Jeffrey Pfeffer

If you have technical skills without influence skills, you’re not going to go anywhere cause you can’t get anything done. If you have influence skills without technical skills, you may go places but you’ll get the wrong things done. So you really need both.

Tony Robbins

The biggest illusion people share with me is “I started a business so I can have more free time.” That’s like saying you had a child so you could have more free time. That is dumb, right? It’s another reason people fail. My view is that if your business is your mission, if it’s truly something you love and live for, it’s an extension of you, it’s … [ Read more ]

Tera Allas, Bill Schaninger

Research shows that as people gain power, they lose the ability to judge a situation accurately, particularly with regard to how others will perceive their actions. They also lose some of their ability to empathize with people in positions of less relative power. Organizational leaders can tackle this tendency directly. While training courses for soft skills—such as providing and receiving feedback—need to become a more … [ Read more ]

Carter Cast

The popularity of assessment tools designed to measure a person’s talents in dozens of competency areas indicates that both companies and employees are taking a positive approach to on-the-job feedback. […] There are two problems with companies’ excessive focus on the positive. First, not all strengths are of equal importance. What you’re good at might not be what your firm needs you to be … [ Read more ]

Sally Carson

There’s a big difference between modes of support that a mentor offer, whether it’s championing, mirroring, coaching, or advising. It’s easy to jump straight into giving advice based on our own experience, but often that’s not what your mentee needs. Maybe she just needs someone to say ‘Keep going, you’ve totally got this!’”

Chris Hicken

I think people need two different categories of mentors: One that’s three to five years ahead of you who’s doing the job that you want to have next and a mentor who’s much older and has already achieved the level of success you’re after. Mentors who are only three to five years ahead can sink into the nitty-gritty tactics and help you tackle the problems … [ Read more ]

Tyler Odean

People will remember a totally random sample of the information you give them about what you do. It won’t be the best sample. It won’t be the summary you wish you could hand them. It’s a random set of data. Because they’ll remember random parts, you want to construct a message that — when sampled at any point — reinforces your argument and remains persuasive. … [ Read more ]

Sasha Orloff

People want to help, but they can only help so much if you yourself don’t know where you’re headed. With a more specific objective, you can much more effectively maximize your network.

Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith

Trying to master every detail of your job in order to become an expert is a great strategy for keeping the job you have. But if your goal is to move to a higher level, your expertise is probably not going to get you there. In fact, such mastery often serves to trap you in your current role. […] Of course, we’re not advocating sloppy … [ Read more ]

John K. Coyle

All of us — individuals, teams, and organizations — have weaknesses. These are not skill gaps; those can be corrected with learning. Weaknesses are inherent deficiencies of talent or capability that do not change even after aggressive efforts to improve them. Pride and our ingrained work ethic may cause us to deny our weaknesses, but acceptance is the first step toward designing for strength.

[…] … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

[Books often] say that you have a limited period to achieve full productivity as a leader and that if you don’t make it in time, you are doomed. The evidence doesn’t support these claims: 92 percent of external and 72 percent of internal hires take far more than 90 days to reach full productivity.14 Sixty-two percent of external and 25 percent of internal hires admit … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Every leader should mount a transition in two equally important stages: first take stock and then take action by asking questions about five basic dimensions of leadership—the strategy and operation of the business or function, the corporate culture, the team, the leader herself or himself, and other stakeholders that need to be managed. Beware of generic answers because every leader’s starting point is different. For … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Organizations most often try to help newly appointed leaders by supplying them with mentors or informal “buddy” networks. Yet only 47 percent of external hires and 29 percent of internal ones find these helpful. Standard orientation programs are the second most common approach, but only 19 percent of externally and 11 percent of internally recruited executives consider them effective. Some methods—for instance, tailored executive coaching … [ Read more ]

Frank Herbert

Any one response to the universe, however powerful, becomes inappropriate with time and change. Those who become utterly dependent on one means of mastery will find themselves unable to cope with the future.

Todd Davis

What I see time and time again at work is that we confuse activity with results. We get to the end of the day or the end of the week or the end of our life, and we’ve been very busy, we’ve been very exhausted, and we’ve been doing a lot of things. But have we been doing those things that really matter or make … [ Read more ]

Ruth Simmons

[Students] should never assume that they can predict what experiences will teach them the most about what they value, or about what their life should be. You have to be open and alert at every turn to the possibility that you’re about to learn the most important lesson of your life.

Scott Crabtree

A lot of people believe that multitasking makes them even more efficient at what they’re doing. Science shows otherwise, in dramatic fashion. Most importantly, multitasking makes attaining flow impossible. That’s the happiest, most productive state of mind, and you can get into it simply by focusing completely for 20 minutes or more on a challenging but possible task.

Scott Crabtree

There’s a common assumption that you will be happy when you are successful. But the reverse is actually true, and not just anecdotally. Hard neurological science supports the idea that happy people have more capacity to succeed. And beyond that, that happiness is not a genetic mandate, or a product of circumstance. It’s a choice.

Ingvar Kamprad

The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow.

Deepak Malhotra

I don’t know of anybody who has been extremely successful when they’ve taken on something much bigger than they’re used to without a good dose of humility. Humility is what forces you to be prepared. Humility is what forces you to say “I don’t know everything” or “I don’t fully understand all these people, so I’m going to have to listen rather than just tell … [ Read more ]