strategic decisions

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 a 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 [...]

How to Become a U.S. Congressman (or Woman)

Today, I’m going to cover something different. I’m to going to explain how to be one of the 500 most powerful people in America… to be a U.S. Congressman (or woman). Actually, I’ll explain a behind-the-scenes look of how one such person came to power — and how the underlying lessons are applicable to any [...]

The Mental Role Model

I spend the bulk of my time in my career either learning, teaching, or troubleshooting. I just got off the phone with a new client and had a small epiphany. During the call, I essentially gave away one of my secrets to one of my new clients. We were discussing the concept of idea transplantation. [...]

Why Not You?

My favorite quote from the 2014 Superbowl was, “Why Not You?” It was a saying attributed to the father of Russell Wilson, quarterback of the 2014 champion Seattle Seahawks. The quote was referenced by the sports commentators and again by Wilson in a post-game interview. It was something Wilson’s father said to him many years ago when [...]

The Emergent Career Strategy - Practical Considerations

I recently wrote an article about the difference between 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 was [...]

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-smartphone [...]

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 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 [...]

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 was in the news a lot when he turned 50 years old. There was an in-depth profile of his life and [...]

Competitive Advantage in Consulting and in Life

One of the concepts taught in business schools around the world is the concept of competitive advantage. While the term is well known, I find very few people actually grasp the implications of this extremely important concept. It applies not only to how you serve clients as a consultant but also how you manage your own career. My thoughts [...]

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