Planners’ Picks — May 23, 2023

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

We start exploring the idea of gratitude, learn about lifelong learning, and create space to innovate in this installment of PP.

:: Image of the Week

The Best Leaders are Learners Infographic

Organizations that don’t prioritize continuous learning are bound to struggle. Before fully understanding how it impacts our people, let’s discuss what it can do to our businesses and how we can change its potentially negative impact.

Stagnation, operational inefficiency, minimal innovation or creativity, missed opportunities, and, potentially, a slow decline toward obsolescence are realistic outcomes that can result from our inability to learn.

Being part of the Campus Supervisors Network allows you to learn and grow along with your peers. The best leaders are constant learners; CSN is that learning ecosystem where you need to see different perspectives, hear how others have solved the same problems you are experiencing, and more.

See more on this topic in an article by Monte Pedersen:


:: Summer of Gratitude Resources

Unleashing the Power of Gratitude

Exactly what is the power of gratitude? Or maybe, you’re curious and wondering, “Does gratitude have power? If so, what kind of power?”

Let me ask it another way; a more practical way with apologies to the purists whose feathers might be a bit ruffled by viewing a high and noble, perhaps even spiritual practice through a pragmatic lens. I mean no offense.

What difference does gratitude make? In the broad sense? At large in the world? And right down to the nitty-gritty of making a difference in your life right now…At this moment as well as the moments that follow?

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” —Jamie Paolinetti

Autonomy and Gratitude

Caroline Webb writes about how to have a good day. Check her out if you are not familiar with her work. This is from the middle of Caroline’s recent newsletter:

…When life and work are busy, it’s easy sometimes to feel – and to say – “I’ve got to do this.” I’ve got to go to rehearsal, I’ve got to drill the notes, I’ve got to be in town every Monday. But our very wise musical director, Mark Shapiro, said something at rehearsal last year that has really stuck with me:

“Isn’t it amazing that we get to do this?”

I was feeling pretty tired on the evening he said this. But my foggy head cleared immediately, and my energy soared. Yes, I thought. Yes, it is amazing that we get to do this. It is a choice and a privilege, and how lucky are we. That quick reframing of our choral endeavors boosted my motivation and focus in a flash – and it’s a boost that’s lasted for months.

Why was it suddenly so energizing to have Mark reframe my “I’ve got to do XYZ” into an “I get to do XYZ”? Was it just a fluke? In my experience, no. I’ve noticed before how changing my language can do a lot to unlock a feeling of ownership and control when I’m feeling tired and worn down. And that’s for two reasons, I think.

First, all evidence points to autonomy being a deeply motivating psychological force. Feeling that we’re making a positive choice to do what we’re doing makes us feel competent and in control of our lives, which engages our brain’s reward system. And our brain likes us to repeat things that feel rewarding, which is why we feel the drive to keep on going. Saying “I get to do XYZ” reminds us that we’re making a positive choice.

Second, saying “I get to do XYZ” also reminds us that there’s something to be grateful for in the task at hand – which again tickles our reward system, albeit in a slightly different way, appealing to our larger sense of why life is worth living. The effect is the same – a neurochemical rush that gives us the mental and emotional energy to keep moving forward.

The whole story can be found here:


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

Your Employees Need To Practice Having Difficult Conversations

Robert Glazer reminds us that a new manager who spends hours contemplating how to deliver difficult news or loses sleep for a week before a conversation is wasting a lot of valuable time and energy that impacts their work in other areas. Your employees are also fretting when they get into these situations. What if you took the time to prepare for these moments, just like you train for the rest of your job responsibilities?

That’s exactly why role-playing these types of conversations is so important—we want our people to practice these discussions in a low-stakes environment, and we want them to observe sample conversations to see what traps to avoid and what best practices to emulate. When the unfortunate but inevitable time comes to have one of these conversations, they will be much better prepared, less nervous, and hopefully able to achieve a better outcome for everyone involved. It could also mean avoiding spending ten to twenty hours of extra time planning for a performance conversation or spending even more time cleaning up the mess after a poorly executed discussion.

“Always look for a person with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” – Dave Ramsey


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Daniel Pink: 4 Ways to Create Space to Innovate

In this 3-minute clip, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Pink outlines 4 ways to create space for innovation and why it’s critical to long-term success.

“The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.” – Carl Jung

The Double-Edged Sword of ‘Authenticity’

Authenticity–it’s a buzzword these days. Particularly in leadership and business.

Put simply, authenticity translates to being true to one’s own values, spirit, and personality. In leaders, it looks like self-awareness, transparency, integrity, empathy, and ethics. In organizations, it’s essentially the same: authenticity can be measured by looking at how true a company is to their purpose and mission, regardless of pressure to act otherwise.


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

Make the Science of Positive Thinking Work for You

Positive thinking is not a naïve approach to life that refuses to examine the negative that shows up and hopes it magically goes away. Nor is it a cure-all that promises a life without problems. Instead, it’s the ability to look at every situation, both good and bad, without losing hope. Our mindset and how we keep motivated to find the positive is formed early in life. How we deal with not getting the red ball in the second-grade playground can set the pattern for how we’ll deal with disappointments later in life.

Can Movies Help You Become a Better Person?

According to psychologists, watching movies and seeing positive traits in action can help inspire us toward self-improvement.

Watching a movie can actually have unexpected benefits: According to psychologists, movies may help us grow our strengths and become better people.

Cinematherapy—or using movies as an adjunct to psychotherapy—has been around for many years. It is used as a treatment for mental health struggles, as a means of encouraging reflection or (for example) boosting empathy. If you have ever felt that sense that anything is possible after watching a movie, you know that movies can be powerful vehicles for inspiration.

But how do movies inspire us, and what can we do to get the most out of them? Psychologists have been exploring these questions, and their insights could be helpful the next time you curl up on the couch for movie night.


It’s mental health awareness month in the US. We all know that if a computer isn’t working, the first port of call is to just try “turning it off and on again”. I’m suggesting that this week you think about how you can do this for yourself – to reset. A good night’s sleep is one way of resetting, but so can be stepping away from something, saying no, just sitting still, taking a walk, or reading a book.

From Dana Saveker’s weekly LEAPS newsletter


:: Resources on Remote and Hybrid Work

3 High Impact Employee Engagement Ideas for Remote Teams

As the world shifts to a remote work environment, companies are facing new challenges when it comes to keeping their employees engaged, motivated, and connected. In this video, I’ll be sharing three powerful ideas that can help you boost employee engagement in your remote team.