You have to head to the office each day—you’re into your career, and there are bills to pay. So why not do a few things to make your work a healthier and happier experience? These savvy strategies are pretty easy, and very effective.
A handsome man can earn a fifth more than a plainer colleague but a beautiful woman is not paid a penny more than her average-looking colleague, new research has shown.
出版社：Penguin Random House
来源：下载的 epub 版本
Tens of thousands of workers across the country enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit at their desks but now a study has revealed you should never dunk at the office if you want to keep your colleagues on side.
Walk to the plant. Just two minutes of getting up and walking per hour is all it takes to make up for some of the negative consequences of sitting all day. In fact, this small amount of movement or activity can minimize your risk for early death, diabetes and heart disease, according to a new study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. So instead of sending an email to your colleague down the hall, walk on over. Doing some stretches works, too.
A new study says that standing up at your desk doesn’t actually decrease your risk of death-by-office, unless you’re physically active otherwise.
《习于旧贯的力量》我 Charles Duhigg 的续作，中文版翻译为了《高效的秘密》，因为尚未找到格式舒服的电子版，找到乌克兰语版就从头读了，读完事后以为能够把内容收缩为53%，第5章「Managing Others」居然使用了「插叙」「回闪」的描写手法，笔者也是服气，可是也正是从这章伊始，书的材料就明摆着初步降落了，前4章含金量算相比高的
Take a stand. You don’t have to go as extreme as a treadmill desk, but standing at your desk can lead to greater engagement (and some extra calorie burn). One study showed that elementary school children using standing desks, with stools available, had a 12 percent higher rate of attention than those using traditional desks. Consider changing your desk height, if possible, to sharpen your focus and get more done.
The study by senior economists found that being good-looking meant male workers could earn 22 percent more than average-looking colleagues.
获得最大的是有关 self-motivation（自己驱动） 和 believe in control（调整感） 之间的惊人关联性，以及怎么着训练 internal locus of control（内部调控点） 那五个部分，特别有启示
Dunking at your desk is considered a major faux-pas by a fifth of British tea drinking office workers, according to a new survey of 2,000 employees by McVitie's.
Think of fitness as fun. Turns out, our attitude toward exercise can affect how much we eat afterward. Participants of a Cornell University study who went on a 2K walk called “scenic” ate significantly fewer calories afterward compared to those told the walk was “exercise.” If you hit the gym at lunch or after work, try thinking of it as an enjoyable break instead of another task to get through. Add music or watch an engaging TV show while on the treadmill—anything to make your workout more fun.
After several studies asserted that sitting at work all day is slowly killing us, researchers at the University of Exeter and University College London took another look at the claims. The Washington Post reports:
Try meditation. If you’re prone to headaches from staring at a screen all day or worrying about impending deadlines, consider meditation to help mitigate them. Not only can it prevent migraines, it can also make them less severe when they occur, say scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. You can easily train yourself to do the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction type of meditation that helps sufferers feel more in control of their migraines and have much faster relief. A small break for meditation during a stressful workday may prevent a full-blown, day-wrecking pain in your head.
Researchers said good looks did not give women a similar advantage.
That didn’t make sense to Delgado. The odds of winning or losing were exactly the same regardless of whether the participant or the computer was in control. Allowing someone to make a guess, rather than waiting for a computer to make a guess for them, shouldn’t have made any real difference in the experience of the game. People’s neurological reactions should have been the same either way. But, somehow, allowing people to make choices transformed the game. Instead of being a chore, the experiment became a challenge. Participants were more motivated to play simply because they believed they were in control.
That's in spite of a whopping 71 percent admitting they love to soak their biscuit in a cuppa.
Call it exciting. Got a big work presentation coming up? Instead of trying to calm your nerves (which gives attention to your anxiety and is tough to do anyway), simply saying, “I’m excited,” beforehand can help you be more positive and successful, according to research from the American Psychological Association. You may be tempted to try calming yourself, but faking enthusiasm seems to work better, since it may be easier to see anxiety as excitement than trying to quell it. Even if it feels funny, talking about being excited can really help you feel that way—and pump your work performance.
Researchers tracked 16 years’ worth of health data from 5,132 people in the Whitehall II study cohort. Participants reported their total time sitting and how long they sat during four different situations: at work, watching television, leisure time and non-television leisure time. Researchers also tracked time spent walking daily and on physical activity.
Self-help books and leadership manuals often portray self-motivation as
a static feature of our personality or the outcome of a neurological
calculus in which we subconsciously compare efforts versus rewards. But
scientists say motivation is more complicated than that. Motivation is
more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and
honed. Scientists have found that people can get better at
self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers
say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have
authority over our actions and surroundings. To motivate ourselves, we
must feel like we are in control.
“The need for control is a biological imperative,” a group of Columbia University psychologists wrote in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences in 2010. When people believe they are in control, they tend to work harder and push themselves more. They are, on average, more confident and overcome setbacks faster. People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers. This instinct for control is so central to how our brains develop that infants, once they learn to feed themselves, will resist adults’ attempts at control even if submission is more likely to get food into their mouths.
Andrew Leigh, the former economics professor at the Australian National University who co-authored the report, said: "Beauty can be a double-edged sword for women.
Krulak began reviewing studies on how to teach self-motivation, and
became particularly intrigued by research, conducted by the Corps years
earlier, showing that the most successful marines were those with a
strong “internal locus of control”—a belief they could influence their
destiny through the choices they made.
Locus of control has been a major topic of study within psychology since the 1950s. Researchers have found that people with an internal locus of control tend to praise or blame themselves for success or failure, rather than assigning responsibility to things outside their influence. A student with a strong internal locus of control, for instance, will attribute good grades to hard work, rather than natural smarts. A salesman with an internal locus of control will blame a lost sale on his own lack of hustle, rather than bad fortune.
“Internal locus of control has been linked with academic success, higher self-motivation and social maturity, lower incidences of stress and depression, and longer life span,” a team of psychologists wrote in the journal Problems and Perspectives in Management in 2012. People with an internal locus of control tend to earn more money, have more friends, stay married longer, and report greater professional success and satisfaction.
In contrast, having an external locus of control—believing that your life is primarily influenced by events outside your control—“is correlated with higher levels of stress, [often] because an individual perceives the situation as beyond his or her coping abilities,” the team of psychologists wrote.
Studies show that someone’s locus of control can be influenced through training and feedback. One experiment conducted in 1998, for example, presented 128 fifth graders with a series of difficult puzzles. Afterward, each student was told they had scored very well. Half of them were also told, “You must have worked hard at these problems.” Telling fifth graders they have worked hard has been shown to activate their internal locus of control, because hard work is something we decide to do. Complimenting students for hard work reinforces their belief that they have control over themselves and their surroundings.
The other half of the students were also informed they had scored well, and then told, “You must be really smart at these problems.” Complimenting students on their intelligence activates an external locus of control. Most fifth graders don’t believe they can choose how smart they are. In general, young kids think that intelligence is an innate capacity, so telling young people they are smart reinforces their belief that success or failure is based on factors outside of their control.
Then all the students were invited to work on three more puzzles of varying difficulty.
The students who had been praised for their intelligence—who had been primed to think in terms of things they could not influence—were much more likely to focus on the easier puzzles during the second round of play, even though they had been complimented for being smart. They were less motivated to push themselves. They later said the experiment wasn’t much fun.
In contrast, students who had been praised for their hard work—who were encouraged to frame the experience in terms of self-determination—went to the hard puzzles. They worked longer and scored better. They later said they had a great time.
“Internal locus of control is a learned skill,” Carol Dweck, the Stanford psychologist who helped conduct that study, told me. “Most of us learn it early in life. But some people’s sense of self-determination gets suppressed by how they grow up, or experiences they’ve had, and they forget how much influence they can have on their own lives.
“That’s when training is helpful, because if you put people in situations where they can practice feeling in control, where that internal locus of control is reawakened, then people can start building habits that make them feel like they’re in charge of their own lives—and the more they feel that way, the more they really are in control of themselves.”
For Krulak, studies like this seemed to hold the key to teaching recruits self-motivation. If he could redesign basic training to force trainees to take control of their own choices, that impulse might become more automatic, he hoped. “Today we call it teaching ‘a bias toward action,’ ” Krulak told me. “The idea is that once recruits have taken control of a few situations, they start to learn how good it feels.
The study also showed that other deplorable biscuit offences include opening a packet of biscuits that didn't belong to them, reports Cosmopolitan.com.
四只创作这一商量告诉的Andrew·雷说：“美丽对女士来说可能是把双刃剑。”雷曾是澳大俄克拉荷马城联邦（Commonwealth of Australia）国立大学的历史学教师。
After controlling for a number of factors, including diet and general health, researchers found the overall mortality risk for these participants wasn’t influenced by how long they sat or by the kind of sitting. And the researchers cautioned that too much emphasis on not sitting shouldn’t take the place of promoting physical activity.
“I hand out a number of compliments, and all of them are designed to be unexpected,” said Sergeant Dennis Joy, a thoroughly intimidating drill instructor who showed me around the Recruit Depot one day. “You’ll never get rewarded for doing what’s easy for you. If you’re an athlete, I’ll never compliment you on a good run. Only the small guy gets congratulated for running fast. Only the shy guy gets recognized for stepping into a leadership role. We praise people for doing things that are hard. That’s how they learn to believe they can do them.”
"Some people still believe good looks and intelligence are incompatible in women so a good-looking woman can't be that productive, but there's no dumb-blonde syndrome affecting men's pay."
“Technically, we could send them back to start over because each person didn’t hear a direct verbal command from the team leader,” a drill sergeant later told me. “But that’s the point of the exercise: We know you can’t hear anything with the gas masks on. The only way to get across the pit is to figure out some workaround. We’re trying to teach them that you can’t just obey orders. You have to take control and figure things out for yourself.”
Leaving a trail of crumbs on someone's desk was also considered to be an abomination, with 38 percent calling this a major faux-pas.
What’s particularly interesting about the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, is that researchers didn’t just focus on sitting during the workday, but factored in all kinds of sitting-specific data as well as rates of physical activity. Their conclusion was that “sitting time was not associated with all-cause mortality risk.” Basically, more elements are in play than just whether you’re sitting down at work, and your levels of physical activity are the greatest health indicator.
Basic training, like the Marine Corps career itself, offers few material
rewards. A Marine’s starting salary is $17,616 a year. However, the
Corps has one of the highest career satisfaction rates. The training the
Corps provides to roughly forty thousand recruits each year has
transformed the lives of millions of people who, like Quintanilla, had
no idea how to generate the motivation and self-direction needed to take
control of their lives. Since Krulak’s reforms, the Corps’ retention of
new recruits and the performance scores of new marines have both
increased by more than 20 percent. Surveys indicate that the average
recruit’s internal locus of control increases significantly during basic
training. Delgado’s experiments were a start to understanding
motivation. The Marines complement those insights by helping us
understand how to teach drive to people who aren’t practiced in
self-determination: If you give people an opportunity to feel a sense of
control and let them practice making choices, they can learn to exert
willpower. Once people know how to make self-directed choices into a
habit, motivation becomes more automatic.
Moreover, to teach ourselves to self-motivate more easily, we need to learn to see our choices not just as expressions of control but also as affirmations of our values and goals. That’s the reason recruits ask each other “why”—because it shows them how to link small tasks to larger aspirations.
He said that although he believed good-looking women may also earn more, the research did not support his theory.
This theory suggests how we can help ourselves and others strengthen our
internal locus of control. We should reward initiative, congratulate
people for self-motivation, celebrate when an infant wants to feed
herself. We should applaud a child who shows defiant, self-righteous
stubbornness and reward a student who finds a way to get things done by
working around the rules.
This is easier in theory, of course, than practice. We all applaud self-motivation until a toddler won’t put on his shoes, an aged parent is ripping a dresser out of the wall, or a teenager ignores the rules. But that’s how an internal locus of control becomes stronger. That’s how our mind learns and remembers how good it feels to be in control. And unless we practice self-determination and give ourselves emotional rewards for subversive assertiveness, our capacity for self-motivation can fade.
What’s more, we need to prove to ourselves that our choices are meaningful. When we start a new task, or confront an unpleasant chore, we should take a moment to ask ourselves “why.” Why are we forcing ourselves to climb up this hill? Why are we pushing ourselves to walk away from the television? Why is it so important to return that email or deal with a coworker whose requests seem so unimportant?
Once we start asking why, those small tasks become pieces of a larger constellation of meaningful projects, goals, and values. We start to recognize how small chores can have outsized emotional rewards, because they prove to ourselves that we are making meaningful choices, that we are genuinely in control of our own lives. That’s when self-motivation flourishes: when we realize that replying to an email or helping a coworker, on its own, might be relatively unimportant. But it is part of a bigger project that we believe in, that we want to achieve, that we have chosen to do. Self-motivation, in other words, is a choice we make because it is part of something bigger and more emotionally rewarding than the immediate task that needs doing.
Biscuits don't always divide colleagues however, according to another study.
So what does this all mean? It appears that the act of working while standing up—which has become a trendy thing to do, especially in tech offices—doesn’t help your health, if you’re not actually exercising otherwise. If you never make it to the gym, you might as well just sit down. This is good news for the makers of treadmill desks, however.
The research found that handsome men in all jobs, from manual labour to highly-paid professional careers, can earn 22 percent more than their colleagues doing an indentical role.
据此那毕竟意味着怎么着？未来流行站着办公，科技(science and technology)公司越来越出色。但是如果不练习，站着工作也好似没什么用；假设恒久都不去强健体魄，还不及就坐着啊。那对跑步机办公桌的生产商以来，但是个好音讯。
A previous survey by McVitie's found that half of British workers say sharing the sweet treats with colleagues makes them feel happier, with more than a quarter saying they even helped forge stronger relationships.
The last office where I worked jumped on the standing desk trend hard, installing desks that could be raised for all workers. They also had a treadmill desk, and a bike desk. While the option to stand is certainly nice as a change in the middle of a monotonous workday, this research suggests it’s not the cure-all that adherents would like to claim.
One of the easiest ways to gauge social sensitivity is to show someone photos of people’s eyes and ask them to describe what that person is thinking or feeling—the empathy test described previously. This is a “test of how well the participant can put themselves into the mind of the other person, and ‘tune in’ to their mental state,” wrote the creator of the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test, Simon Baron-Cohen of the University of Cambridge. While men, on average, correctly guess the emotion of the person in the photo only 52 percent of the time, women typically guess right 61 percent.
Men with below-average looks face an uphill battle in the office, with ugliness reducing a man's earnings by 26 percent compared to an average-looking worker.
“But now we can say those aren’t right. The data shows there’s a
universality to how good teams succeed. It’s important that everyone on
a team feels like they have a voice, but whether they actually get to
vote on things or make decisions turns out not to matter much. Neither
does the volume of work or physical co-location. What matters is having
a voice and social sensitivity.”
Onstage, Bock brought up a series of slides. “What matters are five key norms,” he told the audience.
Teams need to believe that their work is important.
Teams need to feel their work is personally meaningful.
Teams need clear goals and defined roles.
Team members need to know they can depend on one another.
But, most important, teams need psychological safety.
To create psychological safety, Bock said, team leaders needed to model the right behaviors. There were Google-designed checklists they could use: Leaders should not interrupt teammates during conversations, because that will establish an interrupting norm. They should demonstrate they are listening by summarizing what people say after they said it. They should admit what they don’t know. They shouldn’t end a meeting until all team members have spoken at least once. They should encourage people who are upset to express their frustrations, and encourage teammates to respond in nonjudgmental ways. They should call out intergroup conflicts and resolve them through open discussion.
Ten percent of office workers say that sharing biscuits even helped them bag a romantic date with one of their colleagues.
“Our study overturns current thinking on the health risks of sitting and indicates that the problem lies in the absence of movement rather than the time spent sitting itself,” study author Melvyn Hillsdon of the University of Exeter said in a statement. “Any stationary posture where energy expenditure is low may be detrimental to health, be it sitting or standing.”
“I come from a quantitative background. If I’m going to believe something, you need to give me data to back it up,” said Sagnik Nandy, who as chief of Google Analytics Engineering heads one of the company’s biggest teams. “So seeing this data has been a game changer for me. Engineers love debugging software because we know we can get 10 percent more efficiency by just making a few tweaks. But we never focus on debugging human interactions. We put great people together and hope it will work, and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t, and most of the time we don’t know why. Aristotle let us debug our people. It’s totally changed how I run meetings. I’m so much more conscious of how I model listening now, or whether I interrupt, or how I encourage everyone to speak.”
Former male model Ian Mitchell, 28, who has a first class degree in history from Edinburgh and now works for a cosmetics company, told the Sunday Times: "It gives you confidence, and I suspect people tend to warm to you more quickly."
But the downside of reactive thinking is that habits and reactions can
become so automatic they overpower our judgment. Once our motivation is
outsourced, we simply react. One study conducted by Strayer, the
psychologist, in 2009 looked at how drivers’ behaviors changed when cars
were equipped with features such as cruise control and automatic braking
systems that allowed people to pay less attention to road conditions.
“These technologies are supposed to make driving safer, and many times, they do,” said Strayer. “But it also makes reactive thinking easier, and so when the unexpected startles you, when the car skids or you have to brake suddenly, you’ll react with practiced, habitual responses, like stomping on the pedal or twisting the wheel too far. Instead of thinking, you react, and if it’s not the correct response, bad things happen.”
According to the research, people in social care are the biggest biscuit sharers at work, followed by accountants and teachers.
The takeaway here is companies that truly want to assist worker health should invest money in options like free exercise classes and gym reimbursements. They should encourage employees to go outside and actually walk around, not simply stand up at their computers. And maybe it means that everyone who insists that standing up is the only way to work can climb down off their high desk.
People like Darlene who are particularly good at managing their
attention tend to share certain characteristics. One is a propensity to
create pictures in their minds of what they expect to see. These people
tell themselves stories about what’s going on as it occurs. They narrate
their own experiences within their heads. They are more likely to answer
questions with anecdotes rather than simple responses. They say when
they daydream, they’re often imagining future conversations. They
visualize their days with more specificity than the rest of us do.
Psychologists have a phrase for this kind of habitual forecasting: “creating mental models.” Understanding how people build mental models has become one of the most important topics in cognitive psychology. All people rely on mental models to some degree. We all tell ourselves stories about how the world works, whether we realize we’re doing it or not.
But some of us build more robust models than others. We envision the conversations we’re going to have with more specificity, and imagine what we are going to do later that day in greater detail. As a result, we’re better at choosing where to focus and what to ignore. The secret of people like Darlene is that they are in the habit of telling themselves stories all the time. They engage in constant forecasting. They daydream about the future and then, when life clashes with their imagination, their attention gets snagged. That helps explain why Darlene noticed the sick baby. She was in the habit of imagining what the babies in her unit ought to look like. Then, when she glanced over and the bloody Band-Aid, distended belly, and mottled skin didn’t match the image in her mind, the spotlight in her head swung toward the child’s bassinet.
Cognitive tunneling and reactive thinking occur when our mental spotlights go from dim to bright in a split second. But if we are constantly telling ourselves stories and creating mental pictures, that beam never fully powers down. It’s always jumping around inside our heads. And, as a result, when it has to flare to life in the real world, we’re not blinded by its glare.
The study, entitled Unpacking the Beauty Premium, was the largest exercise of its kind and repeated a survey from 1984 to see if the beauty premium had changed.
The economists figured the superstars were pickier because they were
seeking out assignments that were similar to previous work they had
done. Conventional wisdom holds that productivity rises when people do
the same kind of tasks over and over. Repetition makes us faster and
more efficient because we don’t have to learn fresh skills with each new
assignment. But as the economists looked more closely, they found the
opposite: The superstars weren’t choosing tasks that leveraged existing
skills. Instead, they were signing up for projects that required them to
seek out new colleagues and demanded new abilities. That’s why the
superstars worked on only five projects at a time: Meeting new people
and learning new skills takes a lot of additional hours.
Something else the superstars had in common is they were disproportionately drawn to assignments that were in their early stages. This was surprising, because joining a project in its infancy is risky. New ideas often fail, no matter how smart or well executed. The safest bet is signing on to a project that is well under way.
However, the beginning of a project is also more information rich. By joining fledgling initiatives, the superstars were cc’d on emails they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. They learned which junior executives were smart and picked up new ideas from their younger colleagues. They were exposed to emerging markets and the lessons of the digital economy earlier than other executives. What’s more, the superstars could later claim ownership of an innovation simply by being in the room when it was born, rather than fighting paternity battles once it was deemed a success.
Finally, the superstars also shared a particular behavior, almost an intellectual and conversational tic: They loved to generate theories—lots and lots of theories, about all kinds of topics, such as why certain accounts were succeeding or failing, or why some clients were happy or disgruntled, or how different management styles influenced various employees. They were somewhat obsessive, in fact, about trying to explain the world to themselves and their colleagues as they went about their days.
The superstars were constantly telling stories about what they had seen and heard. They were, in other words, much more prone to generate mental models. They were more likely to throw out ideas during meetings, or ask colleagues to help them imagine how future conversations might unfold, or envision how a pitch should go. They came up with concepts for new products and practiced how they would sell them. They told anecdotes about past conversations and dreamed up far-fetched expansion plans. They were building mental models at a near constant rate.
However, some workforces love their biscuits so much, they just can't bear to share them, with more than a third of British workers confessing to going to great lengths to keeping them all for themselves.
Imagine you have been asked to complete a questionnaire. Your assignment is to rate how strongly you agree or disagree with forty-two statements, including:
Leigh said the research showed people in the workplace were "lookist" and he hoped the findings would encourage employers to reverse their prejudice .
treadmill desk: 跑步机办公桌
- I believe orderliness and organization are among the most important characteristics.
- I find that establishing a consistent routine enables me to enjoy life more.
- I like to have friends who are unpredictable.
- I prefer interacting with people whose opinions are very different from my own.
- My personal space is usually messy and disorganized.
- It’s annoying to listen to someone who cannot seem to make up his or her mind.
More than a quarter of construction workers have eaten biscuits in their car so colleagues wouldn't see, while 17 percent of IT workers confess to eating biscuits on the sly.
A team of researchers at the University of Maryland first published this
test in 1994, and since then it has become a staple of personality
exams. At first glance, the questions seem designed to measure someone’s
preference for personal organization and their comfort with alternate
viewpoints. And, in fact, researchers have found that this exam helps
identify people who are more decisive and self-assured, and that those
traits are correlated with general success in life. Determined and
focused people tend to work harder and get tasks done more promptly.
They stay married longer and have deeper networks of friends. They often
have higher-paying jobs.
But this questionnaire is not intended to test personal organization. Rather, it’s designed to measure a personality trait known as “the need for cognitive closure,” which psychologists define as “the desire for a confident judgment on an issue, any confident judgment, as compared to confusion and ambiguity.” Most people respond to this exam—which is called “the need for closure scale”—by demonstrating a preference for a mix of order and chaos in their lives. They say they prize orderliness but admit to having messy desks. They say they are annoyed by indecision but also have unreliable friends. However, some people—about 20 percent of test takers, and many of the most accomplished people who have completed the exam—show a higher-than-average preference for personal organization, decisiveness, and predictability. They tend to disdain flighty friends and ambiguous situations. These people have a high emotional need for cognitive closure.
It was the late 1980s and GE was the second most valuable company in
America, just behind Exxon. GE manufactured everything from lightbulbs
to jet engines, refrigerators to railway cars, and through its ownership
of NBC, was in millions of homes with iconic shows such as Cheers, The
Cosby Show, and L.A. Law. The company employed over 220,000 people, more
than many U.S. cities had residents. One of the reasons GE was so
successful, its executives boasted, was that it was so good at choosing
In the 1940s, GE had formalized a corporate goal-setting system that would eventually become a model around the world. By the 1960s, every GE employee was required to write out their objectives for the year in a letter to their manager. “Simply put,” historians at Harvard Business School wrote in 2011, “the manager’s letter required a job holder to write a letter to his or her superior indicating what the goals for the next time frame were, how the goals would be met, and what standards were to be expected. When the superior accepted this letter—usually after editing and discussion—it became the work ‘contract.’ ”
And a fifth of those working in hospitality and entertainment admit to hiding away their treats in the company toilet so they can enjoy their favorite biscuits in secret.
By the 1980s, this system had evolved into a system of so-called SMART
goals that every division and manager were expected to describe each
quarter. These objectives had to be specific, measurable, achievable,
realistic, and based on a timeline. In other words, they had to be
provably within reach and described in a way that suggested a concrete
If a goal didn’t meet the SMART criteria, a manager had to resubmit a memo detailing their aims, again and again, until it was approved by upper management. “It was about getting concrete,” said William Conaty, who retired as GE’s head of human resources in 2007. “Your manager was always saying, what’s the specifics? What’s the timeline? Prove to me this is realistic. The system worked because by the time we were done, you knew pretty clearly how things were going to unfold.”
The SMART mindset spread throughout GE’s culture. There were SMART charts to help midlevel managers describe monthly goals and SMART worksheets to turn personal objectives into action plans. And the company’s belief that SMART goals would work was rooted in good science.
In the 1970s, a pair of university psychologists named Edwin Locke and Gary Latham had helped develop the SMART criteria through experiments scrutinizing the best way to set goals. In one experiment Latham conducted in 1975, researchers approached forty-five of the most experienced and productive typists at a large corporation and measured how fast they produced text. The typists knew they were among the best in the company, but they had never measured how quickly they typed. The researchers found that, on average, each worker produced ninety-five lines of typewritten output per hour.
Then the researchers gave each typist a specific goal based on their previous performance—such as ninety-eight lines per hour—and showed the typists a system for easily measuring their hourly output. The researchers also had a conversation with each typist to make sure the goal was realistic—and to adjust it if necessary—and they discussed what changes were required to make the objective achievable. They came up with a timeline for each person. The conversation didn’t take long—say, fifteen minutes per person—but afterward each typist knew exactly what to do and how to measure success. Each of them, put differently, had a SMART goal.
Some of the researchers’ colleagues said they didn’t believe this would have an impact on the typists’ performance. All the typists were professionals with years of experience. A fifteen-minute conversation should not make much of a difference to someone who has been typing eight hours a day for two decades.
But one week later, when the researchers measured typing speeds again, they found that the workers, on average, were completing 103 lines per hour. Another week later: 112 lines. Most of the typists had blown past the goals they had set. The researchers worried the workers were just trying to impress them, so they came back again, three months later, and quietly measured everyone’s performance once more. They were typing just as fast, and some had gotten even faster.
Judi James, communication and body language expert, told FEMAIL: 'We live in a digital world where we're more connected than ever, with a growing number of 'digital friends', but it's those moments of real human connection that are increasingly important and help to support our own physical and emotional health.
GE’s chief executive Jack Welch had long claimed that his insistence on
SMART goals was one of the reasons the company’s stock had more than
tripled in eight years. But forcing people to detail their goals with
such specificity didn’t mean every part of the company ran smoothly.
Some divisions, despite setting SMART goals, never seemed to excel—or
they would flip-flop from profits to losses, or seem to be growing and
then suddenly fall apart. In the late 1980s, executives became
particularly concerned about two divisions—a nuclear equipment
manufacturer in North Carolina and a jet engine plant in
Massachusetts—that had once been among the company’s top performers but
were now limping along.
Executives initially suspected those divisions simply needed better-defined objectives, so factory managers were asked to prepare memo after memo describing increasingly specific goals. Their responses were detailed, precise, and realistic. They met every SMART criterion.
And yet, profits still fell.
So a group of GE’s internal consultants visited the nuclear factory in Wilmington, North Carolina. They asked employees to walk them through their weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. One plant executive explained that his SMART objective was to prevent antinuclear protesters from harassing workers as they entered the plant, because he felt it eroded morale. He had come up with a SMART plan to build a fence. The goal was specific and reasonable (the fence would be fifty feet long and nine feet high), it had a timeline (it would be done by February), and it was achievable (they had a contractor ready to go).
Next, the consultants went to the jet engine factory in Lynn, Massachusetts, and interviewed, among others, an administrative assistant who told them her SMART goal was ordering the factory’s office supplies. She showed them a SMART chart with specific aims (“order staplers, pens and desk calendars”) that were measurable (“by June”), as well as achievable, realistic, and had a timeline (“Place order on February 1. Request update on March 15.”).
Many of the SMART goals the consultants found inside the factories were just as detailed—and just as trivial. Workers spent hours making sure their objectives satisfied every SMART criterion, but spent much less time making sure the goals were worth pursuing in the first place. The nuclear factory’s security guards had written extensive memos on the goal of theft prevention and had come up with a plan that “basically consisted of searching everyone’s bags every time they entered or exited the plant, which caused huge delays,” said Brian Butler, one of the consultants. “It might have stopped thefts, but it also destroyed the factory’s productivity because everyone started leaving earlier each day so they could get home at a decent hour.” Even the plants’ senior executives, the consultants found, had fallen prey to an obsession with achievable but inconsequential goals, and were focused on unimportant short-term objectives rather than more ambitious plans.
When the consultants asked employees how they felt about GE’s emphasis on SMART goals, they expected to hear complaints about the onerous bureaucracy. They anticipated people would say they wanted to think bigger, but were hamstrung by the incessant SMART demands. Instead, employees said they loved the SMART system. The administrative assistant who ordered office supplies said fulfilling those goals gave her a real sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, she said, she would write a SMART memo for a task she had already completed and then put it into her “Done” folder. It made her feel so good.
Researchers who have studied SMART goals and other structured methods of choosing objectives say this isn’t unusual. Such systems, though useful, can sometimes trigger our need for closure in counterproductive ways. Aims such as SMART goals “can cause [a] person to have tunnel vision, to focus more on expanding effort to get immediate results,” Locke and Latham wrote in 1990. Experiments have shown that people with SMART goals are more likely to seize on the easiest tasks, to become obsessed with finishing projects, and to freeze on priorities once a goal has been set. “You get into this mindset where crossing things off your to-do list becomes more important than asking yourself if you’re doing the right things,” said Latham.
GE’s executives weren’t sure how to help the nuclear and jet engine factories. So in 1989, they asked a professor named Steve Kerr, the dean of faculty at the University of Southern California business school, for help. Kerr was an expert in the psychology of goal setting, and he began by interviewing employees inside the nuclear factory. “A lot of these people were really demoralized,” he said. “They had gone into nuclear energy because they wanted to change the world. Then Three Mile Island and Chernobyl happened, and the industry was getting protested every day and completely brutalized in the press.” Setting short-term goals and achieving them, the plant’s workers and executives told Kerr, was one of the few things they could feel good about at work.
The only way to improve performance at the nuclear factory, Kerr thought, was to find a way to shake people out of their focus on short-term objectives. GE had recently started a series of meetings among top executives called “Work-Outs” that were designed to encourage people to think about bigger ambitions and more long-term plans. Kerr helped expand those meetings to factories’ rank-and-file.
The rules at Work-Outs were simple: Employees could suggest any goal they thought GE ought to be pursuing. There were no SMART charts or memos. “The concept was that nothing was off-limits,” Kerr told me. Managers had to approve or deny each suggestion quickly, often right away, and “we wanted to make it easy to say yes,” said Kerr. “We thought if we could get people to identify the ambition first, and then figure out the plan afterward, it would encourage bigger thinking.” If an idea seemed half-baked, Kerr said, a manager should “say yes, because even if the proposal is no better than what you’re doing now, with the group’s energy behind it, the plan will turn out great.” Only after a goal was approved would everyone begin the formal process of determining how to make it realistic and achievable and all the other SMART criteria.
At a Work-Out inside the engine factory in Massachusetts, one worker told his bosses they were making a mistake by outsourcing construction of protective shields for their grinding machines. The factory could make them in-house for half the cost, he said. Then he unfurled a piece of butcher paper covered with scribbled blueprints. There was nothing SMART about the man’s proposal. It was unclear if it was realistic or achievable, or what measurements to apply. But when the factory’s top manager looked at the butcher paper, he said, “I guess we’ll try it out.”
Four months later, after the blueprints had been professionally redrawn and the plan transformed into a series of SMART goals, the first prototype was installed. It cost $16,000—more than 80 percent less than the outsourced bid. The factory saved $200,000 that year on ideas proposed at the Work-Out. “Everybody gets caught up in this tremendous rush of adrenaline,” a team leader at the plant, Bill DiMaio, said. “The ideas that people come up with are so encouraging, it’s unbelievable. These people get psyched. All their ideas are fair game.”
Then Kerr helped take the Work-Out program company-wide. By 1994, every GE employee within GE had participated in at least one Work-Out. As profits and productivity rose, executives at other companies began imitating the Work-Out system inside their own firms. By 1995, there were hundreds of companies conducting Work-Outs. Kerr joined GE full-time in 1994 and eventually became the company’s “chief learning officer.”
“The Work-Outs were successful because they balanced the psychological influence of immediate goals with the freedom to think about bigger things,” said Kerr. “That’s critical. People respond to the conditions around them. If you’re being constantly told to focus on achievable results, you’re only going to think of achievable goals. You’re not going to dream big.”
Work-Outs, however, weren’t perfect. They took an entire day of everyone’s time and usually meant the plant had to slow down production so that workers could all attend the meetings. It was something a division or plant could do once or twice a year, at most. And though the Work-Outs left everyone feeling excited and hungry for change, the effects were frequently short-lived. A week later, everyone was back at their old jobs and, often, their old ways of thinking.
Welch had given his aircraft manufacturing division a stretch goal of reducing errors by 70 percent, an objective so audacious the only way to go about it was to change nearly everything about (a) how workers were trained, (b) which workers were hired, and (c) how the factory ran. By the time they were done, the Durham plant’s managers had collapsed organizational charts, remade job duties, and overhauled how they interviewed candidates, because they needed people with better team skills and more flexible mindsets. In other words, Welch’s stretch goal set off a chain reaction that remade how engines were manufactured in ways no one had imagined. By 1999, the number of defects per engine had fallen by 75 percent and the company had gone thirty-eight months without missing a single delivery, a record. The cost of manufacturing had dropped by 10 percent every year. No SMART goal would have done that.
'The simple act of sharing biscuits with friends or colleagues can facilitate those little moments of face-to-face connection that can have a significant impact on your work and social life.'
Eventually, they collected enough data to conclude that most companies
had cultures that fell into one of five categories. One was a culture
they referred to as the “star” model. At these firms, executives hired
from elite universities or other successful companies and gave employees
huge amounts of autonomy. Offices had fancy cafeterias and lavish perks.
Venture capitalists loved star model companies because giving money to
the A-Team, conventional wisdom held, was always the safest bet.
The second category was the “engineering” model. Inside firms with engineering cultures, there weren’t many individual stars, but engineers, as a group, held the most sway. An engineering mindset prevailed in solving problems or approaching hiring decisions. “This is your stereotypical Silicon Valley start-up, with a bunch of anonymous programmers drinking Mountain Dew at their computers,” said Baron. “They’re young and hungry and might be the next generation of stars once they prove themselves, but right now, they’re focused on solving technical problems.” Engineering-focused cultures are powerful because they allow firms to grow quickly. “Think of how fast Facebook expanded,” said Baron. “When everyone comes from a similar background and mindset, you can rely on common social norms to keep everyone on the same path.”
The third and fourth categories of companies included those firms built around “bureaucracies” and those constructed as “autocracies.” In the bureaucratic model, cultures emerged through thick ranks of middle managers. Executives wrote extensive job descriptions, organizational charts, and employee handbooks. Everything was spelled out, and there were rituals, such as weekly all-hands meetings, that regularly communicated the firm’s values to its workers. An autocratic culture is similar, except that all the rules, job descriptions, and organizational charts ultimately point to the desires and goals of one person, usually the founder or CEO. “One autocratic chief executive told us that his cultural model was, ‘You work. You do what I say. You get paid,’ ” Baron said.
The final category was known as the “commitment” model, and it was a throwback to an age when people happily worked for one company their entire life. “Commitment CEOs say things like, ‘I want to build the kind of company where people only leave when they retire or die,’ ” said Baron. “That doesn’t necessarily mean the company is stodgy, but it does imply a set of values that might prioritize slow and steady growth.” Some Silicon Valley executives told Baron they saw commitment firms as outdated, remnants of a corporate paternalism that had undermined industries such as American manufacturing. Commitment companies were more hesitant to lay people off. They often hired HR professionals when other start-ups were using precious dollars to recruit engineers or salespeople. “Commitment CEOs believe that getting the culture right is more important at first than designing the best product,” Baron said.
Words Review List
|identities||some names and personal characteristics of individuals or events have been changed in order to disguise identities|
|resemblance||Any resulting resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and unintentional|
|frantic||I was in the final, frantic stages of the writing process|
|flurry||a flurry of phone calls|
|treadmill||My life felt like a treadmill of to-do lists, emails requiring immediate replies, rushed meetings, and subsequent apologies for being late|
|scurry||Amid all this hustle and scurry|
|paragon||he appeared to be a paragon of success|
|productivity||“Productivity,” of course, means different things in different settings.|
|assembly line||an engineer’s measure of productivity might focus on making an assembly line ever faster|
|mutual||Later that week, I mentioned this exchange to our mutual friend|
|sitter||given a choice between their father and the babysitter, my kids would pick the sitter|
|roamed||I roamed the halls of Cincinnati’s public schools|
|obsessed||why Israel’s leaders became so obsessed with the wrong aspirations in the run-up to the Yom Kippur War|
|run-up||why Israel’s leaders became so obsessed with the wrong aspirations in the run-up to the Yom Kippur War|
|fixating||fixating on what you hope will happen|
|doorstep||and have almost any product delivered to our doorstep within twenty-four hours|
|gadgets||Companies can design gadgets in California, collect orders from customers in Barcelona|
|curfew||locate the kids’ phones one minute after curfew|
|agrarian||in many ways, as the agrarian and industrial revolutions of previous eras|
|Andes||first to Brazil, then over the Andes into Bolivia and Peru|
|itinerary||Their itinerary included tours of Incan ruins, a boat trip on Lake Titicaca|
|Incan ruins||Their itinerary included tours of Incan ruins, a boat trip on Lake Titicaca|
|anticipating||He was already anticipating the fortune he would spend on calls to his secretary|
|mogul||made himself into a Bayou mogul through hard work, charisma, and hustle|
|charisma||made himself into a Bayou mogul through hard work, charisma, and hustle|
|hustle||made himself into a Bayou mogul through hard work, charisma, and hustle|
|hangovers||while everyone nursed painful hangovers the next morning|
|booze||Robert hadn’t touched booze in years|
|baggage claim||He staggered through the airport and had to sit down to catch his breath at the baggage claim|
|trinkets||For the next hour, he marched through town buying trinkets and exploding in a rage|
|vomit||woke repeatedly during the night to vomit|
|enough was enough||On day four, Viola decided enough was enough and cut the vacation short|
|apathy||Except for the sudden apathy, Dr. Strub couldn’t find evidence of illness or injury|
|cranium||Dr. Strub administered an MRI, which allowed him to collect images from inside Robert’s cranium|
|burst vessels||evidence that burst vessels had caused a tiny amount of blood to pool temporarily inside a part of Robert’s brain known as the striatum|
|striatum||evidence that burst vessels had caused a tiny amount of blood to pool temporarily inside a part of Robert’s brain known as the striatum|
|hemorrhages||It is possible that the hemorrhages are coincidental and that the high altitude played no physiologic role|
|monoxide||There was a nineteen-year-old woman who had fallen briefly unconscious after a carbon monoxide leak|
|laundry||wash the dishes, fold the laundry|
|Pittsburgh||the University of Pittsburgh was painted a cheery yellow and contained an fMRI machine|
|fMRI||the University of Pittsburgh was painted a cheery yellow and contained an fMRI machine|
|two-headed quarter||The outcome had been determined ahead of time. It was like betting on a two-headed quarter|
|caudate nucleus||robust activity in the caudate nucleus only when subjects|
|akin||Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed|
|quavered||He had meant the words to sound bold and confident, but his voice quavered when he spoke|
|fatigues||had his head shaved, his blood type tested, his clothes replaced with fatigues, and embarked on a new life|
|makeover||A lot of these kids didn’t just need discipline, they needed a mental makeover|
|platoon||In his fourth week of training, for instance, Quintanilla’s platoon was told to clean the mess hall|
|ketchup||In truth, it was pretty obvious where the ketchup should have gone|
|drill instructor||a drill instructor shouted, pointing to a pit the size of a football field|
|verbal||You may not proceed without a direct verbal order from the team leader|
|tandem||Eventually, they were all singing and shrugging and swinging in tandem|
|Grim Reaper||final challenge, a long, steep hill they called the Grim Reaper|
|delivery||His wife had given birth a week earlier to a daughter. He had been allowed to speak to her for five minutes after the delivery|
|chore||Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge|
|defiance||These small acts of defiance were, in the grand scheme of things, relatively minor|
|gerontologist||said Rosalie Kane, a gerontologist at the University of Minnesota|
|auto parts||Viola Philippe, the wife of the onetime auto parts tycoon of Louisiana|
|albinism||She had been born with albinism—her body did not produce the enzyme tyrosinase, critical in the production of melanin|
|enzyme||She had been born with albinism—her body did not produce the enzyme tyrosinase, critical in the production of melanin|
|melanin||She had been born with albinism—her body did not produce the enzyme tyrosinase, critical in the production of melanin|
|pigment||and as a result, her skin, hair, and eyes contained no pigment|
|eyesight||her eyesight was poor|
|pod||They were like two peas in a pod|
|bon vivant||She had married a bon vivant, a man so full of life that it was hard to go to the grocery store because he constantly stopped to chat with everyone|
|grocery||She had married a bon vivant, a man so full of life that it was hard to go to the grocery store because he constantly stopped to chat with everyone|
|courtroom||she told a courtroom when the family sued for insurance money they felt owed because of Robert’s neurological injuries|
|felt owed||she told a courtroom when the family sued for insurance money they felt owed because of Robert’s neurological injuries|
|Lettuce||Sandwich or soup? Lettuce or tomato? Ham or turkey? What about mayonnaise?|
|mayonnaise||Sandwich or soup? Lettuce or tomato? Ham or turkey? What about mayonnaise?|
|banter||He would banter with her for a few moments, or tell her about a program he had been watching|
|offhand||He told the story in an offhand way, and chuckled as he recalled trying to jimmy a window|
|jimmy||He told the story in an offhand way, and chuckled as he recalled trying to jimmy a window|
|cajoled||Viola congratulated, cajoled, and rewarded him whenever he seemed, for a moment, like his former self|
|dormant||Their motivation went dormant because they had forgotten how good it feels to make a choice|
|autonomy||they have forgotten the rewards of autonomy since they’ve moved into a nursing home|
|self-righteous stubbornness||We should applaud a child who shows defiant, self-righteous stubbornness and reward a student who finds a way to get things done by working around the rules|
|toddler||We all applaud self-motivation until a toddler won’t put on his shoes|
|Tufts||She was a Tufts graduate with a bachelor’s degree in math and economics|
|spreadsheets||her study group would gather to discuss homework and compare spreadsheets, strategize for upcoming exams|
|strategize||her study group would gather to discuss homework and compare spreadsheets, strategize for upcoming exams|
|divvying up||When it came to divvying up tasks for projects|
|preemptively||one group member would sometimes preemptively assign roles, and then the others would critique those assignments|
|bum out||“I was looking forward to making friends with my group,” she said. “It really bummed me out that we didn’t gel.”|
|gel||“I was looking forward to making friends with my group,” she said. “It really bummed me out that we didn’t gel.”|
|think tank||The one Julia joined included a former army officer, a think tank researcher, the director of a health education nonprofit|
|overhaul||the business school sponsored a contest to overhaul the shop|
|nap pods||We spent an hour figuring out how nap pods could make money by selling accessories like earplugs|
|accessories||We spent an hour figuring out how nap pods could make money by selling accessories like earplugs|
|earplugs||We spent an hour figuring out how nap pods could make money by selling accessories like earplugs|
|eco-friendly||spent another month studying ways for a chain of eco-friendly convenience stores to expand into North Carolina|
|division||The division had successfully pushed to increase paid maternity leave from twelve to eighteen weeks|
|maternity||The division had successfully pushed to increase paid maternity leave from twelve to eighteen weeks|
|Aristotle||Google began another massive effort, this one code-named Project Aristotle|
|extroversion||Some scientists had found that teams functioned best when they contained a concentration of people with similar levels of extroversion and introversion|
|introversion||Some scientists had found that teams functioned best when they contained a concentration of people with similar levels of extroversion and introversion|
|confounding||Most confounding of all, sometimes two teams would have nearly identical compositions, with overlapping memberships, but radically different levels of effectiveness|
|overlapping||Most confounding of all, sometimes two teams would have nearly identical compositions, with overlapping memberships, but radically different levels of effectiveness|
|collective||Any group, over time, develops collective norms about appropriate behavior|
|spurns||If a team develops a culture that encourages differences of opinion and spurns groupthink, that’s another norm holding sway|
|chafe||they may chafe against authority or prefer working independently|
|hewed||There were teams that contained extroverts who hewed to the group’s sedate norms whenever they assembled, and others where introverts came out of their shells as soon as meetings began|
|sedate||There were teams that contained extroverts who hewed to the group’s sedate norms whenever they assembled, and others where introverts came out of their shells as soon as meetings began|
|enervated||elsewhere indicate that norms determine whether we feel safe or threatened, enervated or excited, and motivated or discouraged by our teammates|
|wards||In 1991, a first-year PhD student named Amy Edmondson began visiting hospital wards|
|hand in hand||intending to show that good teamwork and good medicine went hand in hand|
|prowl||on the prowl for a dissertation topic|
|dissertation||on the prowl for a dissertation topic|
|cohesion||She and a colleague created a survey to measure team cohesion on various wards|
|trial||made her feel like she was on trial|
|retribution||people said they could suggest ideas without fear of retribution|
|repercussions||The norms that Google’s surveys said were most effective—allowing others to fail without repercussions|
|meteorological||There were two women who played midwestern housewives preparing for the annual meteorological disaster|
|centerpiece||Can I borrow your centerpiece for the tornado this year?|
|original composition||a singer with an original composition named “I Am Dog” lampooning the women’s liberation anthem “I Am Woman.”|
|lampooning||a singer with an original composition named “I Am Dog” lampooning the women’s liberation anthem “I Am Woman.”|
|anthem||a singer with an original composition named “I Am Dog” lampooning the women’s liberation anthem “I Am Woman.”|
|roller-skating||A roller-skating impressionist and an obscure musician named Meat Loaf took the stage around lunchtime|
|impressionist||A roller-skating impressionist and an obscure musician named Meat Loaf took the stage around lunchtime|
|call sheet||The actor Morgan Freeman and the comic Larry David were on the call sheet, as were four jugglers and five mimes|
|jugglers||The actor Morgan Freeman and the comic Larry David were on the call sheet, as were four jugglers and five mimes|
|mimes||The actor Morgan Freeman and the comic Larry David were on the call sheet, as were four jugglers and five mimes|
|vaudeville act||it felt as if every vaudeville act and stand-up comedian between Boston and Washington, D.C., had shown up|
|auditions||By noon on the second day of auditions, tryouts were running late when a man burst through the doors|
|tryouts||By noon on the second day of auditions, tryouts were running late when a man burst through the doors|
|three-piece suit||He had a trim mustache and wore a three-piece suit|
|attaché||He carried a folded umbrella and an attaché|
|crass||Belushi initially said he’d never appear on television because it was a crass medium|
|Monty Python and the Holy Grail||Michaels had met Chevy Chase while standing in a line in Hollywood to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail|
|Joshua Tree||Tom Schiller, another writer, knew Michaels because they had gone to Joshua Tree to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms together|
|hallucinogenic||Tom Schiller, another writer, knew Michaels because they had gone to Joshua Tree to eat hallucinogenic mushrooms together|
|wasteland||Manhattan was a show business wasteland then|
|Lily Tomlin Special||Marilyn Suzanne Miller, a writer whom Michaels hired after they collaborated on a Lily Tomlin special in L.A.|
|spaghetti||There are books filled with stories of John Belushi breaking into castmates’ apartments to make spaghetti late at night|
|cult leader||“Lorne was a cult leader,” said writer Bruce McCall. “As long as you had a Moonie-like devotion to the group, you were fine.”|
|mediocre||The right norms could raise the collective intelligence of mediocre thinkers|
|hobble||The wrong norms could hobble a group made up of people who, on their own, were all exceptionally bright|
|ebbed||In other groups, conversation ebbed from assignment to assignment|
|gauge||One of the easiest ways to gauge social sensitivity is to show someone photos of people’s eyes and ask them to describe what that person is thinking or feeling|
|messier||In contrast, Team B is messier. People speak over one another, they go on tangents, they socialize instead of remaining focused on the agenda|
|tangents||In contrast, Team B is messier. People speak over one another, they go on tangents, they socialize instead of remaining focused on the agenda|
|aloof||You’ll also find people who say that Michaels is aloof, socially awkward, proud, and jealous, and that when he decides to fire someone|
|regressions||the Google researchers working on Project Aristotle had been collecting surveys, conducting interviews, running regressions, and analyzing statistics for two years|
|It was like a punch to the gut||It was like a punch to the gut. I was already upset about making this mistake, and this note totally played on my insecurities|
|conglomerates||Teams are important. Within companies and conglomerates, government agencies and schools, teams are now the fundamental unit of self-organization|
|wreckage||When they finally found the wreckage, it was clear that few of the victims had realized disaster was near even as it struck|
|pulled away||Air France Flight 447 pulled away from the gate in Rio de Janeiro with 228 people on board|
|Rio de Janeiro||Air France Flight 447 pulled away from the gate in Rio de Janeiro with 228 people on board|
|copilot||It is unclear why he continued guiding the plane upward after agreeing with his copilot that they should descend|
|clogging||Then, as the pilots focused on their screens, the ice crystals clogging the pitot tubes|
|TO/GA||But at thirty-eight thousand feet, the air is so thin that TO/GA doesn’t work|
|cockpit||Inside the cockpit, as the alarms sounded and the cricket chirped, the pilots were silent|
|chirped||Inside the cockpit, as the alarms sounded and the cricket chirped, the pilots were silent|
|banality||is a mix of chaos and banality set against a backdrop of constantly beeping machines and chiming warnings|
|backdrop||is a mix of chaos and banality set against a backdrop of constantly beeping machines and chiming warnings|
|chiming||is a mix of chaos and banality set against a backdrop of constantly beeping machines and chiming warnings|
|pulse oximeters||heart monitors and automatic thermometers, blood pressure systems and pulse oximeters|
|intravenous||Darlene found the attending physician and said they needed to start the child on intravenous antibiotics|
|sepsis||When the labs came back, they showed that the baby was in the early stages of sepsis|
|mottled||To the other nurse, the mottled skin and the bloody Band-Aid were data points, nothing big enough to trigger an alarm|
|hunch||When Crandall asked Darlene to explain how she knew the baby was sick, Darlene said it was a hunch|
|blot||So the spotlight inside Darlene’s head went to the child’s skin, the blot of blood on her heel, and the distended belly|
|heel||So the spotlight inside Darlene’s head went to the child’s skin, the blot of blood on her heel, and the distended belly|
|distended||So the spotlight inside Darlene’s head went to the child’s skin, the blot of blood on her heel, and the distended belly|
|latch on||And when Bonin did finally latch on to a mental model—“I’m in TO/GA, right?”—he didn’t look for any facts that challenged that model.|
|Conventional||Conventional wisdom holds that productivity rises when people do the same kind of tasks over and over|
|disproportionately||Something else the superstars had in common is they were disproportionately drawn to assignments that were in their early stages|
|robust||People who know how to manage their attention and who habitually build robust mental models tend to earn more money|
|cultivate||cultivate a habit of imagining|
|auto-thrust||but when he pushed a button, the auto-thrust didn’t respond|
|cascaded||but as the issues cascaded, the instructions became so overwhelming that no one was certain how to prioritize or where to focus|
|juggling||If you are juggling multiple conversations and tasks at once and an important email arrives, reactive thinking can cause you to type a reply before you’ve really thought out what you want to say|
|reservists||Army reservists constituted 80 percent of the Israeli Defense Forces’ ground troops|
|thoroughly||and battlefield dominance had so thoroughly embarrassed their enemies that no country would attack again|
|Tel Aviv||and Scud missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv|
|Mossad||Meir ultimately sided with her chief of staff and the Mossad|
|platoons||platoons launched practice shells and tanks rehearsed battle formations|
|Sinai Peninsula||in a stunning preemptive strike, had captured the Sinai Peninsula|
|legitimate||Those fears were legitimate|
|bellicose||As Israel’s enemies became increasingly bellicose|
|contradictory||the Directorate of Military Intelligence were often contradictory and inconclusive|
|inconclusive||the Directorate of Military Intelligence were often contradictory and inconclusive|
|mishmash||a mishmash of opinions predicting various levels of risk|
|paratrooper||He was a former paratrooper known for his sophistication and political savvy|
|savvy||He was a former paratrooper known for his sophistication and political savvy|
|arsenal||Zeira argued that during the Six-Day War, Israel’s superior airpower, arsenal of long-range missiles, and|
|questionnaire||Imagine you have been asked to complete a questionnaire|
|ambiguous||They tend to disdain flighty friends and ambiguous situations|
|cognitive closure||These people have a high emotional need for cognitive closure|
|Henceforth||Henceforth, he had declared, intelligence officers would be evaluated on the clarity of their recommendations|
|airlift||Israel’s intelligence analysts learned that the Soviet Union had started an emergency airlift of Soviet advisers and their families out of Syria and Egypt|
|artillery||Aerial photographs showed more tanks, artillery, and air-defense guns massing along the Suez Canal|
|mobilizing||The military’s chief of staff, aware that mobilizing Israel’s reservists on the holiest Jewish holiday would draw fierce criticism|
|Yom Kippur||The next morning was the first full day of Yom Kippur|
|daybreak||Before daybreak, the head of the Mossad telephoned his colleagues to say that a well-connected source had told him Egypt would invade|
|synagogues||As Yom Kippur prayers began, Israel’s streets were quiet. Families were gathered in homes and synagogues|
|downcast||She was pale and her eyes were downcast|
|privy to||“The ministers were stunned,” The Times of Israel reported. “They had not been made privy to the Arab buildup|
|buildup||“The ministers were stunned,” The Times of Israel reported. “They had not been made privy to the Arab buildup|
|halt||It took three days to halt the Egyptian advance, and two days to organize a counterstrike against Syria|
|counterstrike||It took three days to halt the Egyptian advance, and two days to organize a counterstrike against Syria|
|outskirts||A few days later, Israeli Defense Forces began shelling the outskirts of Damascus|
|Damascus||A few days later, Israeli Defense Forces began shelling the outskirts of Damascus|
|typist||Then the researchers gave each typist a specific goal based on their previous performance|
|eroded||because he felt it eroded morale|
|onerous||they expected to hear complaints about the onerous bureaucracy|
|bureaucracy||they expected to hear complaints about the onerous bureaucracy|
|hamstrung||but were hamstrung by the incessant SMART demands|
|demoralized||a lot of these people were really demoralized|
|adrenaline||Everybody gets caught up in this tremendous rush of adrenaline|
|Osaka||A large portion of the country’s population lived in or between the cities of Tokyo and Osaka|
|mountainous||the Japanese topography was so mountainous and the railway system so outdated that the trip could take as long as twenty hours|
|locomotive||Six months later, a team unveiled a prototype locomotive capable of going 65 miles per hour|
|centrifugal force||At those speeds, if a train turned too sharply, the centrifugal force would derail the cars|
|derail||At those speeds, if a train turned too sharply, the centrifugal force would derail the cars|
|friction||They rebuilt gears so they meshed with less friction|
|Shinkansen||In 1964, the Shinkansen, the world’s first bullet train, left Tokyo|
|inaugural||It completed its inaugural trip in three hours and fifty-eight minutes|
|dizzying||Soon other bullet trains were running to other Japanese cities, helping fuel a dizzying economic expansion|
|audacious||What GE needed, he told Kerr when he got home from Japan, was a similar outlook, an institutional commitment to audacious goals|
|stretch||Six months after Welch’s trip to Japan, every division at GE had a stretch goal|
|talisman||The note was a talisman, a reminder that the desire to get something done|
|pneumatic gun||Then the worker manning the pneumatic gun pushed a bolt into place, applied his tool, and an ugly squeal sounded|
|squeal||Then the worker manning the pneumatic gun pushed a bolt into place, applied his tool, and an ugly squeal sounded|
|cafeterias||Offices had fancy cafeterias and lavish perks|
|lavish perks||Offices had fancy cafeterias and lavish perks|