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A Scorecard Taught at Harvard Business School Can Help You Improve Your Life and Relationships

I’ve always known that I’m addicted to achievement. But it’s only in the past few years that I’ve realized that can be a bad thing.

Every year, when New Year’s Eve rolled around, I used to set resolutions like “run 13 half-marathons in 2013” (because #medals). That particular year, I hit the goal. I even upped the ante and made the 13th race a full marathon, because my last race got canceled and I didn’t want to miss out.

But was I was healthier in 2013 than I was in 2012? Probably not. I didn’t necessarily train properly or eat better; I didn’t even particularly enjoy all the long-distance running. In truth, I had set the “13 in 2013” goal because my startup had just failed. I needed an over-the-top achievement to help me feel like a superhero again.

This mindset also got me to the top of Kilimanjaro in 2010 (to get over a soul-crushing breakup) and to Everest Base Camp in 2014 (to prove I was awesome, even if dating in New York City made me feel not so awesome most of the time).

But as I spent New Year...

Project Management for the Rest of Us

For many individuals thrust or drafted into the role of initiative or project leader without a formal background in project management, expect a steep learning curve and bumpy ride.

In spite of the popularity of project management training and the growth in the number of certified professionals, most projects in organizations are led by functional or technical experts tapped to pull a team together and make the magic happen. The magic, in this case, is successfully completing the initiative on time, under budget and at the right level of quality.

Experienced project managers everywhere are smiling externally while secretly writing your project obituary in their minds. Yes, the road ahead is rocky. In this article, I frame the challenges and offer some getting started ideas and resources.

Understanding 5 Big Challenges

While some might suggest that I am cynical starting out by describing barriers and headaches, I prefer to think of myself as pragmatic. Forewarned is forearmed. And we’ll offer solutions to each of these obstacles in subsequent posts.

1. The words, “I want you to lead this project” are the beginning of a quest for success that may at times feel like Jason’s quest for the Golden...

Memo to the President: Rebuilding the Nation’s Infrastructure

Infrastructure in the United States is in a state of disrepair. We are spending $245 billion annually to build and repair our infrastructure, but estimates of the annual need are well over $1 trillion. The growth in demand for all modes of transportation significantly exceeds population expansion. In many places, failure to respond has led to severe congestion and long delays in freight movement. There needs to be a new strategy to develop the right infrastructure in the right places.

There is little disagreement, nor are there partisan differences, on the need to improve our infrastructure and capture the associated economic and job-creating benefits. Both presidential candidates had infrastructure investment on their campaign agendas. President-elect Trump declared that renewing infrastructure would be an important initiative in his administration.

What is not clear is how to do it. We believe the major impediment is not political but rather our governance structure. The role of the federal government in infrastructure investment is fragmented, leading to confused implementation. We suggest a new partnership involving the three levels of government, the private sector and system users. This can be accomplished with limited additional public revenues because an improved governance system that identifies good investments...

Hiring Advice From a Recruiter Who Placed 4,300 People in 18 Months

Very few companies hire 4,300 people in 18 months. But a presidential campaign does—while working hard and on a deadline.

Until Hillary Clinton’s loss in November, Nathaniel Koloc was head of talent for her presidential campaign, which means he oversaw a massive hiring effort that needed to be both fast and flexible. Koloc says his first priority was providing interviewing and hiring guidance to leaders in states and local offices, the people making decisions on the ground. “Relatively few people in the professional world have ever been trained to hire well,” he says.

Here are some of Koloc’s guiding principles:

Make hiring a priority.

“We had a lot of cases where folks would put their hiring work after everything else—they would do all their work for the day and then at 6pm or 7pm or 9 pm look for candidates,” Koloc says. “If you’re trying to hire great people to have more balance on your team and have good outcomes, that’s the number one thing you should be doing.”

Hire people who will take new approaches.

“If your team is trying to do something that is new in the world, nobody is going...

Feeling Tired For No Reason? Time to Reset Your Circadian Clock

Have you ever wondered why you don’t feel tired until late at night but your spouse is fast asleep at 10 p.m. and wakes spontaneously at 6 a.m.?

We each have an internal biological clock, called a circadian clock, that organizes the internal and external activities of our body around the 24-hour day.

While these clocks can be influenced by exposure to sunlight and electric light, for instance, our genes also play a role in how they function. That’s part of the reason that sleep and wake habits can vary from individual to individual. And that may also explain why certain chronotherapies, which help change the timing of the circadian clock, such as light boxes and taking the natural hormone melatonin as a supplement, vary in dose and effectiveness from person to person.

Circadian clocks are found in individual cells of our body. My research team at the University of Notre Dame is teasing apart the molecular mechanisms of these cellular clocks, looking at how genes and the proteins they produce control the multitude of 24-hour rhythms in our bodily functions.

We think that an improved understanding of the circadian system, from genes through to physiology...

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