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Something in our midst is more contagious than COVID-19

Something in our midst is more contagious than COVID-19

To help people turn COVID-19 “sadness into song,” as his website put it, a music composer gave away $20 downloads in March. This action inspired a musician in Massachusetts who benefitted from a $20 freebie to establish a collaborative music website “to promote peace, understanding, healing and happiness.” This, in turn, nudged a
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From small talk to significant talk

From small talk to significant talk

I climb into Kevin’s Lyft vehicle. It has holes in the seat and reeks of day-old tuna fish. “How is it possible that he has a perfect five-star rating?” I wonder. After a few minutes of chit chat, Kevin asks if I know anybody with Down’s Syndrome. When I tell
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Top CSR academic study of 2019

Top CSR academic study of 2019

What happens when your company shares information on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) with potential hires? I’m glad you asked! Daniel Hedblom and John List from the University of Chicago and Brent Hickman from Washington University in St. Louis have a stunning evidence-based answer. In fact, their research is my
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How to de-stress in five friendly minutes

How to de-stress in five friendly minutes

I’m on stage in Atlanta facing 350 awards-banquet attendees. I start my keynote by asking participants to assess how anxious they are on a scale of one to ten, with one being “not at all” and ten being “extremely.” Then I ask them to do a work-related charitable act that
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Job purposing makes you a better leader

Job purposing makes you a better leader

I spent nine hours crafting a metrics plan for a job-purposing project. The client responded that it was so “random and disjointed” that it gave her a headache. I typically think, if not say, something like “the heck with you” to criticism like this. (Were I capable of profanity, my
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So sorry for your inversion

So sorry for your inversion

I arrived home from college one summer to find newspaper strewn between my parents’ teak furniture.  Atop each sheet was a different hunk of greasy machinery. My sixteen-year-old brother, Alfredo, had bought and disassembled a derelict Volkswagen beetle with the intent of transforming it into a functioning vehicle. As the
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Should you follow your passion?

Should you follow your passion?

Chopping chives, frying fish, beating batter, or otherwise preparing food makes me borderline homicidal. I dislike the feeling of sticky hands, of splattering oil, of puffs of flour, and of seemingly every culinary sensation. What if my kitchen duties were part of a job that was “purposed,” meaning it made a
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The underbelly of job purposing

The underbelly of job purposing

I have a confession. I’ve written and spoken, some might say ad nauseam, about the evidence-based benefits of job purposing. I’ve shared that job purposing, defined as helping others or a charitable cause through work, improves your job satisfaction, work performance, and mental health. It even makes you wealthier! Yet, job purposing is
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Is your team sick of purpose?

Is your team sick of purpose?

Audience members sometimes ask to hire me to deliver the “the exact” speech they heard me give. I typically agree. Then I fail. I add a story, fold in new data, twist the ending or otherwise change the presentation I’m supposed to leave untouched. When reviewing my slides ahead of
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It’s not just work

It’s not just work

University of Illinois professor, Archie Green, spent a lifetime studying the modern folklore of work. He listened to the songs, recited the poems and read the novels that related to labor. What did he conclude is our fundamental belief about work? “I work, therefore I am.”[1] It sounds ludicrous, as
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