Why Many Successful Entrepreneurs Come Across Like Jerks

Jeff Bezos looks shockingly like Dr. Evil, and word is that’s how some of his employees feel about him. Credit: Galley Beggar Press

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are among the most successful entrepreneurs of the modern age, men who created products and services that changed the fabric of American society. They are inspirations who proved that one person can change the world, if they put their mind to it. But here’s a dirty little secret about those three, and dozens of others who fall into the same category: they are kind of jerks. Or, they at least come across that way to their employees. For example, Gates, a great man in real life, was incredibly hard on his employees, with Microsoft …Read more »

How To Get Hired By Elon Musk

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is one of the most intense and ambitious people on earth. And it shows in his hiring process. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

While taking a shower in college in the early 90s, Elon Musk determined the three things that would “most affect the future in a positive way” were the Internet, renewable energy and “making life multi-planetary.” Since his revelation, he’s dedicated his life to those three goals. He’s already created and sold two companies that improved the way the Internet works – PayPal and Zip2 – to build his fortune. Since, he’s been working on renewable energy, through his electric car company Tesla and his work at Solar City, and colonizing planets, through his aerospace company SpaceX. Pretty ambitious stuff. All told, he’s …Read more »

Job Hopping Is NOT On The Rise (And That’s A Bad Thing)

This idea that millennials are job hoppers is completely inaccurate (and that might be a bad thing). Credit: Reebs, Wikipedia Commons

If you do an Internet search, you might think that job hopping is on the rise, particularly among self-obsessed, entitled millennials who spend more time taking selfies at bars with their friends than figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Yet, when you look at the cold, hard facts, the exact opposite is true. In fact, millennials – and workers across the board – are more loyal than they have been in some time. And that’s not necessarily a good thing, at least for workers. Don’t believe me? Look at this chart published in The Washington Post, which shows that millennials …Read more »

Why Walmart Giving Their Workers Raises Is Smart Business

Walmart has announced its lowest-paid workers will be getting a raise. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

This month, the Associated Press reported that Walmart will spend $1 billion on raises and training for its lowest-paid employees. Workers will now earn, at the very minimum, $9-an-hour, and then get $10-an-hour if they stick around for six-months. The decision comes after a wave of protests about the wages Walmart and other retail giants pay their employees and the benefits – or, perhaps more accurately, the lack thereof – they offer. So the move will unquestionably give them some good PR, at the very least. But is it a good business move? Does paying employees more for jobs that require no experience and are easily …Read more »

Would You Pay $248 For This Sweatshirt Designed by Kanye?

Kanye West knows you will. Credit: apc.ft

Would you pay $248 for this sweatshirt: Or a mere $222 for this short-sleeved one (apparently, there’s $26 of fabric in the extra six inches or so of sleeves): Now I know what some of you are saying – no way, I could get that stuff at Walmart for $14.99. But let me ask you a question: what if I told you that a famous rapper, who is married to a woman with the most celebrated curve since the Gateway Arch, designed them? Well, the answer is yes, at least for enough people. In 2013, Kanye West collaborated with APC on a fashion …Read more »

What It Was Like To Witness The Worst Firing Ever

In August of 2013, I witnessed AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fire someone in front of 1,000 of their colleagues. Credit: Yaniv Golan, Wikipedia Commons

On Aug, 9, 2013, I was an employee at AOL’s Patch, a job I’d held for the past three years, working primarily as the editor of the Waterford, Connecticut Patch site. It was a great job, a job where you felt like you were really making a difference in the community, but it seemed like it was all coming to an end. In May of that year, there were some layoffs within the company, including a beloved manager in our region. And, earlier that week, there were news reports surfacing that Patch – although popular with readers – was losing …Read more »

No Work Experience? A Big Company Might Be Your Best Bet

Surprisingly, larger, more “prestigious” companies are actually more willing to hire people without experience than smaller companies.

If you have no experience in a given industry, it’s logical to assume that a smaller, less prestigious company would be more willing to give you a job than a larger, more prestigious company, right? Well, that assumption would be completely wrong. According to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, larger, more prestigious companies are actually twice more likely to hire candidates without experience in the field than smaller, less prestigious companies. Why? According to the study’s researchers, UNC Professor Camelia Kuhnen and Stanford Professor Paul Oyer, larger companies are more able to take bigger risks …Read more »

Four Rules for the Perfect Work Lunch

What you should be packing in your lunch box (and yes, that really is Harry Truman’s lunchbox). Credit: Harry S Truman National Historic Site, Wikipedia Commons

Right now, as I’m writing this, it is 2:30 at my office in beautiful downtown Mystic, Connecticut and I should be doing work. But I don’t want to. I’m tired. Like I am every day at this time, because I’m suffering from a “food coma.” Or, as medical-types call it, postprandial somnolence. It sucks. Have no fear, though, as this food coma has served as the most inspirational food coma of all time. I spent it researching exactly what I should be eating for lunch at work, so I will never, ever have to battle through the devastation of postprandial somnolence …Read more »

The More You Tell Your Workers, The Better They’ll Be

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is a big believer in transparency. Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Howard Schultz, thanks largely to his meteoric success as CEO of Starbucks, is worth $1.5 billion, making him the 354th richest man in America. And yet, when probed, he talks about a completely different kind of currency. I think the currency of leadership is transparency,” Schultz said. “You’ve got to be truthful. I don’t think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments when you’ve got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are, and not to be afraid of it. Here’s a legitimate question – what is Schultz talking about? And …Read more »

Why A Charismatic Leader Can Doom An Organization

Believe it or not, charisma might not be a desirable quality in a leader. Credit: Dr. Doom, Marvel Comics

When hiring the leader of any organization, such as a CEO, one of the desired personality traits that comes up time and time again is “charismatic.” People say that they want a dynamic leader, who can inspire and lead the masses. But does charisma really lead to success? Is having a dominant personality that others instinctively follow necessarily a good thing? Jim Collins and his team spent five years indirectly researching what makes a great leader while writing the book Good to Great. What Collins found was that hiring a “charismatic” leader for CEO actually had a negative correlation to a …Read more »

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