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July 2020
We listen too much to people who think fast and shallow, and too little to people who think slow and deep. Being quick on their feet may make them sound smart, but it doesn’t mean they’re wise.
Here are some sources of wisdom that struck a chord with me:
1. Make Stress Work For You (Kari Leibowitz and Alia Crum, NYT)
Psychologists find that when people reframe stress as a challenge rather than a hindrance, their job performance improves—and their health does too. Instead of denying stress, we can own it and harness it: “I’m stressed because I care.”
2. To Avoid Burnout, Work Less (Rahaf Farhoush, Bloomberg)
Productivity propaganda promotes quantity at the expense of quality and work at the expense of health. Effort isn't a badge of honor; it's a path to meaningful goals. Like the tortoise that beats the hare, we get there faster if we rest along the way.
3. The Disparate Racial Impact of Requiring a College Degree (Peter Blair and Shad Ahmed, WSJ)
Dear employers: stop requiring college degrees in job postings. It systematically disadvantages those who acquire skills through alternative routes—especially people of color. Take it from a college professor: there's nothing you learn in college that you can't learn elsewhere. (Yes, I still want my doctors and lawyers to have degrees… but let’s not confuse professional training with a liberal arts education.)
4. The Age of We Need Each Other (Charles Eisenstein)
A common mistake of youth: defining impact as the size of audience we reach, instead of the difference we make to each person we reach. Meaning comes more from mattering to a few than from being known by many.

From My Desk:

5. To Build Resilience in Isolation, Master the Art of Time Travel (NYT)
My biggest lesson from an astronaut who spent a year in space: when the present is stressful, it helps to think ahead to the future and back to the past. Imagining how we want to feel the day this crisis ends is a source of hope; recalling past hardships is a source of strength. We’ve conquered adversity before, and we can overcome it again.
6. How Jobs, Bosses, and Firms May Improve After the Crisis (The Economist)
I was asked to make some predictions about how the pandemic will change the future of work. The evidence on the effects of recessions and tragedies points to some potential silver linings for job satisfaction, compassionate leadership, and trust.
In solidarity,
Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Organizational psychologist at Wharton, author of ORIGINALS, GIVE AND TAKE, and OPTION B, and host of WorkLife, a TED original podcast
Copyright © 2020 The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, All rights reserved.

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