Want to Make a Difference? Focus on Contribution, Not Impact

Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on I nominate “impact” as one of the most annoying and potentially harmful buzzwords in business today. Countless clients tell me they want to make an impact. Whether they are leaders in growing startups or tech giants, Millennials seeking meaning or mid-career professionals pursuing their next big job, they define success as having this thing they call “impact.” But what is it really about? Impact is defined as the striking of one object into another, a collision. This kind of impact is violent, even shattering, like a hammer through plate...

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Men Don’t Have It All, Either

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 | 1 comment

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s heavily Tweeted cover story in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” publicly and very personally acknowledges what most women in the corporate trenches already know: it is incredibly difficult to climb the professional ladder and be a hands-on mother.  I agree. What I take issue with is not her contention that women can’t have it all, but the implication that men can. Yes, women are wildly under-represented in the corridors of power and over-represented on the carpool circuit. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the men...

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Mentoring Others Pays Off

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Mentoring and coaching others turns out to be more than just good Karma. A recent study of high-potential employees, Leaders Pay it Forward, found that those who mentored or coached less experienced colleagues advanced their careers and earned more than their peers who did not invest in developing others’ talent. Unsurprisingly, having received help or sponsorship makes managers more likely to do the same for others. And it turns out that women are more inclined than men to invest in helping others. Sixty-five percent of women who received career development support are now developing...

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No More Mister Nice Guy?

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 | 0 comments

Nice guys earn significantly lower salaries than less agreeable men (though still more than women, regardless of their agreeableness) reports a new study by Timothy A. Judge, Beth A. Livingston, and Charlice Hurst in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Whether you are surprised or unsurprised, dismayed or vindicated, you may be wondering whether this information should lead you to try to change your workplace behavior or persona. Bottom line: if you want to get a raise, should you act like a jerk? No. Instead, the authors of the study recommend that we adopt a “flexible...

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Learn from Success

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 | 0 comments

“Learn from your mistakes.” How many times have you heard this? It’s good advice, as far as it goes. The lessons of our failures are valuable — burn your finger once and you learn to steer clear of the hot stove. But how often have you conducted an autopsy of a success? What might you learn if you did? Chip Heath and Dan Heath’s reader-friendly book “Switch — How to Change Things When Change is Hard” invites us to devote more attention to our successes — both for what we can learn about how to solve a problem and to help avoid overwhelm...

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