success in industry

Ex-Consultants vs. Industry Professionals

I just finished writing my monthly newsletter for my Inner Circle mentorship members. This month’s focus was on identifying and developing the skills that ex-consultants possess that industry professionals often lack. One of the recurring themes is that ex-consultants think and make decisions in a logical and quantitative way. Most industry professionals make decisions based [...]

Being Slightly Famous

Traditional career planning strategy involves going to a good school, getting a job from a big brand name company, and getting promoted. This is the premise of all academic schooling through college. But… the world has changed quite profoundly in the last 15 years. The world is more hyperconnected than ever before. This has several implications [...]

How Smart People Destroy Their Careers

The #1 way professionals with high IQs destroy their careers is by having low emotional intelligence (or “EQ” for short). The workplace is a place where both logical and emotional interactions take place between you and others. High IQ people tend to overvalue the importance of IQ and undervalue EQ. If you have ever wondered [...]

What Makes a CEO a CEO?

  Is the CEO the best engineer in a company? Usually not. Is she the best salesperson in the company? The best marketer? The best in finance? Usually not. If you look at the CEO and her top direct reports, she’s usually less technically competent in sales, marketing, finance, and engineering than the executives that [...]

Gravitas for Non-Executives

You want executives in your company to see you as a peer. This perception gives you enormous clout and credibility and is especially useful if you’re not yet an executive. To develop this kind of relationship with others, you must develop executive presence or gravitas. When you develop this ability, the room quiets down when [...]

The Importance of Executive Presence

When I was in my first year at McKinsey, one of my Engagement Managers gave me some feedback. He said, “You’re smart, you’ve got the analytics, but you come across like you’re young and inexperienced.” My response was, “Well… that’s because I AM young and inexperienced!” He said, “That’s irrelevant.” “Rather than think of yourself [...]

How to Disagree without Being Threatening

In the United States business culture, we have an idiomatic expression called “The Elephant in the Room.” The expression comes from the idea that if you were having a meeting with a bunch of colleagues and there was literally an elephant in the room, the natural response would be to say, “Oh my, hey there’s [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Going "All Out"

About 5 days ago, I was screaming my head off at home. My oldest daughter rushed into the room ready to call for an ambulance. At first she thought maybe I was having a heart attack. But then she realized I was physically just fine, but was for some inexplicable reason yelling like a crazed [...]

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