Lynn Bendixsen: Listen.

(A post in my “Role Models” series.)

When I worked at Perfect Search, we had a standing joke that after the meeting agenda was done and we had given the word to adjourn, it was time to turn to Lynn and get his feedback. This joke was funny because on many occasions we’d seen Lynn ask penetrating questions after the rest of us rushed headlong through an issue and assumed all the thinking was done.

Although Lynn tolerates this joke with good grace, I think the joke isn’t really fair to him, because there’s nothing funny about thoughtful listening. The world could do with more people who’ve mastered Lynn’s skill.

Listen to understand, not to respond. Photo credit: Prisoner 5413 (Flickr)

I recently blogged about the importance of humility. It is not an accident that humility Continue reading

Humility

I was applying for a very senior architect role. I’d already been through several rounds of interviews with a whole committee of thought leaders in the department. I’d taken a technical proficiency test, and (I hope) given a good impression about how I’d be able to contribute.

The CEO cleared a block on her schedule and sat down with me. She poked a bit at my business experience, my ideas of process, and my aspirations. Then she said, “Tell me your thoughts on humility.”

I think it’s the best job interview question anyone has ever asked me.

A great perspective on humility. Photo credit: Chiot’s Run (Flickr).

Real humility

A person trying to fake humility says, “I’m not very good” — but doesn’t mean it.

A person trying to be humble, but misunderstanding its nature, says, “I’m not as good as X” — and tells himself it’s probably true.

A truly humble person Continue reading