‘Just right’ leadership; cell-phone diets; no more ‘Mr. Boss’

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in HR Management,Human Resources

'Just right' leadership

A new Stanford study suggests that Goldilocks knew something about management: People who are too assertive or not assertive enough face challenges as leaders.

The study, reviewing several years' worth of evaluations of workers and managers, found that "assertiveness"— either too much or not enough—was a far more commonly cited leadership flaw than any other trait. At the same time, evaluators did not perceive a "just-right" level of assertiveness as a leadership strength.

Cell-phone diets

A benefits provider in San Diego is adding to its wellness program a "cell-phone diet" service. Users—that is, employees of the companies offering the program—can use their camera phones to take a picture of what they're about to eat, and then send the image to the provid­er's "online wellness team." In return, the users will get an assessment of the meal's nutritional value and calorie count, and how that informa­tion relates to the user's own body mass and metabolism. The service costs employers as little as $4 per covered employee per year.

No more 'Mr. Boss'

Veteran managers may remember the days when Americans were strongly urged to adopt Asian firms' practices. Now, the reverse may be happening: Many firms in Korea are abandoning job titles, flattening organizational hierarchies, and basing pay on performance.

This is a big deal in a culture where underlings typically address superiors as "Mr. Senior Director" (or whatever). One company, after asking all work­ers to address each other by name, had to insti­tute a system of fines to encourage junior work­ers to break their old habits.

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