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Operational Leadership

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Sometimes work isn’t motivating. Many individuals feel dispassionate toward their job — finding it monotonous, boring, frustrating, or exhausting. Common suggestions for individuals who are unhappy with their job are to “find happiness outside of work” or “go get a new job” … but are these recommendations realistic? We spend a large portion of our lives working, so shouldn’t we at least enjoy it? Almost 20 years ago, two researchers proposed there must be a better solution (1). Wrzesniewski and Dutton proposed that workers can take matters into their own hands by shaping the tasks, relationships, and their

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD What does the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” have to do with being a great leader? In short, it allows followers to be more self-reliant. As a result, employees will enjoy more autonomy in their job, potentially experience more meaning in their work, and it allows the leader to find better balance in their own time. When employees run into obstacles, you don’t want them coming to you at every single bump in the road — but you

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Josh Williams, Ph.D. Psychologists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnosing mental and personality disorders. This classification and diagnostic tool identifies issues that disrupt people’s ability to maintain relationships, achieve goals, and experience fulfillment. Renowned psychologist Martin Seligman is one of the pioneers of Positive Psychology which essentially flips the coin and examines behaviors and characteristics of flourishing. He and University of Michigan psychologist, Chris Peterson, set out to find these characteristics across numerous cultures and throughout different periods of history. They spoke with historians, sociologists, economists, and philosophers and identified the “high six” virtues and behaviors

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Virtual work is becoming a part of everyday life for many individuals. What does the research have to say about how it impacts our well-being? Working from home is associated with… • More positive emotions and lower degrees of negative emotions (1,2)• A reduction in work stress (3)• Less emotional exhaustion (4,2)• More physical activity (5)• Less work-family conflict (6)• Increased feelings of autonomy (7)• Job satisfaction (8) Is there a dark side of flex work on our well-being? People are social animals and have better well-being when they feel supported. Many individuals fear they will be socially isolated when

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD When it comes to leading a virtual or flex workforce, trust is everything. Managers are struggling with new ways of leading — including the delicate balance between giving enough direction without micromanaging. When leaders are accustomed to seeing employees in an office every day, it can be difficult adjusting to an arrangement that has less observational opportunities. In a flexible work model, it is not as easy to closely monitor due to physical proximity, but some leaders adjust well by embracing the opportunity to give people more autonomy. Other leaders do not adjust as well and try

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By Dale Lawrence While most leaders have adopted a plan of not bringing every employee back to the physical workplace, what is unclear is “how long?”, “how is this impacting my strategy?” and “what impact will this have on my business, partners and customers?”. Without a clear understanding of the long-term impacts of Coronavirus on society and specifically the economy, many leaders are unable to project far into the future business planning. Not only does this impact budgetary planning for capital and operating expenses, it changes how leaders look to growth, partnerships, supply chains, business improvements and customer experience initiatives. In fact,

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