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The problem with following role models

People say, “Success leaves clues.” The advice you often hear is find someone who achieved something you want to achieve, watch them carefully, repeat their steps, and you will achieve success too. It is useful, but to a point. There is one big problem with this approach. Each of us has a unique set of assets (talents, experiences, family, connections, personality, etc.). The person you are watching from afar and emulating as closely as possible will have a very different set of assets. Plus, they will have a different value system. What they will value in life will differ from what you value. The missing ingredient in this advice is to carefully study (if such information is accessible): WHY someone does something, not only WHAT they do.  You also need good visibility on HOW they do it. This is something that most people will not be willing to openly share with you. Alternatively, they may give you some of the steps but leave out a few details that make the process they shared with you ineffective. Noteworthy This program aimed to drive improvements through Abhi, a mid-level executive with developing skills. We chose a strategy that required minimal new skills. The program shows…

People say, “Success leaves clues.” The advice you often hear is find someone who achieved something you want to achieve, watch them carefully, repeat their steps, and you will achieve success too. It is useful, but to a point. There is one big problem with this approach. Each of us has a unique set of assets (talents, experiences, family, connections, personality, etc.). The person you are watching from afar and emulating as closely as possible will have a very different set of assets. Plus, they will have a different value system. What they will value in life will differ from what you…

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[NEW EPISODES] Season II, The Bill Matassoni Show

The Bill Matassoni Show Season II (Not To Be Confused With Season III, Which Is Also Being Released) We just released five new episodes of The Bill Matassoni Show, Season 2 (20 episodes overall). Below is a small excerpt to give you a preview... "You didn't pick people on the basis of their seniority at McKinsey. It was, after all, a meritocracy. So, I ended up working with senior guys, junior guys. Guys with great ideas. It mattered. But also guys with courage. People who were willing to speak out on some subjects. And Peters was a rebel. At McKinsey, he didn't consult much. He was loud. He didn't dress properly. The first time I met him, he was in an executive washroom ..., and it looked like he was trying to take a shower in the sink. He had just gotten off a plane from Germany. He said: "Hi, I'm Tom Peters." I said, "Hi, where are you coming from?" "I'm coming from Frankfurt." "So, what were you doing over there?" "I gave a speech." "How did it go?" "Great, great!" Noteworthy Highlight [M & A Strategy Program - 218 Episodes]: In this study training program you will work within an engagement…

The Bill Matassoni Show Season II (Not To Be Confused With Season III, Which Is Also Being Released) We just released five new episodes of The Bill Matassoni Show, Season 2 (20 episodes overall). Below is a small excerpt to give you a preview... "You didn't pick people on the basis of their seniority at McKinsey. It was, after all, a meritocracy. So, I ended up working with senior guys, junior guys. Guys with great ideas. It mattered. But also guys with courage. People who were willing to speak out on some subjects. And Peters was a rebel. At McKinsey, he didn't…

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New [38 SLIDES] – Corporate Strategy Refresh for Large Industrial Group (Executive Update 1)

We have just released the first executive update (38 SLIDES) for the Corporate Strategy Refresh for Large Industrial Group in the Strategy Control Room, Advanced Level. *** The Corporate Strategy Refresh for Large Industrial Group consists of 4 Executive Steering group presentations. For the first update, we are covering such areas as: - engagement deliverables and scope - engagement design - client team onboarding planning - the tried and tested process to ensure the attainment of engagement deliverables within the timeframe - value chain pro forma activity plan - the engagement team structure - planned updates to ensure the Executive Steering Committee is kept abreast of developments - the framework to determine Company 1's economic model - financial overview slides addressing sales performance versus budget, variable sales to net sales ratio, etc. - the underlying principles of benefits tracking - the  benefits tracking framework to ensure accurate reporting of scoreboarded benefits - a process to manage Quick Wins - Quick Wins stream's potential areas of analysis - key concerns around the engagement - a proposed participative and informative communication plan - lessons learned on Company 2 engagement HOW TO FIND THE CORPORATE STRATEGY REFRESH FOR LARGE INDUSTRIAL GROUP (38 SLIDES): 1. Log in to…

We have just released the first executive update (38 SLIDES) for the Corporate Strategy Refresh for Large Industrial Group in the Strategy Control Room, Advanced Level. *** The Corporate Strategy Refresh for Large Industrial Group consists of 4 Executive Steering group presentations. For the first update, we are covering such areas as: - engagement deliverables and scope - engagement design - client team onboarding planning - the tried and tested process to ensure the attainment of engagement deliverables within the timeframe - value chain pro forma activity plan - the engagement team structure - planned updates to ensure the Executive Steering Committee is kept…

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Fear as a competitive advantage

Fear as a competitive advantage I was thinking about how I and many people in the FIRMSconsulting community broke out of our orbits partially driven by fear. And I thought: Can fear be a sustainable competitive advantage? After considering my journey and the price you have to pay when driven in some considerable way by fear, I concluded that fear can be a competitive advantage, but it's not a sustainable competitive advantage. Most humans cannot be motivated into action by fear for sustained periods of time. Usually, you use fear to drive forward in a sustained burst to create some foundation, and then you rest. For example, you can use fear to force everyone to fix a company’s failing business model. That may work. And then they can rest a little once the business is not failing. Noteworthy Highlight The actual proposal we referred to in the recent Legacy program High-Value Letter of Proposal. "Why," and "Why now?" Those are the two most important questions you have to ask yourself when you view the proposal of a competitor and prepare your own proposals. Most do not do this. When they view the proposal of a competitor, all they try to do is try to…

Fear as a competitive advantage I was thinking about how I and many people in the FIRMSconsulting community broke out of our orbits partially driven by fear. And I thought: Can fear be a sustainable competitive advantage? After considering my journey and the price you have to pay when driven in some considerable way by fear, I concluded that fear can be a competitive advantage, but it's not a sustainable competitive advantage. Most humans cannot be motivated into action by fear for sustained periods of time. Usually, you use fear to drive forward in a sustained burst to create some…

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Drowning in mediocrity

Drowning in mediocrity One important point to consider when building your career or business is the consistency of your brand. One company that inspires me when it comes to brand consistency is Disney. Simple things like painting fence posts at Disney World are considered marketing by Disney and approached accordingly. They understand that every detail contributes to the overall perception people have about the Disney brand. When I was in banking, I had a colleague who went from Toronto, Canada, to Orlando, Florida, every chance he got. He spent his honeymoon there, and his every vacation was spent there. How many businesses have this kind of customer loyalty? Another example is McDonald’s. I haven’t been to one in a while, but when I was a teenager, it was the only restaurant I could sometimes afford to visit. I was always impressed by how clean their bathrooms were. And it is by design. They saw their clean restrooms as a critical part of marketing. They focused on creating an environment where customers would feel well taken care of and valued. They wanted to be a place to which customers would want to return. Many of us have businesses that are primarily, if…

Drowning in mediocrity One important point to consider when building your career or business is the consistency of your brand. One company that inspires me when it comes to brand consistency is Disney. Simple things like painting fence posts at Disney World are considered marketing by Disney and approached accordingly. They understand that every detail contributes to the overall perception people have about the Disney brand. When I was in banking, I had a colleague who went from Toronto, Canada, to Orlando, Florida, every chance he got. He spent his honeymoon there, and his every vacation was spent there. How many…

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NEW EPISODES: Analyzing a Strategy Partner’s Career

What does it take to become... The Youngest Partner Running a Key Practice We just released 5 new episodes of the much anticipated Analyzing a Strategy Partner's Career program. Here are the episodes you can look forward to (more than 50 minutes of new riveting, thought-provoking transformational training): ASPC 16 Happiness = Impact + Purpose + Results (10:46) ASPC 17 Learn, and learn effectively (10:14) ASPC 18 Resourcefulness trumps resources (09:44) ASPC 19 Know why you are valuable to the firm (10:52) ASPC 20 Know when, from whom and what you need to learn (10:50) This program builds upon the foundational knowledge established in Partnership. Memoir and (Re)Building a Consulting Practice. You will find detailed maps, charts, and analyses to break down and analyze a strategy partner's key career moments. We address pivotal questions that can shape your career, such as: What does it take to become a partner in just 5 years? How many engagements does one need to master strategy? How many years will it take for a partner to master strategy? What types of engagements teach the core strategy skills? What types of skills must a consultant cumulatively learn to become a strategy partner? Does a weak/average engagement rating lead to a CTL? How important is…

What does it take to become... The Youngest Partner Running a Key Practice We just released 5 new episodes of the much anticipated Analyzing a Strategy Partner's Career program. Here are the episodes you can look forward to (more than 50 minutes of new riveting, thought-provoking transformational training): ASPC 16 Happiness = Impact + Purpose + Results (10:46) ASPC 17 Learn, and learn effectively (10:14) ASPC 18 Resourcefulness trumps resources (09:44) ASPC 19 Know why you are valuable to the firm (10:52) ASPC 20 Know when, from whom and what you need to learn (10:50) This program builds upon the foundational knowledge established in Partnership. Memoir and (Re)Building a…

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New [431 SLIDES] – Corporate Training Center of Excellence (Update 2)

We have just released the second update (90 SLIDES) for the Corporate Training Center of Excellence in the Strategy Control Room, Advanced Level (overall 431 SLIDES). *** Why is this CoE different and important? Corporate employees who work alongside elite management consultants need to ramp up their skills to the level of the best consultants, but they typically only receive a day to a week, at most, of training. And it's not even full-time training. So, the training must be distilled into what is truly necessary for someone who does not have a consultant's background. They do not have the luxury of learning the skills over the years. This CoE, which we will continue to update, teaches only those primary critical skills that corporate employees must learn. It is designed to be studied over a week at most. This is a crucial difference versus consultants who learn over the years and receive feedback from partners. This is a CoE where you work alone with no guidance. It was a highly requested CoE and is based on the actual programs we teach corporate employees who need to operate at the level of elite consultants. *** Corporate professionals need and want to learn the skills…

We have just released the second update (90 SLIDES) for the Corporate Training Center of Excellence in the Strategy Control Room, Advanced Level (overall 431 SLIDES). *** Why is this CoE different and important? Corporate employees who work alongside elite management consultants need to ramp up their skills to the level of the best consultants, but they typically only receive a day to a week, at most, of training. And it's not even full-time training. So, the training must be distilled into what is truly necessary for someone who does not have a consultant's background. They do not have the luxury of learning…

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The Powell Doctrine

The Powell Doctrine "When McKinsey arrives at a client’s office and wants to present a recommendation, it may get challenged at times. But most of the time, it will not be. The same applies to BCG, Bain, and other top firms. I will use a military analogy, but please do not treat your client as the enemy! With McKinsey, in many ways, we see the firm’s intellectual army. It shows you its overwhelming intellectual superiority so that it will not be challenged by alums, publications, awards, or influence. That is why these firms invest so much time in these things. In military terms, this is called the Powell Doctrine. It means deploying such overwhelming resources to a situation that the enemy capitulates just by looking at what they are up against. The Powell Doctrine does not mean going to intellectual war, or any war for that matter. It means showing the opposing side that they should not even consider attacking/resisting. What happens when you are a boutique firm of ex-consultants from major firms? If no one knows you well, how can they know the advantage you have? How can they know the army you have behind you? It is a little like…

The Powell Doctrine "When McKinsey arrives at a client’s office and wants to present a recommendation, it may get challenged at times. But most of the time, it will not be. The same applies to BCG, Bain, and other top firms. I will use a military analogy, but please do not treat your client as the enemy! With McKinsey, in many ways, we see the firm’s intellectual army. It shows you its overwhelming intellectual superiority so that it will not be challenged by alums, publications, awards, or influence. That is why these firms invest so much time in these things.…

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Dealing with Fear and Need to Feel Important

Dealing with Fear and Need to Feel Important I would like to discuss today dealing with one of the qualities that rob people of the ability to influence and have gravitas. And you probably guessed already what it is. We are talking about arrogance and the damage to people’s lives when they are primarily driven by the need tp feel important. “Pride goeth before a fall.” proverb Of course, we are not talking about the pride you feel when you accomplish something hard or the pride you feel about your friend mastering some new skill. We are talking about the kind of pride that makes people... - Not ask for help at the risk of appearing inferior. They want to always appear as if they have everything figured out (even though it suffocates their ability to learn and improve) - Believe they have already achieved enough and they are entitled to certain things - Think they should not start something new at the risk of looking inferior in some way (imagine the damage this causes to their life) - Have a shark’s (vs. dolphin's) view of the world: believing they can only win if others lose. The pie is only that big. They want…

Dealing with Fear and Need to Feel Important I would like to discuss today dealing with one of the qualities that rob people of the ability to influence and have gravitas. And you probably guessed already what it is. We are talking about arrogance and the damage to people’s lives when they are primarily driven by the need tp feel important. “Pride goeth before a fall.” proverb Of course, we are not talking about the pride you feel when you accomplish something hard or the pride you feel about your friend mastering some new skill. We are talking about the kind of pride that…

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