Specs for Microsoft’s Next CEO

There are three kinds of focus every leader needs:

1) an inner focus for self-awareness and self-management;

2) a focus on others for empathy, clear communication and interpersonal effectiveness;

3) and a systems focus, reading the outer world in order to come up with an effective strategy.

At Microsoft a failure in a wider focus seems to have had negative consequences: the company missed chances to lead every major tech development of the last several years, from search and the cloud to social and mobile computing. During those years the stock lost more than half its value.»

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What I Learned While Writing Focus

I have been tracking the field of attention for about 30 years. My dissertation as a graduate student was actually on meditation, and meditation as a way of managing stress reactivity.

A lot of us who were interested in it were trying to shoehorn it in, but the faculty wasn’t interested. They thought it was a crazy topic, and that there was no point in pursuing it.

What I’ve seen now from Richard Davidson’s research, who I talked to extensively for the book, are really gold-standard studies: brain imaging of highly advanced meditators that shows something we all maybe suspected way back when.»

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Systems Blindness: The Illusion of Understanding

Here was the dilemma and opportunity for a major national retailer: its magazine buyers were reporting that close to 65 percent of all the magazines printed in the United States were never sold. This represented an annual cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to the system, but no one party in the system could change it alone.

For years no one could solve this problem; everyone just shrugged. But for the magazine industry, squeezed by the digital media and falling sales, the matter was urgent. So the retail chain — among the biggest customers for magazines in the country — got together with a group of publishers and magazine distributors to see what they could do.»

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Q&A: Daniel Goleman, author and psychologist, on finding focus in a world of distractions

Nearly 20 years ago, New York Times science reporter Daniel Goleman wrote a book that reshaped offices, classrooms and interpersonal relationships around the world. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ became an international sensation. It topped bestseller and “most influential books” lists and sold five million copies worldwide. Goleman had a hit on his hands.

But he didn’t stop there. A Harvard-educated psychologist and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, Goleman has continued to write books on social intelligence and other human-centered subjects. His most recent work — Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence — hit shelves earlier this month.»

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Just Like Me: Understanding the Common Human Condition

 

At a time when the news offers a steady stream of ways people battle because of the differences between them, there’s an antidote sorely needed: an understanding of the ways someone else shares our common human condition. Call it “just like me.”

 

That’s the attitude that counters the we-and-they thinking epidemic in the kind of cliques in schools that foment fights or bullying, in the biases against diversity in the workplace and in the wars being fought between groups worldwide.

 

It was called the “narcissism of small differences” by Freud. Vamik Volkan, a Turkish psychiatrist, saw this at work in his native Cyprus, where for generations, Cypriots and Turks waged a war against each other when, to the eye of someone just visiting the island, they were one and the same people.»

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Daniel Goleman talks with CASEL about Focus

Among the key points that you make in Focus, which do you think are most important for educators to know about in their role as facilitators of young people’s learning?

One of the main concepts in Focus that every educator should know about is cognitive control. It’s the ability to focus on one thing and ignore distractions, to keep your mind from wandering. Cognitive control is the basis for delaying gratification and emotional self-regulation. The strongest evidence for the importance of cognitive control was a longitudinal study done with more than 1,000 kids born over the course of a year in one New Zealand city.»

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Mindful interviews Daniel Goleman on Focus

Since the devices we depend on have “built-in” seductions, we need to be more mindful of when our attention wanders off, says Daniel Goleman. In conversation with Mindful‘s Editor-in-Chief, Goleman talks about why the social brain suffers when we trade face time for screen time, and how we can preserve focus when it comes to relationships and interactions. Get the full interview at mindful.org

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A Parent’s Full Focus Is a Form of Love

An editor I know takes her work home (and who doesn’t these days?). She too often sits for hours in front of her laptop trying to keep up with her workload, while also trying to keep an eye on her 3-year-old.

And that toddler, whenever she has the chance, closes the lid of the laptop.

That gesture symbolizes a battle children fight daily for full attention from parents. Having a parent look you in the eye, watch you do a somersault, or just listen fills a deep need in children: it’s reassurance that someone cares.

Every child, developmental experts tell us, wants to feel that someone attunes to them, senses their feelings, and will take care of their needs.»

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Forget Delayed Gratification: What Kids Really Need Is Cognitive Control

By now, we’ve all heard about the famous marshmallow test, in which 4-year-olds are told they can either have the juicy one in front of them now, or two later. The 40-year-old experiment, which has been replicated using a variety of enticements, purports to prove that children who can delay gratification will meet with the most success in life. But fighting off impulses is just one part of a much broader and more predictive mental skill, one that scientists call cognitive control or the ability to manage your attention.

Read more: http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/07/forget-delayed-gratification-what-kids-really-need-is-cognitive-control/#ixzz2hohMS6MN»

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