“Eighty Percent of Success is Showing Up.” – Woody Allen, Actor I first encountered this quote by Woody Allen decades ago. At the time, the idea that the majority of success involved merely showing up seemed overly simplistic and surely an exaggeration. I’ve since come to the conclusion that his statement is more true than [...]

When you’re an individual contributor, you focus mainly on time management. There are 24 hours in a day. You allocate them according to what’s most important to you. As you progress in your professional career (and as your personal life gets more complex, such as raising multiple children or caring for aging parents), it makes [...]

Many people struggle to pursue what they really want, out of fear of what people will think. When I hear this, I always ask, “Which specific people?” As in, “What are their names?” In many cases, the other person has a hard time responding. They’ll often say, “You know, ‘people.’” The great irony is that [...]

In every professional interaction, the other person communicates on two channels. First, the other person communicates verbally what they’re thinking. Second, the other person communicates non-verbally what he or she really means. The big insight is that in many cases, what someone says and what they mean are not always the same thing. If you [...]

  “Whenever there are two people in the same room, there’s politics.” – Eugene J Webb (1934-1995) Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor for over 25 years One of my former professors made the argument that anytime there are two people in a room, there’s politics. Normally the term “corporate politics” has an enormously negative [...]

What is MECE (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive)? MECE (pronounced “me see”) or Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive is a principle often used by management consulting firms such as McKinsey to describe a way of organizing information that is “Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive”. MECE is a systematic problem-solving framework that helps to solve complex problems. It can [...]

The most strategic decision of your life will be deciding which people you allow into your life and which you ask to leave it. It will be which family members to be close to (and which to not). It will be whom you choose as friends (and whom you choose to no longer be friends [...]

The key to “winning” any argument is to recognize that some arguments not only can’t be won, but shouldn’t be “won.” Arguments take place in one of two contexts: Unimportant Relationship Important Relationship (Notice how the two categories are MECE… I couldn’t help myself. :) …) How you approach arguments in these situations can vary [...]

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in the number of conversations that involve critical reasoning and independent thinking. I’m very concerned by this trend. One obvious place this has occurred is in American politics. I have friends across the full spectrum of political beliefs. I am shocked at how many debates [...]

You have an enormous advantage in life when you have the capacity to tolerate the truth. Anyone can tolerate the truth when it’s positive and favorable. It’s much more difficult when the truth isn’t what you want to hear. Just because you wish something wasn’t true doesn’t make it any less valid. For example, it’s [...]

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