Episode 18 | Career Nation Show with Brian Lillie

“When you’re passionate about getting to the right answer or doing a great job, you’re not there to just get by. You want to approach it with energy and passion. Otherwise, that’s not a life worth living.”

– Brain Lillie, Career Nation Show, Episode 18.

Brian Lillie is a U.S. Air Force veteran; he has been the Chief Product Officer, Chief Customer Officer, and Chief Information Officer at leading tech companies like Equinix. He has led Sales Operations, Program Management, and IT organizations at Verisign, Silicon Graphics. 

He is an innovative thinker and created a program for the Executive Education program at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, the predecessor of their current best-selling Innovative Technology Leader program.

He is a Board member at two public companies, Lumentum (LITE) and Talend (TLND), one private company (Advocate Insiders), and advises multiple startups and private equity firms.

He is a...

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Apply Design Thinking to Your Jobs and Area of Work

If there were no problems, we wouldn’t need leaders. 

As a leader, one of your major jobs is to solve the problems and challenges around you. You need to become the visionary who is able to find the best possible solutions in a cost-effective manner. 

The New Problem Solver

Solving problems requires creative and non-restrictive methods of thinking. The same old approaches don’t work mostly because the times are new and the challenges are new. An innovative approach to problem-solving is the need of the hour.

This is where design thinking steps in.

Design thinking is a human-centric approach to problem-solving. You can even call it an empathetic approach towards solutions because it ultimately has the consumer/end-user at the heart of it. Design thinking is applied by making sure that we create solutions closely aligned to problems. This is especially effective when the problems are less defined and are less structured, or for ongoing problems that have remained...

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How to update your resume – 10 easy changes you can make right now to stand out + the 25 best templates for your resume in 2020. [FREE DOWNLOAD]

Let's go over the best templates for resumes to get your resume in the best format possible. Before choosing the best template for your resume, it is important to first choose the format and then make strategic edits to make your resume shine!

It is actually easy and let me walk you through the process to edit your resume and then we we will go over choosing the perfect template for your resume.

Ready? Let's go.


In a nutshell, the purpose of your resume is to tell a (short) story about who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do. And your personal story better impress recruiters / hiring managers, otherwise, no job for you.

Need a great resume

Don’t worry, I will help you to build your profile with the right resume format. Also, I will share the amazing 10 easy changes you can make for your resume which would help you to find career opportunities.

If you’re wondering how to create a resume, you’re in the right...

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Clarity of Purpose Drives Productivity

As a leader, you’re trying to create an impact by striving for exceptional results. 

During this journey, your team members should understand the purpose of your team. Why does this team exist? Or, if you want to go macro, why does this company exist? 

Surprisingly, many leaders are unable to answer this question. A recent survey found that 55% of corporate employees cannot answer the question ‘why their team exists?’ clearly.

Unclear Purpose Cause Problems

If team members are not clear on the purpose of their team, they will invent their purpose. They will end up planning and doing the work according to their purpose, which may or may not be in sync with the broader plan. As a result, the team, as a whole, ends up with directionless work and low productivity. 

Being the leader, you owe it to yourself, your immediate team, and to your broader team to articulate your team’s purpose.

Clarity of Purpose is the Leader’s Responsibility


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The Best Time to Find Your Next Opportunity

There are two different scenarios for you to move to a new career opportunity:

  1. When you want to make the change.This happens when you understand that this is the right time to move on in order to learn new opportunities.
  2. The other scenario is when the market wants you.In this scenario, the market is valuing your skills, expertise, and experience. The companies might be pinging you on LinkedIn, and recruiters might be calling you. 

In the second scenario, there is a chance for you to feel like you are not really ready for your next jump. If you ever feel like that, always rethink that. Think twice or thrice.

Opportunities are always created in the market. Market forces decide when certain skills are going to be in demand. So, when the market is calling you, you must pay attention. Because when the market is calling you, it means that your skills and experience are in demand. 

And, when the market forces call you, it might be your big leadership break. You can...

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Driving Change

The only constant in our work lives today is change. Leaders are going gaga over driving change – creating something new, improving existing things, making things better. 

As a leader, if you are not driving change, that means you are maintaining the status quo. The longer you maintain that status quo, the higher the risk. If you become a legacy or more obsolete, something could be disrupted down the road. 

Instead of maintaining the status quo, it is far better and far more valuable to figure out what can you improve. What can you create something new? What can you build? And once you figure it, make it happen for the environment around you, for your teams, for your stakeholders, and for your customers.

What are you planning to do today? What are you planning to change today? And how are you going to make that happen?

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Creating a Collaborative Environment With New Teams

It is so important for our teams to have a collaborative environment where they can bring their best to the table, create value, help each other, and play to their strengths. There are a lot of times when we have to create this collaborative environment. Especially when you’re working with a brand-new team from some other function within the company or working with new customers.

Collaboration Can Help Team Members Play to Each Other’s Strengths

There’s a lot of M&A going on in the corporate world. Companies buying other companies with total cash, cashless stock, or leveraged buyouts. Now it becomes challenging in these scenarios for all of these teams to work together, especially when there are new teams involved. The reason for that is because these new teams may not know each other, and they may not know each other’s work styles.

A stranger is a friend that you just don’t know yet. You owe it to your team and yourself to create a collaborative...

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5 Ways to Develop Empathy

Empathy is critical for any leader. It is a skill that helps you better understand customers, stakeholders, and team dynamics. The insights you receive from having empathy enable you to solve problems efficiently, allowing you, as a leader, to deliver exceptional results.

Empathetic leadership is the most appreciated leadership style today because an empathetic leader has more than his perspective. This empowers him with flexibility compared with the rigidity robust leaders display. Leaders like Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, are shining examples of how well empathetic leadership works. 

Empathy is not a skill that can be developed overnight. If it were, it would have been so easy, and slightly not so unusual. For most of us, it takes a lot of work. Here are five ways you can develop your empathy muscle:

Develop Curiosity

Develop curiosity about the people and the organizations that you’re involved with, even if you are looking at a process or customer experience or a...

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The Opportunity Zone – To Demonstrate Leadership and Do the Right Thing

We carry our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with us 24/7. These thoughts, ideas, and beliefs help us interact with the world around us. That world includes the environment around us, our family, friends, colleagues, boss, peers, leaders, and customers. Our interaction with them has an impact on our lives as well as theirs. And these interactions shape our destiny. These interactions shape our relationships, our careers, our compensation, our trajectory, and our future. We should choose to do the right thing in these moments. 

Sometimes these situations may be straightforward and easy, but sometimes, not so much. And doing the right thing all the time can be quite challenging. Sometimes there are moments and interactions that build up over a period of time. Or sometimes there are those very critical moments – the most pivotal moments.

We can make all these moments – whether they’re small or large moments – and interactions matter by choosing to do the right...

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Communication Changes Heart and Mind

Leaders drive change. They are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve, to create, and to build – improve the situation, to create new ideas, and to build new solutions. 

In other words, leaders like you, are never satisfied with the status quo. And they just want to make things better. In the process of driving this change, it is important to think about how to communicate this change effectively so that you can recruit your colleagues to be part of this change. Because if you want to go further, you have to go together as a team. 

In order to communicate this effectively, we must win others’ hearts as well as their minds. Zig Ziglar once said, “Logic makes people think and emotions make people act.” Neuroscience has proven that human beings respond to emotions first while intellect and logic come second. So your argument should be able to strike a chord emotionally first. It must appeal to what your audience cares about. They should...

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