Thoughts on Life

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the cult/culture of elitism. The entire premise of elitism is hierarchy. Those who are “elite” are presumed to be better than those that are not. Those who aren’t “elite” often feel “less than” their counterparts. An Ivy League degree makes you more elite. A larger bank account makes [...]

A friend of mine called me the other day to ask for career advice. In a recent reorganization, he was assigned to a new boss. The two did not get along well. The new boss kept send him emails about his failures to perform. When he would ask his boss in person for specific feedback [...]

My oldest daughter and I have been taking a training class together for some volunteer work we want to do together later in the year. It was the first time my teenager and I have been classmates. The class consisted of 20 students, half of which were teenagers, with the other half being people in [...]

When you take a finance class, you learn the principle of asset diversification. Diversification means you’re able to maximize your overall financial return across a wide variety of market conditions while reducing your losses. By diversifying correctly, you achieve the same level of return as a less diversified set of assets BUT have a lower [...]

When I left McKinsey to start my own company, a number of my McKinsey friends also left to do the same. My two back-to-back startup attempts failed. A number of my McKinsey friends’ startups succeeded, in some cases wildly so (one of them was StubHub). For the first time in my career (and actually life), [...]

When you’re the best in the world at something, there’s nobody left to beat. If you’re Usain Bolt, you’re (literally) the fastest human being on earth and in all of history (world record holder for 100-meter dash). With whom do you compete? If you’re Michael Phelps and have more Olympic medals than anyone in history [...]

One of the biggest revelations I’ve learned about relationships (professional and personal), I picked up years ago from McKinsey. It was such a simple yet transformative concept. Here’s the story. At McKinsey, when I worked with a new client, I would conduct a round of initial introductory meetings with each member of the executive team. [...]

A few days ago, the FBI charged dozens of high profile celebrity and wealthy families with attempting to use bribes to get their children admitted into elite universities, including Stanford and Yale. There’s been a lot of discussion around this topic, and I thought I’d add in my comments as well. My first (tongue-in-cheek) reaction [...]

Respectful disagreements are extremely helpful and productive. Arguments are a complete waste of time. But wait… aren’t they the same thing? Nowhere close. When two people have a respectful disagreement, they both share their differing points of view and both are interested in hearing and understanding the other person’s point of view. In an argument, each [...]

One of my former bosses, John Dragoon (@jkdragoon), had a great quote that I really like. “The difference between a goal and a delusion is the deadline.” That resonated with me. I’ve since modified it slightly to read as follows: “The difference between a goal and a delusion is the existence of a plan.” To [...]

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