Saturday, April 09, 2016

"We're all on a journey in this life"

Interesting people and teachable moments are often near us and the key is to remain open to them.  I'm more open some days than others, but at conference in Chicago some three years ago, I made an unlikely acquaintance whose words resonate with me this morning.

The gentleman in mind is an industrial psychologist who practices in the financial services space.  Before his clients extend lucrative offers to hire a C-level executive, the candidate must pass his psychological assessment.

So I plied this man, named Grant, with questions to learn what he looks for and who receives his endorsement.  Grant told me a little about his trade at a technical level, but when he got to the part about who fails his assessments, I was thunderstruck by his answer.  

In short, an out-sized ego is the kiss of death for candidates seeking Dr. Grant's seal of approval.  He explained that an executive that pretends to have all the answers often has a high probability of sub-par performance at his clients' businesses.  

To summarize his point, he said, 

"We're all on a journey in this life and those who don't understand that..." 

Mike's following words I can't cite verbatim, but essentially, he suggested that humility and intellectual openness are key attributes of senior executives with sustainable records of success at his clients.  Maybe his principle doesn't apply to drill sergeants, but his filter works for him
Inspired by Dr. Grant, it is with humble hat in hand that I recite my incorrect 2015 Halloween projection.  I believed Sen. Rubio would become our GOP presidential nominee.  Did I know his campaign was over after he collapsed under pressure from Chris Christie?  No, but it was clearly downhill from there.  He'll try again and probably be stronger the next time he encounters smash mouth moments at a debate.  

At present, I'm sticking with my dark-horse Halloween projection for the VP running mate -- Carly Fiorina -- if either Ted Cruz or John Kasich should capture the nomination. Either ticket would make a formidable team and one infinitely preferable to the prospect of a Clinton or Sanders presidency.