GRANTED: Bouncing back from failure and the problem with hiring ninjas
When I look at the substance of my inbox, it’s dominated by three kinds of messages from humans. The Task: an ominous warning, complete with virtual dark clouds, that something needs to be done. The Update: a newsy message from someone catching me up on major life events (the sort you would’ve told me about by phone if it were still 1998). And The Ask: a fascinating question that makes me long for the glory days of grad school, when I had piles of free time to study whatever I wanted. Sometimes the question is so generative that I end up launching a study or writing an article about it. But most of the time, it kicks off a fun email dialogue.
I’ve realized that dialogue would be more fun if it were a trialogue, or a quadrilogue, or… you get the picture. So I’m starting a new feature in this newsletter. It’s called Wondering:
Have a question? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re comfortable, include your first name and city (anonymous submissions are fine, too)
I'll pick a few each month to answer in this newsletter
All topics are fair game, but if you're looking for shampoo recommendations, I can't promise I'll be all that helpful.
Now let's take a look at the articles I most enjoyed this month:
1. Check This Box If You're a Good Person
Character is revealed not by how many powerful people you impress, but how you treat people who lack power.
2. A Face-to-Face Request Is 34 Times More Successful than an Email
When you want help, asking 6 people face-to-face works as well as emailing 200 people. Long live actual human interaction.
3. To Be a Genius, Think Like a 94-Year-Old
Many originals are late bloomers: the average patent applicant is 47, and the most valuable ones often come from inventors over 55.
4. Wanted: a Way with Words in Recruitment Ads
Drop words like "ninja" and "rock star" from job postings. More women apply, and jobs fill 2 weeks faster.
From My Desk:
5. The Power of Pride at Facebook
The #1 driver of engagement isn't having a best friend at work or using your strengths. It's feeling pride in the organization—and here’s what we learned about how to build it.
6. When You Get Fired or Fail Big, This Is How You Bounce Forward
Most failures are caused not by bad apples, but by bad barrels. When a collaboration goes wrong, resilience comes from remembering that most of the time, it's not you, and it's not me. It's us.
See you next month. And if you have a question about work, psychology, or anything else that’s up my alley, send it in to email@example.com.