voices

How to Write a Business Letter: Advice From the 18th Century

The Earl of Chesterfield, the 18th-century British statesman and patron of the arts, had a number of concerns about his illegitimate son Philip, but one he revisited often in his posthumously published letters to the boy is about Philip’s correspondence. This species of worry ranged from ... Read & React

Every challenge holds your next promotion—face it. Every challenge contains a hidden treasure—find it. Every challenge has the power to make you a leader—embrace it. Miguel Joey Aviles, Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program

How to Feel Amazing in Five Minutes

by Scott Eblin Executive Coach

One of the ironic effects of the hyper-connected age we live in is that there is very little true listening going on. As I write about in my new book, there’s a lot of transient listening in which ... Read & React

The Introverted Face

by James Hamblin, MD

People whose faces are perceived to look more "competent" are more likely to be CEOs of large, successful companies. Having a face that people deem "dominant" is a predictor of rank advancement in the military. People are more likely to invest money with people who look "trustworthy." These sorts ... Read & React

Is the Recovery Act a Model for the Ebola Response?

by John Kamensky Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government

Does it take a crisis for government to work right? Earlier this week, I attended a forum sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration that looked at the successes in implementing the Recovery Act and potential lessons for public administration in the future. Little did I realize ... Read & React

Build a Better Brainstorm

by Fred Schmalz

In recent years, typical business brainstorming has gotten a bad rap for a lot of reasons: It is ineffective. It is dominated by loudmouths. Most people think better alone. So why is brainstorming still widely utilized by businesses intent on idea generation? The answer has more to do with the ... Read & React

Optimism Is the Enemy of Action

by Magdalena Puniewska

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when positive thinking became the star of the self-help industry. The idea of optimism is older than America itself (some accounts date it back to ancient Greece), and positive psychology has been validating its benefits since long before Oprah and Deepak Chopra. ... Read & React

Job Requirements: 'Good Feet, Eyesight, and a Trim Figure'

Telephone operators work in Seattle in 1952.
by Olga Khazan

One reason the gender wage gap persists is that well-paying, male-dominated jobs are, frankly, so bro-ish. Last year, researchers at the University of Waterloo and Duke University found that there's still a fair amount of subtle gender bias in job descriptions. Listings for highly remunerative jobs ... Read & React

How to Think Strategically as a Leader

by Jackson Nickerson Associate Dean, Brookings Executive Education

What is strategic thinking and how can I get better at it?—Anonymous In our rapidly changing world, strategic thinking is a tent pole of leadership. Good strategic thinking can help resolve challenges. But bad strategic thinking almost always makes the situation worse. Outside of dictionary ... Read & React

Morale Problems? What Would Your Employees Do?

The White House intruder should be a wake-up call across government. When morale declines, so does performance. The Secret Service fiasco is one case in point. Employees become less attentive, easily distracted, unwilling to exert more than the minimum effort, and a few will act out. There is no ... Read & React

Americans Prefer Male Bosses, Even though Women are Better for Business

by Sonali Kohli

A new Gallup poll found that American men and women prefer a male boss to a female one. Though the popularity of women bosses has improved since the 1950s, it hasn’t changed much in this century. Instead, the number of people who say they prefer men has decreased, and “no preference” has increased ... Read & React

Drinking Coffee, for Your Health

In college, when I worked part-time as a barista at a local coffee shop, I would often serve the same customers day in and day out. To the point that, before they’d even say anything, I would know what certain people wanted to order: large skim mocha, medium iced latté (light on the milk), black ... Read & React