Listen to the full episode on iTunes (and please leave a rating to help the podcast reach more people): E32: Walter Kiechel: A Life In Media (Part 1)
Background: Walter has more than 30 years of experience in the media industry; first as a business journalist, then as an author. Walter has served as the Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine and the Editorial Director of Harvard Business Publishing (which, of course, includes the famous Harvard Business Review). He’s also authored the two books “Lords of Strategy” and “Office Hours: a Guide in the Managerial Life.”
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Walter knew from an early age that he was not cut out for sports however he excelled at writing and public speaking.
In 1977 when he graduated business and law school, he had an offer from a consulting firm and Fortune Magazine.
Fortune Magazine offered him a job for exactly half of the salary of the consulting firm.
He chose the job at Fortune Magazine because he believed at the time that he would find it more fulfilling. (See our episode summary about the 2X Rule to learn more about taking a job that pays 50% less in exchange for a better and more fulfilling work experience).
It turned out to be a great decision because he excelled at his craft and thereby became the managing editor, the top editorial position, in 1994.
Working for a magazine is both co-operative and solitary work.
You have meetings in the mornings and afternoons to discuss your work.
Otherwise you work alone.
Similarly to engineers, journalists hate to be managed because journalists are individual creators.
On CEOs: CEOs spend half of their time in quick 7 minute meetings.
7 min meetings can give you information that’s extremely up to date and thereby give you an edge.
A big part of the most successful CEOs in the world have a large amount of 7 min meetings.
The attention economy: One of the scarcest resources in our economy is the attention of potential costumers and readers.
Top advice for people who want to get into media business:
1) Don’t focus on the conventional path of working your way up slowly like Walter did back in the day.
2) Instead, build your own platform such as a blog, podcast or instagram following. Find an audience for your content and keep the attention of your audience. Build it up to the point where someone will take you on or it becomes self supporting.
Written by Oskar Faarkrog
Learn more about Walter Kiechel on his website TheLordsOfStrategy.com
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