Monday Mornings with Madison

Monthly Archives:
June 2016

To Sleep Perchance to Succeed

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with increased risk for diabetes, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality. It also can contribute to heart disease, and increases a person’s likelihood to catch a cold and/or develop an infection. Obviously, all of these health issues affect punctuality, absenteeism, and decreased morale. Excessive absences result in decreased productivity and can have a major effect on company finances.
These are some of the obvious ways sleep deprivation affects career success. But there are other ways in which sleep deprivation has a dramatic direct effect on success. Insufficient sleep is a major cause of workplace accidents resulting in injuries and lawsuits. Lack of sleep also impairs judgment. And sleep deprivation is tied to cognitive impairment and memory problems. In other words, the brain just does not work well –as effectively or efficiently – when deprived of sleep. Continue reading

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To Sleep Perchance to Thrive and Succeed

For many professionals, travel is a regular part of life. Networking conferences. Meetings with clients. Training sessions. Visits to regional offices, stores or plants. And when work stops, vacations typically mean even more travel. While many people consider business and personal travel a luxury and privilege, those who travel often know that travel has its drawbacks. Besides the inevitable transportation hassles that come with getting there and back, there are other factors that make travel challenging. Lack of sleep is one of the biggest challenges.
According to a study conducted by Yuka Sasaki, Research Associate Professor of Cognitive Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University in Rhode Island, people don’t sleep very well when in a new place. The findings help explain why many people sleep poorly on their first night in a hotel, a sleep laboratory or other new location. Apparently, when a person sleeps in a new place, a part of the brain remains alert for potential threats. And there are all kinds of variables that affect sleep for most people besides travel. If sleep deprivation doesn’t seem like a big deal, think again. While lack of sleep may not seem all that pivotal to professional success, sleep is actually one of the most essential elements of life. It is vital for good health. It also plays a huge part in professional success. That’s because sleep is vital for sharp cognitive thought and keen memory. Continue reading

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Core Values: Establishing and Executing

What does the company stand for? Where does it fit in this world? What are its’ “ways” of doing things? The answer to those questions is what lies at the heart of any company’s core values. Apple’s core value – established by Steve Jobs – was that people with passion can change the world. When they launched the Mac computer, their campaign slogan was “Think Different.” Their advertisements didn’t show computers. In fact, their ads had nothing to do with their product. It was about people who had changed the world. Likewise, the core value for milk – represented by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council for what is the quintessential commodity – is that milk is good for you, which some argue is not even true. Their most famous advertising campaign — based on their core value — was “Got Milk?”, which also did not show the product. It actually showed the absence of the product, but the core value was clear.

When a company’s leadership wants to establish core values for the organization, it needs to consider its place in the world. How is the company different from other organizations? What values speak to how the company’s employees work, interact and behave? What values jive with the organization’s brand and reinforce its identity? When seeing the company’s products, services or employee’s behaviors, would customers be able to pick them out as distinctly of that organization? Those are some of the questions to consider in formulating core values. Here’s how. Continue reading

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