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What to Do When Your Employee Is Totally Checked Out

It’s frustrating when a member of your team has mentally checked out. In some cases, this person does only the bare minimum. In other cases, they fail to meet important deadlines, or they drop the ball on critical projects. How can you determine what’s going on? What can you do to address the issue when it’s a temporary slump? How about when it’s a long-term problem? And what’s the best way to ensure this person’s lack of motivation doesn’t influence or annoy your other team members?
What the Experts Say
There are myriad …

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How a Lack of Sponsorship Keeps Black Women Out of the C-Suite

Before 2021, only one Black woman had been CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If we want to see more Black women step into the C-suite, and specifically into CEO positions, they must be sponsored into positions that offer a clear path to the top along with direct advocacy and support. Sponsorship requires leaders to vouch for the merit and legitimacy of protégés as potential successors, and has proved to be a powerful tool for elevating male leaders. Black women, however, find it harder than their white male counterparts to attract sponsors. But leaders and companies can address this by re-imagining the …

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An ESG Reckoning Is Coming

In 2018, the clean tech darling Nikola posted a video of its new electric truck driving down a remote stretch of road, framed by dramatic music and a setting sun. The caption read: “Behold, the 1,000 HP, zero-emission Nikola One semi-truck in motion.”
The video promised something with the potential to upend an industry. Investors shared the enthusiasm. Last summer, Nikola was briefly more valuable than Ford, despite yielding zero revenue.
But the video was fake. The company towed the truck to the top of a hill and filmed as it rolled down. You have to hand it to them: There is …

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How Business Leaders Can Prepare for the Next Health Crisis

The shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical health and safety material and equipment that have persisted throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have made one thing clear: Large organizations of all kinds need to be much better prepared to operate when future devastating emergencies strike. The ultimate remedy is a radically cooperative, proactive approach to securing these supplies.
The strategies we suggest in this article can reduce organizations’ vulnerability across a whole range of threats, from the next pandemic to bioterrorism to cyber or infrastructure attacks. Our advice stems from two sources: our involvement in the U.S. Supply …

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How to Reinvent Your Organization In the Middle of a Crisis

“They expect me to perform miracles and I haven’t even caught my breath yet,” a senior executive told me as she held her head in her hands. We were talking about how she should lead her organization after the Covid-19 pandemic. She knew she would face intense pressure to deliver a turnaround in performance.
Thinking about it felt overwhelming, especially since she was already exhausted from dealing with the first, acute phase of the crisis. Could she switch from focusing on urgent, operational issues to more strategic opportunities? How well could she cope with the aftermath of the crisis — …

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How to Capitalize On the Coming M&A Wave

As the Covid-19 crisis continues and the full brunt of its economic impact becomes clear, merger and acquisition activity is expected to ramp up. Weaker players that had relied on government support or cash reserves are likely to experience more financial stress, leaving them ripe for takeover, while stronger firms will find new avenues to bolster their positions, acquire new or complementary skills, technologies, and products, or simply grab some valuable market share. But research shows that most M&A deals fail. To ensure that your organization capitalizes on this opportunity, avoid five traps:  favoring strategic while ignoring the financials, …

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Research: We’re Losing Touch with Our Networks

Think of your personal and professional network as a series of six concentric circles that decrease in emotional intensity as you move toward the larger outer rings. The innermost circle contains the few people you turn to in times of severe distress. The outermost circle is made up of the roughly 1,500 acquaintances whom you would recognize by sight. The authors compared the personal and work networks of hundreds of individuals pre- and post-pandemic and found that the size of the outermost ring has shrunk. That shrinkage was accompanied by a strengthening of our closest relationships. Maintaining connection to the outer …

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Preparing for the Next Macroeconomic Cycle — and Its Risks

With an ongoing post-Covid recovery, it’s time for leaders to start considering what the next economic cycle — and its risks — will look like. Unlike Covid, which was an exogenous shock and thus largely unpredictable, the potential imbalances and risks, including inflation and bubbles, are endogenous to the system – they arise from within and grow over time. This means business leaders have a chance to build awareness, monitor, and grow their resilience to such shocks, even if precise predictions will remain out of reach.

When the pandemic hit last year, business leaders’ time horizons contracted sharply, forcing their focus on …

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Finding Direction When You’re Feeling Lost

At a certain point in life, people transition from “time to live” to “time left to live.” This shift creates a new sense of urgency about identifying the purpose of our existence. And as people confront this challenge, they come up against a set of fundamental human needs that collectively define how we experience the meaning of our existence: belonging, purpose, competence, control, and transcendence.  Thinking about these five pillars of meaning can help you reinvent your life.

Paul, an executive participating in my C-suite seminar at INSEAD, told me that the reason he had decided to enroll in my …

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How to Stay Motivated When You’re (Still) Stuck at Home

After months of being stuck inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting exposure to friends and family, and juggling responsibilities at home and at work, it’s no surprise that many of us are dealing with frustration, anger, and burnout. Quite simply: We’ve had enough.
And while it may be tempting to just give up, you can rally and fight these feelings, to motivate yourself to not only get through this time — but also thrive. You can do this in a few ways. First, feel your anger and release it in healthy ways. Second, question what changes you can …

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