Why narcissistic CEOs get paid more, Managing yourself, Five gender myths, Declining attention spans

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Welcome to my weekly take on better management for the future of knowledge work.

As always there’s a range of great content, including a bunch of writing on managing yourself. There’s also some great research and thinking on narcissistic CEOs, when imitation beats innovation and data vs intuition.

I hope you have a fantastic week.

Steve

This week in better management for knowledge work

4 Things You Thought Were True About Time Management
“Time management is a misnomer…we have to get away from labeling it ‘time management’. It’s not about time per se but about how productive you can be.” He likens it to the difference between dieting and being healthy. “You can diet all you want,” he says, “but you won’t necessarily be healthier.”

Make Time for the Work That Matters
“Knowledge workers spend a great deal of their time—an average of 41%—on discretionary activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others. So why do they keep doing them? Because ridding oneself of work is easier said than done.”

Perhaps Shorter Attention Spans Aren’t Necessarily a Bad Thing
“Some estimates state that the average human attention span has dropped 33% since 2000… The world is faster, faster, faster these days. That’s the current reality, and it’s not going anywhere.”

When imitation beats innovation
“Investing in imitation can have big payoffs for economic growth, and sometimes even bigger payoffs than investing in innovation.”

Why narcissistic CEOs get paid more, even though they don’t perform better
“New research by Stanford management professor Charles A. O’Reilly shows that it is the persuasive personality and aggressive “me first” attitude embodied by narcissistic CEOs that helps them land bloated pay packages. Specifically, narcissistic CEOs are paid more than their non-narcissistic (and merely self-confident) peers.”

Five myths about the gender pay gap
“In the past decade, the pay gap has hardly narrowed at all…. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that, based on the current trajectory, it could take until 2056 — when today’s young workers are ready for retirement — to reach parity. Even that estimate may be optimistic.”

Corporations are people. So what if people were corporations?
“If companies are claiming the rights and privileges of people, maybe people should start claiming the rights and privileges of corporations.”

The Data-Driven vs. Gut Feel hyperbole needs to stop.
“Smart decision-making is more complicated than becoming ‘data-driven’, whatever that means exactly. We know people can make better decisions if they consider relevant evidence, and that process is getting easier with more data available. But too often I hear tech advocates suggest that people’s decisions are just based on gut feel, as if data will save us from ourselves.”

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