Outcome Obsession (Part 2)

  Success signposts, like rank and pay, generally come from others, and the precise timing of their arrival may be subject to numerous external factors well beyond your control. But the glowing satisfaction of contributing your utmost is created by you alone. It assuredly lies within your grasp, as does the recognition that will follow. I am not preaching the joy of sweating on a treadmill for only the feeling of sweat. By proceeding with the philosophy I outline, you are each day bettering your odds for successful outcomes in your vocation and life. Simply put, what I am...

Will Bill Cosby Rehabilitate Monica Lewinsky?

Girl crying
Bill Cosby’s alleged mistreatment of young women has permanently ruined his reputation as the family man of television comedy and as a leader of the African-American community whose popularity and reasonableness crossed all racial and ethnic lines. If the allegations against him are true, the blame for each and every incident falls on Cosby alone. As almost everyone agrees, the young women involved were clearly the victims. Cosby’s modus operandi was to lure the women with friendly advice, offering a potential mentoring relationship and even indicating that acting roles or creative ...

The Road Part II: Be Your Own Artisan

Be Your Own Artisan
To achieve the greatest results from the cultivation of your positive attributes, commit your best ability. Think of yourself as a worker "employed" by yourself to benefit your career, and then imagine that worker as a craftsman or an artisan, old-fashioned terms that predate our rapid-production, cloud computing age. Craftsmen and artisans are special people who blend art with the practical, and through excellence and care create wonderful things that enrich our lives. Think of potters, carpenters, masons, smiths, all cultivating their abilities through the everyday items they make. The ...

The Road

Michael Jordan in the late 1980s seemingly had every basketball skill imaginable. The NBA’s leading scorer, the game’s most exciting player, able to drive with lightning-like speed to the basket and soar above the rim for easy scores, he controlled entire games against the world’s best players. He received immense recognition in the form of his massive salary and in the number of Air Jordan sneakers bought by his fans, who made them the highest-selling athletic shoe of all time. However, in his view Jordan still lacked one crucial skill that he believed he needed to develop in order to r...

Different Strokes

I believed it remained a great opportunity and I wanted to continue pursuing it. It was early 1988, and eight months before I had been sent to London by Goldman Sachs to build an international asset-backed securities business. My co-captain in this endeavor was Tom, a top young sales specialist. Tom, however, no longer saw this as a substantial opportunity the way I did, and was having second thoughts about whether he wanted to stick with it. When the previous year we had each agreed to leave our positions in the US and move to London, the prospects appeared unlimited. A whole contin...

The Perils of Confrontation

We have all observed others who seem to be advancing their careers by methods of active confrontation or who continue to demand more with apparent results.  However, do not always believe what you hear or think you see. Often what is happening behind the scenes is far different. Remind yourself that it sounds much better and ego-supporting for someone to tell you that they received something by putting their foot down or showing that they would not be pushed around. To say they simply laid out accurate and well-supported reasons, and then politely asked for something they thought was fair, doe...

A Different Person…

Within Your Grasp
Assertiveness seems to be the buzzword hanging on everyone’s lips as the solution for career advancement. The notion that unless you aggressively assert your claim to promotions, raises, perks, bonuses and the like within any business or organization, you will not receive your due, or worse, you will see someone else take it from you, has become ingrained as the go-to advice for anyone seeking to build a successful career. Unfortunately for many who have followed this advice, being assertive is not always the right approach. Indeed, in my experience it is too often the wron...

Wisdom in the Attic

I recently cleared out some old boxes in my attic and came across a stack of yellowed papers written some forty years ago by my father-in-law. The typewritten pages consisted of a series of observations, perhaps in preparation for a book, drawn from his life in Britain prior to World War II, his time in India and Burma during the war, and his post-war career as an advertising executive. I never met him; he passed away from cancer not long after pulling these thoughts together. An important aspect of his life was his war experience. As a captain in Britain’s Indian forces, he w...