With a Nod to the Graduate: What They Don’t Teach You in Business School

With a Nod to the Graduate: What They Don't Teach You in Business School by Laura Stack #productivity

"The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective." -- Warren Buffett, American businessman and billionaire. I received my MBA in 1991 and can safely say I didn’t learn most of what I needed to know today. As valuable as a business degree is—and it had better be, at a cost of $100,000+ for a top-notch MBA—much of the business theory doesn’t apply to my world today. Business school is like classroom training: it provides you with the frameworks, ideas, research, awareness, and tools to ideally deal with the situations you encounter in the business arena. But it can't prepare you for “the real world” and the practical application of doing it behaviorally. In fact, you're meant to figure out quite a bit on your own. … [Read more...]

A Review of Laura Vanderkam’s newest eBook: What the Most Successful People Do at Work

No matter what your field, you no doubt know a few superstars: people who somehow manage to outshine everyone else in terms of productivity, while keeping health and sanity intact. Every field has its Einsteins and Hawkings. You may even be one of them. In recent years, my colleague Laura Vanderkam has scrutinized how such superstars handle the 168 hours a week we're all gifted with, and what makes them so much more productive than most. She's reported the results not only in her bestselling 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than you Think, but also in e-books like What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. On April 23, Portfolio/Penguin will release the latest in the series, What The Most Successful People Do at Work. Like its … [Read more...]

Rising from the Ashes

In the modern business world, we sometimes tout failure as a virtue that almost inevitably leads to success. Popular examples include Thomas Edison's 1,000+ unsuccessful attempts to improve the light bulb before hitting on the right solution, and Bill Gates' unsuccessful first business. Experts tell us repeatedly to fail forward, to fail as fast as possible, to dare to fail—because it makes us smarter and better in the long run. So it was refreshing to encounter a Harvard Business School working paper called "Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship" that takes the opposite perspective.[i] The authors discovered that brand-new entrepreneurs succeeded just about as often as those who had tried before and failed (18% vs. 20%). The most successful entrepreneurs were those who had already … [Read more...]

What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend

No matter who you are, no matter what your station in life, we all get the same 1,440 minutes per day in the same seven days per week. It all works out to 168 hours weekly for the young and old, great and small, rich and poor alike. So how can it be that some of us accomplish great things with that seemingly meager amount of time, while others struggle through the week, with barely enough wiggle room to take a deep breath? Well, as it turns out, the super-productive aren't superhuman—just very careful with our most precious natural resource. It all boils down to effective time management; as I often point out, time management is really self-management. Despite our fondest fantasies, we'll never be able to actually manage time itself, or move a snippet from last week to this week, or … [Read more...]

Personal Productivity and Strategic Career Planning

"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." -- Yogi Berra. "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." -- William Jennings Bryan. "The secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in the mind." -- Henry David Thoreau. Your company has a strategic plan for success. Do you? You should, if you expect to maximize your personal productivity and create success in the long term. Business is no place for flying by the seat of your pants. While you'll want to exercise flexibility in your career, moving forward without a firm destination in mind wastes time and energy, and it may leave you too unfocused to accomplish much of … [Read more...]