life as a consultant

Career Moves for a New Year

As we head into the new year, I wanted to pass along several career strategies that are especially relevant as we approach January. Whether you are in industry, in consulting, or looking to get into consulting, at least one of the tips below will be relevant and applicable. I will be breaking up these tips [...]

When & Why “A” Players Get Fired

The majority of the time, it pays to be an “A” player — a superstar achiever — in your company. However, there are some times when being an A player is a liability. In a moment, I will share with you the specific circumstances where being an A player is problematic. My intent is not [...]

How a C Player Becomes an A Player

I recently wrote an article on How to Be a Corporate Superstar. In particular, I described how important it was to be an “A” player in your company. I received a number of follow up questions that I wanted to address, including the following: Question: What would you suggest to help a C player grow into [...]

How to Be a Superstar in Corporate

Amongst U.S. Corporations, employers use the term “A” player to denote an employee that’s exceptional. This is based on the U.S. academic grading system where the top performing students are awarded an “A” grade and the worst performing students earn an “F” grade. If you are working in corporate or expect to do so at [...]

The Importance of Career R&D

A product company like Apple invests heavily in Research & Development (R&D) to maintain its competitive advantage. One of the ways you can tell a CEO is managing for short-term results, at the expense of long-term sustained success, is when he or she cuts back on R&D investments. In the workforce, there are two kinds [...]

Determining Your "Fit"

Question: I just wanted to drop a note to say thanks and to also ask a question about fit. I found your LOMS series to be exceptionally helpful and a great complement to all the case prep that I was doing. I will definitely be recommending it to future students in my MBA cohort. I [...]

The Key to Success

You’ll find the video above interesting for two reasons. First, it’s a video presentation by an old friend, and former McKinsey colleague Angela Duckworth. By background she had degrees from Harvard and Oxford before landing at McKinsey. We had many 3am bonding sessions sitting in the hallway of the McKinsey NYC office waiting for presentations [...]

Extreme Determination and Extreme Success

Growing up, I watched Michael Jordan play basketball. He was, with little argument, the best basketball player of all time. He was incredibly dominant — probably 5 – 6 standard deviations above the mean. Michael Jordan has been in the news a lot because he recently turned 50 years old. There’s an in depth profile [...]

How to Sell an Idea Effectively

In consulting or any professional service type industry, the “thing” you sell and provide to clients is intangible. Your advice, your guidance, your analysis really comes down to conveying an idea from you to your client. Unlike a tangible product, you can’t touch, taste or even smell an idea. When a client or a boss [...]

Elite Performance - What It Really Takes

Recently I took my daughters into Seattle to watch the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team perform. They were in town as part of a 150-city post-Olympic tour across the U.S. It is the first time I’ve seen gymnastics at the world elite level in person. Even though the routines were nowhere near as difficult as [...]

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