Alexis Maybank warns other founders about this hiring mistake she made at Gilt Groupe — Valentina Zarya
In the push to ramp up diversity, companies look at many factors: racial, gender, ethnic, geographic… the list goes on. One type of diversity that you don’t hear about much, however, is that of personality.
That’s a mistake, says Alexis Maybank, founding CEO of members-only flash sale site Gilt Groupe. While building a solid team is crucial to a company’s success, a common startup pitfall—”and we fell prey to this at Gilt”—is to hire people with the same mindset and temperament as the founders. “We tend to hire people who look at information the same way [we do],” Maybank said, speaking at Tuesday’s 2X in Tech: Female Founders Conference, organized by New York-based startup incubator, Grand Central Tech.
Have We Taught the Skill of Saying “No” Too Well? — Susan Lawrence
The tide is finally turning, and now we’re facing another crushing wave.
We’ve been teaching women how important saying “no” is. We can’t say “yes” to everything, even when it all seems so very good. Our choices are often not between good and bad—we have that struggle covered fairly well—but between good and best. The right “no” is important, because it makes way for the right “yes.” Our obedience isn’t just about us. If we say “yes” to the wrong thing, not only are we disobedient, but we get in the way of someone else’s opportunity to be obedient.
Harvard business professor John Kotter has stated, “Behavior from important people that is inconsistent with the vision overwhelms other forms of communication.” If Kotter is right, and I believe he is, then a leader whose life does not match the vision being articulated nullifies the vision message, the website, the brochures, and the catchy slogans. Really, all those things are a waste of time, rhetoric, and money if leaders do not live what they are asking others to live. Communication is a waste of time if leaders do not live the vision they are communicating.
What are some warning signs that your life is drifting from the vision you are articulating?
When Complaining Tears Us Apart — Sharon Hodde Miller
Some researchers suggest complaining facilitates bonding and is psychologically healthy. Irene S. Levine, a professor of psychiatry at New York University, describes complaining as an opportunity to feel understood. Through it, we offer one another “reassurance and support.”
The “bond” created by complaining is why, in its presence, many of us instinctually join in, even when we can’t relate to the specifics of the complaint. Maybe you’re not married to a messy husband, but your roommate is kind of a slob. Maybe your husband isn’t lazy and forgetful, but there was that time when he double-booked your schedules. I don’t know about you, but I have complained about people and things that had not bothered me otherwise, simply to be included.
7 Random Suggestions for Younger Leaders — Ron Edmondson
I love working with younger leaders. It keeps me young and it helps to know I’m investing in something and someone who will likely last beyond my lifetime.
I also love sharing some things I’ve learned from experience. Some of it hard experiences.
If you can learn and practice some of what I’ve learned early in your career it will help you avoid having to learn them by experience.
Please know these are intended to help – not hurt or discourage. I believe in you.