TEDx Reblog: The 5 types of mentors you need in your life

Everyone can use a mentor. Scratch that — as it turns out, we could all use five mentors. “The best mentors can help us define and express our inner calling,” says Anthony Tjan, CEO of Boston venture capital firm Cue Ball Group and author of Good People. “But rarely can one person give you everything you need to grow.”

At the Oregon Audits Division, we give all our staff, both new and well-worn, the opportunity to participate in mentoring relationships with others in the division. These relationships allow the person being mentored to grow by tapping into the wisdom and experience of others, and gives the mentor a chance to help develop the proficiency of those around them- and by extension, the whole office.

Mentoring relationships can be formal or informal, and as Julia Fawal writing for TEDx explains, can cover a broad array of development, learning, and support needs for all those who take part. When it comes to mentoring, more is more.

Read more here, or watch the video below.

 

 

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TEDx ReBlog: 9 common-sense rules for getting the most out of meetings

Been in a meeting recently? Sure you have.

When it comes to making the most out of meetings (i.e., productive, clear, professional, and as brief as possible), it’s not uncommon that we drop the ball from time to time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to run meetings as effectively as possible.

Ray Dalio with Bridgewater Associates has some sounds suggestions for making the most of that time you and your coworkers spend locked away in a conference room trying to change the world (or at least, make a decision on the best font for your quarterly report). Clear objectives, firm leadership, and focus top the list, but do yourself a favor and read more here.

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TED RePost: Why every office should scrap its clean desk policy

Haslam and Knight asked their participants a variety of questions about how they rated the office they had been working in. They loved the empowered office and hated both the lean and disempowered ones, complaining of being bored or even of physical discomfort such as feeling too hot. And their feelings of despair became all embracing: if they disliked the office space, they also disliked the company that was hosting it, and they disliked the task they were doing in it.

Tim Harford, an economist and senior columnist at the Financial Times, explores the implications of environmental control over workers’ productivity and general satisfaction in this TED article.

As auditors, we spend a great deal of time plunking away at computers in cubicles and offices. Does it help us to be the best auditors we can be if we get to decide if our pot of succulents should sit next to our tastefully displayed framed family cat pictures, or whether those succulents would look better in the window? Tests carried out by Haslam and King indicate that it may- they also indicate that should an unwitting coworker move the succulents off the window sill, there could be heck to pay.

succulents

Succulents: Do they cure- or create- office strife?

Check out TED’s other offerings here, and have an excellent holiday weekend!

 

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TEDx ReBlog: What great leadership and music have in common

 

Music is all-consuming. Our reaction to a great song can be so visceral that we are forever connected to it. Hearing that song can bring you back to a moment in time, and often, it binds you to a person too; every time you hear it, you are there with them again, reliving a wonderful moment. This is something every leader aspires to do with those around them as well: to inspire and move people like great music does.

In 1996, I watched a concert with singers from around the world, including Zucchero and Pavarotti. I was amazed by the performers — but beyond that, I was enthralled by the leadership lessons embedded in the music…

Jim Crupi, a management consultant, shares some interesting parallels between music and leadership in this TEDx post. Read more here.

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TEDx Repost: Not sure what to think about something? Good.

“Certainty is preposterous,” says Milton Glaser (TED Talk: Using Design to Make Things New (see below)). “Fundamentally, one cannot be certain about anything.” Glaser, who doesn’t shy away from speaking plainly, prefers a mindset that embraces ambiguity. For the 86-year-old, this is “a basic tool for perceiving reality” — and a driving force throughout his storied career.

Auditors frequently deal with uncertainties and ambiguous, hard to define problems- upon which we are asked to make fairly certain and unambiguous recommendations. We view this one of our professional challenges, a barrier to increased efficiency and the full realization of agency and program missions. But can it also be seen as an opportunity for developing a much deeper understanding of complex topics, or even as an avenue for necessary change?

In the TED talk below, celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser discusses using the ambiguities surrounding a historical subject to create a series of paintings that take a unique perspective on that subject. Read Tom Roston’s article about the TED talk here, or watch for yourself below:

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TEDx Reblog: Career advice for millennials (and really, anyone)

It’s a few months after graduation, which means the luckiest new college grads are knee-deep into internships and entry-level jobs. How to stand out? Business writer Margaret Heffernan suggests: Start by taking a coffee break with your coworkers.

Management thinker Margaret Heffernan has a few pointers for building a career and building stronger, smarter organizations. At the crux? Build relationships, work together, take care of yourself, and never stop learning.

Read more about her perspective on building better employees and organizations here, and be sure to take a few minutes to enjoy her TED talk touching on the benefits of social cohesion in the workplace.

 

Photo courtesy of © Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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