Have you ever thought “Where was I?” when you returned to a task after someone had interrupted you? Task shifting — even pulling yourself away from the computer screen to answer a question — can impact productivity. For astronauts, it can increase risks. That’s why NASA has commissioned research to study it.

What personality traits make for a better boss, assertiveness or humility? A team of researchers from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business discovered that humble bosses perform best. “These kinds of leaders are more likely to empower others, to trust others, and to work well with others,” said Management Professor Angelo Kinicki. In other words, a humble boss is more likely to help people feel good and collaborate more, boosting productivity.

Ruth Barratt, a clinical assistant professor of management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, is teaching a class for small business owners on forming and leading high performance teams. Hear what she has to say about the stages of team formation, and why you should take care to nourish the group. Barratt is teaching in the 2012 Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) presented by W. P. Carey’s Center for Executive and Professional Development.

Managers tend to focus on skills and knowledge when assembling teams, but management Professor Jeff LePine’s research suggests that personalities should be factored in as well. LePine was among the first scholars to conduct research and publish papers linking the personality of team members to their team’s performance. He found that while personality impacts individual performance, it plays an even greater role in team performance.