Create a short motto to motivate you in the new year

Why effective teams don't rely solely on their MVPs | practice (split each time) | Create a short motto to motivate you in the new year
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January 4, 2024
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Leading the Way
Why effective teams don't rely solely on their MVPs
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Relying too much on your top performers while neglecting to improve the skills of everyone on your team can lead to inefficiency, writes Andy Loignon, a senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership. The center's study of sports teams found that leaders must cultivate a culture of collaboration, put the right people in the correct positions and create an atmosphere of psychological safety and trust.
Full Story: Big Think (1/3) 
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Put it into practice: Research from the Center for Creative Leadership showed that many sports teams go through ups and downs during seasons but found "the most successful teams are those that could continuously find the right fit between their playing strategy and available talent," Loignon writes. "Taken as a whole, these findings highlight the significant role of coaching and development while demonstrating the role of the so-called 'intangibles' in creating successful teams."
 
SmartBrief on Leadership
Create a short motto to motivate you in the new year
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A rallying cry or personal motto, such as "Do it now" or "Focus on what you can do," can help increase your motivation and potential for success in the new year, writes leadership author Paul Thornton, whose 2024 slogan is "Add value." Thornton outlines how to create a short rallying cry that conveys emotion and embodies what you genuinely believe.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/3) 
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Put it into practice: If you have trouble coming up with your own rallying cry, Thornton suggests reviewing your last three significant accomplishments and teasing out how you cheered yourself on to success even when roadblocks came up. Make sure your motto is short, actionable and easy to remember.
Smarter Communication
Active listening encompasses a specific skill set that "requires both empathy and self-awareness," writes Amy Gallo, contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. "Leaders must develop the discipline to listen purely for comprehension -- without an agenda, distraction, or judgment -- and actively seek input from all levels and ranks," Gallo notes.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review (tiered subscription model) (1/2) 
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Put it into practice: Don't mentally check out before the person you're talking with is finished, and don't listen to formulate your response, Gallo writes. "If you can stay present without judgment or an agenda, you have a better chance of truly hearing what's being said."
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In Their Own Words
How Walmart US CEO keeps his ear to the ground
Furner (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., started working part-time at a Bentonville, Ark., store when he was a teenager and says he loved it as much as his father, who oversaw the opening of new stores, and adds that dealing with customers and coworkers felt natural for him as he moved up in the company. Furner has turned to many advisors over the years and hosts a video series called "The Huddle" interviewing staffers and non-staff members to learn what's happening across the business.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (12/29) 
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Daily Diversion
Why cats in Singapore can purr a little easier
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Cats and their owners in Singapore are purring more easily after local authorities repealed a 1989 law that bans residents of government-built apartments -- where most of the city-state's population live -- from keeping cats as pets. The new law mandates a maximum of two microchipped and licensed cats per household, and windows must be screened to prevent a potential catastrophe.
Full Story: Reuters (1/3) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Which science fiction author wrote "I, Robot"?
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VoteArthur C. Clarke
VoteWilliam Gibson
VoteRobert Heinlein
About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
When you compile a daily newsletter, you end up reading a lot of articles -- many of them are rejected for one reason or another. It may sound strange, but I have an inner knowing -- a "spidey sense," if you will -- when I find just the right article.

Well, my sense was off a little on Tuesday when I featured an article with 50 pieces of advice for the New Year. While I realized I was walking the line between helpful and offensive with that article, before selecting it, I had already perused dozens of articles offering the same cliched New Year's advice, and this piece, at the very least, offered a unique take on approaching the new year.

Y'all let me know where the line was for articles that go from helpful to hindering. I always appreciate feedback, even if it's negative, though those who wrote to me also provided praise and encouragement for the brief in general. I'm grateful to those who took the time to comment on the story selection. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Television should be as free as the movies, as the newspapers, as music to reflect what's happening.
Tom Smothers,
comedian, actor, composer, musician
1937-2023
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