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Perfection is not sustainable

As it’s been said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”  No one is perfect; we can only strive for excellence doing our personal best.  Perfection is not sustainable. The very best we can do is correct and continue…learn from our mistakes!  Thanks to Inc Magazine for bringing this reminder to our attention. -Jane Beaudry
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has millions of fans around the world, but it seems that Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller isn’t one of them.

Müller recently participated in a conference in Germany, the theme of which was “the future of the automobile industry.” At one point, Müller felt motivated to attack Tesla Motors, and his comments have sparked some heated discussion in Germany.

Here’s an excerpt in English (you can find the original video–in German–below):

Now I really have to say one more thing about Tesla. With all due respect, there are some people who are masters at making promises–I won’t name any names … There are companies that barely sell 80,000 cars per year. Then there are companies like Volkswagen, selling 11 million cars this year, making a profit of 13 or 14 billion euros a year. And if I’m correctly informed, Tesla destroys millions of dollars in the triple digits every quarter, firing employees for whatever reason. So, social responsibility–yeah, I don’t know about that. So, I’m begging you: Let’s not get carried away, nor compare apples with oranges.

Critics of Tesla will say Müller makes some valid points–Musk has developed a reputation for not always delivering on his promises, and Tesla has certainly burned through its fair share of cash over the years.

But the executive’s comments remind us of his company’s biggest problem:

Volkswagen keeps getting distracted by envy.

Lessons (not) learned.

You’ve probably heard all about Dieselgate, the now infamous Volkswagen emissions scandal that came to light in 2015. In its relentless drive to become the world’s number one automaker, Volkswagen was caught red-handed engaging in one of the greatest frauds in history: It equipped millions of its supposedly “clean-diesel” cars with “defeat devices”–software that that turned on emission controls only when the car was being tested in a lab. (On the road, cars were emitting five to 35 times as many pollutants as allowed by law.)

Since Volkswagen’s tower of deceit came crumbling down, the company has pleaded guilty to civil and criminal charges, and has paid billions of dollars in fines.

Both employees and outside analysts blamed the management culture for enabling this sort of deliberate and wide-spread deception. In an investigative piece published after the scandal, The New York Times described Volkswagen’s culture as “confident, cutthroat and insular … a place where subordinates were fearful of contradicting their superiors and were afraid to admit failure.”

What spurred this type of attitude?

I believe Volkswagen executives suffered from what could be referred to as “the envy animal.”

Envy is that negative feeling, that bitter resentment that comes when you want something someone else has. I compare it to a vicious animal living inside you because it threatens to eat you up by distracting you from your focus–if you continue to feed it.

To illustrate, consider the wildly ambitious goal Volkswagen set back in 2007: to dethrone Toyota and become the world’s number one automaker–by 2018.

The major problem with that goal?

It was completely based on envy.

Volkswagen’s goals should have been internally focused. Company leadership could have concentrated on:

  • building integrity into the company’s DNA;
  • keeping employees engaged and happy, instead of intimidated; and
  • making the best quality cars possible

By doing this, VW would have been working to become the absolute best version of itself.

Instead, company leaders unleashed the envy animal. Distracted by blind ambition, they did whatever it took to reach their goal, regardless of who got hurt in the process.

Müller, who took over as CEO shortly after the scandal broke, promised VW would learn from its mistakes. Just last year, he pledged the company would “do everything we can to win back trust,” outlining plans for “a new, better Volkswagen.”

But promises don’t mean much without actions to back them up. With this recent attack, Müller seems to be losing focus again. Why did he feel the need to take an extra dig at Tesla? Why is he offended by the praise others have for the admittedly much smaller company? Does he feel threatened? If so, what does that mean as VW moves into the future?

Here comes the envy animal, rearing its ugly head.

I feel for Müller. The job of changing the mindset of an organization the size of Volkswagen is not an easy one (as Müller himself recently admitted).

But to truly enact change at VW, Müller and his team must stop comparing themselves to their competitors–at Toyota, Tesla, or anywhere else. If they want to learn from other automakers or industry leaders, that’s great; but they must be willing to starve the envy animal.

Instead, they should work to establish what’s most important for the company moving forward, and learn to focus.

If they can’t take that lesson to heart, then Volkswagen is doomed to repeat its mistakes.

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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
Published on: Oct 24, 2017  

What Antidepressants Do To People In The Long Run

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Over nine years, depressed people were better off if they had no treatment at all than if they took antidepressants, new research finds.

In addition, depressed people that got adequate treatment without medication did better nine years later than those who got adequate treatment with medication.

It may be that taking antidepressants causes more harm than no treatment whatsoever in the long run.

These effects could be the result of many factors that others have suggested.

For example, coming off antidepressants after taking them for a time can be difficult due to withdrawal effects.

Antidepressants may also permanently change the way neurotransmitters in the brain work.

Alternatively, perhaps most of the effect of antidepressants is down to placebo.

Studies have found, for example, that the science of antidepressants is based on backward facts.

Professor Jeffrey R. Vittengl, the study’s author, writes:

“…treatment including medication may have worsened depression in the long run.

Until mechanisms of benefits and harms are better understood, these findings argue for using antidepressant medication only if short-term benefits (e.g., reducing active suicide risk) are likely to outweigh delayed consequences.”

The short-term benefits of antidepressants are well-known.

They can help people who are in crisis.

However, the studies that test the effects of antidepressants usually only follow them for a year or two.

The new study looks at how people do over 9 years.

It included data from over 15,000 people in the US.

None of them were in hospital, but around 10% had experienced a major depressive episode in a one-year period.

Around 38% of these people received no treatment for their depression.

Only 4% received adequate treatment that did not include antidepressant medication.

However, 13% received adequate treatment that included medication.

Professor Vittengl found that medication was linked to doing worse over the long run:

“This pattern suggests possible long-term iatrogenic effects of antidepressants.

For example, antidepressant medications may recruit processes that oppose and eventually overwhelm short-term benefits resulting in loss of efficacy, resistance to retreatment, paradoxical effects, and withdrawal syndromes, perhaps via disruption of homeostatic control of monoamine neurotransmitters.”

The study was published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics(Vittengl, 2017).

What Antidepressants Do To People in the Long tun first appeared on Psyblog

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Today’s Tip for Better Brain Function

Better Brain Function, master executive excellence, executive coaching, business coach, leadership courses, executive leadership, executive education, leadership coaching, executive leadership development program, executive leadership training, executive leadership program, business development executive, leadership development program, professional coaching, executive training, advanced management program, management coaching, management development program, executive programs, executive development program, executive leadership courses, executive education programs, executive leadership development, executive coaching courses, corporate coaching, leadership training seminars, executive development, executive training program, best executive leadership programs, executive coaching jobs, leadership books, coaching management, executive leadership training programs, ceo training, top executive leadership programsKnow that in any given moment, you can only think one thing at a time.

I know it’s often said we have a million things on our mind at once. In reality, this is not the case.  Isn’t it impossible to be happy and unhappy at the same time? How about being angry and peaceful at the same time?  Can’t do it.  This is not to say that our mind isn’t fast and can easily zip back and forth, and refocus without us ever being aware…until we pay attention.

Knowing this alone, can help you begin to take charge of your mind.

Have a powerful day!

Jane Beaudry

 

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8 Habits That Make Millennials Stressed, Anxious And Unproductive

Millennials Stressed Anxious Unproductive, master, executive, excellence, master executive excellence, jane, beaudry, jane beaudry, anxiety, stress, depression, overwhelmWorking with executives and leaders at every age group has taught me that anxiety is rampant. To clarify, insecurity might be a word used, or overwhelm is common…bottom line, more people are anxious (including organizations that are really people and not a legal entity) than are often statistically counted under the header of anxiety. It may even be referred to as STRESS, which most people know is the big killer of humans. Anxiety and all the feelings we have comes from our internal self talk and programming that we cause from our entertaining a type of thinking that is scary instead of learning how to let go and use new options. True, easier said than done. That’s why the work we do to help execs and leaders, influencers and innovators from negative to resourceful and creative in positive ways. Invitation to check out MasterExecutiveExcellence.com. -Jane Beaudry

 

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), millennials experience more stress and are less able to manage it than any other generation. More than half of us admit to having lain awake at night during the past month from stress.

Not surprisingly, millennials are also more anxious than older Americans. The APA reports that 12% of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder—almost twice the percentage of Boomers. On a non-clinical scale, a BDA Morneau Shepell white paper discovered that 30% of working millennials have general anxiety, while a 2014 American College Health Association (ACHA) assessment found that anxiety regularly afflicts 61% of college students.

Anxiety not only harms our wellbeing but also sabotages our productivity. The ACHA assessment found that the top two tolls on students’ academic performance were stress and anxiety. Two-thirds of millennials interviewed by BDA attribute declining work performance to anxiety.

Sources of millennial anxiety may include a tough job market and student debt as well as psychological causes I’ve covered previously such as ambition addiction, career crises and choice-overload. But even our day-to-day behaviors can incite anxiety. Here are eight common habits that instigate stress and compromise our potential:

 

1. Bad sleep habits

Perhaps the most prevalent contributor to anxiety is poor sleep. A study by the University of California at Berkeley found that lack of sleep “may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.” Common causes of insufficient sleep include going to bed at different times, not making sleep a priority and spending time on phones or laptops right before bed.

Instead:

Calm Clinic, an online magazine dedicated to anxiety management, suggests forming a long, boring nighttime routine free from technology, keeping a journal by your bed to write down thoughts that keep you awake, and exercising during the day to wear out your body.

2. Skipping sustenance

Eating consistently regulates not only our metabolism and insulin levels but also our mental stability.

“Waiting too long to eat or missing out on breakfast may lead to unsteady blood sugar levels, which can cause anxiety-like sensations, including shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking,” writes Body and Health. Dehydration has a similar effect. Because food and water are biological needs, anxiety naturally follows hunger and thirst.

Instead:

Eat meals regularly. Keep granola bars or nuts at your desk or in your purse. Bring a water bottle to work and sip it throughout the day. Have a glass of water right when you wake up and before you go to sleep.

3. Drinking coffee

Drinking coffee makes us more alert and, in many cases, helps us perform better on short-term tasks. But it can also make people jittery, irritable and nervous, especially if they’re already predisposed to anxiety. Sensitivity to caffeine is, in fact, heightened in people with panic disorder and social phobia, and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in some individuals. Caffeine is also diuretic, which can cause dehydration—an anxiety trigger established above.

Instead:

Try weaning off coffee by switching to just one cup a day, decaf or black tea. If you feel calmer and more in control after a couple weeks without it, commit to quitting and pull out all the stops.

4. Sitting

America’s surge of anxiety symptoms parallels our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. But, until a recent review by BMC Public Health, it was unclear whether the two were actually linked. After lengthy analysis, researchers found that the risk of anxiety risk increases as sedentary behavior increases—and, specifically, sitting time spikes one’s likelihood of experiencing anxiety.

Instead:

If you work at a desk all day, you’re not doomed. Get up and walk around every ninety minutes. Offset your sitting time with regular exercise, which halves your risk of anxiety and depression.

5. Your phone 

A 2014 study by Baylor University found that American students spend an average of nine hours a day on their phone. Of course, technology vastly improves our lives in innumerable ways. But too much of it makes us anxious. Screen-based entertainment increases central nervous system arousal, which can amplify anxiety. Social media is similarly associatedwith low moods and depression.

Instead:

Next time you’re waiting or have nothing to do, leave your phone in your pocket or purse. Relinquish it as a means of alleviating boredom and instead use it consciously as needed for its useful functions.

6. Not “clocking out”

According to data from FORBES@Work State of Mind Project, millennials become anxious and irritated when work intrudes on our personal lives. But our bad work-life balance is our own choosing. BDA’s assessment explains, “Millennials do not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but by the output of the work performed. They view work as a ‘thing’ and not a ‘place.’” Even after we leave the office, we’re still at work.

Instead:

We can still be ambitious, work long hours and impress our bosses without sacrificing psychological health and personal boundaries. So clock out: In your calendar, schedule a defined, consistent time at night to stop working. When time’s up, mark that task complete and go take care of yourself.

7. Netflix NFLX +0.89% and hanging out

You may think snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie will help you unwind, but research disproves this trend.

In one study, participants felt more depressed and anxious after watching just two hours of TV than those who didn’t. Another study found that those with anxiety and depression spend significantly more time on the computer and watching television. While resting reduces anxiety short-term, research reveals that its effect is short lived, particularly compared with exercise.

Instead:

Do anything but watch TV when you’re done with work. Go on a walk, grab drinks, knit, work, draw, write, sit in your room and look at the wall, call your mom, actually cook dinner, build something, play badminton.

8. Hanging out with anxious people

You might feel like you’ve found someone you can vent to who understands you, but studies show that ruminating on anxiety often makes it worse. Furthermore, participating in “intergroup anxiety” increases one’s anxious behaviors.

Instead:

Seek out people who level your mood. After you hang out with someone, ask yourself if you feel stable and well—or if you’re hyped up and on edge. It’s easy to spend less time with certain people once you’ve decided they’re bad for your health.

If the annoyance, pain and performance impairment of day-to-day anxiety isn’t enough to quit these bad habits, perhaps this is: According to Harvard Medical School, anxiety is implicated in heart disease, migraines, chronic respiratory disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.

Despite our youth, chronic anxiety is not sustainable.  By swapping out these daily practices, we can improve our moods and our lives one habit a time.

via: Forbes

More about Master Executive Excellence, Strategic Advisor and Best Selling Author Jane Beaudry

Are You In A Rut or On Your Best Path?

rut, master executive, excellence, jane, beaudry, jane beaudry, master, executive, master executive excellence, ceo, professional, president, chief financial officer, cfo, coo, anxiety, stress, overwhelm, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” –Peter F. Drucker

Successful people ask for help when they need it. Most people are stuck in their own unique rut, even if they’ve made it to the top. For many years in my younger life, I struggled with anxiety and overwhelm. As uncomfortable as it was, I didn’t realize it was an unconscious pattern that made my life (in every respect) much more difficult professionally and personally. As I became more aware of my mind and behaviors on this problem, it didn’t really change my challenge or my suffering. Eventually and with guidance, I learned how to change my own perceptions and therefore created new opportunities and responses that serve me much better in all of my life.

I have dedicated more than 3 decades perfecting a method I call The Beaudry Process to help leaders and professionals get past (not manage) overwhelm, anxiety, depression, fears, blocks that are holding them back from being the stellar leaders they need to be…all while learning to doing “the right thing,” as Peter Drucker noted. The magnificent process will set you free and allow you and your organization to become healthier, more prosperous, more profitable, and instill peace of mind.

I help people get out of their rut and on to the path, ultimately discovering their full potential highest self. What’s holding you back? Do you even know? Others won’t tell you because they are afraid of you. Telling yourself you must change does not afford you the confidentiality and support required. We simply can’t be as objective with our self as we think we are. And coaching alone isn’t the answer. Skill building, education, practicing new options, and releasing old blocks to be able to upload new awareness options is the way to freedom. Do you really have true choice without awareness? And even if you are aware, does that give you the skills to permanently evolve?

For a free consult, contact me at jane@MasterExecExcel.com or call me at (404) 276-8789. MasterExecutiveExcellence.com

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They found an average return of $4.30 to $7.90 for every $1 invested. They also found that training combined with coaching increases productivity by four times more than training alone (which makes sense given that coaching works over time to reinforce the work of training, and also given the research that almost 85% of most training content is lost after two weeks).

-Jane Beaudry

Master Executive Excellence

The 4 Biggest Mistakes New Executives Make

New Leadership is a learned skill; an evolutionary process and includes coming to understand the culture and clearly get communications flowing in both directions. I hope you enjoy this article and gain insight. We’re here to help leaders evolve more quickly, confidentiality and easily.

-Jane Beaudry

(404) 276-8789

One study found a 50 percent chance that new executives will leave the organization within the first 18 months. Here are four of the biggest reasons why.

Finding and hiring proven, talented executives who can lead your company into the future is a difficult task. These individuals’ success or failure not only impacts revenue and profits, but a company’s organizational morale and health. Consider:

  • A PwC study tracked the succession plans of the world’s largest 2,500 public companies from 2000 to 2014 and found that forced CEO turnover cost shareholders an average $1.8 billion.
  • When Barnes & Noble fired CEO Ronald Boire last August, after he spent less than a year on the job, the company’s stock price plummeted 13 percent. 
  • Despite the understanding that boards, investors and private owners likely have of the consequences of poor executive-hiring decisions, the turnover for new executives is still occurring at a startling rate.In fact, the Harvard Business Review noted a 50 percent chance that new executives will leave the organization within the first 18 months. While there are a variety of reasons for this, including poor cultural fit, unrealistic performance expectations and poor job design, new executives share much of the blame.

    Over the last decade, our recruiting company has learned that a large percentage of executive turnover is due to new executives making four common mistakes. Here they are, and some ideas on how to mitigate them:

    Underestimating institutioinal knowledge

    When a senior leader is hired, he or she often feels pressure to enact changes and make a personal mark immediately. The Harvard Business Review described a newly hired Fortune 100 vice president of corporate training who, in his first meeting, outlined a radical change.  Unbeknownst to this new hire, the same idea had been proposed by his predecessor and had already been shot down by senior leadership.

    Acting too quickly is common for externally hired CEOs.  McKinsey & Company found this to be the case when it analyzed large swaths of data, including a survey of 600 CEOs who’d left S&P 500 companies. The consulting giant found that externally hired CEOs it looked at were 18 percent more likely to conduct organizational redesigns than their internally hired peers.

    To avoid making such mistakes, new executives should begin by asking, “What needs to get done?” instead of, “Here is what I want to do.” Soliciting feedback from senior executives who have years of institutional knowledge will only increase a new exec’s chances of success.

  • Failing to over-communicate the company vision and mission

    Having a clear mission statement and vision is a universally recognized requirement for a company’s success. And that statement can actually be short and simple:  Pinterest, for instance, uses less than 20 words for its billion-dollar company: “Help people discover things they love and inspire them to go do those things in real life.”

    A mission statement can also be a personal one for the executive himself (or herself). HBR studied 200 global CEOs,and found that having a sense of purpose — and being able to instill it in others — is a quality consistently found in the best-performing CEOs. When a new executive comes on board, it’s important that he or she over-communicate a personal vision and mission. Reason: It directly correlates to engagement and success.

    As P&G CEO Alan G. Lafley once stated, “Excruciating repetition and clarity are important: Employees have so many things going on in the operation of their daily business that they don’t always take the time to stop, think and internalize.”

    Engagement, of course, is a crucial factor: Gallup analyzed 49,928 business units across 49 different industries and found that when their employees viewed their contribution to the organization more broadly, there were positive, measurable results: They were more likely to stay, to take proactive steps to create a safe environment, to have higher productivity and to connect with customers to the benefit of the organization.

    Interviewed on the same topic, McKinsey consultant Carolyn Aiken noted that, “People will go to extraordinary lengths for causes they believe in.”

    Many successful executives also credit having their personal mission statements as a guiding principle for their success. For example, Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company,  has quoted her own mission statement as: “To serve as a leader, live a balanced life and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference.”

    Expanding on her statement, in an interview, Morrison said, “The personal mission statement was important for me because I believe that you can’t lead others unless you have a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for.”

    Creating a culture of fear, through reckless firings

    When a new executive assumes power, anxiety can take root among employees wondering if their livelihood is secure. Granted, there are going to be scenarios where firing and laying people off is necessary, but it is critical for new executives to handle this delicately — measure twice and cut once, so to speak.

    So, if you’re that new executive and have heard that a certain employee is a liability, be wise enough to observe him or her in action first-hand before asking them for a resignation.

    In short, a culture of fear has been proven to hurt overall company profits. A study by BMC Public Health found that healthcare expenditures at high-pressure companies studied were nearly 50 percent greater than at other organizations. In fact, the American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is wasted due to workplace stress.

    While there are always going to be moments when you will need to light a fire in someone, new executives who demand excellence without unnecessarily instilling fear will have a better chance at success.

    Making poor hiring decisions

    All great executives know how to delegate and build a team of trusted advisors. For new executives, the ability to hire a great team will make or break their ability to succeed.  Don Fisher, the late founder and CEO of The Gap, said that even after several decades of hiring, he made the right hiring decisions only half of the time.

    Just as intriguing was his statement about his knowing whether a hire was a good (or bad) decision within two weeks of that person starting the job. Fisher added that he urged swift action when the fit wasn’t right.

    The CEO was hardly unique in this respect: Glassdoor has noted that a staggering 95 percent of executives surveyed have admitted to making bad hires every year. With less than 5 percent unemployment out there today, current candidates in the market may be less talented overall, making executives’ hiring task even harder to get right. So, investing in a state-of-the-art recruiting process that is structured and rigorous is critical.

    In today’s rapidly changing economy, it’s increasingly difficult for newly appointed senior executives to succeed.  By understanding the most common reasons for failure, new executives and the companies that hire them can mitigate these risks and increase their chances of success.

Article via: The Entrepreneur

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to increase employee engagement, from you to me journal, coaching business, leader to leader book, executive finance training, i want to be a leader, mindful leadership, executive leadership coaching certification, hr center of excellence, leaders training center, business excellence jobs, creating employee engagement, association coaching, marriott training, leadership journal, organizational coaching certification, journal pictures, graduate certificate in executive coaching, welcome flexport, master of business coaching, who is a leaderI am so proud to call Atlanta, Georgia my home. Although I work with people globally, this area of the US specifically is such a draw for great companies that are doing great things for the businesses. Welcome, Flexport!

https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2017/07/10/flexport-scores-economic-incentives-from-city-to.html

-Jane

 

 

 

Jane Beaudry, BA, CCHT, RBT, CEC, MCCT

Executive Strategic Advisor, Author, Speaker, Founder of Master Executive Excellence

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