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Don’t be a know-it-all

We’ve all seen the LinkedIn profiles and professional bios of self-proclaimed experts, geniuses and visionaries. How grand for them. It must be nice to be at the absolute pinnacle of your career, having reached your fullest potential. Believing your own press (especially when you write it) is not only dangerous and counterproductive, it’s also self-limiting. …

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How to be good and lucky

Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Mich., is considered one of the most innovative and successful food companies in the country. What started as a deli in 1982 has now become a sizable collection of small businesses including a bakery, candy shop, coffee roasterie, full-service restaurant, creamery, and caterer. Ari Weinzweig is one of the founders of Zingerman’s and …

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Countering fear

We all have things we fear. Failing at work. Going broke. Growing old. Fear is normal, natural, and to be expected. In fact, it’s the most fundamental emotion of our survival instinct. Without fear, we would constantly wander into danger. We’re wired for fear for good reason. But it can overwhelm us if we’re not …

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Deconstructing happiness

We all seem to know happiness when we see it and experience it. But what are the core elements that really create happiness in each of us? Martin Seligman has often been called the father of positive psychology and is the current director of the positive psychology center at the University of Pennsylvania. Seligman has designed …

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What business are you in?

There is simply too much noise in the marketplace to try and trade on being a “full-service” and “global” anything that “loves your customers.” That doesn’t cut it today. It makes you sound like everyone else. Precisely communicating what you do well, who you do it for, and most importantly – what they get from …

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Let’s be honest

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, the $3.5 billion retailer of RV’s and outdoor gear, says three types of honesty are critical for productive business relationships. As the star of “The Profit,” a CNBC series where Lemonis invests in struggling businesses to “save jobs and make money,” he’s become an expert at evaluating entrepreneurs and …

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When praise hurts

When done right, praise primes the brain for higher performance. As a general rule, the more we praise, the more success we create. Psychologist and workplace researcher Shawn Achor confirms that the more you can authentically shine praise on everyone in your ecosystem, the better everyone does. The problem, says Achor, with home, work and …

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No one is irreplaceable

Leaders and senior executives who abuse their influence and authority are easy to fire. They bully, they harass, they wreak havoc on an organization and no matter how smart or valuable they think they are, they end up getting themselves fired. They clearly deserve it. But what about less obvious or severe situations related to …

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Solving persistent problems Dalio-style

Ray Dalio is the leader of the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates, and he’s become famous for his dogged discipline, radical candor, and relentless pursuit of insights and information. I recently picked up his book “Principles” and it’s about as blunt and unassuming on the outside as it is on the inside. …

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Essentials of a winning pitch

No matter how great your product, service, cause, or idea may be, it will most certainly fail if not pitched properly. Whether it’s artificial intelligence software, bathroom remodeling, or the latest medical device, if you want to attract investors or customers, you’ve got to create a compelling story. There are many sources for this type …

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