2016

Life is Beautiful

My life is beautiful. My life has always been beautiful. To be more precise, there have always been parts of my life that have been beautiful — whether or not I was aware of this is another matter entirely. Consider the possibility that… Your life is beautiful. Your life has always been beautiful. In many [...]

The Solution to Any Business Problem is...

I’ve had many mentors throughout my personal and professional life. I’ve had several mentors, but one in particular who taught me how to write persuasively. While he has since passed away, his legacy lives on in his writings. He believed that… Nearly any business problem could be solved with the written word. Need to hire [...]

The Uncertainties of Life

A year ago, I started taking classes in improvisational comedy. Unlike stand-up comedy, where a comedian memorizes an entire show and performs it for his audience, improv comedians get on stage having no idea what they will say or do. Performers ask for inspiration from the audience, such as: “name a person you know, an [...]

The Best Idea Doesn't Always Win

In many corporate cultures, the validity of any idea is often dependent on the authority level of the person who said it. The best idea doesn’t win. The idea that came from the boss’s mouth is the one that wins. The problem is that sometimes the boss is wrong. This is one reason why one [...]

Being Slightly Famous

Traditional career planning strategy involves going to a good school, getting a job from a big brand name company, and getting promoted. This is the premise of all academic schooling through college. But… the world has changed quite profoundly in the last 15 years. The world is more hyperconnected than ever before. This has several implications [...]

With Much Gratitude

Today is my favorite U.S. holiday — Thanksgiving. It is a holiday devoted to being grateful for what we have and appreciate in our lives. On this day, I am grateful for… (wait for it)… three things: (I know, I know… even my gratitude is in concise McKinsey synthesis format… :) ) 1) I am [...]

Lessons from the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

The outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election 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 had predicted Hillary Clinton. Most probability tables estimated Clinton with a 60%-90% chance of winning in the 24 hours prior to the election. [...]

Existing vs. Thriving

One of the single most useful skills in life and in career is the ability to tolerate turbulence. The easiest way to avoid turbulence is to never get out of bed and never try to do anything meaningful. When you take this approach in life or career, you risk nothing. You minimize your chances of [...]

Winner of Sweet Estimation Contest

While celebrating the U.S. holiday Halloween, I announced an estimation question contest. As you might recall, I posed the following question: “In today’s New York Times, I learned that in the weeks leading up to this holiday, Americans purchased $2.7 BILLION dollars in candy. So here’s my challenge for you. Assuming all of that candy [...]

The Next U.S. President Will Be...

Within the next 36 hours, the next President of the United States will be determined via an election. This is a very unusual election (understatement). We have the two least-liked presidential candidates in the history of modern U.S. Presidential elections. One argues for a return to the past. The other for a different kind of [...]

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