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Can Mountain Dew Make You Smarter than Pinot Noir?

When can a Mountain Dew make you smarter than a glass of a nice Pinot Noir? Well, beyond the short-term cognitive boost from the caffeine-rich soft drink, being seen holding a glass of wine can reduce your intelligence – not in real terms, but in the eyes of others. As I posted on Forbes.com the other day in Proof: Alcohol Makes You (Look) Dumb, even a stone-cold sober person holding a glass of wine suffers an apparent IQ drop. […]

By |August 1st, 2012|

Emotional Contagion and Beyond

Toxic bosses. Debbie Downers. Our language reflects the idea that some people have a real emotional effect on their fellow workers. Now, interesting research not only confirms this idea but adds to it in several important ways:
– It’s not just a few people who infect others with their moods; everyone has a measurable impact on those around them, for better or worse.
– This effect is consistent over time.
– This effect is different than “emotional contagion,” a short term effect caused by a temporary mood. […]

By |November 2nd, 2010|

Singing for Sales

Every experienced sales manager has a trick or two when it comes to hiring the best candidate for an open sales position. After a candidate passes the initial resume screening process, one manager might check out the applicant’s shoes. Another might pay close attention to how well the individual responds to an unexpected question. Here’s a new one: does the candidate talk in a melodic way? […]

By |July 15th, 2010|

Some Learn From Mistakes, Others Don’t

In Managing by Mistakes, I wrote about the power of learning from mistakes. Some of the most successful individuals in different fields credit relentless focus on even small mistakes with their high achievement. Researchers at Columbia University divided student subjects into two groups, “grade hungry” and “knowledge hungry” based on a short survey, reports Newsweek’s NurtureShock column, and then tested them with general knowledge questions. The researchers immediately provided feedback as to whether the subject was right or wrong, and showed the correct answer. The brain activity of the subjects was monitored using EEG caps. The differences in the way the subjects handled the feedback was striking: […]

By |December 21st, 2009|

Better Branding: Hire Passionate People

I’ve been reading Passion Brands: Why Some Brands Are Just Gotta Have, Drive All Night For, and Tell All Your Friends About by Kate Newlin, and am enjoying her analysis of what makes a “passion brand.” Passion brands are those with which consumers form an emotional attachment, and which they recommend enthusiastically to their friends. Indeed, passionate brands inspire evangelism, and their loyalists are disappointed if friends fail to follow their advice.

For me, the piece of advice that most resonated was that to build a passion brand, you must hire “passionistas.” Those employees bring their own passion for the category and the brand, and the people they interact with will see their genuine enthusiasm and become infected themselves. Newlin writes, […]

By |December 2nd, 2009|