Do you sit in bed, reflecting on what you did that day, and realize all you did was work and eat? Do you get to a Sunday afternoon wondering where all of your ‘free’ time went?
To be honest, a decade ago, I was the same way. Mind you, I ‘wasted’ a lot of time playing video games, binging Netflix, or downloading and re-watching movies I had seen before. Then, I would get to a Sunday and wonder where my time went.
A decade later, I look back at all the things I have accomplished outside of work. It’s an…
I still remember the first task I worked on when I joined management consulting: they asked me to build a skeleton of a PowerPoint deck for my manager. What is a skeleton? It’s a bare-bones slide deck that has headings, but very little content. It’s the starting point for all slide decks, and what I came to realize is as important as an outline is to a book.
If you don’t know what management consulting is, you will quickly learn on the job, as I did. While driving to my first ever client interview with another consultant, I asked him…
What in the world does juggling have to do with your career? How can learning how to juggle (or at least learning the principles of juggling) help you get to the top of your organization?
Before I get there, let me share what I learned about juggling from Seth Godin:
We spend most of our time in catching mode. In dealing with the incoming. Putting out fires. Going to meetings that were called by other people. Reacting to whoever is shouting the loudest.
But if we learn a lesson from jugglers, we realize that the hard part isn’t catching, it’s…
One of my favourite topics is creativity. But not just creativity in general, but specific techniques that anybody can use to generate creative breakthroughs. One such technique is the reversal technique.
The reversal technique is simple to apply and it can be fantastic for creative breakthroughs — making decisions, solving problems, coming up with ideas, or shifting your mind. Let me demonstrate with a few examples, and then share how you might use the technique for your own creative breakthroughs.
I read a story about a man who had a job in a nice city. The job was fine, but…
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
I recently finished a re-reading of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. I saw there was a graphic novel version at Costco and couldn’t resist. It gratefully reminded me of the above quote. When I think about the quote and the different scenarios and phases of my life, I have found it to be true. But I know when I first read The Alchemist, I thought it was true too, but how?
How can you get the universe to conspire with you…
While in management consulting, I learned a valuable lesson. It’s a lesson I have since applied to all my future work. That lesson? Being strategic in building your personal brand.
I had worked before management consulting, and none of the companies I worked at before talked about the concept of a personal brand. In management consulting though, your career in consulting lives and dies on your personal brand.
A personal brand is like a product or service brand. When you think of ‘Lululemon’, you think of ‘athleisure’. When you think of ‘West Jet’ or ‘Southwest Airlines’, you might think ‘budget…
As COVID-19 forced everyone to work from home, and vaccines are allowing businesses to open up again, you might wonder whether working from home will be here to stay. What started as an experiment where everyone was forced to work from home, became a new normal.
Obviously, there are several benefits from working from home:
As a management consultant, I have written and received likely close to a hundred thousand emails. Because I have to communicate with clients, I read all of them. When I first started working and using email, I gave no thought to an email. My boss had a question? I would answer it. Did I need some information or an attachment from a coworker? My email would have the request and that’s it. I sent out (likely) terrible emails and my coworkers and bosses were forced to read through them.
Writing clear, action-oriented emails has a lot of benefits:
“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
I have been reflecting on my career, thinking about what it is that separates top performers from average ones. Is it a particular…
When I first started working, I did not know what a great employee did. What separated average or good employees from great ones? What skills did I need? I lumbered around for a while, making minimal raises, and being a rather mediocre employee before I figured it out.
Let me save you a few years and shortcut your way to being a great employee. Mind you, this is my experience working my way up from the bottom of two cut-throat big 4 professional services firms, from consultant to manager. …