A Hunger for Change

1.1 billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day (World Bank). Using this measure, global poverty is decreasing; as of 2004 “only” about 1 in 5 people world-wide lived in poverty (but almost half of the world’s population lives below $2 per day). 850 million people, right now, are going hungry.

Unfortunately, the world just can’t afford to feed these people. After all, it would cost over $24 billion per year for 10 years to end hunger (Food and Agriculture, UN, World Food Summit: five years later, in June 2002).

Oh – but wait – let’s put that $24b in perspective.

Worldwide, there are over 15 billion cigarettes sold – about $2.25b – per DAY. Plus, smoking adds huge costs to healthcare ($76b per year in the US), drops productivity, and increases waste (World Health Tobacco Atlas)

In 2002, the US spent $22b on potato chips and salty snacks (World Watch Magazine, March/April 2005).

And the “first world” throws out far more than $25b/year. For example, the UK alone uses 8,000 tons of wrapping paper each Christmas (Guardian).

So if you’re keen to make a New Year’s resolution – consider this: While 1.1 billion live on $1/day, many of us spend over $100/day. If all of us in this category were to put just 5¢ per day into a fund, hunger could end in under 10 years.

It’s not a financial problem – it’s problem of will. Again – emotional intelligence needed here!! Maybe it’s time for us to be hungry for change.

leaf in the river

Amazing “ethnography” about students

One of the most intriguing youtubes I’ve seen this year – students at Kansas State University and Mike Wesch (presumably the prof) put together this piece sharing some data about a group of 200 students. The result is a compelling “story” that traditional instruction is not going to cut it. Wearing my “EQ guy hat” I look at this as a cry for emotional intelligence — the need for educators and educational systems to get better at connecting w students at a deeper level and helping them capture not just facts, but also meaning! This reinforces Tessy’s post about multitasking (below).

HBR: John Gottman on Making Relationships Work

Making Relationships Work: A Conversation with Psychologist John M. Gottman by Diane Coutu

Great article. Focus is on Gottman’s specialty, marriages, and it’s a bit thin on link to biz relationships — but the advice is very practical. 3 points I liked:

1. “Successful couples, he notes, look for ways to accentuate the positive. They try to say “yes” as often as possible.” Gottman uses metaphor of salt shaker that can be filled with “yes” – how often can you sprinkle that on relationships?

2. “good relationships aren’t about clear communication—they’re about small moments of attachment and intimacy. It takes time and work to make such moments part of the fabric of everyday life.” This takes making it a priority! Relationship is at the center of the leader’s job, not a distraction from the tasks.

3. There are a lot of theories about the basic things people fight about. Gottman says no – it’s not about a thing at all: it’s about HOW people fight! In other words, it’s not the subject that matters, it’s the emotional message that’s underneath it.

Highly recommended!

Friendly or Talented?

While they don’t call it “Emotional Intelligence” this article makes another case for the importance of EQ:

A résumé and a brief job interview can’t answer the question that matters most to a new hire’s co-workers: Is this person an absolute pain?Despite a labor shortage in many sectors, some employers are pickier than ever about whom they hire. Businesses in fields where jobs are highly coveted — or just sound like fun — are stepping up efforts to weed out people who might have the right credentials but the wrong personality.

Call it the “plays well with others” factor. Job candidates at investment banks have long endured dozens of interviews designed, in part, to see if new hires will get along with everyone they’ll work with.

Source: Warmth is a trait that can make or break a job applicant, Houston Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2007

Getting to the Heart of Leadership

Press Release on my new book: PR Web – At the Heart of Leadership

Web site: At the Heart of Leadership: How to Get Results with Emotional Intelligence
— a free excerpt of the book is available for download

Here’s more of the story from Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network:

New Book Teaches How To Get to The Heart of Leadership
Tools and Articles on EQ at WorkFor over a decade the concept of “emotional intelligence” has been a buzz around the world, and while many books have defined the concept, now there is finally a book which shows leaders how to apply it.In a business climate fraught with rapid change, globalization, and an elusive pool of top talent, how do leaders forge competitive advantage? The science of emotional intelligence provides critical insights into the answer, but how do leaders put the concept in action?

Whew – exciting hyperbole or what??? Cutting through the hype… I’m really proud about the book! There’s a ton of valuable ideas as well as a lot of science made practical. Not the “best thing since sliced bread,” but I am confident that leaders interested in actually USING emotional intelligence will find this to be a useful tool.

Workplace Coach: Don’t underestimate emotional intelligence

Seattle Post Intelligencer, 6/5/07

Couple quotes I liked:

You can’t change what you are unaware of in yourself. Being able to observe yourself in the heat of the moment is the first step to making a different choice versus your typical programmed emotional reaction.

This comment is key:

There is valuable information in emotions — if you can tune into that internal channel. Feelings can clue us in about the importance and meaning of an event, situation or interaction.

Would be nice to see more depth in what appears in popular media. “Emotions matter” is a good start though!