strategic decisions

What Will People Think?

Many people struggle to pursue what they really want, out of fear of what people will think. When I hear this, I always ask, “Which specific people?” As in, “What are their names?” In many cases, the other person has a hard time responding. They’ll often say, “You know, ‘people.’” The great irony is that [...]

New Year, New Goals, Old Habits?

As we enter yet another new year, I can’t help but feel a little jaded. Every new year, millions of people set new goals, only to give up on them by March 15th. I know this because I analyzed the sales data of companies that depend on New Year’s resolutions for a sales boost — [...]

Good Decisions vs. Luck

Today I’d like to discuss something profoundly important regarding decision making. Ninety-nine percent of people do not grasp these concepts, as they are subtle and nuanced. My question is this: What makes a decision a good one? It’s a simple question. Most people say a good decision is one where there is a good outcome. [...]

Why Good Strategic Planning Sucks

Strategic planning involves making decisions to allocate time, money and focus in the present to achieve an outcome in the future. Resource constraints make strategic planning necessary and useful. If you had unlimited funds, people, and time to invest, you don’t need strategic planning. You would simply decide to pursue all options simultaneously without any [...]

Choose Your Words Carefully

Over the last decade, I have continually found myself intrigued by a field I never thought would interest me: linguistics. In particular, I’m fascinated by how linguistics intersects with psychology. The words you use profoundly impact how you think and behave. Here are a few examples. I often encounter clients who tell me there is [...]

The Right Tool for the Job

The other day I was assembling a basketball hoop for my girls. I had played when I was in high school, and the girls have suddenly starting showing an interest. As I was putting things together, I ran into a small problem. To keep the backboard smooth, the fasteners that connect the backboard to the [...]

The Ultimate Strategic Life Decision

The premise behind being strategic is simple – begin with the end in mind. My first encounter with this principle came from Stephen Covey’s classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When I worked at McKinsey, much of the client work was focused on this principle — begin with the end in mind. [...]

The Purpose of Purpose

In business, career, and life plans, one common factor exists that determines whether such a plan is strategic or not. What is this X factor? It is PURPOSE. Most plans of any type lack purpose. Purpose is the end game you are trying to achieve. It is the “WHY” behind any plan — at least [...]

Do you Play to Win or to Not Lose?

I find strategy concepts that I would typically use in the business realm are often surprisingly useful when moved to determine strategy for one’s life and vice versa. One idea in particular I’ve been thinking about over the years is developing a strategy to “win” as opposed to one designed to avoid loss. The two [...]

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 [...]

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