thoughts on life

Drawing a Line

A question came up the other day during the office hours I held for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. The question was, “Do you take on a well-paying client engagement when you disagree partly with the scope of the project?” The ensuing conversation reminded me of McKinsey’s unofficial policy of turning down multi-million [...]

See, Think, Do

Several years ago, one of my clients taught me a great framework to describe how to be influential with others in the workplace. It’s a communication approach you can use to manage direct reports, manage colleagues, and even to manage your boss. The framework involves three steps: See Think Do If you can alter how [...]

Career & Life Game Changer

One of the biggest revelations I’ve learned about relationships (professional and personal), I picked up years ago from McKinsey. It was such a simple yet transformative concept. Here’s the story. At McKinsey, when I worked with a new client, I would conduct a round of initial introductory meetings with each member of the executive team. [...]

Elite University Scandal

A few days ago, the FBI charged dozens of high profile celebrity and wealthy families with attempting to use bribes to get their children admitted into elite universities, including Stanford and Yale. There’s been a lot of discussion around this topic, and I thought I’d add in my comments as well. My first (tongue-in-cheek) reaction [...]

Disagreements vs. Arguments

Respectful disagreements are extremely helpful and productive. Arguments are a complete waste of time. But wait… aren’t they the same thing? Nowhere close. When two people have a respectful disagreement, they both share their differing points of view and both are interested in hearing and understanding the other person’s point of view. In an argument, each [...]

Context Alters Perspective

Your boss walks into the conference room and is unusually harsh towards you and your colleagues. Your boss is clearly in a bad mood. At first, you might think, “Geez… he’s being such a jerk.” …and that might be true. However, let’s say you find out later that he had a family member killed in [...]

Marie Kondo is a Genius

Over the last few weeks, my kids and I have been asking each other, “Does this spark joy?” What a simple yet profound question. If you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo, she is an international home organizing sensation. Here in the United States, she has become a household name in the last 45 days. In [...]

Why It's Difficult to "Find" Your Passion

Last week, I held office hours for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. One of my members asked me for a process she could use to “find” her passion. She was having difficulty figuring it out and was looking for help. Some people are fortunate to figure out their passions early in life. My [...]

Risk Exposure vs. “Good” Outcomes

If you jump off the roof of your house and survive uninjured, was that a good decision? Or phrased more appropriately, was it a risk-free decision? Intuition would tell you that you were exposed to risk, even if you didn’t get hurt. I first learned about risk from McKinsey’s Financial Institutions practice. I spent a [...]

Better Relationships in 10 Seconds

To have better relationships at work and at home, stop criticizing, complaining about, or blaming the people in your life. I know… it’s hard. I’m working on this myself, and let’s say I’m falling short quite often (as my kids will tell me!). So what could you do instead? Make a… REQUEST. So instead of [...]

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