The ‘Two-Pizza’ Rule for Teams

Per the research of the late J. Richard Hackman:

The ideal size for most working teams: 4-6 people. No work team should have more than 10 members. Team performance problems exponentially increase as team size increases.

Per Bob Sutton:

Size begets complexity. Complexity begets greater ‘cognitive load.’ As teams grow in number:

maintaining relationships becomes [...]

Positive Thinking – Boon or Bane?

Contrary to popular belief, positive thinking might harm you more than it helps.

Oettingen & Mayer prompted 80-odd students to rate the extent to which they experienced positive thoughts about graduating from school and finding a job. Following-up two-years later, researchers found the same students who indicated positive thoughts were less successful (applied to [...]

Leaders must leverage networks

The power of social networks is not a new subject. In fact, we’ve been talking about social networks (offline social networks, at least), for centuries.

Consider, for example, this ancient proverb, which underscores how attributes or behaviors can transfer from one to another: “Live with one who prays, and you will pray. Live with one [...]

Time for Strategy

Are your decisions based more on reflex or reflection? This may be one key to becoming a more strategic leader, according to a post by Liane Davey at the HBR blog.

Reflecting on how you go about your work, you may find that you’re too busy to allow for much intentional reflection on decisions. Davey [...]

Key ingredients to motivate employees

Key ingredients to motivate employees, per Dan Pink: autonomy, mastery, and purpose [Source: Huffington Post]

Psychopathy + High-Potential = CEO

In The Wisdom of Psychopaths, research psychologist Kevin Dutton highlights some psychopathic qualities which are frequently billed as essential to corporate leadership, e.g.:

Persuasiveness Beguiling charm Focus under pressure

In stressful situations, most people become agitated. Psychopaths, however, tend to calm during “moments of heightened tension.” This emotional self-control may be one of the enviable [...]

Baldly going where no leader has gone before…

This contradicts my experience, but nonetheless intrigued (and inspired hope):

“Men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.”

From, “Study shows [...]

The Icarus Paradox

A Kellogg School of Management study underscores that the more flattery we receive, the more we allow our self-impressions to be inflated. According to this study, this holds true for CEOs and constitutes “the Icarus Paradox:”

“’What we are saying,’” Stern explains, ‘is that with CEO status, the greater the status, the more flattery and [...]

Promoting Women (Promoting Themselves)

Women are not promoted as frequently or as far as men are. How much of this is attributable to circumstance, prejudice, or women’s preference?

“Women who are offered promotions ‘generally feel they need to know 80% to 90% of their current job before they feel ready to step up into a new role,’ she says. [...]

Introverts deliver

“According to a team of researchers led by the Wharton management professor Adam Grant, introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts.”

This, from a neat case for recruiting introverts to your team, written by Susan Cain who recently published a book on the topic and has been highlighted by TED, et al.