Articles

Haas Class of 2004 Happy Hour

April 26, 2019

Casual catchup for the Evening / Weekend MBA Class of 2004 from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. (Bart/MUNI: Montgomery, Caltrains 4th)

Read More
New Job starting day or date circled on a calendar with a red pen or marker

How to Search for a Job

July 18, 2017

Nick Corcodilos is one of my favorite sources for advice on job hunting. Leveraging his experience as a best-in-class headhunter, he lends his considerable talents to pulling back the curtain on the absurdity of corporate hiring — and the job-search industrial complex that has risen around it. He doesn’t pull punches and he’s almost always good for a smile or two as well. His weekly newsletter is a never-miss for me.

This week he continues his insightful critique of LinkedIn with illuminating examples of how people commit career suicide in a futile attempt to find a job.

Read More

Bring Out the Stories That Are Hiding in Your Resume

February 22, 2017

Every resume tells a story. Actually, if you do it right, every resume tells four to seven stories, but I’m getting ahead of my self.

Getting hired is first and foremost, a sales job. Selling anything is hard, and selling yourself is the hardest. This is what makes polishing your resume such an art, and interviewing so difficult. Somewhere, somehow you have to convince a handful of people that you are the perfect person for the job. What do you say? How much detail do you include?

The answer is to turn each of your career experiences into a story — complete with a story-teller’s arc.

Read More
A random array of multi-colored dots of various sizes

Leadership and Diversity: Making the Most of the Mix

April 24, 2015

Most people know that diversity in their organizations is important. That is, most people have a vague sense that more diversity on their teams would lead to more innovation, higher creativity, stronger engagement, etc. But did you also know that more diversity leads to better business results?

Read More

Announcing the Thinking, Fast and Slow Book Club

August 15, 2014

Beginning the week September 01, a number of smart, curious, and ambitious subscribers to the email list are digging in to read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. You can join too!

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and behavioral economist who studies the psychology of decision making. He shared the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002.

Thinking, Fast and Slow first came to my attention last fall when Tom Peters tweeted,

I believe unequivocally that Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow is the most important book of the last 25 years for EVERY professional.

Read More
Rugby players during a rough play

Play Hard. Play Fair. Nobody Hurt. Simple rules for great meetings and teams

March 7, 2014

Working together is hard. Running an effective meeting can be even harder. One of the challenges is that everyone wants to be heard. To make it even more challenging, not everyone speaks up.

Setting a few ground rules is one of the surest ways to get everyone engaged while producing amazing results. Let it be known that you expect full engagement and everyone to be pulling in the same direction. My favorite set of ground rules comes out of the “New Games” movement from the 70’s. Their motto was Play Hard. Play Fair. Nobody Hurt. I can’t think of a better set of guiding principles for great meetings and vibrant teams.

Read More
Pictogram of two rowers

Build the Team First

February 19, 2014

In typical entrepreneurial circles — business schools, incubators, venture capital firms — nascent company leaders are relentlessly challenged with two questions:

  1. What is your idea or product?
  2. Who is your market?

While these questions are important, they fail to paint the whole picture. No product makes it to market as originally conceived. Further, no company survives for very long with one product. This means that, even during the earliest days of a company’s existence, there is something more fundamental to a startup’s success than the product idea.

Read More
Portrait of Jennifer Kahnweiler

The Rise of the Introverts

February 19, 2014

Jennifer Kahnweiler was interviewed by the American Management Association.

I am often asked why we are hearing so much about introverts. “They are everywhere”, someone told me recently. No, they have always been everywhere but now you are noticing their existence … I call it the “rise of the introverts”. Part of it is the influence of the new wave of leadership where people are not command and control anymore. There’s more research coming out that says that people who are more humble, quiet and calm tend to get more results without a lot of noise, with those loud rattling of the sabers.

Read More
Cover of "To Sell is Human" by Daniel Pink

To Sell Is Human

February 14, 2014

Daniel Pink is a master of the art of the amplification of curated research. Like his kindred spirit, Malcolm Gladwell, Pink has taken keen insights in real life, organized them into a theme, woven the theme together with interesting and germane research, and capped it all off with regular doses of great advice.

This is not a book about sales — at least not in the classic sense. Instead, To Sell Is Human is a book for people who want to improve other’s lives and make the world a better place. I’m guessing that includes just about all of us.

Read More

Employee Talent Hiding in Plain Sight

February 11, 2014

We have a tendency to think that past performance is an indicator of future results. And yet, we know this isn’t true in other realms. The financial industry warns us with every earnings call and SEC filing that past performance is not an indicator of future results. However, in building our organizations and in leading others we make exactly this mistake.

We can use Matthew McConaughey’s career as a lens to explore how someone’s potential might be hiding in plain sight. McConaughey had some early career success and seemed to be coasting on a wave of celebrity. He was popular, no doubt, but deemed only a mediocre talent by most critics.

Read More