career success

Achieve More by Doing Less

In school, success is simple. Do your homework. Study hard. Get good grades. The better your grades, the greater your success. The path to success is simple and clear. In the working world, the parameters of success are quite different. In school, the more you do, the more you succeed. In the business world, the [...]

Well-Educated vs. Well-Schooled

A few years before I was born, humankind achieved a remarkable feat. We landed a human being on the moon. The lunar module spacecraft used for the lunar landing mission had a mere 4 kilobytes of memory and weighed 70 lb (32 kg). Today, I have an iPhone in my pocket that has 268,435,456 kilobytes [...]

Google Analyzes Promotions

Most people know of Google’s exceptional skill in hiring a bunch of rocket scientists to deliver incredibly useful search engine search results. Recently, they decided to data mine their own employee reviews and promotions database. The goal was to quantitatively determine what factors got people promoted in Google to become managers and leaders within the [...]

Who am I?

Ask five people who know you (but not too well) what the first words are that come to mind when they hear your name. If you were one of my five people, I would ask you, “When you hear my name, Victor Cheng, what’s the first word or words that come to mind?” Then listen. [...]

Product vs. Distribution

Most new entrepreneurs are enamored with product ideas. “I have a new idea for a product,” “a service,” or increasingly, “an app.” You hear this at cocktail parties all the time. When someone says they have a new business idea, they are almost always referring to a new product idea. But, those who actually run [...]

Leadership = Selling Your Ideas

I once heard somebody say that Leadership = Selling. It struck me as odd because I had never heard somebody say that before. While the reverse is not true (selling is not always leadership), I’ve come to the conclusion that leadership is very much about selling your ideas. If you want to build a great [...]

Responsibility vs. Fault Ratio

Fault = You created a problem due to an error you made. Responsibility = It’s your job to fix the problem. For most individual contributor roles, it is your responsibility to fix any mistakes that were your fault. I call this 1:1 responsibility to fault ratio. You clean up any messes you make. However, as [...]

Power for the Powerless

In industry, whether your ideas get taken seriously depends on more than the quality of your thoughts. If the receptionist shares an idea and the CEO shares the exact same idea, more people will take the idea seriously when it comes from the CEO. Most people intuitively grasp the last sentence to be true but [...]

Be True to Your Word

The key to having a wildly successful career and a happy life is to attract the right people towards you. At work, you want the most talented people to want to work for you. You want the highest performing executives to recruit you to be on their teams. In your personal life, you want the [...]

Overcoming Bias & Prejudice

In every country, industry, and organization, there exist two categories of people. The first category is high-status individuals. The second is low-status. Your status is determined by your ethnicity, gender, educational, achievement, and job title. If you’re in a low-status position, your ideas will automatically be perceived as less valid, less correct, and less influential [...]

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