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  • About the Author: John Coleman

    John Coleman, HBS '10, is the author of Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders.

    Full Bio

29 Oct. 2017 | Comments (0)
You Don’t Find Your Purpose — You Build It
Ever since Daniel Gulati, Oliver Segovia, and I published Passion & Purpose six years ago, I’ve received hundreds of questions — from younger and older people alike — about purpose. We’re all looking for purpose. Most of us feel that we’ve never found it, we’ve lost it, or in some way we’re falling short.

15 Sep. 2017 | Comments (0)
Maximize Your Learning in Short-Term Assignments
The number of short-term assignments in companies has been increasing, and the trend is expected to continue. Within large corporations, secondments, short-term transfers, and functional or geographic management rotation programs often thrust full-time employees into short-term jobs. Many companies employ temps or interns to supplement those working full-time. Even consultants may engage with a client for a period of weeks or months.

31 Aug. 2017 | Comments (0)
The Best Strategic Leaders Balance Agility and Consistency
As a former consultant, I have a deep and abiding love for the use of 2×2 matrices in business strategy. My favorites are those that highlight two factors that seem, at first glance, in conflict. I find these particularly relevant to personal development, as individuals often must resolve the tensions between competing values and traits and must carefully monitor their own strengths so those strengths don’t lapse into weaknesses.

07 Sep. 2016 | Comments (0)
Don’t Take Work Stress Home with You
After a long day at the office, many of us find ourselves taking out our stress on friends, children, or significant others. And if we’re not careful, we allow our work stress to become home stress, often at the expense of our families and relationships or our health.

27 Feb. 2015 | Comments (0)
A Speech Is Not an Essay
Speeches require you to simplify. The average adult reads 300 words per minute, but people can only follow speech closely at around 150-160 words per minute. It’s important, then, to write brief and clear speeches.

28 Aug. 2014 | Comments (0)
3 Priorities for Leaders Who Want to Go Beyond Command-and-Control
It’s cliché to say that “command and control” leadership is no longer relevant in most organizational contexts. But — especially in large, global, diverse organizations — what should it be replaced with?

27 Mar. 2014 | Comments (0)
Leadership Is Not a Solitary Task
An inspiring historical story is once again making the rounds at least partially because of its inclusion in Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David and Goliath. In it, Gladwell tells the story of the French town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon.

20 Mar. 2014 | Comments (0)
How Couples Can Cope with Professional Stress
Most of us are familiar with the cycle. At work, the pressure to be “always on,” to meet deadlines, to serve the demands of colleagues or customers, or to deal with a difficult coworker can create stress that leaks into our personal lives.

26 Jun. 2013 | Comments (0)
After Graduating, Keep Community First
Social isolation often follows graduation. I know firsthand. After college, I moved to Washington, D.C., and ended up living in the suburbs near work for a year, struggling to connect with others in a new city where few friends lived nearby.

06 Jun. 2013 | Comments (0)
Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture
The benefits of a strong corporate culture are both intuitive and supported by social science. According to James L. Heskett, culture "can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with 'culturally unremarkable' competitors."

02 May. 2013 | Comments (0)
Handwritten Notes Are a Rare Commodity. They're Also More Important Than Ever.
Handwritten notes mean more because they cost more. Emails, tweets, texts, or Facebook messages are essentially costless. They're easy to write and free to send, and you and I produce hundreds of them every day. A recent study indicated the average corporate email account sent or received more than 100 emails per day (PDF), and Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 now send or receive nearly 100 texts per day.

29 Apr. 2013 | Comments (0)
Old-School Business Practices Worth Bringing Back
In general, the business community is obsessed with what Michael Lewis once termed the "new, new thing." It's that faith in a kind of kaizen-in-all-things that has led to innumerable technological, organizational, and social advances in the corporate world. It's why factories are now safer, hybrid cars are cheaper, board rooms are growing gradually more diverse, and instant communication via email and other technologies is becoming the norm.

24 Jan. 2013 | Comments (0)
The Upside of Downtime
Finally, downtime can dramatically improve mental and physical health and our personal relationships. One study, for example, found that employees who unplugged and took time off reduced serious health issues like coronary heart disease.

16 Jan. 2013 | Comments (0)
The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals
Wallace Stevens was one of America's greatest poets. The author of "The Emperor of Ice-Cream" and "The Idea of Order at Key West" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1955 and offered a prestigious faculty position at Harvard University. Stevens turned it down. He didn't want to give up his position as Vice President of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company.

01 Nov. 2012 | Comments (0)
11 Books Every Young Leader Must Read
Recently, I wrote that leaders should be readers. Reading has a host of benefits for those who wish to occupy positions of leadership and develop into more relaxed, empathetic, and well-rounded people. One of the most common follow-up questions was, "Ok, so what should I read?"

28 Sep. 2012 | Comments (0)
Take Ownership of Your Actions by Taking Responsibility
One of the most common momentum killers I've seen in my professional life is our propensity to wait for someone else to act, take initiative, assume blame, or take charge. But very often, no help comes.

27 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
For Those Who Want to Lead, Read
Note how many business titans are or have been avid readers. According to The New York Times, Steve Jobs had an "inexhaustible interest" in William Blake; Nike founder Phil Knight so reveres his library that in it you have to take off your shoes and bow; and Harman Industries founder Sidney Harman called poets "the original systems thinkers," quoting freely from Shakespeare and Tennyson

12 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
The Bad Habits You Learn in School
There is an ongoing debate about whether leadership can be taught, and whether business schools, in particular, are teaching it. There are fair arguments on both sides, but I would broaden the discussion. Our entire education system, from elementary school to graduate school, is poorly constructed to teach young people leadership.

03 Aug. 2012 | Comments (0)
How Two-Career Couples Stay Happy
We're part of that dual-career cohort, and we've had many discussions about what it means to manage a marriage and a career. But we think that with intentionality, it is possible to manage marriage and a career.

19 Jun. 2012 | Comments (0)
Five Tips for Your First Job
Recent statistics indicate that one in two new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. So as you prepare for your new role — and the challenges you'll face in that position — I'd offer five pointers I've seen work for people along the way.

14 Mar. 2012 | Comments (0)
Enhance Your Overseas Experience
As the world becomes increasingly global, the need for true global citizens to lead organizations in business, nonprofits, and government is far greater than in decades past.

28 Feb. 2012 | Comments (0)
Faced with Distraction, We Need Willpower
Mustering willpower is a struggle for almost everyone — and it's getting harder. We, as individuals and as a society, lack self-control at precisely the time we need it most.

04 Jan. 2012 | Comments (0)
Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders
While these are worthwhile goals, we have a more important challenge for young people: Think seriously about your development as a leader.