success in industry

Job Interview Reject = Billionaire

Four years ago, my old college dorm neighbor, Brian Acton, was looking for a job. Up until that point, he had spent 11 years at Yahoo in a variety of engineering jobs. He landed an interview with Twitter — but they didn’t give him an offer. He interviewed with Facebook — and they too did [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Career Growth = Perpetual Discomfort

In a recent article, I wrote about How to Tell Someone They’re Totally Wrong. It was in response to my comments about music and learning how to write songs. That discussion and the flood of emails I’ve received (with very polar points of view) has probably been one of the most controversial topics I’ve written about [...]

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 some point [...]

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 a [...]

The Power of a Strong Peer Group

When it comes to both your personal life and professional life, your peer group profoundly impacts… well, everything. Your peers influence whom you socialize with, who becomes members of your professional network, what socially derived expectations you do or don’t have for yourself, and the filter by which you consider all life decisions. If you [...]

Ugh... Corporate Politics

When most people hear the words “corporate politics,” it’s usually perceived as a negative. I don’t think this is the right way to think of politics. It doesn’t matter if corporate politics is good or bad. What matters is that regardless of your view on it, it exists and must be managed in order for [...]

“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 [...]

The Decline of Logic

When I was at McKinsey, fact-based, well-reasoned logic was prized. It didn’t matter if you were in your 15th year at McKinsey or your first 15 days, the person with the logical conclusion ruled the day. I remember being repeatedly told that if I had the logical conclusion demonstrating that the Partner’s thinking was wrong, [...]

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