It's hard to believe this is August. Because I'm working way too hard.
Unless you're one of the growing multitude out of work--with no job at all--no doubt you are. Here's evidence of the working-too-hard trend in a new McKinsey study called "Leaders in the Crisis": Executives are working harder than ever--55 hours per week, vs. 45, on average, before the global economic crisis began.
McKinsey also suggests that executives aren't being very smart about how to motivate employees in these trying times. Executives whom they surveyed said they motivate their people mainly by "talking about company's values and direction" and "talking about company's financial performance."
Seriously, how can you inspire when "financial performance" is probably nothing to brag about?
A better way to motivate workers, McKinsey's consultants suggest, is to help build their skills, publicly recognize high performance, and show interest beyond their work. "Making personal connections and helping managers find meaning in their work" is more important than ever, McKinsey contends.
This onus on executives also makes leading and managing more difficult than ever before. Want advice? Check out yesterday's Postcards Guest Post, "How to Inspire Your People", by MediaCom CEO Stephen Allan, who is quite savvy on the subject. Incidentally, after reading the post yesterday, WPP (WPPGY) CEO Martin Sorrell, who is Allan's boss, emailed me to say that his message is right on.
If you're really stressed out and working too hard, my best advice is: Do not move to Asia. A study of "Prices and Earnings" in cities across the globe, released by UBS (UBS) yesterday, is trove of fascinating stats, and among them: People work 1,902 hours per year, on average, in the cities that UBS surveyed, but they work longest in Asian cities. The average in Asia: 2,119 hours annually. The most onerous work hours, actually, are in Cairo, where employees clock 2,373 hours annually. Seoul comes in a close second.
And who, among global citizens, are smartest in terms of holding a job and keeping short hours? Workers in Lyon and Paris, says the UBS survey. Oh, how I envy the French, especially in August!
A gloomy outlook as we head off for the long weekend. Today's monthly jobs report was worse than May's, worse than expected, and worse than we've seen in 26 years. The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.5%...and is bound to go past 10%.
So when will the pain ease? Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer told me last week: "I don't think we're in a recession. I think we've reset. It's very MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 2, 2009 2:27 PM ET
This morning, I read about the potential merger of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. Then I read about the benign rivalry of two divas of the blog world, Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown. Two stories that have nothing to do with each other? You would think. But actually, they do. They point to a new reality of the business world: Competition isn't what it used to be. Competition becomes coopetition. MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 27, 2008 5:14 PM ET
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