Weekend Leadership Reading: 11/1/19

  |   Weekend Leadership Reading Print Friendly and PDF

Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about getting the most from leadership and life.

From Christopher M. Barnes: Sleep Better, Lead Better

“Although the ranks of sleep advocates are no doubt growing—led by the likes of Arianna Huffington and Jeff Bezos—a significant percentage of people, and U.S. executives in particular, don’t seem to be getting the sleep they need. According to the most recent data from the National Health Interview Survey, the proportion of Americans getting no more than six hours a night (the minimum for a good night’s rest for most people) rose from 22% in 1985 to 29% in 2012. An international study conducted in 2017 by the Center for Creative Leadership found that among leaders, the problem is even worse: 42% get six or fewer hours of shut-eye a night.”

From Marcella Bremer: Happiness for Calvinists

“Veenhoven defines happiness as long-term satisfaction with your life as a whole – as opposed to temporary joy or peak moments. You can have pleasant moments, but what adds to happiness is ‘contentment’: your perceived realization of what you truly want.”

From Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries: If You’re Feeling Drained, Here’s Why

“When I ran into Dirk, a banking CEO whom I had known for some time, I asked him why he looked so down. After a short silence, he responded with an avalanche of words. He had been feeling exhausted. At work, he had too many meetings, often with people he didn’t like. Given his position, Dirk felt his only option was to masquerade as a positive person. But it wore him out. He was also suffering from insomnia and the little sleep he managed to get was filled with nightmares. Clearly, Dirk wasn’t in very good mental shape.”

From Dan Lyons: In Silicon Valley, Working 9 to 5 Is for Losers

“Silicon Valley prides itself on ‘thinking different.’ So maybe it makes sense that just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach — and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice. An entire cottage industry has sprung up there, selling an internet-centric prosperity gospel that says that there is no higher calling than to start your own company, and that to succeed you must be willing to give up everything.”

From Megan McNealy: The Rise of the Exceptional Executive

“In our corporate work cultures, it’s easy to find examples of high achieving executives and employees that believe that working relentlessly hard is a badge of honor. In industries like the legal profession, the medical field, the all-hours tech field, and investment banking, there are many single-focused high performers fueled by coffee and adrenaline, who continue to work 80-hour workweeks despite the gulp-inducing reality of burnout.”

From the Economist: Whistle while you work

“Terrible working conditions have a long tradition. Early industry was marked by its dirty, dangerous factories (dark, satanic mills) and in the early 20th century, workers were forced into dull, repetitive tasks by the needs of the production line. However, in a service-based economy, it makes sense that focusing on worker morale might be a much more fruitful approach.”

From Ken Blanchard: What Do You Really Want from Your Work?

“If your current job is giving you most of the things you desire from your work, you are one of the fortunate people who have a fulfilling work life. Your job is probably providing enjoyment, excitement, energy, etc. Good on you—that’s great! But what if the things you want from your work are different from what you feel you’re gaining in your present job? In that case, it may be time for you to ask yourself a few questions, such as ‘What am I getting out of my work now? How is that different from what I really want to do? Are my tasks at work connected to things that are meaningful to me? How can I adjust my actions and attitudes so that my work can better meet my needs and wants?’”

Book Suggestions

Lab Rats: Tech Gurus, Junk Science, and Management Fads My Quest to Make Work Less Miserable by Dan Lyons

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Reinvent the Wheel: How Top Leaders Leverage Well-Being for Success by Megan McNealy

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want Sonja Lyubomirsky

Note: All book links are affiliate links. If you follow them and buy the book from Amazon, I get a small commission.

Join The Conversation

What People Are Saying

There are no comments yet, why not be the first to leave a comment?