Angela Ahrendts: Starting Anew

Angela Ahrendts discusses her start at Apple and what you should do when starting at new job, in a LinkedIn blog post

First: “Stay in your lane.” You’ve been hired because you bring a certain expertise to the team and the company. Try to resist putting additional or undue pressure on yourself trying to learn it all from day one. It's human nature to feel insecure about everything you "don't know". By staying focused on your core competencies you will be able to contribute much sooner, add greater value long term, and enjoy and have more peace especially in the early days.

I've been following the work of Angela Ahrendts at Burberry for a while. Working with Christopher Bailey they were doing really awe-inspiring work with technolovy, social and physical design at their retail stores. When it was announced that she had left the CEO position to join Apple I was surprised. I've been looking forward to seeing how her sensibilites and perspective will change Apple. Since WWDC this year we've begun to see Apple go through a transition into the next phase of the company. And now to see Ahrendts blog publicly discussing the company and her role in it is such an unexpected move from the secretive company. I am looking forward to the next Apple consumer event where they introduce new products and Ahrendts comes out to discuss the retail operation. It is an exciting time. 

Why You Hate Work

Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath, The New York Times

More broadly, just 30 percent of employees in America feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 report by Gallup. Around the world, across 142 countries, the proportion of employees who feel engaged at work is just 13 percent. For most of us, in short, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in some obvious ways, it’s getting worse.

Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures. The rise of digital technology is perhaps the biggest influence, exposing us to an unprecedented flood of information and requests that we feel compelled to read and respond to at all hours of the day and night.

Curious to understand what most influences people’s engagement and productivity at work, we partnered with the Harvard Business Review last fall to conduct a survey of more than 12,000 mostly white-collar employees across a broad range of companies and industries. We also gave the survey to employees at two of The Energy Project’s clients — one a manufacturing company with 6,000 employees, the other a financial services company with 2,500 employees. The results were remarkably similar across all three populations.

Employees are vastly more satisfied and productive, it turns out, when four of their core needs are met: physical, through opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for their contributions; mental, when they have the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on their most important tasks and define when and where they get their work done; and spiritual, by doing more of what they do best and enjoy most, and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.