I’ve recommended, just search the archives here.
Your Brain Is Easily Bored!
Yikes! In our Management Buckets workshop, we talk about four levels of leadership and management knowledge. Level 1 is “I don’t know what I don’t know.” Bingo! You must read (or listen to) this amazing new book.
To order from Amazon, click on this title: Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, by John Medina. Did you know that exercise boosts brain power (Rule 1)? So how often do you exercise at work? Eight hours of cubicle confinement (without exercise) makes no business sense. Rule 5 is “Repeat to remember.” If you don’t repeat something you learned within 30 seconds, you’ll forget it within one to two hours. School assignments, hours later at home, don’t play to brain rules.
And my favorite: “Sleep well, think well” (Rule 7). Medina recommends mid-afternoon naps to battle the dreaded 3 p.m. “nap zone.” (Don’t do meetings then.) NASA research showed that the performance of pilots increased 34 percent after a 26-minute afternoon nap.
The book will crush your misconceptions about your sterling presentations (most people lose their audiences after 10 minutes). Rule 4: “We don’t pay attention to boring things.” You’ll learn about the dangers of boss-induced stress and the staying power of pictures (the visual) versus words.
The book includes an attention-grabbing 45-minute DVD covering all 12 brain rules—and many laugh-out-loud sit-com scenarios to illustrate these survival principles. The DVD also includes three MP3 chapters from the audio book. The DVD alone is worth the book’s cover price. You’ll get 12 insightful and humorous short videos for your next 12 staff meetings. View the funny “nap zone” video at the Brain Rules website.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. Medina says that 10-20 percent of us are night owls and 10-20 percent of us are early morning people—the rest somewhere in between. It’s a brain thing. So…how important is flex time at work? Be honest: what would be your preferred working hours, if other than nine to five?
2. Harvard Business Review’s “Breakthrough Ideas for 2008” (February 2008) includes the author’s article, “The Board Meeting of the Future,” based on his brain rules. What should “The Staff Meeting of the Future” look like?
Bucket #8 of 20: The Culture Bucket - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Over a 20-week period, I’m featuring one of the 20 buckets (core competencies) from my forthcoming book, Mastering the Management Buckets (pre-order now for April delivery). Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. says the book “…delivers practical management insights for our leaders and our in-the-trenches people.” Here’s the core competency in Bucket #8: The Culture Bucket:
“We strive to create a corporate culture with core values that are crystal clear. We yearn for a God-honoring workplace where grace and trust are alive and well. Because we are human we will always have relational conflicts, so we are zealots about resolving conflict early. We invite those who won’t live out our values to exit. We experience true joy at work.”
Preach and Live Your Values! Ten core values will never be remembered—much less lived. Focus on three or four and make them hum!
Trust me—I’m not suggesting a re-write here of Holy Scripture, but stop reading right now and write out the Ten Commandments. You get extra credit if you can list them in order.
Done? How did you do? How would your team members do? Compare that memory exercise with how well you remember the two big ideas of the Great Commandment in Mark 12:29-31.
As you begin to flesh out what’s important to you in the Culture Bucket, you will be tempted to write too much. Think of your personnel policies or staff handbook (if you must have one) as your Ten Commandments and your core values as the Great Commandment. Less is more for the latter; less will be lived out more. Consider the U.S. Navy, which preaches just three core values: honor, courage and commitment.