success in life

Control the Control-ables

There are two types of jobs in this world — task-oriented jobs and outcome-oriented jobs. A task-oriented sales position might require you to do the following in a single day: Make 120 sales phone calls Deliver 12 phone presentations Write 2 proposals Get 1 contract signed If you reliably do these proven tasks, you will [...]

Be True to Your Word

The key to having a wildly successful career and a happy life is to attract the right people towards you. At work, you want the most talented people to want to work for you. You want the highest performing executives to recruit you to be on their teams. In your personal life, you want the [...]

Circle of Influence

In planning your career, you’ll be faced with a key decision… who do you allow to be close enough to influence your career thinking? I call this deciding on your Circle of Influence. This is a profoundly strategic question. When you keep people outside of your circle, it means you’ve made a conscious choice not [...]

Thoughts on Character

Character is who you are when nobody is looking and you can get away with anything. Character consists of two things: 1) Your values – what you deem important in your life; 2) Your integrity – the extent to which your choices and actions in life are consistent with your values. If I say I [...]

The Importance of Situational Awareness

A friend of mine flies airplanes as a hobby. As a smart person, he doesn’t like taking unnecessary risks. Every month he reads a monthly publication that includes the forensic analysis of every plane crash that has happened in the United States. Unlike car crashes that aren’t always investigated, the Federal government investigates every plane [...]

The Self-Inflicted Wound

In most of my work, I focus on helping a client overcome some external obstacle getting in the way of his or her goals. These obstacles include competitors, shifts in customer needs, or a change in the economic environment. During this work, I often stumble across something I call the “self-inflicted wound.” This happens when [...]

One Hour per Day

Two young men graduated from college together 20 years ago. Both men came from similar backgrounds, had similar intellects, and similar skills. Twenty years later, one of those men had progressed to be a mid-level manager in his company, while the other became the company’s CEO. While this particular story is fictitious, it does prompt [...]

The Competence / Incompetence Paradox

One of the great paradoxes of being competent at something is the willingness to be temporarily incompetent at it first. I am often perceived as an expert, teacher or mentor. I find this perception others have of me quite ironic because day-to-day all I ever feel like is a student that’s constantly learning. Anything I’ve [...]

Fatigue & Decision Making

I don’t think I’ve ever made a good decision when I’m exhausted and it’s late at night. Fatigue clouds judgment. Fatigue causes hormones and brain neurotransmitters to fluctuate out of optimal ranges. This in turn causes a cascade of consequences, including excessive pessimism, imbalanced thinking, and lack of clarity. So if you’re up late thinking [...]

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 [...]

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