Success in Life

All relationships work more smoothly when expectations are clear and explicit. The opposite of an explicit expectation is an implied one. Let’s look at both personal and professional examples. When two people become a couple, one of the issues they’ll need to navigate is holidays. Whose family do we spend this holiday with versus another? [...]

Some goals are overwhelming to the point where you feel frozen and unable to start. This is a sign that the magnitude of the goal is counterproductive. When a CEO is overwhelmed with the task before them, I tell them to break down the problem into smaller “baby” steps. I once had a client that [...]

When most people think of a recession, many hope to simply survive. I think this is the wrong approach. Recessions are the opportune times to be aggressive in making forward progress for your business. The majority of Fortune 500 companies were founded in a recession, even though recessions only account for 20% of the past [...]

In difficult times, it helps enormously to have psychological resilience against unexpected obstacles, stressors, and uncertainty. If today’s world doesn’t qualify as unexpected and unusual, I don’t know what would. Every problem you face now and for the rest of your life occurs at two levels. The first level is the functional problem. The second [...]

When times get difficult, it’s natural to want to step back, play defense, and wait for conditions to get better. This is especially the case when difficult conditions are caused by extreme changes, such as COVID-19. While this is certainly one option for managing your life and career, there is another. It’s the option to [...]

In times of crisis, people look for leadership. A leader is someone with a plan, the competence to deliver on that plan, and the trustworthiness to earn the benefit of the doubt from others when things get tough. Calm is the sign of strong leadership. When a patient collapses from a heart attack, that patient [...]

Through many of my struggles and failures in life, I’ve become far more acquainted with adversity than I ever wanted. In my 20s and 30s, failures and major setbacks were devastating to me. As I approach my 50s, I have a more sanguine attitude about adversity. Basically, sh*t happens in life. You can take every [...]

Years ago, I made the following assertion that really pissed off many of my peers. I asserted that stress is merely another name for fear. In the world of Ivy League schools and elite consulting firms, it was perfectly acceptable to admit you were feeling stressed, but very taboo to admit you’re scared. Yet when [...]

When I work with a new CEO client, I do two things. First, I ask them to explain the business to me in qualitative terms — Who is the customer? What problem do you solve for them? Who are the competitors? etc. Second, I ask for specific metrics from their business. This is how you [...]

Are you managing your feelings or are your feelings managing you? This is a profoundly important question to ask yourself. You see, in today’s world, emotions are running extremely high. Fear, greed, anxiety, distrust, sadness, gratitude, depression. At any moment of any day, the people around you (and quite possibly you yourself) are experiencing many [...]

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