GRANTED: Cat videos, honest men, and what your inbox says about you
Here are some of my favorite recent articles on work and psychology:
1. A Princeton Psychology Professor's CV of Failures
Johannes Haushofer outlines a career of failures—programs that rejected him, jobs he didn't get—to help provide perspective to others. What if every resume looked like this?
2. Think Millennials Have It Tough? For 'Generation K', Life Is Even Harsher
Noreena Hertz interviews over 2,000 people ages 14-21 and discovers that the selfie generation isn’t as selfish as some think: 70% worry about inequality, and 92% see helping others as important.
3. Watching Cat Videos at Work Could Make You More Productive
Here it is: the headline that may justify the entire existence of the internet. Martha White shares a study in which people worked twice as long on a boring task after watching a funny video clip.
4. Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest
In this article and in his own classroom, Andrew Reiner takes a critical look at the way stereotypes of male behavior are introduced and reinforced. "From infancy through age 4 or 5, boys are more emotive than girls... We socialize this vulnerability out of them."
5. What Email Reveals About Your Work Life
Duncan Watts crunches huge employee email databases and finds that unhappiness isn't predicted by how many emails you send, but the fraction you send outside work hours. And here’s a sign that your team will be unhappy: your manager takes a long time to respond to emails.
6. Kurt Vonnegut's 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story
Every sentence must reveal character or advance the action. Every character must want something. Make awful things happen to them. Write to please just one person. (Think these apply to monthly newsletters as well?)
7. The Most Effective Leaders Clash With Their Company's Culture
When leaders' styles are at odds with the corporate culture, firms perform better. As Alex Fradera explains, the best leaders bring to the table something that's missing.
8. Your Employees Wish You Were Emotionally Intelligent
Speaking of clashing, Natalie Baker shares a survey showing that what execs think they need and what their employees wish they had are almost entirely at odds:
From My Desk:
9. Remembering Dave Goldberg, the Ultimate Mensch
It has been a year since the world lost this extraordinary man, but his goodness remains as strong in my memory as ever.
10. Profile of the Dude Behind This Newsletter Richard Rys shines the light on one of my mentors and explores some of my failures—including why I threw out all 102,000 words of the draft of my first book and started over from scratch. He also helps me understand what keeps me motivated: raising the bar after achieving a goal.
With final exam season upon us, here are some sample questions from the Trump University final exam. Now, in the name of productivity, I will be watching cat videos until next month.
Correction from last month: The author of the second article was listed as Erin Snow. The author's name is Erin Meyer.