Real Leaders

Our Belongingness Crisis: How We Organize Ourselves at Work

What do you think is the primary driver of people at work? The conventional wisdom is that it’s either their hopes for the trappings of promotion—more money, status, vacation time, maybe a parking spot—or their need for self-efficacy, creativity, and self-actualization. I’ve asked this and other related questions to over six hundred people in a wide range […]

Don’t Let Narcissism Blind Your Leadership

You don’t have to search very far to discover examples of narcissism. Whether it’s yet another person in the Great Resignation refusing to return to the office and work for an arrogant supervisor, the guy sitting next to you on the plane complaining to the flight attendant because his seat won’t recline, or even the Slap […]

Loneliness and Our Singular Pursuit of More

“What?!” you may be thinking after reading this title. “I value my drive for more, it’s what gives me a sense of competence and value in life.” Fair enough. Yet hold your judgment for a moment. At least until you read this next story. The authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller attended a party hosted by […]

Don’t Let Rejection Define You

Can you remember the enduring pain of being ostracized from a social group as a teenager? I certainly can.  I remember as vividly as if it were yesterday the day that Charles, who I thought was my best friend when I was a senior in high school in Washington, DC, told me that the group […]

The Number One Ingredient to Living a Meaningful, Healthy Life

Is there a panacea for living a long, meaningful, healthy life? As it turns out, based on the convergence of numerous studies, there is one factor for long-term wellbeing that consistently stands out above the others.  Research based on data from three longitudinal studies in the 1920s and 1930s (life events included the Great Depression and […]

How to Overcome Rejection

Whether it’s a friend not returning our call, being broken up with, or being pulled off an important project, each of us has experienced rejection and we are very aware that it hurts. The following personal story can be applied to any leadership role, too. A series of experiments led by social psychologists Jean Twenge of San Diego […]

How Will We Emerge from the Pandemic? It Depends on How We Process It

While it’s certainly true that no two pandemics are alike, it’s also true that no two emotional responses to a pandemic are alike. Whenever we feel a distressing emotion, there are two primary ways in which we can process it: suppression and reappraisal. Suppression is perhaps not the best named response, as it is impossible […]

Are We Really Self-Interested Narcissists Only Out for Ourselves?

“This American system of ours . . . call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.” – Al Capone Do most people, while not becoming notorious gangsters, […]