The Right Way to Answer “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

Thomas Jefferson once said that “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom”. Though truth-telling abounds in grade school platitudes, it seems scarcer the older we get. But this decline in honesty — let’s call it dishonesty — isn’t necessarily innate. Dishonesty can be taught. In my experience, I’ve noticed that, of all culprits, college career centers are exceptional traffickers… Continue reading

Time to ditch the evaluation?

Everybody seems to hate them, but performance reviews have been around since at least the Wei Dynasty in third-century China, which used an “imperial rater.” Yet at least one firm has gone ahead and ditched them. “The typical performance review system doesn’t work because you’re demotivating half your population, poking them in the eye with a sharp stick,” says Caroline Stock­­dale, former chief talent… Continue reading

Leadership Tips

Leading the charge. Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman on the New York Stock Exchange, was still leading the way two decades after she became a member in 1967. Denied a ladies’ room, she offered to have a portable toilet brought in, and the guys backed off. “When I see a challenge,” Siebert said, “I put my head down and charge.”… Continue reading

5 characteristics of great leaders

1. Ambition. They drive forward, clearing a path for followers. 2. Humor. They endear themselves to others by not taking anything too seriously, especially themselves. People need camaraderie to succeed. 3. Vision. Great leaders see and talk about their vision in plain language. 4. Courage. They will knowingly step into harm’s way to help their people or advance the mission. 5. Accountability. Because they have… Continue reading

Avoid 5 traps that divide groups

Bossy know-it-alls make poor team ­leaders. To build unity among your group, display humility and strive to learn from others rather than tell them what to do. Avoid communicating these five destructive messages to your team: 1. I’m smarter than all of you. If you think, “I understand this, and anyone who disagrees doesn’t understand,” you invite dissension. Armed with this… Continue reading