Tag: J. Mike Smith

[Life Back West] December 2013 – What Would Agnes Do?

Italianate Victorian Painted Lady in San Franc...Over 70, she summoned me from across Liberty Street with a wave of her hand as I wondered what a stranger was doing motioning to me. Newly moved from Chicago, it was definitely not something that would happen in the Windy City unless the person was psychotic.

She has been dead for over a decade and I still remember the first time we met as if it was yesterday. Over 70, she summoned me from across Liberty Street with a wave of her hand as I wondered what a stranger was doing motioning to me. Newly moved from Chicago, it was definitely […]

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What Would Santa Say?

Santa Checks the Naughty or Nice List

Gary Allan Hertzberg, the American musician known professionally as Gary Allan, has a song line of  “Let’s be naughty and save Santa the trip.“ For the “naughty or nice” standard, it’s a pretty good way to gauge behavior, and one for all of us (you too) to follow. Exemplary behavior in one person – think Nelson Mandela […]

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Where is Jonah Lehrer?

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It happens: we screw up. With any luck we own up to any mistakes and move on. Life continues, the metaphorical business version of an invisible scarlet letter and all. Jonah Lehrer, whose gifts as a writer (best sellers such as Proust was a Neuroscientist,  How We Decide, and Imagine as well as writing for Wired and The […]

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[Life Back West] October 2013 – Kismet?

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“Kismet” the CEO asked? “Yes, kismet,” I said. “The not-so-accidental fact that I’m working with someone who has some of the same strengths and challenges that I have. The good news? I know them well.” The CEO’s direct report was the client, someone I’ll call “Bob,” did indeed have a skill set that reminded me […]

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3 Quick Items Worth Catching

Reading (process)Dan Pink's new book To Sell is Human has terrific great research on getting your ideas across. Here's a link to a short video of his 6 Successors to the Elevator Pitch.

Three posts worth your reading / watching time: Dan Pink’s new book To Sell is Human has terrific great research on getting your ideas across. Here’s a link to a short video of his 6 Successors to the Elevator Pitch. Former McKinsey consultant Andrew Sobel’s sweet spot is client relationships. Here’s a recent post titled […]

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Do Software Engineers Rule the World?

shutterstock_127976582A guy I met at a client firm's baseball outing had a singular statement:

    A guy I met at a client firm’s baseball outing had a singular statement: “Silicon Valley software engineers rule the world!“ Do they? His take was based on some simple facts: the world is run on software, the best of the best software engineers are in Silicon Valley, firms can never find enough good […]

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Look Before They’re Gone: RIP Alma Mater U

Barnard College, 1913  (LOC)

It’s autumn; college football games have started another season, and the leaves will soon be turning on campuses across the country. Catch a good look; for any number of liberal arts colleges this year will mark the start of their demise. Those people working in the space who are early in their careers need to […]

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End of the Year Calling: The 90-Day Sprint

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2014 is calling. Yes, you. The words it uses – “bonus,” “performance review,” “promotion” – may be different but the results are the same. Time to up your game and/or up the game of your team. Time to get started. If you haven’t been “campaigning” now is the time to start. And every day counts. […]

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The Startup: Why Build the Extra Plumbing if You’re Going to Sell?

Equipment, cables and piping as found inside of a modern industryou have to travel light

Jack Hawley, one of the smartest OD people I’ve ever known, once shared the Native American saying that “to travel fast you have to travel light.” It applies to people (whether it’s actual luggage or their own personal baggage) but it also applies to startups and any other organizations. The fact is that it’s hard […]

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Career Tip? Be Like Mike!

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In the search for the “great” job, it helps to offer something that employers value that they can’t easily find elsewhere. It’s not always easy but it’s doable; here’s how. Start by thinking about you want to avoid; being a commodity.  A commodity, notes the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “is a good or service whose wide availability typically […]

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