The single best way to improve your skills in any endeavor is to get feedback on your performance. Two kinds of feedback exist: 1) objective 2) subjective If you want to sprint faster, you need a stopwatch that clocks how fast you are running. If you ran 100 meters twice, the first time in 12 [...]

Unless you’ve been on another planet, you’ve most certainly heard about the U.S. Presidential election. As you know, Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States. The outcome was considered by most to be a stunning upset. Most, including Donald Trump’s campaign staff, were surprised by the results. Nearly every election forecast [...]

The other day, one of my daughters said to me, "Daddy, I don't want to go to school." What happened next was that she tried to convince me why I should allow her to stay home from school, while I tried to convince her why she should go. In other words, she was trying to [...]

In the Olympics and many other sporting events, you don’t need to worry about perceptions. Your performance is measured down to the hundredths of a second. It is objective. After the race ends, your actual competence and perceived competence are one and the same. However, business is different. Ideas and perception of ideas are subjective. [...]

The #1 way professionals with high IQs destroy their careers is by having low emotional intelligence (or “EQ” for short). The workplace is a place where both logical and emotional interactions take place between you and others. High IQ people tend to overvalue the importance of IQ and undervalue EQ. If you have ever wondered [...]

When I was at Stanford, the most successful students were the smartest ones. Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and the most successful people I know aren’t the smartest people I know. However, they often are the most connected. They have many friends in positions of influence and power. This works both within a company [...]

  Is the CEO the best engineer in a company? Usually not. Is she the best salesperson in the company? The best marketer? The best in finance? Usually not. If you look at the CEO and her top direct reports, she’s usually less technically competent in sales, marketing, finance, and engineering than the executives that [...]

Being a CEO is not complicated. A good CEO decides what needs to be done and who needs to do it. Being a CEO is about deciding strategy and then leading people to execute the strategy. While being a CEO is simple (conceptually), it is not easy (to do). The easiest way to stand out [...]

Consulting firms prize people who are logical, analytical, and rational. However, smart people routinely make “stupid” decisions. Here’s why. Smart people are like Superman. They have superhuman abilities (in this case, intellectual). BUT, also like Superman, they have an Achilles' heel — a vulnerability and weakness that can bring even the most superhuman of us [...]

When I was at McKinsey, one of the biggest reasons clients cited for repeatedly hiring McKinsey was: "perspective." Clients would say that the firm helped them see their own businesses in a new way. At the time, this seemed like a somewhat amorphous reason for spending a few million dollars in consulting fees. However, as [...]

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