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The days of control and conformity are over, and it’s within our power to bring today’s workplace up to speed. All it takes is some guts.
A young man dives from a 30-foot cliff over a waterfall inside Casa Bonita, a Mexican-themed “entertainment” restaurant in Denver, Colo. That’s his job; he dives again and again for the enjoyment of dining patrons. Between dives he admits, “I have yet to have a day where I don’t want to go to work.”
Most people aren’t that lucky or brave. We don’t often get to practice our craft again and again, let alone get cheered on to dive in or climb back up. Doing it every day doesn’t mean it doesn’t require courage, that it’s not hard, or that there aren’t risks; there are just more reasons to keep doing it in spite of the what-ifs.
Leadership, in large part, requires jumping in head first, lapping back and forth, occasionally leading a pack, but often leaping alone, usually in a race against the next guy. But for all the talk of collaboration and big ideas, new business practices, and social reach, most work hasn’t changed much.
Fundamental people practices in modern companies were forged in an era when control and conformity were thought useful. Today, we know they stifle creativity and customer focus at a time when companies fail on less.
As we seek options for ourselves, we don’t always think to remind people there are collective options to elevate us as a species. As Diana Korte, a women’s health advocate, once wrote, “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”
Our digital world accelerates change and gives us an opportunity to be more of who we are. With almost unlimited access to information, we also have a greater understanding that the world needs our help. We expect twists and turns in our journey, but where we are today shouldn’t suck.
It’s time for work to change. Here are four ways leaders can push work forward.
Read More>

The days of control and conformity are over, and it’s within our power to bring today’s workplace up to speed. All it takes is some guts.

A young man dives from a 30-foot cliff over a waterfall inside Casa Bonita, a Mexican-themed “entertainment” restaurant in Denver, Colo. That’s his job; he dives again and again for the enjoyment of dining patrons. Between dives he admits, “I have yet to have a day where I don’t want to go to work.”

Most people aren’t that lucky or brave. We don’t often get to practice our craft again and again, let alone get cheered on to dive in or climb back up. Doing it every day doesn’t mean it doesn’t require courage, that it’s not hard, or that there aren’t risks; there are just more reasons to keep doing it in spite of the what-ifs.

Leadership, in large part, requires jumping in head first, lapping back and forth, occasionally leading a pack, but often leaping alone, usually in a race against the next guy. But for all the talk of collaboration and big ideas, new business practices, and social reach, most work hasn’t changed much.

Fundamental people practices in modern companies were forged in an era when control and conformity were thought useful. Today, we know they stifle creativity and customer focus at a time when companies fail on less.

As we seek options for ourselves, we don’t always think to remind people there are collective options to elevate us as a species. As Diana Korte, a women’s health advocate, once wrote, “If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.”

Our digital world accelerates change and gives us an opportunity to be more of who we are. With almost unlimited access to information, we also have a greater understanding that the world needs our help. We expect twists and turns in our journey, but where we are today shouldn’t suck.

It’s time for work to change. Here are four ways leaders can push work forward.

Read More>

The answer to getting more done and leading a balanced life isn’t in beating yourself up about ambitions.
We’ve entered a new paradigm. One in which women, particularly in the West, have greater opportunity than ever before and yet are feeling stressed out, anxious, and exhausted trying to cope with the pressure to succeed in all areas of life. Despite external success, many women have a feeling of not measuring up or being good enough. Other women are leaning in so strongly that they are burning out. It’s a catch-22: how do we lean in without burning out?
Research shows bright girls are particularly likely to see their abilities as innate and unchangeable, and they grow up to be women who are far too hard on themselves—women who will prematurely conclude that they don’t have what it takes to succeed in a particular arena and give up way too soon.
Our experience is that women blame themselves. Therefore, many women are reading Lean In and thinking “Oh, I guess I wasn’t leaning in hard enough, I need to push myself even more.”
Here are the tenets for how to lean in without burning out:
Read More>

The answer to getting more done and leading a balanced life isn’t in beating yourself up about ambitions.

We’ve entered a new paradigm. One in which women, particularly in the West, have greater opportunity than ever before and yet are feeling stressed out, anxious, and exhausted trying to cope with the pressure to succeed in all areas of life. Despite external success, many women have a feeling of not measuring up or being good enough. Other women are leaning in so strongly that they are burning out. It’s a catch-22: how do we lean in without burning out?

Research shows bright girls are particularly likely to see their abilities as innate and unchangeable, and they grow up to be women who are far too hard on themselves—women who will prematurely conclude that they don’t have what it takes to succeed in a particular arena and give up way too soon.

Our experience is that women blame themselves. Therefore, many women are reading Lean In and thinking “Oh, I guess I wasn’t leaning in hard enough, I need to push myself even more.”

Here are the tenets for how to lean in without burning out:

Read More>

This week we battled with our brains and willpower while giving up on work-life balance.
Sometimes it seems like much of work life is spent trying to find a balance that is always just out of reach: coming up with great ideas, and having the willpower to follow through, staying both productive and healthy, networking without being annoying.
While we can’t solve all of you problems, we explored ways to bring a little more balance into your work life this week.
Here are the stories you loved in Leadership, for the week of August 18.
Read More>

This week we battled with our brains and willpower while giving up on work-life balance.

Sometimes it seems like much of work life is spent trying to find a balance that is always just out of reach: coming up with great ideas, and having the willpower to follow through, staying both productive and healthy, networking without being annoying.

While we can’t solve all of you problems, we explored ways to bring a little more balance into your work life this week.

Here are the stories you loved in Leadership, for the week of August 18.

Read More>

Women are told to lean in, but having the time to lean back might be the true test of equality and success.
It’s well documented that women still aren’t earning as much as men—less than three quarters of the salary for the same work in many industries—but the gender wage gap isn’t the only issue. There’s another disparity quietly gaining traction: The gender leisure gap.
Some blame Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean-in" phenomenon, in which women have been urged to do more, take on more, lean in to more and more opportunities in order to advance. Lean-in critics like Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks say it’s a mentality that breeds burnout.
"When a workplace is full of employees who always lean in and never lean back, it’s full of employees who are exhausted, brittle, and incapable of showing much creativity or making good decisions," she writes in Foreign Policy. “There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out—for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books, and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.”
Read More>

Women are told to lean in, but having the time to lean back might be the true test of equality and success.

It’s well documented that women still aren’t earning as much as men—less than three quarters of the salary for the same work in many industries—but the gender wage gap isn’t the only issue. There’s another disparity quietly gaining traction: The gender leisure gap.

Some blame Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean-in" phenomenon, in which women have been urged to do more, take on more, lean in to more and more opportunities in order to advance. Lean-in critics like Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks say it’s a mentality that breeds burnout.

"When a workplace is full of employees who always lean in and never lean back, it’s full of employees who are exhausted, brittle, and incapable of showing much creativity or making good decisions," she writes in Foreign Policy. “There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out—for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books, and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.”

Read More>

A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.
On the very first episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”
While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.
A 2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.
So clearly, gravitas is important.
In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”
Read More>

A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.

On the very first episode of The Colbert ReportStephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”

While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.

2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.

So clearly, gravitas is important.

In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”

Read More>

Good intentions can only get you so far: You need a plan for your career.
Whatever you want to achieve in life, having a career strategy is fundamental to achieving it. Making things up as you go along can take you in the right direction, but a good plan will get you there faster and more effectively.
So what are the steps you can take to ensure that your career strategy develops you to your best potential? What can you learn from the experts and those who have already built the career that they want?
Read More>

Good intentions can only get you so far: You need a plan for your career.

Whatever you want to achieve in life, having a career strategy is fundamental to achieving it. Making things up as you go along can take you in the right direction, but a good plan will get you there faster and more effectively.

So what are the steps you can take to ensure that your career strategy develops you to your best potential? What can you learn from the experts and those who have already built the career that they want?

Read More>