Winning vs. Resolving Conflicts

When you’re in a conflict with someone else, you want to define your goal clearly. Are you trying to “win” the conflict, or to “resolve” it? Although the words seem similar enough to be interchangeable, they couldn’t be more different. When you “win” a conflict, you get the outcome that you want without regard to [...]

You're Mostly Right

In my mentorship program, one of the recurring topics I discuss is how to be more powerful and influential with others at work. Here’s one powerful technique that I’ve taught my Inner Circle members in the past that I’ll share with you today. I call it the “You’re Mostly Right” technique. When you’re arguing with [...]

The "Horizon Problem"

When I mentor people, they often ask me for my thoughts about specific career choices they are considering. Invariably, the questions fall into two categories. 1) How do I succeed in a pre-structured career path (e.g., making partner in a consulting firm)? 2) How do I succeed in forging my own path that isn’t pre-structured [...]

Your Fault vs. Your Responsibility

I teach the people I mentor that leadership means accepting responsibility for things that aren’t your fault. The individual contributor that stays in that role for an entire career does what is asked, but no more. If something goes wrong, she says, “I didn’t make a mistake. You can’t blame me for that one. That’s [...]

Well-Educated vs. Well-Schooled

A few years before I was born, humankind achieved a remarkable feat. We landed a human being on the moon. The lunar module spacecraft used for the lunar landing mission had a mere 4 kilobytes of memory and weighed 70 lb (32 kg). Today, I have an iPhone in my pocket that has 268,435,456 kilobytes [...]

The Leadership Vacuum

No organization is perfect. The world changes constantly and it’s impossible to pursue all the right opportunities with all the right resources at the exact right times. Gaps always exist. I’ve made an entire career out of “filling” gaps, and I think you should too. Let me explain. A market gap exists when customers demand [...]

Sharpen Your Axe

In the United States, there’s a historical quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln that says: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The quote refers to the important role of proper preparation for any endeavor. I was thinking about this quote a few [...]

Learning from My Mentors

My favorite question to ask my teachers and mentors is “who are your teachers and mentors?” I thought I’d introduce you to one of my teachers. I first met him when he was 24 years old and possessed an incredible amount of knowledge, wisdom, and experience — far surpassing his biological age. He dropped out [...]

The Solution to All of Your Problems

Most people want to buy a magic pill that will solve all of your problems while you kick back on your sofa and do nothing. Lose 10 lbs over night (uh…yeah, okay.) Become a gazillionaire in 90 days. (Hmmm… I don’t think so.) “Magic pills” do not exist and never will. Most problems require at [...]

Wisdom vs. Intelligence

Intelligence = the ability to learn from your mistakes. Wisdom = the ability to learn from other people’s mistakes. The fastest way to rise in your career is to be wise, not just intelligent. I’ve learned from hundreds of mistakes — only some of which were mistakes of my own. The key to wisdom is [...]

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