success in life

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 [...]

The Gift of Failure

“Failure” always has a gift. The gift is an opportunity to learn a lesson. The challenge with failure is it feels just awful. And when you feel awful, you’re hardly in the mood to learn. But this is a mistake. You’ve just paid your emotional tuition. The lesson is sitting right in front of you [...]

The Curse of Success

Success teaches you virtually nothing. The real learning comes from the the micro and macro “failures” (I prefer the term feedback opportunities) that preceded the success. Success can be a curse. This occurs when you mistakenly conclude you have nothing else to learn. I see this with some new Ivy League graduates. I see this [...]

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 [...]

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