When you look at the top performers in every domain, all of them share one thing in common. They live their lives at the edge — at the edge of discomfort. All growth comes from this edge. It’s a thin line between success and failing. This is especially apparent in the weight room. I’ve been [...]

Strategic planning involves making decisions to allocate time, money and focus in the present to achieve an outcome in the future. Resource constraints make strategic planning necessary and useful. If you had unlimited funds, people, and time to invest, you don’t need strategic planning. You would simply decide to pursue all options simultaneously without any [...]

McKinsey, in conjunction with Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.Org (She’s the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook), has just released a new analysis quantifying the progress of women in corporate America. On the current pace of female advancement in industry, the U.S. will have 250 women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies 100 years from today. The analysis [...]

I’ll share with you one of the single most important skills and lessons about selling. It’s something my sales mentor taught me many years ago. My mentor was quite the character. She was this Pakistani woman who wore skin tight leather pants to work every day while selling to the Chief Information Officers of the [...]

Several years ago, I checked the course catalogs for the MBA programs at Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. I was checking to see if they offered a class in one of the single most important skills one needs to run a company — the ability to sell. Much to my complete shock, there were none. Not [...]

Something completely coincidental happened the other day. I wrote an article titled “Why New Market Entries Often Fail.” On that exact same day, my younger brother, Larry Cheng, who runs his own venture capital firm, Volition Capital, was on MSNBC talking about how to successfully pitch to investors. It turns out that what he talked [...]

One of the areas where my previous client work at McKinsey and my current client work overlap is in the area of market entries. A client sees a new market opportunity and wants to figure out if and how to chase it. A lot of attempts at entering a new market fail. Here are some [...]

One of the biggest jokes about working in industry is how many stupid useless meetings one “must” attend. Whether you are a low-ranking member of your team or the CEO, here are several strategies to stop wasting your time and everyone else’s. 1) Define the objective of a meeting. If a meeting has no objective, [...]

At social gatherings in major cities in the United States, it is customary to say “hello” when meeting new people. The first two questions most people ask are: 1) What’s your name? 2) What do you do? The first question isn’t surprising. Its purpose is to know how to refer to you by name. The [...]

In a previous article, I wrote about the first of the two major weaknesses that professionals who’ve spent their entire careers in industry face, that ex-consultants transitioning to industry do not. The first was that while most industry lifers are functionally strong, they are often terribly weak cross-functionally. In today’s article, I’ll discuss the second [...]

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