Archive for November, 2017

The Dark Side of Resilience

Resilience is a highly sought-after personality trait in the modern workplace. But could too much resilience be a bad thing?

 

Large-scale scientific studies suggest that even adaptive competencies become maladaptive if taken to the extreme.

Indeed, scientific reviews show that most people waste an enormous amount of time persisting with unrealistic goals, a phenomenon called the “false hope syndrome.”

For example, extreme resilience could drive people to become overly persistent with unattainable goals. Although we tend to celebrate individuals who aim high or dream big, it is usually more effective to adjust one’s goals to more achievable levels, which means giving up on others.

Along the same line, too much resilience could make people overly tolerant of adversity. At work, this can translate into putting up with boring or demoralizing jobs — and particularly bad bosses — for longer than needed.

 

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The Global Economy in October

October was marked by the implementation of a number of steps towards monetary policy normalization by major central banks and speculation on who President Trump would nominate as the Federal Reserve chairman. The month ended with markets pricing in the nomination of current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, which was confirmed on November 2nd ahead of Trump’s tour of Asia. Powell’s nomination is seen as marking the continuity of Yellen’s gradual rate hike policies and the possible relaxation of some US banking and financial regulations. In the meantime, progress on Trump’s promised tax reforms has increased the optimism for tax cuts happening in 2018 and boosting US growth. These factors helped push markets higher following the nomination.

The month saw the start of the Fed’s balance sheet shrinking process and further confirmation of a December rate hike as US economic data painted an optimistic picture even though inflation continued below the 2% target. The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its bond purchases by half to 30 billion euros on the 26th as expected, but its tone in doing so was very dovish. The ECB kept its options open by continuing the purchases till the end of September 2018 and stating that an extension beyond that is possible if needed.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England hiked interest rates by a quarter percentage point for the first time in a decade to 0.5%, despite weak economic growth in the UK. The Bank has a dovish outlook on future rate hikes and has retained its bond purchasing programs.

China’s Communist Party Congress also occurred in the month, where President Xi Jinping laid out his vision for China up to 2050. With the outgoing central bank governor warning about the level of debt, some are concerned, now that the congress is over, authorities will launch a concerted effort at deleveraging that could slow down the Chinese economy.

Emerging markets saw the return of political risk affecting performance during the month. This was mainly on the back of South Africa’s budget woes, Turkey’s diplomatic row with USA and Germany and Brazil’s tenuous politics. However, according to initial estimates, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has recorded US$13.8bn in overall portfolio inflows to emerging markets in October. The moderation in inflows from previous months could also be due to rising US yields and a strengthening US dollar.

Brent crude oil prices continued to increase in the month passing the US$60 mark at the end of the month for the first time since July 2015. This was driven by continued optimism over the major oil producers seeking an extension to their production limitation beyond March 2018. Also helping the movement were geopolitical tensions, surprise drops in crude stockpiles and Chinese demand.

How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate

Wondering how to decide which tasks to delegate to your team? Conduct an audit using the six T’s!

 

  • Tiny:Tasks that are so small they seem inconsequential to tackle and take you out of the flow of more strategic work.
  • Tedious:Tasks that are relatively simple probably are not the best use of your time.
  • Time-Consuming:Tasks that are time-consuming and do not require you to do the initial 80% of research.
  • Teachable: Tasks that can be translated into a system and passed along, with a final check
  • Terrible At:Tasks that do not fall into your strengths.
  • Time Sensitive:Tasks that are time-sensitive but compete with other priorities.

Over the course of the next two weeks, make a note of tasks that fall under the 6 T’s above. Then watch as your mind magically start creating solutions for next steps from that new vantage point of space and self-awareness.

 

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