How Dan Ariely Turned Tragedy Into Discovery

The Fire and The Aftermath
At 17, Dan Ariely, Duke Psychology professor and best-selling author, was badly injured in a magnesium fire at a graduation ceremony in Israel. 70% of his body was covered with burns.

As anyone can imagine, severe burn rehabilitation treatment is intensely painful. The process involves enduring a daily soaking bath, removal of bandages and the excruciating scraping away of the patient’s dead skin.

Was there any way for this young student to achieve some sort of respite and distraction from the agonizing treatments?

The daily bandage removal was torture. Why did the nurses have to so rapidly rip the bandages from his wounded body?

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Two Questions You Must Answer Today

How you answer two simple questions will lead you down two very different paths in your career.

The first path is filled with growth, clarity and fulfillment.
The second path is a thorn-filled trail of misused time and energy.

1) Is there someone (at work or school) who encourages your development? 

2) Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?

If you can’t answer yes to either question, that’s ok—for now.

You’re not alone. Millions of people can’t answer yes to both questions.

As Gallup Executive Director Brandon Busteed demonstrates in his commencement speech at Augustana College, getting these questions right is crucial to your success.

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Mastering the Light Saber — Why You Need a Coach [1 of 3 Part Series]

Socrates coached Plato. Plato coached Aristotle. Obi-Wan coached Luke.

The first two helped invent western philosophy. The third rocked a sweet brown hoodie, was a legendary Jedi Master and mentored the peace keeper of the galaxy, ‘ol Luke Skywalker.

So, stop and think: Who is your trusted sounding board on these important decisions? Who is helping you grow and focus your talents and abilities?

Who’s your Obi-Wan?

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One Game, Two Coaches–Super Bowl XLIX

Same Subject, Different Treatment

The late Roger Ebert once gave this bit of foundational film criticism insight: “It’s not what a movie is about; it’s how it is about it.”

In other words, the subject matter is one thing, but the treatment of it is another thing entirely. The “how” of a film is what gives the film its meaning, its identity, and what causes it to either succeed or fail.

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Carroll and the Seahawks: Relationship-Based Coaching

Today’s the big day. Millions of viewers, millions of dollars and millions of hours of preparation collide to determine this season’s Super Bowl winner.

How did these two final teams–the Seahawks and the Patriots–make it to the world’s biggest stage for the NFL’s biggest game? What do these teams do differently from the competition? Do they simply possess more raw talent, better coaches, or better week-in, week-out game plans?

I loved reading Pete Carroll and Dr. Michael Gervais’ approach to “relationship-based coaching” in Wednesday’s WSJ. If we’re looking for 21st century leaders who “get it,” we can start here.

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2015–The Year Talent Management Strategy Changes

If best-selling talent specialist Marcus Buckingham and HR thought leader Jason Averbook prevail, talent management will look very different and vastly improved compared to 2014.

In a recent thought-provoking webinar (now posted for all here), Buckingham and Averbook urged viewers to get ahead of five key fast-moving trends to better engage their organization’s talent. Not only are these trends currently changing the talent management landscape, they are rapidly evolving as well:

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