From the thoughtful mind of Dorothy Chen

The power to give it away.

Lots of articles have been written recently about leadership in times of crisis. The underlying theme is often the same: There is a new stressor in our lives; how can we restrain our natural tendencies for fight or flight, so that we can become more empathetic leaders?

What these articles do not recognize is that our ideas of ‘fight or flight’ are based on dated studies from the 1920s — research that was primarily conducted on men. Subsequent research has shown that women often have a different stress response. …

How Beethoven set us up for post-CoVid promise

Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Opus 13 (2nd movement), published in 1799

Growing up with a mother who was a classical pianist brought hours of free-range TV in the day, followed by sweet abandonment at night.

There were no bedtime rituals of stories and snuggles. The evenings belonged to my mother. This was her time to play uninterrupted, rehearsing refrain upon refrain to pure perfection. For my brothers and me, our job was simply to lay silent in bed—embracing our calling as miniature martyrs to the music.

But, mom knew my favourite piece and, often, she’d slip it in: Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Opus 13 (2nd movement). …

Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the simple joy of sharing coffee with my co-workers.

In an alternate space and time continuum, my morning office ritual included a drive-by coffee-kidnapping. With over 500 staff, I struggled to actually see the individual lives hidden beneath layers of management and laminated org charts. My spontaneous solution was a random shoulder-tap — and a rapid dash across the street to share 15 minutes and a coffee with someone I neither parked beside nor shared a dotted line with.

Sometimes my hostage and I chatted about work, but more often I just listened . …

Consult the University of Google and you’ll find a digital froth of quick-trick-experts; each one jockeying for top spot as the definitive voice on resiliency. They’re all there: consulting firms, motivational speakers, universities, health centres, business mags, researchers, celebrities, coaches — even random bystanders with only a WordPress site and access to a keyboard.

Over the past few months, the keywords “resilience” and “well-being” have hit breakout levels in Google Trends. Breakout occurs when the popularity of a search term rises so quickly, that to describe it in terms of percent increase becomes meaningless (think: over 5000%).

It seems as…

Bev McPhee

As it turns out, this matters: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata №8 in C minor, Op. 13

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