Read the Economist (or at Least Look Like You Do)
I always say, if you want to get smart in a hurry, just read The Economist. I try to read it every week. It's a Cliffs Notes to the world. This week's edition got me caught up on the war in Syria, Sarkozy's plan to run again in France, Myanmar's steps toward democracy and income inequality in the US.
But what folks don't often credit The Economist for is just how interesting a read it is! As is typical of this brilliant publication, it diversifies the heavy stuff with light entertainment. I learned of the all-female taxi service about to launch in NYC, the study that confirms women are still focused on marrying men who make money (men don't care, by the way) and that getting to the top has as much to do with how you look as what you've achieved (a bottom-line argument for hitting the gym).
So consider this my ode to The Economist as well as a plea to my friends and colleagues to pick up a copy. It's done wonders for my ability to think through my clients' issues in the context of the world and bring meaningful and relevant ideas to the table. And if you don't actually read it, just carry it under your arm. According to The Economist's article, "The Look of a Leader," top jobs go to those who are tall, fit, have great posture and good tone of voice. I'd argue that they also go to those who read—or look like they read—The Economist.