al-go-rithm (noun): a process for solving a problem or accomplishing a task.

Chris Brogan, a business advisor, talks about “zero-formulas.” He emphasizes an approach where you store the bits that you need, and look to build frameworks with them. 

Frameworks, not formulas.

A formula says if it works in one place it should work everywhere every time. There’s no need for adjustments. 

A framework provides room for adjustments to the presenting situation at hand.

A formula is a one-size-fits-all approach. The problem is you’re not a robot. What works for one person, will probably not work for you. Moreover, folks with formulas to offer don’t always agree. I often joke that you can ask 10 different people about your resume and get 12 different responses. 

A framework is the operating system that adjusts to the particular needs at critical times. 

Algorithms vs. Formulas

However, folks need defined processes to guide them in new ways of thinking about the value they bring to an organization and in developing the stories that demonstrate that value. They need to know how to do this.

This is where algorithms come in. 

Algorithms are processes for solving problems. They’re not formulas. They’re not a one-size-fits-all approach. They are, in effect, the engines behind the frameworks that can be adapted to particular challenges.

Algorithms have gotten a bad rap lately; mostly because of their applications in technology and social media. These applications tend to be rather narrow — and formulaic. Someone came up with a formula to apply to all the situations on their platform. 

You Need Algorithms

In truth, algorithms are guides for navigating challenges we’re faced with every day. You follow algorithms for almost every task you undertake, from brushing your teeth in the morning to the route you drive to work to your daily routine once you’re at work to your commute home and evening routine with your family. 

If we’ve worked together, you know that I offer a framework based on four elements:

  • Purpose: What’s your motivation for work? Why do you do what you do?
  • Clarity: What is it that you do better than anyone else? And, yes, there’s something that is your “superpower.”
  • Focus: What’s the story you tell about what you do well. What’s the story you tell those people who matter — and yourself?
  • Strategy: Or execution — What are your “targets of opportunity,” and how do you access them? 

We’ve used this framework — or operating system — to develop a career / job search strategy that fits your needs. It allowed us to adjust that strategy throughout your effort. 

However, within this framework, we’ve used algorithms for each element. These algorithms are the worksheets that help you complete each element of the framework. They are the means — the how — that makes the operating system work for your specific needs and to accomplish your specific goals.


What do you think?

What algorithms do you use on a daily basis to get through the day?

What algorithms do you use to manifest the changes in your life that you desire?

What algorithms do you need to achieve your career goals? 

Send me an email. I want to hear what you’ve got to say. You can reach me at

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