I find that the two most obvious places many people stop being themselves are on dates and in job interviews. Rather than focusing on who we are, and being transparent, it is tempting to spend time thinking what the other person wants to hear. What will seem most impressive to them? What is the right answer? There is no right answer, only being yourself. Brazen Careerist Penelope Trunk does a great job of how to Be Your Real Self In An Interview and in life on her blog. Check it out here.
I am not big on books or articles that espouse numerical requirements to be or succeed at something. The 7 habits,5Rules, etc. They often suggest inadequacy, and especially as of late it is a tool to suggest “we” belong to a club you are not qualified for. In reading this adaptation from The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons From CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed,” The author, NY Time columnist Adam Bryant seems to take a somewhat different tact by stating “The good news: these traits are not genetic. It’s not as if you have to be tall or left-handed. These qualities are developed through attitude, habit and discipline — factors that are within your control.”
Based on interviews with over 70 CEO’s the book proposes five essentials for success, based on the CEO’s interviewed and what they look for when hiring.
They ask big-picture questions. They wonder why things work the way they do and whether those things can be improved upon. They want to know people’s stories, and what they do.
The C.E.O.’s are not necessarily the smartest people in the room, but they are the best students
You want somebody who is just alert and very awake and engaged with the world and wanting to know more.”
Do they tend to blame failures on factors they cannot control, or do they believe they have the ability to shape events and circumstances by making the most of what they can control.
They understand how teams work and how to get the most out of the group.
The people who truly succeed in business are the ones who actually have figured out how to mobilize people who are not their direct reports.”
A Simple Mind-Set
Yet few people can deliver the simplicity that many bosses want. Instead, they mistakenly assume that the bosses will be impressed by a long PowerPoint presentation….
Even Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft, the owners of PowerpPoint says “he understood the impulse in presentations to share all the underlying research that led to a conclusion. But he changed the way he runs meetings to get to the conclusion first.”
They want to know if somebody is the kind of person who takes ownership of challenges or starts looking for excuses.
As they moved up in organizations, the attitude remained the same — this is my job, and I’m going to own it.
Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?
Many executives said fearlessness was one of the top qualities they’re looking for when they were interviewing job candidates.
Chief executives advise that you will be rewarded for fearlessness, because so few people live that way and bring this attitude to work.
Creator of The Office Ricky Gervais talks to the Harvard Business Review on Not Having A Real Job
Some of the key points from the interview include:
Reminding himself, “It is not real work compared to my dad who was a laborer.”
“I feel I am a workaholic because of the privileged position I found myself in.”
“Fame is the worst of it. Better to want to be rich that is real freedom. I haven’t done anything for a million pounds I wouldn’t have done for free.”
“Fairness is the most important thing in managing a team.”
“If you start to water it down or second guess people you will end up with something a lot of people will like, but they will not love it. I have always wanted to do something that really moves 1 million people than washes over 10 million.”
Listen to the full interview here. Ricky Gervais Interview