Author: Rachel Cooke

Rachel Cooke is a leadership and workplace expert who holds her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. Founder of Lead Above Noise, she has been named a top 100 Leadership Speaker by Inc. Magazine and has been featured in Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and many more.

Today’s episode is a conversation with Jeff Sanders, host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast and author of the The Free-Time Formula: Finding Happiness, Focus, and Productivity No Matter How Busy You Are. Jeff and I discuss some simple strategies he has used to define and commit to the habits that have delivered amazing results for him. Jeff’s success story begins with simply waking up at 5 a.m. one day to run. With no specific goal or intention, he decided to give it a try. Fast forward to today, and he hosts a podcast, has authored books, and runs a…

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We don’t typically talk about setting goals in May. But there’s nothing typical about this May. Many of you have set goals in January as part of your company’s performance management process or in your own personal goal-setting process. But as the pandemic persists and realities and priorities continue to change, many of you are questioning whether those business or personal goals still make sense. Maybe you have formal goals in writing, or maybe you just have some aspirational musings in your head. Whatever form they take, it’s likely you kicked off the year with an intent to achieve something…

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At a time when days blend together and uncertainty pervades, there’s so much that lives outside of our control. So for today, let’s focus on something we can control, at least to some extent—our mindset and, in turn, our personal productivity. What is a mindset? According to an article by Gary Klein, Ph.D., for Psychology Today: A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations … our reactions and tendencies. They let us frame situations: they direct our attention to the most important cues so that we’re not overwhelmed with information. In other words, your mindset impacts how you…

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As we continue to persist in this new version of normal, it’s likely many of us will experience a sense of isolation and disconnection. Practicing social distancing and working remotely can make the idea of relationships—human connection—feel like a thing of the past. But as we all continue to move through this historic and anxiety-provoking moment, connection and relationships matter more than ever. Though in-person lunches, coffees, conferences and happy hours may be off the current list of options, there are still many ways in which we can and should create and nurture relationships right now. Put yourself out there…

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Working remotely is not a new concept. According to CNBC, as of 2018, roughly 70 percent of the global workforce was working remotely at least once per week. But for most, working remotely is a complement to, not a replacement for, days in an office. Yet, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, to minimize risk, many companies are asking, or even requiring, their employees to work remotely for the foreseeable future. When it’s not your norm, telework can be hard to navigate. QDT’s editor Karen Hertzberg, a work-from-home veteran herself, recently published “How to Work from Home During the…

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We all want to be productive. Checking boxes, crossing items off our lists—is there anything more satisfying? We tend to think of productivity as a measure of quantity. The more stuff we get done, the more productive we feel. But sometimes, being productive is more about substance than volume. In other words, the struggle isn’t getting more things done but bringing a single big, hairy, messy problem or question to resolution. Sometimes the brand of productivity we’re seeking isn’t about efficiency, but about finding creative ways to reach a finish line. If you’re struggling right now to produce something that’s been…

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Today’s episode is an interview with Jocko Willink, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer and New York Times #1 bestselling author of several books including his latest, Leadership Strategy and Tactics. Jocko hosts the popular podcast Leadership and Discipline, as well as a podcast for young leaders-in-training called Warrior Kid. Upon retiring from the Navy in 2010, Jocko founded leadership consulting firm Echelon Front. There, he teaches combat leadership principles to help others build their own high-performance winning teams. In the interview, we explored how applying leadership lessons from the battlefield can bring us extraordinary success in the workplace. I’ll…

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When my first daughter was born, I considered naming her Nola. But as my sage (and handsome!) husband pointed out, her nickname was going to end up being No. And that seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. No one likes the sound of a “no.” We all know by now that setting clear boundaries at work—in other words, saying no—is key to our wellness and self-preservation. But still, it’s hard to resist the urge to be a hero. You want to be the one your boss can count on, and that means saying yes to everything. But what if I…

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Does the idea of having to self-promote leave you feeling like you need a shower? Sometimes, it seems showy and braggy and icky. The thought of having to do it may make your skin crawl. And yet, self-promotion is essential. The key to promoting yourself is striking the balance between humility and hubris. You need to find ways to demonstrate confidence—in the service of creating opportunities—without seeming self-congratulatory or off-putting. Doing great work isn’t enough Doing great work—delivering important projects, delighting customers and clients, contributing innovative ideas—is crucial if we aspire to new challenges and opportunities at work. But these…

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