Tag Archives | careers

When Should You Start Your Own Business?

One of my very bright young friends in his early thirties occasionally worries that he’s let too much time go by and that he should have started his own company several years ago. It’s a very prevalent idea, but it’s pure myth. So what is the average age of the typical entrepreneur when he/she starts […]

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When Your Best Career Theory Is Wrong. Dead Wrong!

As a research-based consultant, I’m used to getting my ideas tweaked by new research. After all, I think of myself as a fairly flexible, open guy, so a small adjustment to my theories and ideas is usually illuminating. But unknown to Harvard’s Rosabeth Kanter, she took a Shillelagh, a big club to one of my big […]

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Why Should You Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer?

It wasn’t the Godfather’s Michael Corleone who first uttered this well-known dictum. Actually, it came from Machiavelli in “The Prince,” the definitive primer for how to be a dictator. You’d think that with my easy-going optimism, I’d never write a blog on this subject.  But, au contraire! As a manager or leader it is inevitable […]

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The Marshmallow Test. . . .

Or, how innate is willpower? Back in the 1960s, Walter Mischel created a simple, but ingenious, experiment to study delayed gratification. The now famous “marshmallow test” presented a group of four and five-year-old kids from Stanford University’s nursery school with a difficult challenge. They were left alone with a treat of marshmallows. They were told they […]

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Gossip Isn’t Just for the Tabloids

I’m not at all certain why gossip has acquired such a decidedly shady reputation. But before you send me off to Dante’s 8th Inferno, reserved solely for management and executive development consultants, let me explain my thinking. Two-thirds of all conversations, whether in business or otherwise, are about social relations. Most of which can be […]

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Nothing Really Works All the Time

Ten years ago the Wharton School of Business named Andy Grove the most influential CEO of the previous 25 years. Yale’s Jeffrey Garten called him a “superb model for future generations of CEOs.” Beyond his obvious success at Intel, why the accolades? Harvard’s Richard Tedlow answered the question best: “Grove has escaped natural selection by […]

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Intelligence Is Still Alive and Well

Although, on occasion, I doubt it. Still these excerpts from two great commencement addresses are salutary. The first excerpt might be entitled something like “How to deal with liberals who act like the Tea Party.” And the second, “C’mon! Passion is an obsolete concept for careers.” Of the ten or so excerpts in Sunday’s Times, […]

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On Target: Zakaria’s Sarah Lawrence Commencement Address

It’s obvious, says Fareed Zakaria, that the conventional wisdom regarding a college degree is that a student should major in computer science, code at night, start a company, and take it public. Or, if you want to branch out, you could major in mechanical engineering. What you’re not supposed to do is get a liberal arts […]

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Are You Ready for Your 3rd Act?

I’m delighted to welcome Bev Scott as my first guest blogger of 2011. Consultant, author, and coach, Bev has been one of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of Organization Development. A few years ago, Bev (and her collaborator Patricia Cavanaugh) started a new business venture called The 3rd Act, focused on helping […]

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