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A question came up the other day during the office hours I held for members of my Inner Circle mentorship program. The question was, “Do you take on a well-paying client engagement when you disagree partly with the scope of the project?” The ensuing conversation reminded me of McKinsey’s unofficial policy of turning down multi-million [...]

When you take a finance class, you learn the principle of asset diversification. Diversification means you’re able to maximize your overall financial return across a wide variety of market conditions while reducing your losses. By diversifying correctly, you achieve the same level of return as a less diversified set of assets BUT have a lower [...]

Several years ago, one of my clients taught me a great framework to describe how to be influential with others in the workplace. It’s a communication approach you can use to manage direct reports, manage colleagues, and even to manage your boss. The framework involves three steps: See Think Do If you can alter how [...]

When it comes to both your personal life and professional life, your peer group profoundly impacts… well, everything. Your peers influence whom you socialize with, who becomes members of your professional network, what socially derived expectations you do or don’t have for yourself, and the filter by which you consider all life decisions. If you [...]

When I was at Stanford, the most successful students were the smartest ones. Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and the most successful people I know aren’t the smartest people I know. However, they often are the most connected. They have many friends in positions of influence and power. This works both within a company [...]

There’s a joke within McKinsey on how to solve a case. Here’s the case: A client is considering entering XYZ market segment because their core market is shrinking. What do you do? Candidate / 1st Year Consultant: “My hypothesis is they should enter the market. For that to be true, four key factors must be [...]

I am often asked by readers if networking will really help them obtain a consulting interview or if it could affect them negatively. My response is networking, if done properly, is never taken as a negative. I suggest you network with anyone within a management consulting firm regardless of whether they are involved in recruiting or consulting [...]

A question I get quite often is how do you network your way into a consulting firm interview when you don’t know anyone who works in a consulting firm? When I first started networking, I did not know anyone who worked in consulting either. In fact, it is not necessary to know someone who works in a [...]

In school, it was generally assumed that the smartest people — the ones with the best grades — were the ones who would be most successful in life. Something interesting happens about 10+ years after graduating from school. You realize that this presumed relationship between success and intellect is NOT true. Here are a few [...]

Reader Success Story: I am an avid reader of your emails. Reading your email,forms a mandatory part of my reading list, which also includes Business Week, Economist, FT, Wall Street Journal, and the Quran. I wanted to send you a quick note on how I have been able to secure a McKinsey interview, despite not knowing [...]

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