Career Success

Clear thinking leads to clear writing. Fuzzy writing often reflects fuzzy thinking. One of the best ways to improve your thinking is to articulate your thoughts in writing. When you write out your thoughts, you have something to analyze, revise, and improve. Editing = Clarifying Your Thinking The more your write and edit, the clearer [...]

In this week's news, there's a story of someone with fame, fortune, and power, sabotaging his own career. You see a story like this every week. This behavior happens around you every day (even if you aren’t always aware of it). It may even be something you do yourself on a smaller basis. Why does [...]

An engineer engineers. A marketer markets. A salesperson sells. A finance professional finances. A CEO... "CEOs"??? Unlike all other roles in a company, the word “CEO” is not a function. There is no CEO department. The engineer thinks about how to engineer a solution to a problem. A marketer thinks about how to market a [...]

A friend of mine flies airplanes as a hobby. As a smart person, he doesn’t like taking unnecessary risks. Every month he reads a monthly publication that includes the forensic analysis of every plane crash that has happened in the United States. Unlike car crashes that aren’t always investigated, the Federal government investigates every plane [...]

United Airlines is facing a major public relations crisis. Viral videos are going around showing a paying passenger, Dr. David Dao, being violently assaulted by airport security, and his limp body being dragged off the plane. I thought this would be a good teaching opportunity on how to handle a situation when you (or your [...]

A friend of mine recently asked me for advice in dealing with a person that she thought was being irrational. “She is being irrational and I can’t seem to get her to see the logic of my point. I’ve tried multiple times.” Here was the dilemma as I saw it. My friend was thinking purely [...]

The #1 reason new McKinsey consultants get fired is what I call the firm’s “kiss of death.” What offense could be so egregious to warrant being fired? It occurs when it’s been determined that you’re... “Uncoachable.” Huh? The McKinsey culture involves others giving you a lot of feedback on how to improve your performance. It [...]

Today I’d like to borrow a concept from Wall Street and apply it to accelerating your career in industry. Wall Street traders engage in something called "financial arbitrage." This refers to noticing discrepancies in market prices for two financial instruments and exploiting it for profit. For example, the orange juice manufacturer notices that the cost [...]

In a traditional academic environment, your performance is measured by some kind of exam. If you perform better on the exam, you get a better grade. If you performed worse, you get a worse grade. For the most part, in a school environment you get the grade you deserve. However once you get out in [...]

One of my interns from 8 years ago, C.J. Dirago, sent me an email earlier this week. He quoted something I told him nearly a decade ago... “If you see people waiting in a long line to buy something, get to the front of the line and figure out what it is that’s causing the [...]

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