Monday Mornings with Madison

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Executive Functions and Leadership, Part 2B

Not everyone has a strong working memory, even though it is essential for learning and work. In part, differences in working memory are similar to differences in IQ, EQ or skills. It varies from person to person and is impacted by lifestyle. Indeed, there are things we do that can impair working memory just as there things we can do to improve it. Here’s the scoop on how to protect that most vital of Executive Functions… and strategies for how to boost working memory as much as 1000%! Continue reading

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Executive Functions and Leadership, Part 2A

We’d like to think that IQ (intelligence) or innate talent accounts for success. Or perhaps it is hard-earned skills and abilities. Or maybe it’s just perseverance and hard work. While all of that plays a part, one of the biggest contributors to academic success – which often leads to career success – is something else. Memory. Specifically, working memory. It is an Executive Function that most every person has (unless affected by illness or a developmental disorder). However, not everyone has an equally strong working memory, though it is essential for learning and work. So what is working memory and can we improve it?

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Executive Functions and Leadership, Part 1

Impulsivity and Self Control
Each January 1st we start the year making grandiose resolutions. As described by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, we set “big, hairy, audacious goals”… meaning they are often externally questionable but not internally impossible. But seldom are these resolutions aimed at improving our Executive Functions. The irony is that we need our Executive Functions to achieve goals, and Executive Functions can actually be improved. So, this year, instead of setting goals for fitness, achieving a professional milestone, exceeding a financial mark, or summiting a personal mountaintop, why not enhance your Executive Functions? In doing that, you’ll be more likely to hit goals big and small. So what are Executive Functions and how do you improve them?  Continue reading

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Service: The Only Lasting Differentiator, Part 2

Every company touts that they deliver great service. Yet there are many companies actually known for delivering terrible service. Of course, they aren’t alone. But, while business leaders may think that the pandemic has afforded companies leeway in how well they service customers, think again. Subpar service is costing companies customers and sales, which is unfortunate since service is the one area that can truly elevate and differentiate a business long-term from the competition. Here are some companies that are really doing “customer service” right in 2022. Continue reading

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Service: The Only Lasting Differentiator, Part 1

In business, there is a tremendous focus on how to win customers. Rightfully so. And that is nothing new. To win customers, companies will claim a variety of variables that set them apart: quality, price, innovation, convenience, customization, first-to-market, etc. But there is one differentiator that can never be undercut, become outdated, or be copied identically: service. It beats all other features, whether it’s delivered face-to-face (brick-n-mortar), remote-to-remote (email or phone) or screen-to-screen (ecommerce). Great service was, is and will always be the only lasting differentiator, especially in a high-tech world. 

So what does service look like in 2022?  Continue reading

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Millennials vs Zellennials: What’s the Difference? -Part 2

If you’re reading this, chances are you are not a Zellennial. This is not written for Zs, but about them. Because, in business, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of what a company’s employees and customers want and value. We already know lots about Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. But there is a new generation now pushing into adulthood: Gen Z. Many are apt to view them as an extension of their Millennial predecessors. But that would be a disservice to what is shaping up to be a generation that is already changing the world with its views and influence. Here are some important things to know about Gen Z as employees and customers… and perhaps even competitors Continue reading

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Millennials vs Zellennials: What’s the Difference?

The biggest takeaway to be gleaned from all the data mining, computer hacking and data breaches sweeping the planet is that “information” is invaluable. The lesson for business owners is this: know thy audience. So how well do business owners understand the newer generations of Y and Z? For those who think Millennials and Zellennials are basically the same, think again. There are some subtle and some substantial differences between them that affects how businesses should market to them and handle them as employees and colleagues.

Here are some of the main differentiators. Continue reading

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Block Out the “Noise” to be More Effective at Work

There is so much “information noise” and so many distractions that it’s hard for workers to be effective. There is a relentless geyser of unrequested information about people, products and places blasted to every person. And there are a multitude of tools that vie for one’s attention. This is actually harmful. Here’s why and how to reduce its impact. Continue reading

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Time Management and Parkinson’s Law

Time management is arguably the most important skill anyone can learn. After all, the better one uses time — the ultimate finite, perishable resource — the more one can potentially accomplish. But it is also the hardest and most vexing skill to master. At work, managers give deadlines to ensure employees manage time well. And, bosses will often cite Parkinson’s Law – that every task will fill the time allocated to doing it — as the reason for giving tight deadlines. But is Parkinson’s Law true and is that approach effective? Here’s what you may not know about Parkinson’s Law and what you should know about time management.

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The War for Talent

There is an interesting phenomena occurring in today’s job market. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% in October 2021. But the workforce is also getting smaller as the labor force participation rate also continues to contract, as it has been for over 20 years. With fewer and fewer people looking for work, employers are having to get better at recruiting and retaining talent. Raising salaries is a short-term solution that fuels inflation and doesn’t address what workers seek. Instead, workplaces need to get creative.

Here’s how some companies are doing it. Continue reading

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