Stop Resisting

Letting go of the urge to resist, keeping smart company, and celebrating the small wins

Victor Saad


Welcome to issue No. 21 of Work Different — a weekly summary of the top articles focused on workplace culture and career development.

From Resistance to Acceptance

As leaders and problem-solvers, we have a tendency to see the world as a place of challenges to overcome. We have an ongoing notion that things “should be” or “could be” better. And when something isn’t reaching its potential, we want to resist the status quo and spring into action, which often involves a futile effort to change the attitude and behavior of others. My good friend and Executive coach Eric Nehrlich writes that this “resistance” attitude can often lead us down a spiral. By resisting something or someone, we are holding tension in our body and our mind. Learn to let go of this urge to resist, this need for change and control. Instead, take on an attitude of acceptance. That is the first step to creating positive change within ourselves. LinkedIn.

Credit: Nicholas Cole

On Keeping Smart Company

Why do some achieve more than others? It turns out it’s more nurture than nature. Our habits and work ethic often determine our futures and our impact on our communities. Here are a few things that smart people do. 1. Read. A lot. Reading should be a daily habit. Read far and wide. Read about people, places, and ideas that you are not familiar with — it’ll give you all the more room to grow. 2. Surround yourself with other smart people. “You are the reflection of the five people you spend the most time with.” The right friends will encourage us to think better and be better, while the wrong friends leave us stagnant or take us down the wrong paths. Make friends with people you look up to. Then spend time and learn from them. 3. Make mistakes. “Every misstep is an opportunity to learn a lesson, improve, and move forward.” Turn your mistakes into learning opportunities instead. 4. Be open to knowledge. The smartest people are often the most curious. They see everyday as an opportunity to expand their knowledge and awareness of the world. 5. It takes hard work. Even the smartest amongst us have to put in the work to achieve. Try to make your work process as experiential as possible, so that it feels less like work and more like learning. Medium.

On Celebrating the Small Wins

As humans, we love rewards. If you reward your team when they successfully accomplish a task, that might be effective for simple tasks in the short-term. However, Susan Galer writes, “For tasks that are more complex, creative, and conceptual with longer time horizons, we need a different motivational regime.” 1. Autonomy is motivational. Give your team the autonomy and freedom to carry out their work. Giving people autonomy is a sign of trust. 2. Embrace new skill sets. In this year of rapid change, not only do we need to promote “left brain spreadsheet skills,” but also more abstract skills such as “empathy, inventiveness, composition, and big picture thinking.” 3. Celebrate the small wins. We tend to overlook the importance of small wins. But small wins build up to big wins. Let your team know that you recognize and appreciate their wins, no matter the size. Forbes.

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Victor Saad


I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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