success in life

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 [...]

Success Is Simple: Show Up

American movie director Woody Allen says, “80% of success is showing up.” For most of my career, I thought this statement massively oversimplified the path to success. However through many life experiences, I think there’s a surprising amount of truth in the statement. The reality is that most people simply don’t show up for many [...]

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 Secret to Building Relationships

  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ability to interact with other people. People skills are incredibly valuable, both in your career and personal life. One factor that gets in the way is feeling intimidated by other people because of their role, background, or another factor. I’ll give you an example from my [...]

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 — [...]

How to Make a First or Lasting Impression

If you want to make an impressive first impression with someone, show them how smart, brilliant, and accomplished you are. Share with them your resume, income, and job title. If you want to make a lasting impression, treat them with kindness. I have met hundreds of very accomplished, wicked smart, and talented people over the [...]

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