Mad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson


10 nepotism rules to live (or die) by

If you own or run a company, you probably have been tempted by the siren song of nepotism. Nepotism refers to the high art and common practice of hiring your relatives. Interestingly, if you search for the terms “nepotism” and “rules,” you are likely to get a number of documents that purport to limit the practice or eliminate it entirely. This is not going to work. Nepotism, like hanky-panky and skipping your morning exercise routine, is here to stay.

Posted at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments


Top Mech: Why can’t the trades become as popular as the culinary arts?

When I was young I got a summer job at a French country restaurant in New England. The idea was to live at the restaurant in an effort to make big bucks and sharpen my French. The days were incredibly long. Breakfast at 7, serve coffee and pastry to the owner and the chef for their working meeting at 8, vacuum the dining room at 9, fold napkins and polish silver at 10. Lunch service from 11:30 to 3. Our dinner of leftovers at 4:30, followed by more folding, polishing, and vacuuming.

Posted at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments


The speech all new CEOs should give

I once took one of those business simulation courses. In it, we were given a computer terminal, an inbox, and a walkie-talkie. Our simulated company, Acme Widget, was said to be in trouble, and the point of the exercise was to evaluate our crisis management skills. There was a team of psychologists who were looking for leadership and other soft skills that might help us do well during a pressure-filled day.

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2


Studying the humanities for fun and profit!

The unemployment statistics are daunting: For those with high school degrees only, the unemployment rate is 7.5%. For those with college degrees, it is 3.8%. Except for graduates with B.A. degrees in the humanities. For them, there is basically no hope. At least, that is what the newspapers would have you believe. Articles abound telling of the sorry parents who are paying overinflated tuitions on the expectation that their young progeny will attend eight lecture courses a year.

Posted at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1


How to be OUTRAGEOUSLY successful in freelancing

One day while I was in the middle of making a decidedly unconventional career change from international banking to the holy calling of advice-giving, I came across a free alternative paper that had this eye-catching headline: “How to be OUTRAGEOUSLY Successful in Acting.” As it happened, I had just done a commercial for the New York market that had been seen by a total of three people. (Backstory: The director wanted someone who was wearing a suit in his commercial. The casting agent only knew one person who owned a suit. Me.) Wow, I thought. That first commercial was easy. Maybe this free paper could help me finance my consulting career with quick, easy, and lucrative acting work.

Posted at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments

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