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Background: By day, I write and teach my students on CaseInterview.com about how to have a successful career. By night, I volunteer with my county as an emergency worker, search & rescue team member, and emergency medical responder. Much of my training is in mass casualty incidents. Under normal circumstances, medical care in the United [...]

When you’re faced with two options where you know that one option will be good and the other bad, it’s useful to take the time to analyze and determine which one is which. However, many times in your life and career, you’ll face options that are far more ambiguous. Sometimes, the information you’d like to [...]

When you’re trying to explain a complex idea to someone, it’s extremely helpful to explain your new idea using terms, concepts, or ideas that the other person already understands. For example, if you’re talking to a seasoned finance professional, you can use terms like “EBITDA” and “valuation multiples” and they’ll understand them. However, if you’re [...]

When most people think of power, they think of the person in the conference room with the most authority. Formal authority comes from decision-making power and control over resources. If you’re a member of the board, you have power because you must approve my operating budget for the fiscal year. If you are my boss, [...]

In life and work, there are two ways to approach a problem. You can talk about a problem, or you can solve the problem. The problem talker spends all of his time complaining about the problem. “Boss, this budgeting process is so inefficient and a waste of time.” “The way we orient new employees to [...]

When I was at Stanford, I took a class on social hierarchies. I remember thinking it was fascinating how social hierarchies influence perceptions of self and others. At the time, I had very little experience with social hierarchies outside of the academic arena. In high school, seniors (fourth-years) were revered and freshman (first-years) were lucky [...]

Over the years, I’ve noticed the role that luck plays in success for myself and others. I won’t lie. Getting lucky on an opportunity is great. The problem is that you can’t control when or if you get lucky. However, what you can control is whether you are prepared enough so that, when luck presents [...]

When you’re CEO, you’re in this paradoxical situation in which your direct reports often know a lot more than you do in their functional areas. This causes many first-time CEOs to stumble. After all, how do you manage someone who knows more than you do? While this is a subject worthy of an entire class, [...]

I’ve only been in a Fortune 500 boardroom once. I will never forget it. The conference room had an incredible view of Manhattan. The boardroom table itself was a gorgeous mahogany table that seated 60 people. I’ve never seen a conference room table so large before. The table was so large that every seating position [...]

Over the years, I’ve paid a lot of attention to teaching methods. I’ve done so in my role as a teacher in my work and also as a parent. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the value of learning the fundamentals of any domain. Whether it’s math, how to swing a baseball bat, or [...]

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