Our Corporate Life
August 5, 2014   •   Volume 5, Issue 16   •   ISSN: 2154-3240    
In This Issue
♦   Feature Article: The Decider
Ask Amanda: I’m being compared unfairly…help!
♦   Practical Tips: Approaching Top Dogs
The Decider

We pay a biological price for making decision after decision. “Decision fatigue” was coined by social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister to describe part of a phenomenon called ego depletion. He was able to demonstrate that the store of mental energy for exerting self-control is finite, confirming the folk notion that “willpower” acts like a muscle–it can be fatigued with use and conserved by avoiding temptation.

Kathleen Vohs, a former colleague of Baumeister now at the University of Minnesota, conducted experiments to determine which aspect of decision-making was most fatiguing. Her experiments showed that pondering options or implementing the decisions of others had minimal impact. However, situations where people had to figure out for themselves what they wanted was far and away the most mentally fatiguing.
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Thought to Ponder

Take imperfect action in the right direction.

Practical Tips:
Approaching Top Dogs

Every interaction builds—or detracts from—your reputation. That’s especially true when you’re interacting with C–Suite executives. Make sure you’re clear on your purpose and declare it upfront. There are four common reasons to approach an executive:

  • You want a decision.
  • You’re bringing news that doesn’t require action.
  • You want to complain about someone.
  • You want personal advice and counsel.
read more
 ask Amanda

I feel I’m constantly being compared to my predecessor—and coming up short. He was an icon in our industry so IMO anyone would be compared unfavorably. What can I do? S.J., Van Nuys, CA

Amanda Mitchell

When you follow a very successful person, your early successes will be credited to the work your predecessor did (“He set her up for success”) and any missteps you make will be magnified. Fair? No. Human nature? Yes.
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About: Our Corporate Life LLC (OCL) is a company that offers a new system for reducing unnecessary workplace suffering caused by the organizational, interpersonal, and ethical issues of our time. It is founded on the belief that acting humanely and achieving business success are always compatible. Working with both companies and individuals, OCL helps create solutions that enable corporate employees at every level to optimize profits while thriving in the workplace.

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