In difficult times, it helps enormously to have psychological resilience against unexpected obstacles, stressors, and uncertainty. If today’s world doesn’t qualify as unexpected and unusual, I don’t know what would. Every problem you face now and for the rest of your life occurs at two levels. The first level is the functional problem. The second [...]

There is a simple principle the underlies the relationship between client and consulting firm. It is something I call the uncertainty arbitrage. While uncertainty is self-explanatory, if you’re not from a finance background, the concept of arbitrage may be new to you. In its usual context, arbitrage is a financial trading strategy design to exploit goods that are inefficiently priced. [...]

I find strategy concepts that I would typically use in the business realm are often surprisingly useful when moved to determine a strategy for one’s life and vice versa. One idea, in particular, I’ve been thinking about over the years is developing a strategy to “win” as opposed to one designed to avoid loss. The [...]

Following is an email I received from an F1Y who has encountered what I see as a big problem in the first three months at the firm. Question: Like many of your mentees, you are the reason why I have my current job at [XXXX], a boutique management consulting firm in [U.S. state].  Coming from my previous [...]

Today, I’m going to cover something different. I’m to going to explain how to be one of the 500 most powerful people in America… to be a U.S. Congressman (or woman). Actually, I’ll explain a behind-the-scenes look of how one such person came to power — and how the underlying lessons are applicable to any [...]

One of the biggest jokes about working in industry is how many stupid useless meetings one “must” attend. Whether you are a low-ranking member of your team or the CEO, here are several strategies to stop wasting your time and everyone else’s. 1) Define the objective of a meeting. If a meeting has no objective, [...]

In a recent article, I wrote about an interesting application of the 80/20 rule as it applies to musical songwriting. I had no idea it would generate so much backlash. There are so many lessons to be learned and taught from the response. I thought it would be instructive to go through it all. As a [...]

The majority of the time, it pays to be an “A” player — a superstar achiever — in your company. However, there are some times when being an A player is a liability. In a moment, I will share with you the specific circumstances where being an A player is problematic. My intent is not [...]

I spend the bulk of my time in my career either learning, teaching, or troubleshooting. I just got off the phone with a new client and had a small epiphany. During the call, I essentially gave away one of my secrets to one of my new clients. We were discussing the concept of idea transplantation. [...]

My favorite quote from the 2014 Superbowl was, “Why Not You?” It was a saying attributed to the father of Russell Wilson, quarterback of the 2014 champion Seattle Seahawks. The quote was referenced by the sports commentators and again by Wilson in a post-game interview. It was something Wilson’s father said to him many years ago when [...]

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