This week Adam Bryant interviews Marla Malcom Beck, the chief executive of Bluemercury, a beauty products and spa services retailer. I really appreciate her no-nonsense, common sense approach to life and business! Regarding hiring she states, “In about two minutes, I can ascertain skill based on what they’ve done… Will is about hunger so I’ll ask what do you want to do in five or 10 years.”
Don Knauss, the C.E.O. Of the Clorox Company is a former Marine and athlete who makes tons of sense. He believes in motivating others by creating trust through exercising power cautiously and caring about his people to such an extent that they are primary – what he refers to as the heart piece. Like myself, he agrees that intelligence is important too but without heart over time it’s hard to retain great people. He too looks for passion over pedigree and believes in the necessity of becoming an excellent communicator. I really enjoyed his perspective because it reminded me of so much that I offer and teach others; especially the importance of hammering away at the fundamentals: my core teaching is to avoid nothing, be as present as possible, have bang-up integrity, honor yourself, and learn to develop and trust your intuition!
This New York Times Sports Sunday article on female sports agents in the N.F.L. is very interesting. To break into a male dominated profession like engineering is challenging but pro football is a whole other realm! I really respect the women who are up for the challenge and actually succeeding. I often talk about passion, commitment, and perseverance as fundamental aspects of success in life and business. In a profession such as this, Kristen Kuliga, Kelli Masters and others must have all that and more! Good stuff!!
Adam Case, the 35-year-old offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos never played college football and was a mediocre high school tight end by all accounts. Through a combination of hard work, ingenuity, and tenacity he worked his way up the ranks of professional football to become an invaluable part of the Broncos offense!
Each week I write about business managers and leaders featured in Adam Bryant’s Corner Office section of the Sunday Business section of The New York Times. Mr. Girish, the C.E.O of eClinicalWorks, a privately operated provider of IT healthcare solutions, says that he hires primarily on “heart” because the rest can be taught. He is seeking passion, commitment, and desire for excellence above all else! Instead of firing people, he tells the employee that it’s not working out and to take three months off to seek something else. If after three months, they want to come back they must change. I love his innovative approach to employee challenges! He also spurns job titles instead creative teams and team leaders! Good stuff Mr. Navani!!
Reading about dangerous sports in the Los Angeles Times Sports section while traveling out here on business made me think about a golfer I am coaching who used to be a professional snowboarder. He’s shared several adrenaline addiction stories having had a series of near death experiences in his younger life as his passion for extreme sports and dangerous situations like surfing in near hurricane conditions nearly got him killed.
I enjoy the Corner Office section of the Sunday Business section of The New York Times. This week Mr. Bryant interviews Penny Pritzker, the U.S. Commerce Secretary and successful businesswoman. Her family built the Hyatt Hotel chain. She learned the value of passion, commitment, energy, and desire to learn from her father who valued those traits above all. She also regards Integrity to be paramount in the hiring process. Ms. Pritzker discusses the importance of becoming a better listener too, especially as it pertains to management and decision making.
I was sitting on the top floor of the Starbucks in Fairfield, Connecticut contemplating what makes life magical. Later that morning, I had a psychology/coaching session with a man in his early forties who used to be an investment banker. Several years ago, he went through a brutal depression and quit his job. In his twenties, he liked many aspects of being a banker; the technology research, the challenge of landing new clients, and the intensity of creating and delivering pitches. However, over time, he began to hate the long hours, endless travel, and the “jerks” that he interacted with on a daily basis.
What inspires you to be great? I love asking people this question. Some people think of world leaders like Nelson Mandela or even JFK. Others think of Astronauts, test pilots, or famous race car drivers like Danica Patrick. Still other people think of famous business leaders like Steve Jobs and Jack Welch or top athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. And then there are celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Russell Crowe.
A client of mine asked me to work with her thirteen year-old daughter who is a competitive ballerina in south Florida. I said sure, relishing the challenge of helping an adolescent in a sport that I have never experienced first hand. The cool part about working with athletes as a Sports Psychologist is that no matter what the sport, the underlying issues are similar. And so are the techniques that we can apply to address them!