Do you have to be Aggressive to be Successful?

I bet that you, like me, can instantly think of someone who was successful because, in their dealings with people, they were aggressive. We all know little maxims warning us that ‘Nice guys finish last’. Doesn’t that say it all? Be nice to people and watch your career shudder to a grinding halt.

But I argue that there is another way. That you can be strong, decisive, authoritative and knowledgeable - all the behaviours many ‘aggressive’ people display - and yet still be a good human being.

Want to Know What Your Interviewees are Saying about You?

Greeting Interview Candidate

How confidential are your interviews? Many would reply that their interviews were entirely confidential: notes are always filed away afterwards and the discussion is never divulged to others.

But what about your interviewees? If you believe that they reciprocate your confidentiality, then prepare yourself for a shock. Many openly share their interviews with others, not only questions asked, but even exercises or presentation topics as well. Within hours, your process might be openly available online for all to see.

What it Takes to Walk Through the Door

Gate from Hell

I’d like you to imagine three people in Hell. No, not the fire and brimstone type of Hell that religious tradition probably taught you, but a simple, curiously decorated room. There is just one door – now locked - and that was the one through which the three people were ushered by a mysterious valet.

Help! How Do I Tell An Employee They Smell?

Man smelling himself

I recently received an email from a contact I’ve known for many years:

“Michael, in my new team leader role one of the men who works for me apparently gives off an unfavourable smell, but the issue is I haven’t yet noticed it so I’m not able to describe the smell. Apparently my line manager and others in the team have already tried to bring it to his notice.

10 Reasons Why You Should Never Give Up

Rejected Stamp

On the shelf behind me sit two rejected manuscripts from the BBC. The rejection letters are complimentary but still end with a thumping ‘No’.

So why am I still writing? I still write because:

 a)      I can’t stop writing – it would be like stopping breathing

b)      I really hate losing

c)       I utterly believe in the messages I want to communicate

The Hard Work Behind Tripping the Light Fantastic

Fred Astaire and I have something in common: a reputation for dancing.

The sad fact is, whereas Fred’s reputation earned him the unstinting praise of the great ballet star, Mikhail Baryshnikov, who bemoaned, “We are dancing, but he is doing something else”, I have a reputation only as a dance floor disaster.

The Torturer In Us All?

Painting of scene of torture

In the week when Hitler’s last bodyguard died at a venerable age denied to the innocent who perished in the horror of the concentration camps, there was another little piece of news that, at first, seemed completely unrelated.

Does Success Really Make You Happy?

Happy and Sad Face

Here’s a question for you. What did the following three writers have in common?

a)      Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries

b)      J. M. Barrie, the writer of the Peter Pan children’s books

c)       A. A. Milne, who was the author of the Winnie the Pooh tales

The F Chord of Life

Guitarist playing F Major Chord

If you’re a guitarist you’ll know exactly what the above title is referring to. If you’re not, then let me enlighten you.

When you first learn to play the acoustic or electric guitar, initial progress is rapid. By placing your fingers on to the strings you can soon make nice noises and even start to croon a few songs you know whilst you play. In time your fingers hold down the strings with such accuracy that you no longer dampen neighbouring strings in the process.

Do I Always Have to Feel Happy?

Happy Face

It’s enough to really get you down: this constant drive that there seems to be to make everyone happy. There are Happiness Czars and websites all desperate to make me happy. But surely this is a fiction? We’re not meant to be happy all of the time.


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