Happy Summer Solstice as of 5:31 a.m. ET yesterday. I have mixed emotions about this every year. I just about get use to there still being light in the sky at 9:00 p.m. only to find we’re working our way back down the wheel again. But there’s plenty of summer fun ahead and I hope you have solid plans to really enjoy it this year.

Here are the stories that tickled my business leader brain cells recently — I hope they do the same for you:

  • You’ve, no doubt, heard about Lisa Santos and the happiness work she does from Yale University. But how does striving for happiness apply when so much in our world isn’t working? This article from the New York Times shares some of the latest research around happiness and how compassion and action facilitate happiness even now. Here’s a snippet:
    “There’s been some lovely work on this by Kostadin Kushlev, who’s a positive psychologist who has been interested in, ‘Do these practices [pursuing happiness] make you complacent when it comes to the big issues?’ What he finds is that the people who self-report the highest positive emotions, they’re the ones who are taking action. This comes up in other domains too: There’s evidence that people who experience more gratitude have a high level of what’s called self-regulation — kind of like sucking it up and doing the hard things now. There’s also evidence that people who are more grateful are more likely to do things for other people. So I worry about complacency, but the evidence suggests it doesn’t work in the way we might expect. When you do have some positive emotion, you have the bandwidth to deal with other things.”
  • If you keep hearing about Google’s AI chatbot, LaMDA being sentient, but haven’t dug beyond the headlines, here are two reads for you. One is by the Google engineer, Blake Lemoine, who was suspended after he claimed the AI is not property, it is a person. And this Washington Post story talks about Lemoine’s POV as well as the views of others regarding what’s really going on with this and other AI systems.
  • What does paid leave look like across the US? Here’s a state-by-state view via theSkimm.
  • And on a related topic, why don’t more fathers take paternity leave? This article from Chief provides some answers (and points to ponder).

Do Good Spotlight

✨ Princeton-Blairstown Center

We learned of this organization a few years ago and have been supporting it ever since. The Princeton-Blairstown Center’s Build a Bridge to Summer Learning provides 300 students from Trenton and Newark with evidence-based summer learning to facilitate daily academic enrichment, lessening summer learning loss. It also enables the students to practice crucial SEL skills to build the self-confidence they need to make positive changes in their lives. Here’s where you can learn more about this organization: https://princetonblairstown.org/. We donated and encourage you to consider donating too.

And if you have an organization you’d like us to support in upcoming issues, don’t be shy, shout it out!

  • • About 70 companies in the UK are experimenting with a 4-day work week. Workers are working 4 days for the same pay as they were getting in 5. Here’s a story from June 6 from the BBC with the details. No real news on how it’s going, certainly there’ll be lots to discuss at the end of the six months of the trial, but you know I’ve been a proponent for flexible schedules since before my Dow Jones days way back when. I’m positive this will be just the beginning of massive movements to partner with employees to balance the equation: employees get what they need to strive, not just survive, in increasingly stressful times; businesses get the committed workers they need to strive too.
  • Just for fun—top bars in North America.

That’s a wrap. Please let me know how these briefings are adding to your life or what I can add to make them more valuable. Remember to suggest not-for-profits for me to feature in upcoming issues, and have a great rest of the week.

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Published On: 06/22/2022 / Categories: Niki's Notes /

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