Miscellaneous

2020 Top Stories: A Harvard Doctor Schools Elon Musk, Apple Destroys Facebook, and Google Disrupts the College Degree

I’ve always been a glass is half full kind of guy.

To say 2020 was a tough year would be a gross understatement. Yet, there were some major bright spots and tons of lessons learned.

Let’s shine a spotlight on a few of them.

A Harvard doctor schools Elon Musk

Here’s a story about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fascinating experience with Covid-19. After reportedly testing both positive and negative for the virus, Musk seemed frustrated when he tweeted: “Something extremely bogus is going on.”

Soon after, Harvard physician and assistant professor of epidemiology Michael Mina engaged Musk on Twitter. Mina’s reply was a master class in emotional intelligence, as he used positive reinforcement, a respectful tone, and common ground to break down barriers, manage emotions, and persuade Musk to action.

It worked. Just over an hour later, Musk retweeted the entire conversation and encouraged his followers to read it.

Read the full account if you want to learn not only how to convince someone of a truth, but how to motivate them to do something about it.

Apple destroys Facebook

The world’s largest social network made noise when it took out several full-page ads in The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and The Washington Post, all attacking Apple’s new privacy changes. Facebook claimed the changes will severely hurt small businesses, and “will change the internet as we know it–for the worse.” 

The move smacked of desperation. It’s actually a culmination of a series of events that began years ago, and that Facebook’s been building toward for a long time. And it just may signal the end of the house built by Zuckerberg.

If you want the full story, read how Apple helped Facebook reached its tipping point.

A 2-sentence remote work policy that’s the best I’ve ever heard

It’s not every day that a policy statement from one of the world’s largest companies reveals a major shift in leadership and management philosophy.

But that’s exactly what Siemens did with their new remote work guidelines.

The new policy can be summed up in just two sentences:

1. Focus on outcomes rather than time spent in the office.

2. Trust and empower your employees.

Want the full analysis? Check out how these two points make up a brilliant management strategy founded on emotional intelligence–one that focuses on results, instead of hours worked.

Google disrupts the college degree

Earlier this year, Google made a huge announcement: It’s launching a selection of professional courses that teach candidates how to perform in-demand jobs.

The courses, which the company is calling Google Career Certificates, teach foundational skills that can help job-seekers immediately find employment. However, instead of taking years to finish like a traditional university degree, these courses are designed to be completed in about six months at a fraction of the cost.

Curious how it all works? This piece highlights how Google’s move has major potential to change the future of education and work.

How Steve Jobs used the “No Silo Rule” to resurrect Apple 

Apple’s famous leader returned to the company he cofounded in 1997, with the company on the brink of bankruptcy. Jobs proceeded to lead an amazing turnaround built on the back of a clever new device–brilliantly described as “a thousand songs in your pocket.” 

That device, of course, was the iPod. 

The iPod eventually became known as the “Walkman killer.” But how did Apple leapfrog Sony, a huge corporation that dominated the market and owned its own music company? 

A major reason was because Jobs embraced the “no silo rule.” Instead of organizing Apple into semiautonomous divisions, Jobs closely controlled all of his teams and pushed them to work as a cohesive and flexible company, with one profit-and-loss bottom line.

Read the full story of how Jobs used the No Silo Rule to help return Apple to greatness, and learn how this rule can help you and your company.

The rule of awkward silence

The rule of awkward silence sounds simple: When faced with a challenging question, you pause and think deeply before providing a reply.

But here’s the catch: This is no short pause. You need to wait five, ten, or even fifteen seconds before speaking. Which, if you’re not used to doing it, feels extremely awkward.

So, why would you do it?

In this piece, you’ll learn how the rule of awkward silence helps you to get your feelings under control, buys you time to think, increases your confidence, and ensures you say what you mean and mean what you say.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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