Career Success

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 [...]

I just finished writing my monthly newsletter for my Inner Circle mentorship members. This month's focus was on identifying and developing the skills that ex-consultants possess that industry professionals often lack. One of the recurring themes is that ex-consultants think and make decisions in a logical and quantitative way. Most industry professionals make decisions based [...]

Two people are in the same meeting. Both express the same idea. One gets ignored, while the other is acknowledged as being insightful. Why does this happen? The short answer is the person who got seen, heard, and acknowledged possessed gravitas — an executive presence where others take your ideas seriously merely because the words [...]

The last few days have been quite chaotic politically here in the United States. While chaos can come from many places, there’s one source in particular that I’d like to discuss today, as it applies to business. It’s chaos that comes from... Confusion Chaos from confusion is simple to prevent. The antidote involves two things: [...]

The higher you move up in the organization, the more your job becomes about deciding than it does about doing. The CEO doesn’t design a product, manufacture, sell or market a new product. The CEO DECIDES what to build, where to manufacture it, to whom to sell it, and how to market a product. Junior [...]

Most of the elite business schools see themselves as training the leaders of tomorrow how to be better leaders. Many business school grads seek out careers in consulting, investment banking, or technology. The goal of the first two career paths is to become a partner or managing director. The goal of the latter is often [...]

Clients lie. You lie too (even if you don’t realize it). There are two kinds of lying. 1) The first type is explicitly stating something you know is not true with intent to deceive. If I say I am a 99-year-old woman, I am lying. I am aware that I am neither 99 years old, [...]

  CEOs speak a particular language. The language is not English, Spanish, Mandarin, or Hindi. It's a metalanguage that lays on top of the grammatical languages we all speak. CEOs very quickly recognize who else speaks their language -- the CEO Code. Although I didn't realize it at the time, I was very fluent in [...]

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