Recently, Sallie Krawcheck and other leading business figures were interviewed on LinkedIn. One of the things that really caught my attention was when she said she looks for employees who make her feel “uncomfortable”. This statement spoke volumes to me about what it takes to be successful in today’s world: you must always push your own boundaries and take risks if you want to stand out from the crowd!
I look for people who are different from me, who hold different views than I do, and who have different areas of expertise than I do. I look for people from whom I learn in the interview. I look for people with qualities and backgrounds that are additive to—rather than the same as—the rest of the team. Hiring in this way may make the workplace less “comfortable” for the team, but that is exactly the point.
To put it plainly, she is asking for diversity when forming a team. Unique perspectives and backgrounds only make collaboration more successful in brainstorming and problem-solving. A study by Forbes conducted with 321 large global enterprises revealed that 85 percent concurred or strongly agreed that variety was essential to stimulate creativity within the office environment.
Krawcheck added, “Greater diversity of thought, perspective and background has been shown to lead to greater innovation and superior financial results. So, when I hire for a management team, I try to avoid hiring all point guards.”
At a recent talk hosted by Krawcheck and hedge fund CEO Karen Finerman, she highlighted the significance of diversifying teams with more female hires. According to “recovering research analyst” Krawcheck, companies that employ women on their management team usually have better returns on equity, lower risks, and volatility levels while also prioritizing consumer needs. Despite this evidence of success, it’s exceedingly rare for women like herself (Krawcheck was formerly CEO at Smith Barney as well as president of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management division) or Finerman to ever reach these leadership positions in the first place.
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