Hedonia, Eudaimonia, and Business

Hedonia, Eudaimonia, and Business

One of the most important words I've learned in recent years is eudaimonia, a Greek word that is about human flourishing or prosperity. Eudaimonia refers to the highest human good, drives fulfillment and meaning, and involves the pursuit of personal flourishing.

Its counterpart (not antonym) is a word we're much more familiar with, hedonia, which is about pursuing and maximizing pleasure while avoiding and minimizing pain. We use it in the form of hedonist to describe people who pursue pleasure, or hedonism which is the belief of pursuing pleasure.

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Learning Alone, Growing Alone

Learning Alone, Growing Alone

Humans are social creatures. Research has concluded that strong social bonds contribute to a longer life. And most of us work in teams, for teams, and with teams. Yet when it comes to learning, we rarely do it together. We listen to podcasts, read books, attend seminars, and reflect mostly on our own.

This was something we paid a lot of attention to when founding The Junto Institute. We believed that if team members learned together, they and their organization would grow exponentially. That's why we required that teams participate in Junto's Apprenticeship Program together rather individuals participating alone. And we believe it's one of the reasons why so many of them have flourished.

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Emotions, Energy, and Walking Away

Emotions, Energy, and Walking Away

In all of the work we do on emotional intelligence and leadership, perhaps nothing draws more attention, response, and delight as the Junto Emotion Wheel. When used personally on a regular basis, it builds our self-awareness, and when used with others, it builds our empathy and social awareness. Therefore, it becomes a tool that can improve two domains of our emotional intelligence. But one domain that it doesn't help is our self-management.

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The Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence

I've been learning, practicing, and speaking about emotional intelligence for about 10 years. But it wasn't until six months ago that I finally discovered how best to describe the concept, and the feedback I received only reinforced that discovery.

At Junto, we've always used Daniel Goleman's framework for emotional intelligence that is based on scientific research and consists of four domains: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. Furthermore, each of the four domains has specific competencies within them, which have evolved over the years based on Goleman's research and thinking. And finally, the domains are presented as simply four parts of a whole: I've rarely seen or read Goleman discussing the relationships among them.

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The Right and Wrong Ends of the Telescope

The Right and Wrong Ends of the Telescope

One of my favorite songs in recent years is "Turn It Around" by the band Lucius. As much as I've loved listening to it, I never bothered to read the lyrics until just a couple weeks ago. And while I know the two women behind the band intended to tell a different story, I couldn't help but draw parallels to our work at Junto, and to entrepreneurs, in general.

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The New Year: It's a Test of Our Emotional Intelligence

The New Year: It's a Test of Our Emotional Intelligence

In recent weeks, many of us created the time for or found ourselves doing some reflecting. We took stock of what we accomplished last year, what we would have done differently, and why. We also probably thought about what we want to accomplish in the new year, and what it's going to take.

All along, it's likely that we felt multiple emotions: joy, sadness, surprise, and maybe even some love and anger. We drew conclusions about how well we and our company performed, and maybe even added some judgmental statements to describe it all.

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Vision, Mission, Values: It's Business and It's Personal

Vision, Mission, Values: It's Business and It's Personal

As the years go by, I have more conversations about vision, mission, and core values statements (VMV).

I get asked about the nuanced differences between vision and mission, how detailed the statements should be, how to live out core values, whether they should be short phrases or full sentences, and much more. Conversely, when I hear about challenges that companies are facing, I ask their founders and leaders if they have crafted these statements, whether they can rattle them off, how they use them with their people, and whether they actually believe in them.

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You Are On the Brink of Everything

You Are On the Brink of Everything

I recently read this wonderful article by Parker Palmer that is actually a prelude to his book, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old. The content of the article and the title of the book struck me as profoundly relevant, not only to our lives but also our companies.

As someone who recently turned 50, became an empty-nester, and initiated a re-start of his business, it hit me that I am on the brink of everything. I was so struck by this idea that I couldn't get it out of my head for days. And the more I reflected on it, the more I realized that this phrase wasn't resonating with me just because of a few significant life moments. Instead, I realized that we are all on the brink of everything...everyday.

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JuntoAlumni Win Awards

JuntoAlumni Win Awards

Congratulations to our JuntoAlumni companies that have recently won a myriad of awards: Tiesta Tea (J1), Solid Digital(J2), TopstepTrader (J3), Cristaux (J4), Red Caffeine (J4), and Acliviti (J5). 

Tiesta Tea (J1) recently won Inc.com's 2018 Best Places to Work in Chicago award, CEO Dan Klein was awarded one of the top entrepreneurs in Crain's 20 in Their 20's, and Dan and his co-founder, Patrick Tannous, were also named Inc.com's 30 under 30.  

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The (Employee) Benefit of Better Leaders And Better Managers

The (Employee) Benefit of Better Leaders And Better Managers

I was inspired to write this post after reading an article yesterday by Gallup called "The No. 1 Employee Benefit That No One's Talking About."

The reason I was inspired by the article is because it reminded me of the main reason we promote career opportunities at the companies that are going through, or have completed, our Apprenticeship program. We believe they have better managers and "more emotionally intelligent leaders" simply because they've been through a rigorous educational program designed to help them get better, while other companies haven't.

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More Validation that Learning Emotional Intelligence as a Team Makes It Better

More Validation that Learning Emotional Intelligence as a Team Makes It Better

On Monday morning, Taylor McPartland, our Managing Director in Los Angeles, received the following email from one of the Apprentices in our JuntoLA program. Needless to say, it was gratifying for our team to read these words and see that one of our customers has such deep appreciation for Taylor's efforts. 

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JuntoNight 2017: The Company Asks

JuntoNight 2017: The Company Asks

One of the traditions of JuntoNight is that each graduate company has the opportunity to make an "Ask": a specific request of the guests in attendance at the event.

Below are JuntoV's Asks along with a brief description their companies. If you're able to help any of them, please click the orange button which will take you to a brief form to submit your contact info. We will introduce you to the company via email.

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What I've Learned About Company Culture

What I've Learned About Company Culture

Imagine you're invited to someone's home for an evening. You're a special guest, meet everyone in the family (whether two or ten), get a personal tour of the home, have a pleasant dinner with everyone at the table, retreat to the family room for lively conversation, and leave after 4-5 hours.

How well would you be able to describe the culture of that household? What types of conclusions could you draw about the family, what their values are, how they live, and how strong their relationships are?

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How to Lower the Risk of Hiring New (Sales) People

How to Lower the Risk of Hiring New (Sales) People

When I interviewed for my role at The Junto Institute, the process was lengthy and unique to me. I had face-to-face interviews by video and in-person, assignments to complete, and questions that got to the core of my beliefs. I had never experienced an interview process that unveiled the person I was beneath my work spirit.

We recently held a class on Building a Sales Team where Jeff Ellman, co-founder of Urbanbound and Hireology, shared his experiences on why this vetting process is important, the value of building a bench of new candidates, and the power of a document called "The Playbook."

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Two JuntoAlumni Companies Named to 2017 Inc. 5000 List

Two JuntoAlumni Companies Named to 2017 Inc. 5000 List

The Inc. 5000 list is out and we're thrilled to announce that Tiesta Tea (JuntoI) is ranked #759, and TopstepTrader (JuntoIII) is ranked #1261 on the 2017 list.

“In five years, TopstepTrader has become the place individuals from around the world go to safely explore and profit from financial markets," says Michael Patak, Chief Vision Officer of TopstepTrader. "Being named to the Inc. 5000 validates our goal to reinvent the trading industry - and in the process find and fund talented futures traders.”

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The Yin and Yang of Every Business: Value Creation and Value Delivery

For the past six months, a common theme I've been discussing is that of value creation and value delivery, what I have learned to be the two core elements of any business.

It began with our team's annual planning retreat in January, when we decided that Value Creation Training would be a 2017 priority (our version of "goal" or "objective"). Since then, value creation and value delivery (VCVD) have come up in conversation not only with our team but in several Junto sessions, where our companies have responded positively to the concepts.

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Writing Job Descriptions: Shared Experiences & Lessons Learned

Writing Job Descriptions: Shared Experiences & Lessons Learned

Throughout my time at Junto, I've facilitated, attended, and participated in dozens of sessions where job descriptions were a topic of discussion. As an outcome, I have come to believe that job descriptions have two main functions.

  1. Advertise the company and role to candidates. This helps the company attract the right person. 

  2. Outline the core activities and areas of ownership that the future team member will be held accountable for. This helps create the starting point for a clear training and performance management process.

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Hiring and Firing: Lessons Learned and Helpful Reminders for Growing Companies

Hiring and Firing: Lessons Learned and Helpful Reminders for Growing Companies

The first JuntoClass of each cohort is called Hiring, Managing & Firing. This is intentional because the focus of our Apprenticeship program is on leadership, people, and culture, and this class is the ideal starting point. By setting this tone, the companies in the program are then comfortable bringing up the topic in their Mentor Team sessions, Tutoring Roundtables, and Forum sessions (not to mention that it comes up organically in other classes).

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