CEO Blog

In December I did something that ran counter to all my natural instincts: ten days before Christmas, I booked a last-minute flight to a rural part of southern India. I decided to spend the last working week of 2017 quite cut off from my business, clients and team; to swap client meetings and Christmas drinks for solitude, yoga and meditation. When you’re a target-oriented person (like, I suspect, most CEOs and managers)- someone who thrives on immediate action and progress,...

It’s considered a bit seedy, when we talk about work, to admit to being money-motivated. We talk about careers in the language of higher purpose: work is about ‘making a difference’, ‘loving what you do’; being ‘passionate’ about your particular service, or product, or contribution. Candidates at job interviews worry that by confessing their ambition to earn, they’ll sound either like they’re not truly excited about the company and role they’re applying for, or like unscrupulous scoundrels who’d do anything...

There is nothing more dismal than an afternoon spent trawling through a stale prospect list, calling the same people you’ve been chasing for months, when you can’t remember why most of them were on the list in the first place. These are the moments in which BD feels most like the kind of job we’re always reassuring our graduates it isn’t: monotonous, frustrating, fruitless. When I find myself on autopilot, aimlessly calling the people in my CRM and getting many...

To most seasoned salespeople, two feelings will be familiar. The first, of being on a roll- when things seem, with miraculous inevitability, to just keep falling into place: when your pitch would convince all the Dragons; decision-maker after decision-maker appears at the end of the phone; a string of successes put your target- and all the rewards that come from hitting it- within easy reach. And then there’s its opposite- a run of bad luck leaves you frustrated and depressed,...

In the twenty years since McKinsey declared a War for Talent, the doctrine that staff are a company’s most valuable resource has gone almost undisputed. Its premises- the Pareto statistic that 20 percent of staff in a business are responsible for 80 percent of its revenue; that ideas and ingenuity are ever-more-important in our knowledge economy; that moving job is easier now than ever before - are widely accepted. Taken together, they’ve led to general agreement among CEOs and HR...