Hot Topic Friday: April 5 Newsletter

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect



Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.

Hot Topic 1: Stop Asking Kids What They Want to be When They Grow Up.

Source: NYT and Adam Grant (Wharton professor and one of my favorite folks). 

What its About: Asking kids to define what kind of career or job they want versus the type of person they can become, may cause unnecessary angst. The world of work and career is continuously transforming in front of us. Adults may not even know what becoming a doctor, lawyer, astronaut (etc.) even means, let alone asking the young what they want to do. Focusing on this question can mess kids up in terms of what’s most important relative to personal aspirations?

Why its Important: Grant highlights three concerns with the “…be when you grow up?” question: “When we define ourselves by our jobs, our worth depends on what we achieve; Although having a calling can be a source of joy, research shows that searching for one leaves students feeling lost and confused; careers rarely live up to childhood dreams.” Becoming a wonderful human being and successful whole person on the other hand, calls for different and perhaps better questions. As Grant concludes: “I’m all for encouraging youngsters to aim high and dream big. But take it from someone who studies work for a living: Those aspirations should be bigger than work. Asking kids what they want to be leads them to claim a career identity they might never want to earn. Instead, invite them to think about what kind of person they want to be — and about all the different things they might want to do.”

Hot Topic 2: Procrastination is Not About Self-Control.

Source: Charlotte Lieberman.

What it’s About: Why do we procrastinate and what can we do about it? Lieberman does a superb job digging into this question. It’s not as straightforward as simply having more self-control. According to the article: “‘It’s self-harm,’ notes Dr. Piers Steel, a professor of motivational psychology at the University of Calgary and the author of ‘The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done.’ People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task.”

Why it’s Important: I believe procrastination is a stinker of a problem for many of us. In fact, we procrastinate while learning why we procrastinate. Putting off stuff we know needs to get done makes us feel lousy, and gets in the way of forward movement. The research emphasizes: “We must realize that, at its core, procrastination is about emotions, not productivity. The solution doesn’t involve downloading a time-management app or learning new strategies for self-control. It has to do with managing our emotions in a new way.” Read the article for other great suggestions. Or, you know, you could just put it off?

Hot Topic 3: Newly Elected Mayor Makes History in Chicago. 

Source: Chicago Tribune and Bill Ruthhart

What it’s About: Lori Lightfoot becomes both the first African-American woman and openly gay person elected mayor of Chicago, and in doing so, hammered the political establishment that has reigned over City Hall for decades.

Why it’s Important: This is not a political newsletter. It’s about culture and leadership. So I want to emphasize the important victory for inclusivity in a top leadership role; what the world needs more of. As Lightfoot exclaimed post winning: “A lot of little boys and girls are out there watching us tonight, and they’re seeing the beginning of something, well, a little bit different… They’re seeing a city reborn, a city where it doesn’t matter what color you are, where it surely doesn’t matter how tall you are and where it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart.” The other reason it’s important is that we learn more about what drives real transformation and that is ENERGY. Neutral ambivalence rarely causes meaningful change. High positive or negative energy does. People in Chicago felt high levels of negative energy towards their political establishment.

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

Modern technology certainly has made life easier, but it’s also made it easy for people to isolate themselves from opposing views, critical thought and even each other.” – Douglas Rushkoff, Team Human.

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it:

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Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

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