Monthly Archives: June 2013

Communication skills exercises, part 11: Quick and dirty escapes from conversation lulls

on June 30, 2013 in Blog, Exercises, Tips

[This post is part of a series on Communication Skills Exercises for Business and Life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.] Don’t you hate getting stuck in a conversation lull? Neither person knows what to say. The conversation loses momentum. If you just met the person, you start to[…] Keep reading →

How failure creates success

on June 29, 2013 in Awareness, Blog, Education

Normally I don’t like just posting someone else’s work, but I saw this image the other day and found the model it suggests so simple and useful I couldn’t help posting it. I’ve found and often say the people who succeed use the word “failure” like other people do, but it doesn’t mean the same thing to them. It means something positive. Not even a necessary evil, but part of[…] Keep reading →

A question to ask all the time: “Is this making my life better”

on June 28, 2013 in Blog, Tips

I watch my share of television. I eat my share of unhealthy food. I find plenty of ways to waste my time. But I’m decreasing those things all the time. I think a lot of people decide what to do or not based on the thing or activity in question. Will that chocolate cake taste good? Will I enjoy watching that show? Do I want to go to that party?[…] Keep reading →

Columbia’s 2013 Commencement

on June 27, 2013 in Blog, Education

Last month Columbia invited me to walk in its big commencement for the twentieth anniversary of graduating college there. I don’t often get to dress in my medieval-looking PhD cap and gown, so I accepted. If you’ve never seen a Columbia commencement, it’s a great, stately affair with tens of thousands of graduating students and their families, all the more so when you realize how few spaces like its campus[…] Keep reading →

Leadership and United States’ spying

on June 26, 2013 in Blog, Freedom, Leadership, NorthKorea

I’d like to look at some headlines from a leadership perspective. I don’t intend for today’s post to be political. Governments have needed secrecy and spying since before Sun Tzu’s The Art of War over two thousand years ago. People will also oppose governments that overreach their influence into their lives. Different people oppose different levels of intrusion so that the more a government intrudes the more people will oppose[…] Keep reading →

“Needs as understood”: How to start sales presentations — and conversations where you want to influence someone

on June 25, 2013 in Blog, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Tips

I’ve written before about a student group from Columbia Business School I still contribute to long after graduation called InSITE that promotes entrepreneurship and connects students at several schools including Columbia, NYU, Harvard, and Stanford to entrepreneurs. A recent post on InSITE’s blog by Lukasz Strozek, Stanford Business School 2014, described a challenge common in product development and entrepreneurship. It reminded me of a great solution I’ll write below applicable[…] Keep reading →

Google, strategy, and what your strategy says about you

on June 24, 2013 in Blog, Freedom, Leadership

I’ve read a few articles recently how people are using search engines that track you less than Google in light of the spying. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for a while since I find Google so spooky. Nobody is challenging in Google’s dominance, but competition is increasing. Its search results aren’t as good as Google’s, but I prefer it, as I’ll explain. Nearly every successful company has a strategy or it[…] Keep reading →