career strategy

The Rank Order Priority List

Most of my work involves either a corporate strategic plan or a personal strategic plan. The core of strategic planning centers around deciding on priorities and allocating resources to those priorities. A good strategic planning process is quite painful. It’s painful because resources are always constrained. This has been true in every strategic plan with which [...]

“Blue Collar” Sales and Selling

Most people who get an Ivy League MBA do so to get a coveted job at a consulting firm, investment bank, or in industry. They aspire to be a McKinsey partner, a Goldman Sachs partner, a startup CEO or a leader in industry. Many get an MBA to avoid the most “blue collar” of professional [...]

Achieve More by Doing Less

In school, success is simple. Do your homework. Study hard. Get good grades. The better your grades, the greater your success. The path to success is simple and clear. In the working world, the parameters of success are quite different. In school, the more you do, the more you succeed. In the business world, the [...]

Leaders vs. Followers

A leader leads. A follower follows. The difference between a leader and a follower is the willingness to be wrong. When you’re a follower, you ask the leader what to do. When you do this, you will never be “wrong.” If the leader’s decision turns out to be wrong, your hands are washed of any [...]

Intentionally Over-Qualified

You can approach a job in one of two ways: 1) Do the minimum expected to not get fired. 2) Do the maximum possible and massively exceed what’s expected. Keep this thought in mind for a few seconds as I introduce a different concept (then integrate the two). There are two ways to think about [...]

I'm So Awesome...

When it comes to building a personal brand, many people get confused about how to do it right. There are two ways. The first is to tell people how amazing and awesome you are. Here’s an example. “Did you know that I’m an amazing human being?” “I’m so awesome…” “I’m smart, good-looking, and successful.” “Here’s [...]

The Delta of the Deltas

In mathematics, there’s a concept and symbol known as delta. It is represented by the following greek letter Δ that looks like a triangle. In this context, delta = change. If sales were $100 million last year, and $110 million this year, we would say the delta is $10 million. Management consultants will use the [...]

Value Creation vs. Value Capture

Whether you’re the CEO of a company or the CEO of your career, it’s your job to create value for others and to capture some of the value you create. In the case of running a company, you create a product that customers value. Customers are so excited to receive the value your product provides [...]

T-Shaped Skills

In industry, a person’s skill set can be described using one of two metaphors: the letter “I” and the letter “T.” A person with “I-shaped” skills has very deep skills in a single domain. This vertical line in the letter “I” represents this depth in a single area. In contrast, the person with “T-shaped” skills [...]

Control the Control-ables

There are two types of jobs in this world — task-oriented jobs and outcome-oriented jobs. A task-oriented sales position might require you to do the following in a single day: Make 120 sales phone calls Deliver 12 phone presentations Write 2 proposals Get 1 contract signed If you reliably do these proven tasks, you will [...]

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