The flair with which you grow and prune your reading pile directly affects your career trajectory. Sure, you can learn from enlisting mentors and taking on new projects, but you can learn with the most focus and speed by reading on your own. But don't be swayed by the business book bestseller list. Instead, devise […]

On my first date with my would-be-husband I said, “You didn't tell me we're getting dinner.” “I'm hungry,” he said. So we went to dinner. He ordered a hamburger, fries and a milkshake. I ordered water. Months later, when it looked like the relationship was serious, I told my would-be-husband, “You were a sociopath for […]

Most of us have personal problems we hide from our business associates. In fact, most of us have been hiding problems since we were kids. Often, though, these guarded secrets provide a hidden stash of strength at the workplace. My problems started at tap dance lessons. As an eight-year-old, I didn't know what to do […]

When someone asks “What do you do?” a one-word answer will put your career on ice. You need to have a story. When you want to establish a connection with someone, a story provides social glue. When you want to impress someone, a story is more memorable and than a list of achievements. Early in […]

In the early 1990s, when the job market was very bad, I had a college degree that was getting me nowhere. So my friend got me a job signing Esther Williams' autograph for fans. Esther who? That's what I said. Esther Williams was an Olympic swimmer in the 1940s when the Olympics were cancelled, and […]

Your success at work is dependent on your accomplishments, not your ideas. So can everyone please stop being so petty about whose ideas are whose? A very small number of you are strategists and inventors. For you, your ideas make or break your career. So don't bother reading the rest of this column. For the […]

My husband and I didn’t argue about my son’s first name. We argued about the last name. At first, I didn’t have a strong opinion, so we gave my son my husband’s name: Rodriguez. But then I got cold feet. I worried that our son would face discrimination for his name. My husband said, “Don't […]

The current business climate encourages rule breakers. Not the kind at Enron — those are law breakers. Rule breakers break with convention. Sallie Krawcheck, for example, was a top stock analyst in the 90s. She could have gone to a big investment firm where the heavy-hitters gave stock advice that, in hindsight, seems to have […]

There came a point in my career when my company went bankrupt, the economy was in the dumps, and my network of friends and acquaintances was getting me nowhere. Like all job hunters, I had good days and bad days. On good days, I brewed coffee for that caffeinated, I-can-overcome-anything feeling. On bad days, I […]

Each month my husband selects a concert for us to go to. I used to pick, but I would select music I knew, like Beethoven or Mozart, and my husband, the over-educated music student, would scoff at my pedestrian tastes. Now I am at his mercy, and I endure the type of music that requires […]

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