Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, leading teams, management, managing yourself.

By Theodore Kinni

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

I took a free online leadership assessment created by the Wiseman Group the other day. The good news: I got a near perfect score. The bad news: the assessment measures the degree to which I would diminish people if I were leading them!

Leaders who are “diminishers” weaken employee performance by draining their momentum, sapping their energy, and otherwise feeding on them, according to Liz Wiseman, who, with Greg McKeown, is the author of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Many of the behaviors that diminishers exhibit are self-aggrandizing and simply do not take into account the welfare and interests of employees. But, sometimes, diminishing behaviors can actually be well-intentioned—such as when a leader acts as a buffer between their people and the larger organization, or is overly eager to leap to the rescue whenever people are struggling. Such behaviors can diminish accidentally: For example, by rescuing employees too quickly, a leader can cut them off from learning and empowerment opportunities. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Learning & Development, Product Updates & Tips, Safari News, Tutorials.

Calling all learners! Safari is excited to open up limited-time access for its users to a Beta version of Safari Tutorials, hand-curated learning paths that serve up “just the right bits and pieces” on specific topics across Safari titles. We have added a page of sample Tutorials to our Safari service so we can hear your valuable feedback to inform our future direction. This experiment will only be open for a limited time, so we invite you to check out Tutorials, and let us know what you think!

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Safari Tutorials provide learners with curated content that is hand-selected by subject matter experts. The Tutorials navigational tool is layered on top of our Safari library to provide a suggested path based on those selections, delivering a mix of trusted content from our authors along with hand-selection to help you focus on a suggested, sequenced learning path. Each Tutorial teaches a specific skill or idea with a series of relevant selections from our world-class library of nearly 30,000 books, videos, conference talks, and audiobooks.

Safari strives to be a trusted guide on your learning journey. In addition to your existing Safari habits of diving into our library for specific titles or browsing for recommendations, we are experimenting with these Tutorials as a way to provide guidance for learners with a specific need, who would like a highlighted path through our content.

This Beta experiment will only be open for a limited time, so we invite you to experience a Tutorial today and let us know what you think!

Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, delegating, influence and persuasion, management, managing yourself, Personal Development.

By Theodore Kinni

Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

Long before writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Pink started picking through scientific studies for business tips, there was Robert Cialdini and his classic book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.  The first edition of the book, which was based in part on Cialdini’s own research, was published in 1984. Since then, it has racked up sales of more than 2 million copies.

“I can admit it freely now. All my life I’ve been a patsy,” the Arizona State psychology professor writes in the book’s introduction. “For as long as I can recall, I’ve been an easy mark for the pitches of peddlers, fund-raisers, and operators of one sort or another.” Influence was written as a defensive weapon for the patsy in all of us, but it quickly became a bible for sales and marketing types, too. And from there it spread to business leaders.

Good leaders don’t play their followers for patsies—if they did, they wouldn’t be leaders for long. Nevertheless, they must be able convince people to follow them and to do the things that they ask. In Influence, Cialdini offers up six basic psychological principles—reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity—that any leader can use to obtain compliance. They work because they contain triggers that set off fixed-action patterns within us.“Click and the appropriate tape is activated; whirr and out rolls the standard sequence of behaviors,” Cialdini explains. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, communication, feedback, leading teams, management, performance management.

By Theodore Kinni

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Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

To study stress, a couple of scientists offered free job application coaching to unemployed people. The scientists brought each unwitting subject into the lab for a practice interview, during which an interviewer—a ringer, of course—gave increasingly negative feedback, starting with disgusted looks and moving to outright criticism. Understandably, the interviewees’ stress levels climbed the charts.

The moral of the story isn’t to avoid scientists looking for subjects, although that may not necessarily be a bad idea. Instead, says psychologist Daniel Goleman, who made emotional intelligence a byword in the business world, “Managers and supervisors should be aware that this can be what happens to people if you focus in performance feedback solely on what they did wrong, rather than how they can improve and what they did well.” Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, careers, change, Content - Highlights and Reviews, influence and persuasion, innovation, management, managing yourself.

By Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina, co-authors, Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within

What’s the biggest obstacle you run into when you try to introduce new ideas or improve things at work?

That’s one of our favorite questions to ask the people who come to our talks and workshops about how to be more effective change makers — or as we like to call ourselves, “rebels at work.”

The number one obstacle: my boss.  (The second is fear.)

So what do you do if you’re championing a new idea? Learn how to manage your boss — most importantly in these two ways: Read more »

Posted by & filed under Native apps, news, Product Updates & Tips, Safari, Safari News, Safari Queue.

New ways to find your next book or video

Safari’s collection of books and videos is huge, so we’re always looking to create new ways for you to explore. As you know from last month’s update, we’ve been enhancing our Twitter bot and listing newly published content every day. This month, we’ve added two new ways for you to find what you’re looking for.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, communication, Content - Highlights and Reviews, leading teams, management, meetings.

By Theodore Kinni

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Theodore Kinni has written, ghosted, or edited more than 20 business books. He was book review editor for strategy+business for 7 years.

Fed up with his team’s lack of productivity, the manager calls everyone together yet again. Iron-fisted, he declares, “We’re are going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done.”

I know it’s not a howler of a joke, but then it’s hard to squeeze a laugh out of as pervasive a bane of organizational life as meetings. Think about how much of their time managers spend in meetings (25-50 percent, per Brian Tracy). Then, tally up the labor costs—to say nothing of the impact on productivity and the opportunity costs. It’s no laughing matter.

So what’s to be done about meetings? I went looking for suggestions in Safari and found a slew of ideas. Here are three of the most intriguing: Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, Learning & Development.

“In a time of drastic change – it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffer, American social writer

Improve employee engagement, impact performance

You may be hearing strange rumors of people landing jobs with titles like culture manager, employee engagement specialist and organizational effectiveness manager. Who are these people, and what are they doing to the workplace?  Where are companies getting the money to throw around for these ‘good-vibe’ curators, and most importantly, why are organizations making such investments?

According to Gallup’s 2014, The State of the American Workplace Report, disengagement amongst American employees nicks the bottom line of U.S. companies to the tune of more than $450 billion each year. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Content - Highlights and Reviews.

It’s the weekend. You’re on your favorite MMO, just about to reach the quest objective, and your character suddenly plunges through that one tiny hole between the landscape and the stairs. You’re doomed to wait for customer service, as you consider how this wouldn’t have happened if you had written the collision detection for the game instead.

Determined not to let their inferior coding ruin your weekend, you tab over to your free trial of Safari.  With over 30,000 titles and only thirty minutes to read, what do you choose?  It is the weekend, after all; maybe you feel more like a bit of hobby coding instead of studying for the coming week’s tasks.  Perhaps you just felt like taking some personal time to read, but you are finding it hard to concentrate when you know your child could be so much happier with her rote memorizations for school if you could think of some way to make those times tables and Revolutionary War dates seem relevant to a nine year old.  Maybe you just logged on to Safari because you are looking for a personal coding project after a long week of working on everyone else’s code – preferably something truly interesting and possibly in a language you aren’t using 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. 
Read more »

Posted by & filed under Business, Content - Highlights and Reviews, execution, innovation, Learning & Development, management, managing yourself, Safari, strategy.

Having spent a large part of my career as a business writer and editor, one of my passions as Safari’s editor-in-chief is to help our users develop their business and management skills alongside their tech chops. I believe strongly that successful professional careers, whether they include formal management roles or not, are driven as much by organizational effectiveness and business savvy as they are by personal talent and skills. To that end, I am particularly excited about the new business books we are adding to Safari this week, which include a number of true must-reads for anyone set on improving their management acumen. Add these to your queue and you won’t regret it. Read more »