My secret sauce is my insecurity.
~ Barbara Corcoran (1949 – )
American businesswoman, real estate tycoon,
and founder of the Corcoran Group
Musings and Impressions
Last June, I stuck this little entry in my Evernote, which I don’t use anymore, I’m now using Bear. I saved the excerpt, taken from the Wall Street Journal, to remind myself about keeping the “light”, which was Barbara Corcoran’s way of describing people with a positive attitude:
When I hire people, I just look for the light in the person, to see what’s good about them. I can spot it a mile away. And I never read a résumé until after the interview because you never know who wrote it, and you can be fooled by it.
If you read a résumé, the interview is nothing but a business small-talk session confirming stuff you just read. So I’ll just ask: “What do you like? Tell me about your mom. Where did you grow up? What’s your hobby? What was your favorite job? Why?”
I’m also trying to figure out if they’re happy, because unhappy people don’t accomplish a lot. I’m also looking for their energy, and if they’re going to be able to see the possibility in anything I propose. Those are the major cards. They cover 90 percent of successful people in the workplace.
Today, while reading about Ursula Le Guin in the Journal, a podcast ad popped up and called out to me. I dropped the great Ms. Le Guin altogether, and got sucked into this interview with Ms. Corcoran instead.
I walked away with lessons on following your gut instinct, not letting the whole gender thing make you feel any inferior. But the best piece of insight in this 23-minute podcast was this: Ms. Corcoran’s secret sauce. I’ve transcribed it here so that we can all see the words come alive in print, rather than hear them running and flying away, not least since they come from an ultra-confident, ultra-fast-talking lady with a thick New Yawk accent:
Q: How did you become so confident?
A. I’m not confident at all. Nobody’s really confident, [it’s] just some of us have a better game, and I learned that my secret sauce is my insecurity. Because I’m insecure about going into anything new, I grossly over-prepare. I over-prepare and over-prepare because I’ll tell you what’s a great alternative to real confidence is over-preparation. … After you start talking with the confidence knowing you’ve over-prepared, guess what, you actually start to almost feel confident.
Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2017
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