Blog

Category: Career Advice

The Power of the Word “Yet”

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Communication, Success

Suppose your boss pulls you aside and tells you: “You don’t have the right skills for the project.”

Then suppose a different situation, where your boss tells you: “You don’t have the right skills for the project, yet” or “You don’t yet have the connections to make this deal happen.”

The word yet makes all the difference in the world. In the first example, you feel like a dud. In the examples with “yet,” you feel like you may not be ready now, but you could be in the future.

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Success with a Moral Compass

Filed under: Career Advice, Decision Making, Good Habits, Success

Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. You will never see success without hard work, determination and the ability to make tough decisions. Sometimes you have to be ruthless for the sake of the company, your employees and, of course, yourself.

But it’s equally as important to have a strong moral code and to conduct yourself in an honorable, honest and forthright manner. A reputation for fair play and integrity is priceless. Here are some principles that I have embraced while building three successful companies—with the third, RadiumOne, hopefully on its path to billion-dollar status.

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To Beat the Chaos, Take a Thinking Day

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Efficiency, Leadership and Management

One of the most under-discussed elements of effective leadership is how fast a leader must learn to stay at peak performance. Most successful leaders never stop learning. In fact, they are voracious learners who are always trying to find ways to improve and enhance their own performance and that of those around them.

I have found that one of the simplest tools for learning and enhancing my performance is to regularly reflect on how to spend my time. Every six months I go through a process where I step back, contemplate what I have learned over the previous six months, and then adjust my focus to ensure I am spending my time and energy in ways where I can create the greatest impact.

Here are three concrete practices I recommend to help refocus and optimize your time for continuous inner learning:

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The Four Qs of Career Success

Filed under: Career & Money, Career Advice, Goals, Success

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates there are 1,791,000 bachelor degree graduates in the class of 2013, many of whom will be entering the job market for the first time. At PwC, we will hire more than 7,000 new associates and interns this year. And this month we will promote 5,400 of our people to the next level. As these professionals launch or accelerate their careers, I’m frequently asked what it takes to be successful.

Once upon a time, I may have said it simply comes down to hard work (sprinkled with a bit of luck and sponsorship). It’s what my parents drilled into me from an early age. While I’ve certainly worked hard over the course of my 28-year career, hard work, it turns out, was just a small part of the equation. I attribute success to the development of these four attributes.

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Breaking Through The Wall

Filed under: Career Advice, Focus, Strategy, Your Career

Do you hit the wall at work? You know, that feeling at maybe 3pm where you feel almost frozen from your head to your toes, unable to focus, mind and body wanting to stop or scurry to a diversion of any kind. From art to athletics, from the studio to the office, hitting the wall happens to all of us. What do we do when it happens? Stop running? Slap the writing tablet shut? Tune out the work and tune in social media posts, Youtube or television? Maybe. I prefer to engage one of the following strategies to break through the wall and discover what’s on the other side.

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Don’t Be A Robot

Filed under: Behavior in the Workplace, Career Advice, Good Habits, Happiness

Have you gone a little too rigid? The formalities of the professional world may leave you stuck in a web of thoughtlessness.

Personalized and thoughtful professional habits seem to have fallen by the wayside since the digital technology takeover. The fast-paced nature of our workplaces requires instantaneous communication that’s starting to leave us stiff.

Drop your robotic ways and save your professional image with these thoughtful tips:

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To Understand Leadership, Study “Followership”

Filed under: Career Advice, Leadership and Management, Professional Development, Your Career

I was at a conference with 50 or so chief learning officers last week and we had a number of discussions about leadership.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of models, consultants, books, and assessments for leadership, this group hardly agreed on anything.

We did agree that leadership development is a critically important challenge, and we also agreed that most leadership development programs are too fragmented and not focused enough on the company’s specific, current business strategy.

That is, most leadership development and coaching focuses on “rounding out edges,” helping leaders identify their “towering strengths” and both leveraging them while identifying our derailers or blind spots.

I walked away with some interesting take-aways I wanted to share.

In order to study great leadership you have to study great “followership.” Great leaders naturally attract great followers. Who do we follow and why?

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9 Career Lessons From Millennials

Filed under: Best Advice, Career Advice, Insights, Professional Development

Last week I had the chance to sit down with a group of college students and new graduates to pick their brains on how kids these days are starting their careers. One of the most exciting things about working at Collegefeed is the access to millennials from all walks of life. Collegefeed’s mission is to help every single new graduate get hired, regardless of whether they’re engineering majors from Stanford or literature grads from tiny private schools.

Despite facing skyrocketing tuition fees and a pretty scary unemployment rate, what struck me most was the enthusiasm, conviction and hope they all had in taking that first step. As we spoke, they shared insight into how today’s first-time jobseekers approach the job hunt.

Click here to read the rest on The Huffington Post >> 

The Best Talent Is Bringing Out Talent In Others

Filed under: Big Ideas & Innovation, Career Advice, Leadership and Management, Social Impact

“A superior leader is a person who can bring ordinary people together to achieve extraordinary results.” Many years ago, an entrepreneur told me that. He was right.

But this isn’t just true of leaders. It’s true of all human beings.

I’ve come to believe that the most valuable talent is being able to recognize hidden skills that others possess. Why? There’s only one you, and you only have so much time. But if you can bring out the best in others, you gain remarkable leverage.

So very hard…

I’m not just talking about recognizing talent. I’m talking about being able to recognize a look in someone’s eyes that tells you something valuable is burning inside that person.

I’m talking about realizing that if you take Jake’s drive, mix it with Julie’s intelligence and Dave’s creativity, then you will transform three mildly effective people into a spectacular team.

I’m talking about looking past what’s “wrong” with others, and instead seeing what’s special about them in very pragmatic and actionable terms.

How do you do this?

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There Are So Many Ways To Be Smart

Filed under: Career Advice, Personality, Professional Development, Skills

During a continuing ed course when I was an equity analyst at Merrill Lynch, the instructor observed, “You’re really good at math.”

For those of you that know anything about equity research, you’d expect that I wittily riposted with something like, “Darn straight, I am. I eat financial models for breakfast, spit out stock calls at lunch.”

Instead, after graciously (I hope!) saying thank you, my internal conversation went more like “Really? Could he be right? Could it be true that I’m good at math?” Because I can pinpoint the moment I started to believe I was bad at math. This script, so to speak, began in fifth grade, when math involved word problems. In sixth grade, when my teacher told me to stop asking questions and just figure the question out on my own, and I thought I couldn’t, I finalized the script. It read: “I’m bad at math.”

The “I’m bad at math” script wouldn’t be so problematic except that girls and women in the United States have a tendency to believe they are bad at math. Comparatively, boys and men don’t appear to be as intimidated by math. Meanwhile, we live in a society
whose systems and social structures value math skills. The script was especially problematic for me, specifically, because it wasn’t entirely true.

But I digress.

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