Ginia Bellafante

Modern capitalism’s fundamental myth is that acquiring money is the equivalent of achieving success.

How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa

When the godfather of management consulting landed its biggest contract ever in Africa, it made the worst mistake in its storied nine-decade history.

How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them

Adam Bryant has interviewed 525 chief executives through his years writing the Corner Office column. Here’s what he has learned.

Networking is Overrated

It’s true that networking can help you accomplish great things. But this obscures the opposite truth: Accomplishing great things helps you develop a network. If you make great connections, they might advance your career. If you do great work, those connections will be easier to make. Let your insights and your outputs — not your business cards — do the talking.

Pedro J. Pizarro

Human beings are incredibly perceptive. And they seem to be more perceptive when they look at people above them than when they look down.

Adam Bryant

I believe it’s time to give the narrative about whether men and women lead differently a rest. Yes, we need to keep talking and writing about why there are so few women in the top ranks. But this trope about different styles of leadership among men and women seems past its expiration date.

And while we’re at it, could everyone agree to drop the predictable questions … [ Read more ]

Adam Bryant

Leaders need humility to know what they don’t know, but have the confidence to make a decision amid the ambiguity. A bit of chaos can help foster creativity and innovation, but too much can feel like anarchy. You need to be empathetic and care about people, but also be willing to let them go if they’re dragging down the team. You have to create a … [ 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.

Bill Green

You sacrifice and you’re a victim, or you sacrifice because it’s the right thing to do and you have pride in it. Huge difference. Simple thing. Huge difference.

Michel Feaster

The best cultural lists are the behaviors you want to cultivate. The problem with values like respect and courage is that everybody interprets them differently. They’re too ambiguous and open to interpretation. Instead of uniting us, they can create friction.

Tae Hea Nahm

No matter what people say about culture, it’s all tied to who gets promoted, who gets raises and who gets fired. You can have your stated culture, but the real culture is defined by compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what’s valued in the organization, and that … [ Read more ]

How to Become a C.E.O.? The Quickest Path Is a Winding One

New evidence shows that a mix of skills, especially technology skills, counts more than simply long experience in one specialty.

David Brooks

We don’t decide about life; we’re captured by life. In the major spheres, decision-making, when it happens at all, is downstream from curiosity and engagement. If we really want to understand and shape behavior, maybe we should look less at decision-making and more at curiosity. Why are you interested in the things you are interested in? Why are some people zealously seized, manically attentive and … [ Read more ]

David Brooks

The sociologist Daniel Bell once argued that capitalism would undermine itself because it encouraged hedonistic short-term values for consumers while requiring self-disciplined long-term values in its workers.

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions.

How to Gauge a C.E.O.’s Value? Hint: It’s Not the Share Price

Everybody knows that chief executives receive bounteous pay as a matter of course. Less discernible, though, is who actually earned their pay the most by increasing the value of the companies they run by a commensurate amount. Such performers are not to be confused with executives who work to propel their company’s stock price.

The most common performance metrics used by companies can be problematic. … [ Read more ]

Laszlo Bock

Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure. They, instead, commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot or I didn’t get the resources or the market moved.

Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee

This is the sad reality in workplaces around the world: Women help more but benefit less from it. In keeping with deeply held gender stereotypes, we expect men to be ambitious and results-oriented, and women to be nurturing and communal. When a man offers to help, we shower him with praise and rewards. But when a woman helps, we feel less indebted. She’s communal, right? … [ Read more ]

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

Your shopping habits reveal even the most personal information—like when you’re going to have a baby.

How to Get a Job at Google

According to Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, the five traits most predictive of success in the workplace are:

  1. General cognitive ability (not I.Q. but learning ability; the ability to process on the fly, to pull together disparate bits of information)
  2. Leadership – in particular emergent leadership as opposed to traditional leadership. Traditional leadership is, were you president of the chess club?…We don’t care.

[ Read more ]