I’ve only been in a Fortune 500 boardroom once. I will never forget it. The conference room had an incredible view of Manhattan. The boardroom table itself was a gorgeous mahogany table that seated 60 people. I’ve never seen a conference room table so large before. The table was so large that every seating position [...]

Over the years, I’ve paid a lot of attention to teaching methods. I’ve done so in my role as a teacher in my work and also as a parent. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is the value of learning the fundamentals of any domain. Whether it’s math, how to swing a baseball bat, or [...]

Let’s take a look at the following two sentences: I can’t do that. I can’t do that… yet. Only one word separates these two sentences. But, they have profoundly different meanings.  The first sentence, “I can’t do that,” implies a permanent state that can’t be altered. By adding the word “yet,” as in “I can’t [...]

Sometimes, your decisions do not have the positive outcome you wished for. It’s tempting to think that a bad outcome = a bad decision. This is an inaccurate over-simplification. It’s true that some decisions are outright mistakes. Other times, a decision is merely a judgment call. Being rude and disrespectful to your clients is always [...]

Like a scientist uses an experiment to test a hypothesis, a consultant uses a framework called an issue tree. An issue tree lays out a set of logical conditions that, if proven correct, prove the hypothesis correct. The term “issue tree” comes from the way this framework looks when diagrammed on paper – like a [...]

One of the things I tell my kids (that they hate) is that life isn’t always fair… deal with it. Sure, life should be fair. But, it often is not. Some people die well before their time. That’s not fair. Some people win the DNA lottery whereas others don’t. That’s not fair. Some people get [...]

In some sports, they track a statistic known as an “unforced error.” I’ve always found this concept intriguing. When a competitor does something exceptional and beats you, that’s a “forced” error. It’s when your opponent hits a nearly impossible cross-court groundstroke to win the set. It’s when you throw the batter your absolute best pitch [...]

Success = Being good at something. Satisfaction = Doing something that’s personally meaningful to you. The two are not the same thing. There also is not a causal relationship between the two. Success does not automatically bring you satisfaction. Most people assume such a relationship when that’s not always the case. The key driver of [...]

A wise person once told me, “Making mistakes is how we human beings learn.” I spent most of my life trying to avoid mistakes and then beating myself up when I inevitably made them.  In hindsight, this was terribly arrogant of me, counterproductive, and a difficult way to live. It was arrogant because to never [...]

Over the years, I’ve homeschooled my kids in math. In the process of learning teaching methods for math, I came across the term “scaffolding.” In construction, “scaffold” refers to the temporary metal frame with large wood planks that surrounds a construction site. The scaffold gives construction workers a place to stand while working on the [...]

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