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Episode Info: In preparation to interview Dan Pink and Stan McChrystal together on February 7th, please enjoy the first interview we did with Dan on “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” If you have any questions you’d like to hear asked during the upcoming interview, please let us know!   Daniel H. Pink, the #1 bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human, unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help you flourish at work, at school, and at home. Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don’t know much about timing itself. Our lives as leaders are a never-ending stream of “when” decisions: when to start a business, when to hire people, when to deal with sunk costs, when to take on debt, etc. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork.   Key Takeaways   The discussion starts with the topic of the Free Agent Nation — people working for themselves. Asked about Autonomy and Solitude as “motivators” versus the need for Collaboration as a team, Dan says that leadership needs to provide a balance between the two. He says the challenge is the architecture, both physically and metaphorically. He says that leaders should provide the same autonomy inside and outside the organization; and a sense of purpose whether the team member is full-time, part-time, or contracted. [7:55] By 2020, 43% of the workforce will be in the ‘gig’ economy. This requires different work environments and skills from leaders. Daniel wrote Free Agent Nation in 2001, before smartphones. In the years since, the difference between employee and freelancer has shrunk. [9:45] Leaders influence, persuade, convince, and cajole. These leadership roles are sales activities and effort, time, commitment, belief, and zeal are the currency. Leaders and sales reps have little coercive power. Both roles must be adept at broadly influencing people. [11:30] ‘If/then’ motivators are effective only for simple, short-term tasks. Most leaders undervalue questions of timing in leadership decisions. They think of who, what, and how, but don’t consider when to do it. The book, When, is really about the science of timing… and that leaders have systematically undervalued questions of when and  timing when making critical decisions. Too often, leaders focus on who, what, and how, and short shrift when. Time management and timing overlap. [13:05] “Time-of-day explains about 20% of the variance in human performance on the sorts of tasks people perform at work.” Timing is important. Leaders can boost productivity, creativity, and  team performance at essentially no cost by putting the right task during the right time of day. “All times of day are not created equal.” [15:25] Be conscious of the stages of the day. There are three stages: peak, trough, and rebound. Your best analytic and focused work is done in the peak time. The trough period is when you lose attention. Administrative tasks could be done in this time. The rebound period ...
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