thoughts on career

What Does This Face Say to You?

In every professional interaction, the other person communicates on two channels. First, the other person communicates verbally what they’re thinking. Second, the other person communicates non-verbally what he or she really means. The big insight is that in many cases, what someone says and what they mean are not always the same thing. If you [...]

Getting What You Deserve...

When I started my career, I was under the impression that in the workplace you always get what you deserve. I was naive and wrong. There are plenty of deserving people who never get the credit, promotion, or raises they deserve. Perhaps you can relate. Many years later, I realized the following truth: You don’t [...]

Past, Present, and Future

In my 20s, my mental orientation was on the here and now. I counted time in months and years. In my 40s, my mental orientation has taken on a much wider timescale. I spend as much time thinking about the past and future as I do the present. In many respects, they are one and [...]

Signaling

In about a year, my oldest daughter will begin to learn how to drive. As part of her learning process, I’ve been teaching her the various driver controls in the car, the rules of the road, and driving decision-making principles. One conversation, in particular, stood out in my mind. It was a conversation where I [...]

The Three Ways to Argue

There are three ways to argue with someone: Tell them why they are wrong Tell them why they are wrong, and why you are right Share a different perspective The first approach involves telling the other person all the ways their thinking is wrong, stupid, and clearly flawed. If you are in a debate competition, [...]

The Secret to Better Cooking

Over the last few years, I’ve been taking a number of cooking classes and have discovered a few big insights. Here’s the main one. The single biggest secret to better cooking is… Better Ingredients That’s it. On the one hand, it seems obvious. On the other hand, it can’t be that simple, can it? As [...]

Speed vs. Speed Bumps

In the United States, we have a feature in our roadways known as speed bumps. These are intentionally created bumps in the road near schools, playgrounds, and anywhere children spend time. The goal of these speed bumps is to force you to slow down the car you’re driving to provide a safe environment for children. [...]

The Delta of the Deltas

In mathematics, there’s a concept and symbol known as delta. It is represented by the following greek letter Δ that looks like a triangle. In this context, delta = change. If sales were $100 million last year, and $110 million this year, we would say the delta is $10 million. Management consultants will use the [...]

Value Creation vs. Value Capture

Whether you’re the CEO of a company or the CEO of your career, it’s your job to create value for others and to capture some of the value you create. In the case of running a company, you create a product that customers value. Customers are so excited to receive the value your product provides [...]

Being Right vs. Being Effective

Many high IQ professionals exhibit a specific behavior that helps them early in their careers but hinders them later in their careers. This behavior is the skill in being right. When you ask a smart person, “What is 2 + 2?” They will say, “4.” If their initial answer was incorrect, then they will learn [...]

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