Beyond meaningless platitudes

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Experts build their business on an idea. If the idea is a platitude, they don’t deserve respect — and they won’t get clients. I am so sick of the aspiring thought leaders on social media sharing platitudes and imagining they are insights. “You must put the customer first.” Oh, now I see. I was putting … Continued

How smart people make a decision

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There’s a misconception that the purpose of experts is to tell you what to do. That’s not right. What they do is help you think. Imagine that you are a person making a momentous decision. You could be the CEO of a large company pondering an acquisition, a consumer deciding whether or not to buy … Continued

What’s your 3-second brand?

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A new year is coming up. Perhaps you want to try to get very well known for something this year — write a book, give speeches, become a thought leader. When people think about you, what will they think? What’s your personal brand? You may want to think very long and hard about that, and … Continued

How to speak truth to power

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I made a career out of telling important people things they might not want to hear. In my time as a technology analyst I spoke with CEOs, presidents, founders, and management teams at ABC, Best Buy, Cablevision, Charles Schwab, Cisco, Clear Channel, Comcast, Conde Nast, Cox, Discovery, EMI, HBO, Haier, Hearst, Home Depot, Intuit, Lifetime, … Continued

Frameworks matter: Why it’s not enough to be an expert

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Some people appear to know everything about a topic area. They’re respected, but they rarely get to be leaders. Other knowledgeable people have enormous influence. What’s the difference? Frameworks. Thinking frameworks. As you learn about a given area, you accumulate knowledge and fit it together in your mind. Eventually, given enough sustained study, you gather … Continued

Famous or useful?

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If you’re famous you don’t have to be useful. A while ago, I had an assignment to present to a small group: the CMOs of a massive media company. Since this company had a dozen major media brands, there were about twelve people in the room. They had tapped me after having me speak to … Continued

How to write a book chapter

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I write business books. Every chapter is a 5,000-word package full of stories, detail, statistics, insights, and recommendations. You don’t just sit down and write one of those at random.┬áHere’s what it takes to create one. In the last 10 years I’ve written, cowritten, or ghostwritten six books. Five of them were case-study powered business … Continued

Can women write successful business books?

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On its face, this is an absurd question. But my friends are hearing this question and wondering about bias in the publishing industry. Today I’d like to explode those myths. The impetus for this post was the testimony of a female author I know who is trying to sell her next book. She has asked … Continued