Five things #3

1) Haruki Murakami on dealing with criticism

That girl on the train makes me think of a jazz musician whose name was Gene Quill. He was a sax player who was famous in the nineteen-fifties and sixties. And, like any other sax player in those days, he was very influenced by Charlie Parker. One night, he was playing at a jazz club in New York and, as he was leaving the bandstand, a young man came up to him and said, “Hey, all you’re doing is playing just like Charlie Parker.” Gene said, “What?” “All you’re doing is playing like Charlie Parker.” Gene held out his alto sax, his instrument, to the guy, and said, “Here. You play just like Charlie Parker!” I think there are three points to this anecdote: one, criticizing someone is easy; two, creating something original is very hard; three, but somebody’s got to do it. I’ve been doing it for forty years; it’s my job. I think I’m just a guy who’s doing what somebody’s got to do, like cleaning gutters or collecting taxes. So, if someone is hard on me, I will hold out my instrument and say, “Here, you play it!” (The New Yorker)

2) The leadership example of excellent CEOs

What legacy do I want to leave? What do I want others to say about me as a leader? What do I stand for? What won’t I tolerate? CEOs answer these questions according to their strengths and motivations, as well as the company’s needs, and create mechanisms to track how they are doing. Further, by expressing these intentions as part of the rationale for their decisions and actions, CEOs can minimize the risk of unintended interpretations being amplified in unhelpful ways. (Carolyn Dewar, Martin Hirt and Scott Keller, McKinsey & Company)

3) From HR transformation to “exponential HR”

In the coming decade, HR has the opportunity to embrace the future, expand its reach and focus, and assume the leading role at the vanguard of work, the workplace, and the workforce on behalf of the enterprise. In this expanded role, HR becomes a vital enabler of an organization’s ability to thrive in a world where the old rules of work no longer apply, and the new ones are evolving rapidly. Exponential HR, focused on humanizing the world of work, is a key source of strength for the future-focused organization seeking to make the most of human capital in today’s dynamic environment. (Erica Volini, Jeff Schwartz, Brad Denny, David Mallon, Yves Van Durme, Maren Hauptmann, Ramona Yan and Shannon Poynton, Deloitte)

4) How high-performers avoid burnout

Start by paying attention to discomfort. If you’re feeling restless, anxious, or guilty, sit with it and start to dig deep to understand what’s behind it. We have to give ourselves the time to shift from a more-is-better approach to internalizing the idea that recovery is as valuable as the work. No one can do that for us. Put recovery time in your calendar and stick to it. If you don’t, force yourself to write down why you didn’t. The real exercise in moving past work devotion and burnout is in understanding why we’re not giving ourselves that time. It isn’t due to a lack of knowledge… If you’re a high performer and recovery isn’t an intentional and strategic part of your time and workflow, you’re only damaging your output in the long run. (Rahaf Harfoush as quoted in Bloomberg)

5) Post-all — a playlist of loud subgenres

☕️ to the power of 20.

Until next time,

M.