The Decline of the American Empire

By Ray Williams September 21,2021   The United States has been a powerful leading force for democracy and world order since the Great Depression, but there are clear signs of America’s decline. While many American leaders and the media have repeatedly asserted...
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Framing Action as Being Urgent and in Days Increases Likelihood of Success

By Ray Williams September 18, 2021 If you are starting to plan for college, retirement, buy your first home, or other big goals that may be years ahead of you, you should multiply the years ahead by 365. Measuring time in days instead of months, or months instead of...
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Empathy May Be in the Eye of the Beholder

By Ray Williams September 2, 2021 Empathy is talked about a lot these days. The current pandemic, climate change, economic upheaval, racial strife and a chaotic and divisive political climate in the United States have prompted many people to plead for more empathy and...
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Can the Pursuit of Happiness Make You Unhappy?

By Ray Williams September 6, 2021 We all like to feel happy. But it doesn’t come automatically. It takes time and effort. New research indicates that people who pursue happiness often feel like they do not have enough time and paradoxically this makes them feel...
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Phone Calls Create Stronger Connections Than Texting

By Ray Williams August 16, 202 During the COVID-19 pandemic people have relied on and used online or smartphone devices via email and texting more than ever before, in comparison to in-person meetings and telephone calls. What has been the result of the quality of our...
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Why Don’t My Positive Affirmations Work?

“I am successful,” “I am a wonderful person,” “I will find love again,” and many other similar phrases that students, the broken-hearted and unfulfilled employees may repeat to themselves over and over again, hoping to change their lives. Self-help books through the ages, from Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, all the way to the latest, The Secret, have encouraged people with low self-esteem to make positive self-statements or affirmations.Research suggests it may do more harm than good to many people.

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The Rise of Incivility in America

Has the recession growing economic equality been a catalyst for growing incivility in America? Just look at our TV shows–the superficial pettiness and backstabbing of Orange County or Vancouver housewives, New Jersey shore grotesques, bullying chefs, rude and disrespectful contest judges, talk show hosts, news program hosts, and politicians.

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Why Women May be Better Leaders for Our Times

It has always been assumed by the general public and by past leadership research that men make better leaders than women. How else do you account for the dominance of men in important leadership positions in the U.S.? The stereotypic leader has frequently been... read more

Nice Guys and Nice Companies Can Finish First

In my article in The Financial Post, “Why Nice Guys Can Finish First in Business,” I said ““our culture for some time has embraced the notion that the strongest, toughest and most aggressive leaders get the job done and are more desirable, than “likeable,” or humble people who are viewed to be weak.” Despite the fact that this stereotype continues to be embraced by many and projected in the media, it doesn’t reflect changing times or recent psychological and business research.

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How Napping Can Make You More Productive and Healthier

Want to be smarter, more alert, and more productive? Well, the answer may lie in napping. People who catch 40 winks or an even longer nap during the day are often viewed to be lazy, less productive, and possessing inadequate sleep. Not so, according to recent brain research.

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The American Myths of the “Self-Made Man,” the American Dream and Meritocracy

The recession has caused a significant economic adjustment, including a realignment of assets and the demand and supply of talent. Along with these adjustments has been renewed debate over issues such as the distribution of wealth, the disappearing middle class and the belief in meritocracy. Some recent experts have reaffirmed a perception that both the belief in the “self-made man” and the benefits of meritocracy are largely myths and don’t serve society well.

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How Your Next Coach or Therapist May be a Robot

Will “live” coaches and therapists be replaced by online avatars using interactive technology? Will creative inventors recognize the preference of younger people to use their smartphones and tablets for all of their social interactions? There are clear signs we are already moving in that direction.

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How temporary work will reshape career paths and our economy

Career paths are being reshaped—some say permanently—partly because of the massive movement toward temporary employment. These changes will have their greatest impact on young people, who face the prospect of a lifetime of temporary or part time work, and uncertain career path, and lower standard of living with little or no payoff for their higher education.

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Why Leadership Development Programs Fail

Leadership must be important. More than 20,000 books and thousands of articles have been written about the critical elements of leadership and the impact it makes on people, organizations and countries, if not the world.

Yet even today, despite the collective wisdom of centuries on this topic, confidence in our leaders is low and continues to decline. Seventy-seven percent of those polled nationwide in the U.S. say that the country now has a crisis in leadership and confidence levels have fallen to the lowest levels recorded in recent times.

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What Really Motivates Us? What Science Says

We continue to revisit the issue of motivation and specifically, the “carrot and stick” aspect. New research seems to indicate that brain chemicals may control behavior and for people to learn and adapt in the world; therefore, both punishment and reward may be necessary. This conclusion would certainly run counter to the trend towards positive motivation without extrinsic reward or punishment.

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Why We Need Kind and Generous Leaders

Much has been written about the need for and the power of generosity in our society, including the notion of “pay it forward.” The expression has been popularized by the best selling novel Pay It Forward by Catherine Hyde Ryan which was adapted into a movie starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. New research shows a clear link between the act of “paying it forward” and generosity.

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