May 2016

Powerful Friends

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 [...]

What Makes a CEO a CEO?

  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 [...]

Relationship Hygiene

Every morning and night, I brush my teeth. I’ve been doing this for most of my life. I know if I stop this practice, I will have dental problems. I do the same with my car. I take my car into to the auto shop for regular maintenance. I follow a similar process with my [...]

If it Walks, Talks, and Acts like a CEO...

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 [...]