The bad faith lesson of Donald Trump at the New York Times

Donald Trump’s latest statements at the New York Times demonstrated an amazing “flexibility” (in other words, he changed long-held positions). If you were scared of Trump’s rhetoric, perhaps this encouraged you. But once you understand the dangers of negotiating in bad faith, your optimism will evaporate. What is bad faith? In a negotiation, each side … Continued

Who won the Trump University lawsuit? Look at the statements.

The Trump Organization settled fraud suits against Trump University for $25 million, removing the trial from the President-elect’s schedule. But because a settlement is a negotiated solution, you can’t immediately tell who came out on top — maybe $25 million is a lot less than the plaintiffs could have gotten. That is, until you read … Continued

Post-election, Microsoft’s Brad Smith shows tech CEOs how to lead

What’s a leader to do in the wake of a divisive election? For Silicon Valley CEOs from Apple, eBay, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the answer is smile, give us a all a hug, and tell people to get back to work. But Microsoft’s President Brad Smith showed us how a leader ought to lead in a crisis. This election is … Continued

Responding to objections to “Writing Without Bullshit”

A lot of people think my writing advice is wrong. When you apply the principles in my book at work, you’re going to encounter resistance, because the way I teach writing is not conventional. Here’s a set of objections and counterarguments for when people tell you you’re doing it wrong. Business writing has worked fine for many … Continued

In the Wix vs. WordPress fight, impressions matter

Matt Mullenweg, the originator of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, is fighting with Avishai Abrahami, CEO of Wix. (Both companies make it easy to build web content.) The question driving this fight is the appropriate use of open source code. But what’s really at stake is reputation — and on that front, Abrahami’s wry commentary … Continued

How health insurance instructions and forms made me sick

Instructions are tricky. You need to be clear and brief, write directly to the user, and most importantly, make sure that the instructions match reality. Based on my experience with health insurance, this a prescription that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts needs, stat. I had previously used the excellent Blue Cross Blue Shield plan from … Continued

Is your career about duty or pleasure?

Why do you work? To make money? Or because you’re doing something that you love? Not all of us get to do work that we love. If we’re lucky, we don’t do work that we hate. Here’s my idea of what you should do to move your career forward. Take a job that pays enough … Continued