Planners’ Picks — November 8, 2022

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

As we forge through November, let’s check our dopamine levels, lead with positive power, and set some boundaries for others. Enjoy this installment of PP!


:: Image of the Week

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It’s never easy, but it’s always worth it.


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

Managing Your Mojo

From the weekly LEAPS Newsletter by Dani Saveker

A dear friend of mine recently posted on her Instagram story: “I seem to have lost my mojo”. It made me think about the reasons behind this, and how I could help her, along with many of her other friends, to find it again. Her post also made me think about when I’ve previously lost my own mojo, and where the term comes from.

The expression “mojo” dates back to the 1920s and was from southern United States; believed to originate from the Gullah word “MOCO” – meaning ‘magic’. When I read this, it instantly made sense to me. So what causes us to lose our ‘magic’? Research that we have been conducting for the past couple of years shows that the loss is often caused by being depleted – having given our energy away through overcompensating; we try to overly prove ourselves, we struggle to deal with overwhelm and the world around us and stress about things outside of our control.

We found some top tips for managing the mojo are:

  1. Awareness of stress and how you feel (even by keeping a written note)
  2. Share how you feel with others – you’re not alone
  3. Deliberately seek out lightness – laugh, fun, humour
  4. Restrict negative input – the news, moaning people, social media
  5. Choose to see positive things – go and find the magic around you
  6. Rest and sleep as the body and mind needs – listen to yourself
  7. Keep moving – being active (walks etc) encourages ‘feel-good’ hormones
  8. Learn something new e.g read – increases self-esteem and confidence
  9. Acts of kindness – focus on kindness to yourself first and then to others
  10. Accept the temporary state – don’t be hard on yourself, it will pass

Finally think about the fact that mojo means magic – and that this is something we all have within ourselves. Magic doesn’t disappear, you just need to look deeper within yourself to find it – and learn to protect and manage it.

“As we grow older the monsters move from under our beds and into our heads.”  – Megan Miller on self-doubt

Dopamine Crashes Explained in a Video Short

Do you commonly crash after a project is completed or you achieve some other success? Watch this short, entertaining conversation with Jeremy Andrew Davis (and himself) on different ways to get energy through your actions with the chemical swings we all have throughout our day. Learn about serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins!


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Podcast: Build A Well Rounded Team, Not A Well Rounded You – With Jim Collison

If you spend time around the strengths world, you’ll hear us suggest that you should sharpen your natural talents as an individual. And then worry about the “well-roundedness” at a team level. This is full of excellent insights. It’s a do-not-miss conversation for managers and parents. Jim Collison masterfully hits on both topics. Listen to the recent episode of Lead Through Strengths or read the show notes.

4 Ways To Keep People From Burning Out

After years of dealing with COVID, endless virtual meetings, and crushing amounts of work, more organizations are seeing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and burnout.

First, to address a pervasive myth: overload is not good for productivity. Sure, in the short term, stress can give us a burst of speed. The human body responds to stress by burning fuel to release energy, and that can help us respond to immediate threats. But crunch time has become the standard in too many firms, causing excessive pressure on team members. Research shows chronic stress causes wear and tear to our bodies, increasing the risk of developing diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and dementia.

Research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows 91 percent of employees feel at least somewhat burned out, defined as mentally and physically exhausted from work. The effects of overload are causing companies a staggering amount of lost work time, turnover and health care expenses. Employees who report being burned out are 63 percent more likely to take sick time and 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer, according to a Gallup survey.

Confided one employee to me about her culture: “We are in fire-drill mode constantly around here. It’s miserable.” Leaders often fail to appreciate that constantly demanding more and more work in less and less time will lead to employee frustration, rising anger levels, and eventually anxiety and burnout.

So how can you help your team through the overload pandemic? Try a few of these four ideas:

“‘Keep going’ doesn’t have to mean keep running. You are allowed to pace yourself here.” – Morgan Harper Nichols 


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Enhance Your Self-Awareness with Daniel Goleman

In 1995, Daniel Goleman published the blockbuster bestselling book Emotional Intelligence*, a book that now has more than 5 million copies in print worldwide in 40 different languages. He’s the author of a new series of primers for the competencies of emotional and social intelligence, titled Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence* and he’s launching an emotional intelligence coaching certification.

Key Points

  • Emotional Intelligence has given us permission to talk about emotion in the workplace.
  • Emotional Intelligence is about how well you can manage yourself.
  • Self-awareness is fundamental.
  • If you have a sense of your true strengths and weaknesses, you can have self-confidence that is based on reality.
  • If you feel your emotions flaring up, pause and name what’s going on. That’ll allow the executive part of your brain to take back charge.
  • Notice what your triggers are and intentionally avoid them.
  • Self-awareness can give you insights into bad habits you might have as a leader.

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling

Linkedin Learning: Lead with Positive Power with Heather Younger

Staying attuned to the ever-evolving needs of your team members is never an easy task. But if you meet people where they are, you have better odds of creating a supportive and engaging team environment. In this course, instructor Heather Younger shows you how to lead with positive power to drive lasting change.

Explore practical, people-centric management strategies to strengthen leadership capability, improve workplace culture, and support employee growth and development. Find out why choosing to lead with positive power demonstrates self-awareness and emotional intelligence, as well as a commitment to social engagement, deep listening, and empathy. Get tips and leadership pointers that can resonate at any stage of your career. By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to redefine your authority and build a workplace culture based on care.

Join author and TED talk presenter Heather Younger (CSN’s recent book club author of The Art of Caring Leadership) on this Linkedin Learning Module.


:: Resources on Change Management

8 Ways to Manage A Team Through Change

Change is constantly happening on your team and in business. Whether it’s new leadership, a reorganization, a merger or acquisition, successfully leading a team through change is hard and it presents both opportunities and challenges. To maximize benefits and minimize stress, leaders need to be organized, strategic and almost overly prepared.

As a leader, you need clear goals, while also staying hyper-aware of how daily activities may change for you and your team. A key to getting ahead is thinking through various scenarios that could materialize – what can go right and what may go wrong. Change can breed unexpected developments, and leaders need to show composure to the team looking to them for guidance.

5 Questions to Get a Project Back on Track

It’s not a reality anyone is proud of, but if you’re involved in a corporate project, it’s likely to fail. In fact, one study found that an estimated 70% of all corporate projects do.

Experts say that before a project goes off the rails, there are often signs that something is amiss. Maybe progress has stalled or communication with the client feels off, or the project is no longer a priority for most of the team. Sometimes a project will lag when the person who championed it leaves the company, and the project’s objectives no longer align with those of the company. When you start to see these signs, it’s often time to take a step back and figure out what caused the project to go off course, and more importantly, how to get it back on course. “Projects often go off track, but there are ways to get them back on track,” says Korn Ferry Advance Coach Valerie Olson.


:: Resources on Communication

Here’s the Best Way to Answer the Dreaded “Tell Me About Yourself” Question During a Job Interview

Hearing “tell me about yourself” is an intimidating way to start a job interview, but there is a right way to answer the question. Indeedrecommends following one of two formulas when answering this question: present, past, future or past, present, future. Either way, every part of your story should build up to your professional goals, which should be reflected in the job you’re applying for.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”  –  Mark Twain

9 Tips for Setting Boundaries at a New Job (or Current One!)

From Arianna Huffington: “One of my favorite micro steps for setting boundaries with work is declaring an end to the day, even if you haven’t completed your to-do list, but have taken care of the essential priorities. Love these additional tips for setting the boundaries you need to succeed without burning out.” Click on the link in the post for a full article.