Jeffrey Pfeffer: Get Comfortable with Standing Out or You Never Will

Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer is the author of 13 books.  He discussed his most recent, Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t during a Social Capitalist interview.

So I look at folks. I think the average human being, not everybody, but the average human being, is too concerned about what other people think. They are too worried about standing out. They’re too worried about asking for favors because they’re worried about what other people would think about them and they’re worried about being too bold. Continue reading

Heidi Roizen: Getting the Door Slammed in Your Face Means You are Doing it Right

In the investment world there is an accepted relationship between risk and return. In order to get a big return, you generally have to accept a significant level of risk. In her Social Capitalist interview, legendary networker Heidi Roizen shared her thoughts on the relationship between risk and return in relationships – and why, if doors aren’t getting slammed in your face from time to time, you probably aren’t risking enough.

Heidi says:

“I think you have to have a certain amount of tenacity and belief in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish. Sometimes it takes a while to get other people on the same page with you. Sometimes, they’re never going to get on the same page. I think there’s a fine line between appropriate persistence to just beating a dead horse and becoming an annoying presence to the other person. Again I think you have to have the approach of asking yourself, What’s in it for them?

When you approach someone, sometimes there are clear “no’s,” but sometimes there are people who are a little skeptical and maybe need to be convinced. Maybe you need to do more homework…Sometimes there’s a longer process to building relationships and getting people on the same page with you. Continue reading

Christine Comaford’s Tip for Making Sure Your Message Gets Through

During her dynamic interview as part of our Social Capitalist series, Christine Comaford shared the concept of metaprograms. Created by Rodger Bailey, these are lenses through which people see the world.  Knowing which lens is in use is key to making sure your message is heard and received.

Christine says:

“The first metaprogram is towards or away. Each of these meta-programs is polarized. So if somebody is like, “Yes, I want to launch new initiatives, I want goals, I want forward motion,” that’s a towards person. An away person is all about risk mitigation: “Let’s be cautious, let’s not go crazy and jump in.”

The CEOs, the marketing people, the sales people, are often towards people. The CIOs, maybe, the accounting people, maybe HR, are away. So if you’re trying to get a CFO on board of a certain initiative, you say, “Hey, you know what? Let’s be real cautious, let’s make sure we’ve got all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.” They’re going to feel a sense of rapport with you. Now you’re not this crazed sales or marketing or other type of towards person who wants to mow them down.

The next one is options or procedures. Options people are like, “Wow, here’s all these possibilities. We could do this and that and that,” and everybody’s all excited. Procedures people, listening to that, are getting freaked out. Procedures people are thinking, “OK, I just need to know step one, step two, step three, because I don’t want to mess it up. Don’t give me all those choices.” Continue reading

Is My Business School Equation Balanced?

About six months ago, I wrote about pursuing my MBA. At that point, I was still undecided. Now, I’m back with an update.

Initially, I wasn’t sure if going back to school was worth it. So I started thinking about it in terms of cost. As an economics major, I decided that maybe I could write an equation to make sense of everything. Sometimes simplifying complicated thoughts can help. So here’s my theory.

I should go back to school if Benefits > Costs.

I had already listed the plausible advantages of going to business school in my last post:

  1. To get a stronger foundation in my knowledge of business.
  2. Professional/career development – both in the theoretical and practical sense.
  3. My personality type – I’m a more risk-averse person, so I would be less interested in blazing a new trail than working my way along a traveled, yet still challenging road.
  4. Having specialized knowledge in an area of interest to me (a Master’s degree)
  5. A new engaging and challenging experience.

Now I listed costs: Continue reading