Tag Archive: Career


My curiosity about the world of management consulting led me to this book; The McKinsey Way. It was written by Ethan M. Rasiel, a former employee of McKinsey & Company, the most prestigious consulting firm in the world. I found this book to be quite valuable in that it helped me paint a picture of the world of management consulting and also provided me with helpful tips and advice for a career in management consulting.

The introductory chapter provides some background information on the prestige of the firm, both past and present. It is a firm that hires the “cream of each year’s crop of business school graduates” and has a very long list of highly accomplished alumni; a list that includes names like Tom Peters, a management guru, and Harvey Golub, president of American Express. What better way to learn about the management consulting industry than through the eyes of someone who has worked with the best of the best, through the eyes of a McKinsey-ite.

The book is broken down into five main parts. First, the author introduces you to the McKinsey way of thinking about business problems; how to build the solution, how to develop an approach, as well as how to apply concepts such as the 80/20 principle. The 80/20 principle really clicked with me since I was already familiar with it and I had applied it to many aspects of my life. The 80/20 principle states that 20% of the input is responsible for 80% of the output. For example, 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.

Rasiel then takes you through the McKinsey way of working to solve business problems. This includes everything from selling a study and assembling a team to conducting interviews and methods of running a brainstorming session. When a solution to the problem has been formulated, usually after many, many hours of hard work, the next step is to sell the solution. This section covers making presentations, displaying data charts, managing internal communications, and dealing with client relationships.

The fourth section of the book provides advice on how to survive at McKinsey. I felt that it was very thoughtful of the author to include this section since this type of knowledge and advice is not easy to find. The management consultant lifestyle is not for everyone and the strain from this type of job can greatly impact many other aspects of your life. Rasiel provides advice on finding a mentor, surviving on the road, the importance of a good assistant, among other relevant matters that can only be enlightened with experience. Finally, the book concludes with a section on life after McKinsey. Most former McKinsey-ites go on to lead lives of high accomplishment and success. One of the most important things that McKinsey-ites take away with them is the network that they have developed.

Among the many valuable lessons contained within this book, one thing that I am sure every reader of this book will take away with them is the concept of MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). It is a technique used by McKinsey consultants in building the solution to a business problem. To put it simply, it means to be complete and thorough while avoiding confusion and overlap. A personal example of how I used this concept, while actually reading the book at the time, would be how I applied it to a Project Charter I was creating for my Foundations of Project Management course. I used the concept of MECE,along with the McKinsey way of always grouping lists into categories of three, when writing the Requirements section of the Project Charter. These two methods helped me in creating an exhaustive list that had no overlap and was broken down into three distinct categories.

All in all, I found this book to be of great value and I would recommend this book to not only professionals interested in consulting, but to anyone who works within an organization as many of the ideas in here are transferable.

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Hey guys,

These are my personal favourite top 10 movies so far with regards to business and career interests. The criteria I used when choosing these movies include the entertainment value, the message of the movie, the motivational factor, and the value of lessons learned.

I hope you take the time to watch and enjoy them!

Entrepreneurship

Pirates of Silicon Valley

History of Apple and Microsoft.

The Social Network

A chronicle of the founding of Facebook, the social-networking web site.

Finance

Boiler Room

A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Inside Job

Takes a closer look at what brought about the financial meltdown.

Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room

A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.

Too Big To Fail

Chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Wall Street

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

To take down a merciless finance executive, a young trader agrees to a disgraced Wall street legend’s proposal in exchange for the man to be reunited with his daughter, the trader’s fiancée.

Law

Antitrust

A computer programmer’s dream job at a hot Portland-based firm turns nightmarish when he discovers his boss has a secret and ruthless means of dispatching anti-trust problems.

Twelve Angry Men

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

 

* Source: movie description/tagline taken from IMDb.com