November 2016

I've read several articles lately claiming that we all need to be needed. I respectfully disagree. I love being helpful but I can’t stand being needed. It suggests that other people are dependent on me—which doesn’t help them—and it feels like a burden. I prefer being valued: knowing that I matter and I’m appreciated.

Let's kick off the month with a few ways to shift our usual way of looking at things:

1. The Difference Between Rationality and Intelligence
I'd like to see companies and universities pay less attention to people's intelligence and more attention to the quality of their reasoning.

2. We Drop People Who Give Us Critical Feedback
When people give us critical feedback, we often drop them from our lives. We'd be better off doing the opposite: embrace them.

3. The Difference Between Changing Your Views and Standing Up for Mine
For years, I stayed silent about my ideas because I didn't think I could change other people's minds. I started speaking up when I focused less on shifting their views and more on standing up for mine.

4. The Power Paradox
The more powerful we become, the busier we are, which cuts us off from the very qualities that define the powerful.

From My Desk:

5. Let's Not Kill Performance Evaluations Yet
Performance reviews are the worst evaluation system—except all others. Here's what we learned at Facebook about making them fair, transparent, and developmental.

Survey Results:

Thanks to all who took the feedback survey in August's newsletter. As a direct result of your input, here are four changes I'll be making right away:
  • Shorter article summaries
  • Occasional themed newsletters
  • Links to past issues (see below)
  • More original/exclusive content
To address that last point, I'll be opening each newsletter with a thought of the month—like the one above on how it’s better to be valued than needed.
Notice how I didn’t say a word about the election?
Except that. And that. And that…
Adam Grant, Ph.D.
Wharton professor and author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

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