Happiness is good, right? Researchers led by Steven Cole at the University of California at Los Angeles made a stunning discovery last year. They studied the gene expression profiles of people who experienced happiness from seeking pleasure and those who experienced happiness from seeking meaningful purpose in life. While both pleasure and purpose seekers reported experiencing happiness at a conscious level, the gene expression profiles of the two groups told a different story.
The profiles of the purpose seekers exhibited low levels of inflammatory gene expression and strong levels of antiviral and antibody genes. The pleasure seekers showed the opposite. Their profiles were consistent with people who are more likely to experience adverse health and premature death.
This new research is relevant to how we live our lives. People who seek purpose in their lives feel they make a difference. They experience greater energy and enthusiasm. They are more likely to give their best efforts and persevere through the inevitable challenges and difficult seasons in life that everyone experiences. (read more…)
Recently I had the pleasure of going on a fishing trip on Lake Michigan with three of my sons. This was our first such fishing charter, and it turned out to be a great experience all around.
Clearly, one of the most common words on a shipping boat is “catch,” as in the fish that is brought in during the trip. When used in the workplace, the term can be used to reference a great new resource, such as a new hire or tool that has the potential of adding value to the workforce and its efforts. Proactive managers and employers can also catch their workers doing something right and praise such conduct as a form of reinforcement.
On the negative side, the term “catch” can refer to the way in which employees are oftentimes evaluated, as in being caught off-guard with critiques (or worse) that stem from unstated or unclear expectations. (read more…)
But times change, and after the massive battering, the industry is starting to bounce back. Construction spending is up, projects are more plentiful and optimism is starting to sneak its way in. But now, there’s another problem — a shortage of workers, because so many left the industry to find employment elsewhere.
Madeline is sitting in her boss’s office, patiently waiting for his full attention so she can preview a client presentation she has to deliver tomorrow. Meanwhile Rob, her boss, is sending a text on his smart phone. Before he’s finished with that, the computer pings, signaling an incoming e-mail that Rob says he must answer immediately. He interrupts that process to grab a ringing phone and finally waves Madeline away, mouthing “I’ll catch you later,” as she backs out the door.
Rob is a busy guy. He’s hustling all day long. And Madeline knows if he doesn’t review her presentation before she delivers it to the client, he’s very likely to snap her head off. Rob has the “Rush Syndrome.” Unfortunately, he’s spreading this infection throughout his entire team.
Does any of this sound familiar? There have probably been times when you could identify with both Madeline and Rob. If you detect some symptoms of “Rush Syndrome” in yourself, how can you stop the infection? (read more…)
My first leadership post was the most unusual and most unexpected management position that I ever held. When I was a high school senior, a friend of mine whose father ran a kosher-certification agency asked me if I could provide supervision in a kosher restaurant on Saturday nights.
I didn’t live too far from the place and wanted to earn some extra cash, so I agreed. The position, I was told, included oversight in the kitchen, and, because I did not have to be in the kitchen for more than a few moments at a time (as all of the ingredients were kosher), manning the cash register.
My first night on the job was going pretty smoothly. It took me a short while to learn the inner workings of the establishment’s kitchen and how to operate the register. Not bad, I thought, for $10 an hour. But then, one of the waiters told me that I had a phone call. (read more…)