career growth

The Competence / Incompetence Paradox

One of the great paradoxes of being competent at something is the willingness to be temporarily incompetent at it first. I am often perceived as an expert, teacher or mentor. I find this perception others have of me quite ironic because day-to-day all I ever feel like is a student that’s constantly learning. Anything I’ve [...]

Talent is Not Enough

For most of my life, I assumed that the keys to a successful life were simple: 1) do well in school; 2) get a good job; 3) work hard. Those were my operating principles as a child, in college, and in my early 20s. As I got older, however, my beliefs were constantly conflicting with [...]

The Blame-Oriented Corporate Culture

Something just went wrong; really wrong. What’s the first instinct you and others have? In many company cultures (and in many family, marriage or parent/child relationship cultures), the first order of business is to decide whom to blame. Much of corporate politics (not to mention governmental politics) is based on this principle. “I don’t want [...]

Succeeding at the Edge of Discomfort

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 [...]

The Biggest Flaw with a Top 5 MBA

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 [...]

The Emergent Career Strategy - Practical Considerations

I recently wrote an article about the difference between the Planned vs. Emergent Career Strategies. The career plan is one you create at the beginning of your career when you have the least amount of information. The emergent strategy sometimes reveals itself in the process of pursuing the original career plan. New information emerges that [...]

The Deep Flaw in MBB Strategic Planning

When I first started recruiting for consulting jobs, an interviewer at Bain shared a story (arguably a legend at this point) about how Bain (or it might have been McKinsey) was asked to advise Motorola on whether or not they should enter the mobile phone market. As you might know, Motorola eventually dominated the pre-smart [...]

Going "All Out"

About 5 days ago, I was screaming my head off at home. My oldest daughter rushed into the room ready to call for an ambulance. At first she thought maybe I was having a heart attack. But then she realized I was physically just fine, but was for some inexplicable reason yelling like a crazed [...]

Career Growth = Perpetual Discomfort

In a recent article, I wrote about How to Tell Someone They’re Totally Wrong. It was in response to my comments about music and learning how to write songs. That discussion and the flood of emails I’ve received (with very polar points of view) has probably been one of the most controversial topics I’ve written [...]

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