Can You Afford That?

Not living la vida loca yet? You’re making good money, but it seems to go out the door faster than you can say import beer please? Here’s the real scoop on why you seem to be stuck in economic neutral. Taxes are a big factor, and they impact more than just your take home pay.

Learn why small businesses may not be hiring locally and what your boss really expects from you.

Why You Don’t Belong at Harvard

When it comes to elite school admissions, there’s a game. If the outcome of an elite education is important for your long term development, you need to acknowledge that there is a game and learn what it is so you can choose how you want to play it. For those less inclined toward the elite education path, beware cutting your interest prematurely**.

PART 1: DON’T CONFUSE HOW YOU WANT THE GAME PLAYED FOR HOW IT IS PLAYED.

Career Development 2015

This course includes the essential elements of what my business school application candidates walk through on the way to writing killer applications – a blend of practical advising, passion building, and tactical implementation. I think it makes for stronger candidates and the MBA programs seem to agree**!

Excited about building a career you’re passionate about?

V&V: Aaron Cohn of Laundry Puppy

This installment of V&V covers Aaron Cohn of Laundry Puppy. He recently sold to FlyCleaner and we caught up around Thanksgiving for a debrief. Down-to-earth and super personable, Aaron is still helping Laundry Puppy clients through FlyCleaner and helping FlyCleaner maximize their investment in him. Acquisition for Talent. Big Learn: You really can do just

Be Exponentially Better, Not Incrementally

“It’s Easier To Make Something 10 Times Better Than To Make Something 10% Better” – Astro Teller, head of Google X My students who struggle the most start 30-60 points away from their target score. It seems so close. But the brutal truth is that most won’t make it. In the hordes of students I

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 2010 may be winding down, but hopefully your business is ramping up. Many wishes for a profitable and productive 2011, –Kate

Pushing our Bottoms

Falling and Failing by pushing our bottom third into teaching. According to McKinsey and Co., Finland, Singapore and South Korea have 100% of their incoming teachers coming from the top 1/3 of their college classes. The US . . . has a dismal 23%. Over 47% of our teachers graduate in the bottom third of

This Day in History – When the French Were Strong

October 19, 1781 the British surrender to George Washington at Yorktown. Apparently General Cornwallis of the Brits did not feel well that day . . . no kidding, losing to a scrappy colony that couldn’t even dress its troops . . . so instead General O’Hara officially surrendered for the British. But even O’Hara couldn’t

Students and Self Esteem

This is the abbreviated version of a Saturday Night Live skit (Basement Karate – Bryan Cranston). What was so striking was the little boy’s reaction to getting shellacked by his old man. I have heard some of the exact same phrases out of my GMAT students…. I know, I know, I shouldn’t laugh . .

IBM and Canada – Bad Food or Bad Numbers?

IBM recently launched an ad campaign highlighting their work on education, crime prevention and food poisoning reduction . . . okay, really, the interlocking theme is Outcomes for a smarter planet. But they demonstrate those outcomes in the fields of education, food safety and crime prevention among other areas. The graphics are cute, it’s the

What is Talent

The most obvious expression of talent is that which is shown externally. A fast athlete,the top of the class, MacArthur grants . . . some talent is innate, the rest is cultivated. Can we do better cultivating the good stuff? That might depend – what is our definition of the good stuff? We fixate on

Education Career

I get the darnedest things by email. Today I received an email offering MBA-oriented positions within the Education sector. This is a real group with real reach so if you are interested in impacting public education, you may want to chat with Chaka Booker. The focus of the Broad Residency is to place those with

More Math Education, Less Self Esteem Training

  Finances. If you’ve ever struggled with your tax return, wondered how interest rates could stay so low, or tried to explain why raising taxes on employers is actually not conducive to job creation…. We need solid math education now more than ever. We are no longer an agrarian nation yet we teach math like

August 2010 – Meeting Mom

This month’s Date with Kate was in New Orleans with Chris Ochs, a reader and friend from Denver, CO. Knowing my weakness for football and really, sporting events in general, Chris offered a trip to the Big Easy to watch the Saints take on the Chargers (San Diego for those not in the know). Turns

It’s all in the NUMBers – Insurance 101

Have you ever tried to figure out your health insurance benefits? What a confounding experience. I spent a little time today reviewing my coverage. As much as I’d like to claim it’s because I’m that organized, but really it’s just because my part time employer recently made benefits available to us. So, why not take

The Real Robin Hood

Would the real Robin Hood please stand up? “If you don’t stop levying these evil taxes, I will lead the people of England in a revolt against you!” -Robin, Men in Tights, 1993 Mel Brooks made a mildly popular movie to skewer the story of Robin in 1993 – if you love puns, you will

Obama’s Fiscal Priorities are Skewed

Blinder’s Blinders lead to National Blunders, or Obama versus King Solomon . . . So here’s a question for you: Is it better to give 50,000 people $1 or give one employee a $50,000 job that allows him to contribute to a growing company? Increasing the tax burden on small employers to increase the unemployment

Laffer’s Laughing

Arthur Laffer recently offered his thoughts on the Unemployment Benefits in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages…. What kept coming to mind is, how are we even having this conversation? And by conversation I mean, how can we look at the empirical evidence concerning unemployment benefits and still somehow draw the conclusion that extending them

Happy 4th of July!

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. There is no better birthday than to celebrate the continued life of what was conceived as a great experiment 234 years ago. We’ve come a long way in 234 years…. A quick refresher of the opening preamble of the Constitution of the United States: We the people

Frenchonomics

I can’t even make this up . . . Students in France are protesting again. A few years ago they protested AGAINST lowering the bar for employers to be able to hire students. Employers wanted to be able to pay less experienced people a lower rate. The minimum benefits an employer has to set aside

Cost of Education

Friday night my little sisters graduated from high school. Come Fall they are off to college. What better time to reflect on the changing values of a college education. Does it make sense to go to the best school you get into? Is it worth $100k, $200k in debt? It seems to depend on what

Can you win in Teal?

So it is official. The Philly Flyers will play the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup. Montreal, the third “Original Six” in the conference finals was axed by the Flyers tonight. Wow. Montreal has a losing streak a mile long (last won the cup in 1986, quarter century itch?). . . but guess who’s streak

Start at the Beginning

As students struggle to determine how to invest their time wisely, one question dominates the conversation. Do I make incremental improvement or do I start from the beginning? In proper CYA fashion, it depends . . . But what it depends upon may surprise you.

Consenting Adults Part 2

  So how is the Federal Government going to save me from myself today? Back to the topic of interns . . . which can mean SO many different things depending on the administration…. For the Obama administration it means legislation. In particular, enforcement of legislation against unpaid internships. Never mind that the Obama political

Information with a View

It is not enough to get information, now need we to have that information presented contextually and graphically. If done well, this kind of information aggregation can cause greater understanding, but naturally it can also cause greater confusion. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/13/graphing-internet-digg-google-trends/ Digg has the lead on creating fascinating ways to connect who is spreading what information. The

Consenting Adults

The Labor Department is out to protect you from yourself. Legislation prohibiting unpaid internships is officially in force. “If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with  for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance

Hot Nerds – Barbie Dedicates Herself to Science

How great! Barbie is officially geeking out. The Wall Street Journal reports that Computer Scientist won the popular vote for What career would you like Barbie to have next. The vote ultimately split between the under tweens and the adults. Adults pushed for Computer Scientist and the little girls pushed for Anchorwoman. Lots of little

April Date with Kate

Thank you for the reminder that I was a little behind in naming the March Date with Kate winner. Indeed – a month behind. 🙂 So Sid’s name did not grace the front of katemckeon.com, but he has forgiven me. Now it is Michele’s turn. The April winner for Date with Kate is Michele. A

Education Issues – State v Federal Standards

Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett is behind the Common Core State Standards Initiative and hopes you will be too…. Mr. Barrett sees common education standards as essential to creating the work force of tomorrow and he wants to narrow the gap in education quality among the states. All of which sounds ideal . . .

Crush Your Competition – the Superstar Effect

The best way to win? Be better. How much better? Soul crushingly better. Sound cruel? The Weekend Journal shared a great piece about the Superstar effect – how some stars are so much better than everyone else in the field that they literally crush their competition before the game/match/negotiation begins. Boris Spassky, Bobby Fishcher’s rival

Superstar Effect

Everyone’s favorite Intimidators The Weekend Journal recently published an article on one of my favorite topics – the Superstar Effect. They also kindly included a list of the most famous intimidators. Here is that list: Muhammad Ali – noting himself as the “greatest” and following it up with a nasty punch . . . very

Date with Kate Update

Okay, so the Date with Kate gig started as a silly response to a former student and favorite reader (see January winner), but has proven a small hit among you. In March, there were 4 DwK dates with readers. I am honored and flattered that you are willing to schlep to Dallas or schlep me

Basic Economics – Competitive States

My buddy Scott recently sent a gem of a report along. The report was written by Dr. Aurthur Laffer. You may recognize his name from the world of finance and politics. He’s a bit of a supply-sider. Since this marks the 10th pdf uploaded to the site for the sake of sharing, I’ve created a

Nonverbal Influence – Color

New article on the overview of color as a nonverbal influence. Everyday you are bombarded with millions of images. Some perceived others not consciously perceived. Advertisers want our attention. As we get more and more images, our conscious brains – the part we think we control – ignore even more. So now we ignore more

Education Issues: Quantity, Quality?

So let’s go for a drive. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to cross the US by car . . . say from Chapel Hill, NC to Berkeley, CA, or Boston, MA to Berkeley, CA or Atlanta, GA to San Diego, CA, you have seen that there are many choices to make along the way.

Contextual Cues Influence Learning

Did you know . . . The fusiform facial area is a special area within the brain that processes facial images. This is apart from the processing of other spatial objects. The neurons literally light up in a different pattern depending on whether we are looking at a human face or a non-human object. It

Freedom of Speech

As I dig through journals for interesting tidbits I often find myself far afield from the original topic at hand, which is exactly what happened the other day. I was reading a piece on the influence the color of the box that holds your local traffic signal has on traffic flow – not the color

Education Issues – Teacher Signaling

Confession: as a teacher I have challenges with the different levels of students who cycle through my classroom. I am not unbiased, and yes, I take my students’ performance personally. But this is as it has been and should be…. Some students are bright, but it’s not just the ability level of the student it

Stat of the Week – Monkeys and Medals

Lionel Tiger shares the history of monkeys and medal in his latest Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal. He posits that there is a biological need for humans to have games such as the Olympics Like our primate cousins, competition is in our blood. Is this just more justification for what my less athletically-inclined

Basic Economics – When your voters are challenged

Who would’ve thought Chicago would become a tax refuge? Since the voters approved a tax hike in Oregon, politicians around the US are sending delegations to the beleaguered state. Leading the charge with offers of enticement to business owners…. Richard Daley, Chicago Mayor. Wait, seriously? Here’s what’s spurred the increase in flights to Portland: Oregon

Winter Classics and February Winner

In a departure from the somber tone of education issues, The February Winner of the Date with Kate is Laurel Lichty of Washington DC. Photo of the two gals below. It just so happened that the DwK was sandwiched between hikes around DC in the record breaking “Snowpocalypse,” Brunch with Drag Queens, and snow ball

Do Girls Suck at Math?

  It’s a common refrain both from the mouths of males and females. Yet, what evidence do we have to support this? A former boyfriend even presented a LONG diatribe about the actual genetic reasons women are bad at math . . . but there’s just one problem. Namely, me. Or Jill. Or Heidi. Or

Seth Godin, Linchpin

I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of Seth Godin’s latest, Linchpin. I had a very hard time writing an appropriate review on Amazon. What others reviewers are raving about is how this book is about doers . . . kind of, but not really. This book is about people who fancy themselves single-handedly

Margaret Thatcher – We Must Win

The newsletter this week includes a favorite item from Mrs. Thatcher: “Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.” A few weeks ago the Wall Street journal published an opinion piece worth a revisit. The original piece by Warren Kozak

Sports Stat of the Week: Old Guns, Young Guns

Sports Stat of the Week It’s all in the numbers…. Never mind what happened Sunday afternoon . . . I turned off the second display in my office and focused on teaching our Advanced Quant class. The students didn’t have to know the Boys were being destroyed by Future Rapper Favre. (Pants on the Ground?

Numbers for Nerds

If you get excited about numbers, today is a spetacular day. 010110 It is a rare opportunity to present the date in binary form (that’s not the actual binary date however). So just how rare is it? Have you figured out how many times in a century you can represent the date with 1s and

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

It’s true, I can’t be bothered to keep up with all of the holidays that get named and celebrated at this time of the year so I wish you a very Merry Christmas, because that is the tradition I embrace. May my wishing you a Merry Christmas cause you no harm of image or ego

Mastery – how to know when to get back to basics

What do you call it when a defender “bounces” a puck into his own goal? Ready? . . . Heart Breaking. Actually I can’t believe I have yet to find the term . . . surely there is a term for this phenomenon given what my beloved Robi had to say about it, “I hope

Getting the Scoop on Entrepreneurship Early

A new program at Milford High School in upstate NY has opened the doors of entrepreneurship to students in grades 9-12. The students are building their own businesses and interacting with local business owners. This is a brilliant way to encourage growth!