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

Words of wisdom for the Asimov centenary

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Isaac Asimov turned 100 years old yesterday. It’s a shame he didn’t live to see it, because we could use a man like him right now. My admiration for Asimov started when I was very young. I read everything of his that I could get my hands on, since his highly accessible writing made it … Continued

How to be a terrible client (and what it will cost you)

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Working freelance is like a dance. When your partner works with you, it can be glorious. If the partner is oblivious, it is painful and ugly. Here’s the thing: I love my clients. I really do. There is the bright and energetic woman whose book will deliver great advice about how to succeed at work. … Continued

Two habits for a successful 2020

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How long will your New Year’s resolutions last? And what will you do once you have broken them? Ditch them and the guilt that goes along with them. Here are two easy habits that will propel your career this year. 1 Try new stuff This year, someone will put you in an uncomfortable position. You’ll … Continued

The end of the No Name Restaurant

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There was once a seafood restaurant in Boston that had no name. It never marketed itself; the food did the talking. It lasted 102 years. Now it’s bankrupt and gone. When I first came to Boston in 1979, I lived in graduate student housing in Cambridge, a four-bedroom apartment with three other guys. The day … Continued

A stupid column about Jewish geniuses

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Are Jews smart? This is a really stupid question, but New York Times columnist Bret Stephens asked it anyway. His December 27 column “The Secrets of Jewish Genius” puts forth the theory that Jewish geniuses are different from other geniuses because of their Jewishness. It included a link to a racist and discredited study that … 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

What kind of people should your children love?

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Over the holidays I’ve gotten to spend time with the sweethearts of my two adult children. They are lovely people. The question of how you treat your children’s chosen lovers reveals a lot about yourself and your own prejudices. What is in your rational mind is not always the same as what your habits reveal. … Continued