The Puzzle of Motivation

Rebecca Helton, MA

This TED talk is a few years old, but if you haven't seen it yet, and especially if you manage anyone (including yourself!), you need to. He presents a case for why the sweetest carrots and the sharpest sticks pale compared to intrinsic motivation.

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End of Summer Academic Sanity Saver: Post Undergrad Lab Jobs Now!

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Get a head start on fall by knowing what you want from undergrads and what they can expect from research experience. My 8-point listicle of making it a great experience.

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Lessons in Leadership: Why You Should Read Colin Powell's It Worked For Me

The Edge for Scholars

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell offers leadership advice through storytelling in this collection of anecdotes and true tales.  Each short chapter derives a lesson from an incident encountered in his military and political service, and occasionally from private life.  Often chatty and rarely preachy, the text is as enjoyable as it is informative. An […]

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Safer Labs for Thea and Sheri: You Need a Lab Safety Reality Check

Fighty Squirrel, PhD, Awe.Some.

Eakins-Coward (left) and Sangji (right) A recent explosion at the University of Hawaii science lab resulted in a 29-year-old visiting postdoctoral fellow losing her arm. Thea Eakins-Coward was working with gas cylinders in a biosafety level 2 laboratory in the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute when a reagent ignited causing her to lose and arm and sustain […]

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Myers Briggs Made Useful: Academic Edition

The Edge for Scholars

Ask someone if they would take a personality test and they may first think of strange inkblots and probing questions about their childhood. Today’s personality tests move far beyond the Myers Briggs assessments and have been tailored to identify working environments that optimize productivity, creativity, interpersonal skills as well as those that foster leadership. The latest of […]

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Change Your Default Meeting Time

The Edge for Scholars

I’d like to make a modest proposal. We should stop scheduling meetings with zero time to go from one meeting to the next. Does this describe your life? You have a meeting scheduled from 9:00am to 10:00am. And then another meeting from 10:00am to 10:30am. You have left yourself exactly zero minutes to get from […]

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Productivity Tip #1: Have More Meetings (But Keep Them Short)

The Edge for Scholars

Do your meetings take an hour to do what could’ve been accomplished in fifteen minutes?  Do you look with dread at the colorful blocks on your Outlook calendar telling you your time is about to be wasted?  Here are some ways to trim the fat and make meetings shorter and smarter. Have More Meetings (But […]

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The Greatest Course You'll Ever Teach

Rebecca Helton, MA

What could I accomplish as an academic leader? Am I prepared for the role?  These questions confront each faculty member who considers becoming a director, chair or dean. Some may hesitate to serve, thinking that their prior faculty experience has not provided appropriate background and that the responsibilities will be too alien to be enjoyable. […]

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Why Aren't You Delegating?

Rebecca Helton, MA

You have way too much to do, you’re buried in work, and it seems there’s no way out from under it all. But there is: delegation. Yes, yes, you know it’s important to do and you know it will save you time and help others develop new skills. So why aren’t you doing it? From […]

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Meetings Are a Skill You Can Master, and Steve Jobs Taught Me How

Rebecca Helton, MA

More brains don’t necessarily lead to better ideas. When it came to leading meetings, Jobs had no qualms about tossing the least necessary person out of the room. From Fast Company: Meetings Are a Skill You Can Master, and Steve Jobs Taught Me How

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