Monday, April 20, 2015
What Is Your Weakness?
Developing management skills is hard for everybody, and it’s about making mistakes, and trial and error. It’s about trying to figure out who you are as a manager and your own genuine strengths and weaknesses. There are certain things that come naturally — I am a good communicator. On the flip side, I don’t like giving people bad news. I am a positive person who wants to believe in people.
One of the biggest insights for me has been that your gut really knows what you have to do and sometimes they’re things that are not easy. You have to listen to that and say, this is a really tough decision. It’s not one I’m excited about, but it’s the right decision, and you have to focus your energy on doing those things.
This time of year I have many undergraduate and graduate students preparing for the dreaded job search. When they ask me for advice, I will say to the students, “Walk me through your résumé”: their thought process tells you a lot about someone. The next thing for me is to ask, “What’s your biggest strength and what’s your biggest weakness?” People will tell you exactly what they’re good at and what they’re bad at.
If they don’t give me a real weakness, I’ll tell them about mine. I’m impatient. It’s what makes me the entrepreneur. I’m not willing to wait for the next month. I’m going to find a way to get there faster, but being impatient creates all kinds of other problems.
And then I’ll ask them again, “What are you genuinely bad at? What does your spouse or partner or the person you’re dating tell you you’re bad at? Because if they haven’t told you, then you shouldn’t be sitting here because I can’t work with you if you don’t know what you’re bad at.”
I don’t think people’s weaknesses are bad at all. We all have them. I have tons, and I’m not going to discredit you for having them, but I think that not being aware of them is dangerous.
I learned in business school that you don’t need to limit your weaknesses. You should harness your strengths. If I do that, I’m probably going to go a lot farther in whatever I’m trying to do. That was an “aha” moment for me — that your weaknesses aren’t bad. That’s one reason why I push hard in the interview on strengths and weaknesses. I want you to be able to harness your strengths and, if I can understand them, maybe we can push it further.
Sometimes when I’m mentoring people, I’ll say, “What’s your biggest dream?” and it will be something small and I’ll say: “Dream bigger. Just give yourself the ability to say, ‘I want something bigger,’ because who cares if you fail? Truly, who cares? So dream bigger because no one else is going to do it for you.”
I also tell them about a filter I use to help me make decisions, which is, “When I’m 90, will I regret this?” One of the last things my Grandfather told me about his career, he never regretted anything he did, he just regretted the things he didn’t do. Sound advice for all.
CHINA GROWTH SLOWS - China grew at its slowest pace in six years at the start of 2015 and weakness in key sectors suggested the world's second-largest economy was still losing momentum, intensifying Beijing's struggle to find the right policy mix to shore up activity. ... Measures to support the property sector and a series of cuts in interest rates and bank reserve requirements look to have delivered less support to the economy than hoped, apart from feeding a stock market surge, raising expectations of more stimulus soon.
Gross domestic product grew an annual 7.0 percent in the first quarter, slowing from 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, China's statistics bureau said. While matching the median forecast in a Reuters poll, some analysts said it seemed stronger than data on the components of growth suggested. 'Despite a headline growth rate in line with expectations, underlying economic activities appear to have softened further,' Qu Hongbin, HSBC's co-head of Asian Economic Research, said in a note.
COLLEGE CHRONICLES – IVORY TOWER TURF WARS: In the quarter-century since West Virginia became the first state to allow community colleges to award bachelor's degrees, only 22 others have followed suit. And in almost all of them, fewer than five colleges have expanded beyond their traditional two-year degree confines. Between institutional competition, historically distinct missions and concerns about quality and capacity, such a move can be controversial, the Education Commission of the States says in a policy analysis. Where two-year colleges do offer four-year degrees, the programs are generally focused on meeting needs of the workforce and a broader range of students who may not be able to access or afford a university. And states typically limit the type and number of bachelor's degrees community colleges can offer - to avoid both duplication and competition with neighboring universities - and have specific program approval processes.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Queen Elizabeth II (89), Gene Hasse ....famous father and Detroit Tiger fan, Andie MacDowell (57), Jack Nicholson (78).
ETSY TO DEBUT ON NASDAQ - The stock price for the initial public offering is set at $16 per share, giving the company an expected market value of $1.78 billion. ... Etsy's target share price compares favorably with recent public offerings of tech stocks, says Brian Hamilton, chairman of Sageworks financial research firm, who calls stock debuts of Internet companies like Twitter 'way overpriced.' The proposed stock value of Etsy is worth approximately nine times its 2014 annual revenue, compared with the public offering of Twitter, which debuted at a price worth about 44 times its annual revenue, and Alibaba, which traded at 19 times its revenue."
DESSERT - Starbucks Announces S'mores Frappuccinos, For A Limited Time: Starbucks will release a new, limited-time layered S'mores Frappuccino on April 28 to remind people of the 'nostalgic summer experience' ... will be made with a foundation of marshmallow whipped cream and milk chocolate sauce, followed by graham crackers, coffee, milk and ice. It's then topped off with the same marshmallow whipped cream and bits of graham cracker.
WORDS OF THE MONTH –
1. Informal. speech or writing designed to obscure, mislead, or impress; bunkum: The claims were just a lot of malarkey.
Underneath all that free and easy hippie malarkey she is actually the most awful prig…
-- Zoë Heller, What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, 2003
esconder, verb; to hide
Esconder is the basic word to talk about hiding something somewhere.
un tesoro Escondido
THE PUZZLER: “Secret Files” – Sort the following words into three different categories and name the categories.
dinar, tap, yen, spoon, potato ricer, ballet, flamenco, garlic press, nutcracker, swing, rupee, sheqel
Currencies Cooking Utensils Types of Dance
dinar garlic press ballet
rupee nutcracker flamenco
sheqel potato ricer swing
yen spoon tap
THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS –
Stanley Cup Playoffs: First Round Series Picks –
West – Ducks over Jets in 6 games, Flames over Canucks in 7 games, Blues over the Wild in 5 games, Blackhawks over the Predators in 7 games.
East – Rangers over Penguins in 5 games, Capitals over the Islanders in 7 games, Senators over the Canadiens in 6 games, Lightening over Detroit in 5 games.
NBA Playoffs: First Round Series Picks –
West – Warriors over the Pelicans 5 games, Houston over Dallas 6 games, Spurs over the Clippers in 7 games, Portland over Memphis in 7 games.
East – Atlanta over Brooklyn in 5 games, Cleveland over Boston in 6 games, Chicago over Milwaukee in 6 games, Washington over Toronto in 7 games.
Season to date (35-17)
MARKET WEEK – The dollar index, tracking against a basket of six other currencies, rose nearly 9 percent in the the first three months of the year, for the best quarter since the third quarter of 2008.
DRIVING THE WEEK – Hillary Clinton continues her presidential announcement tour with low-key stops in New Hampshire on Monday and Tuesday ... Greek deadlines approach with a finance ministers conference call Wednesday and full meeting on Friday in Riga, Latvia to determine whether Greece has done enough to warrant more emergency aid ... President Obama today meets with Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan ... Morgan Stanley reports first quarter earnings this morning ... Existing home sales Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. expected to rise to 5.04M form 4.88M ... Durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. Friday expected to rise 0.6 percent headline and 0.3 percent core ... FSOC meets today in closed session.
Next week: Spring time gardening and favorite meals.
Until Next Monday, Adios
April 20, 2015
CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Pajama Diaries, Terri Libenson