The Mentorist

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Talking to the Elephant in the Room: When Silence Counts Against You

Three from the files:

Scene One:  The job description screams ‘corporate background required.’  A litigator submits his resume, nonetheless — along with a ‘breast-beater’ cover letter that ignores the requirement.

Scene Two:  A company puts out an RFP [request for proposal], in search of a law firm to handle its litigation work.  The executive-in-charge invites five ‘usual-suspect’ big firms to pitch for the business.

She also invites a boutique firm, seriously smaller than the others but known for excellent work.  The executive has some understandable concerns that the boutique might not be able to handle the heavy case volume.

At the pitch meeting, the firm’s partners stay mum about size. Continue reading

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Don’t Go Changing (You Probably Can’t Anyway)

‘Hi. My name is Jane, and I’m a self-helpoholic. It’s been 51 days since I’ve cruised the psychology section of my local book store.’

Apparently, I’m not alone in hoping that a book, an app or a self-proclaimed guru can help me to fundamentally change. Just search the phrase ‘how to change your life’ under the books section of As of 2:00 p.m. today, you’ll have 5,726 titles to choose from. (And counting….)

Self-help is a $12 billion industry, yet evidence is piling up that very few people are capable of categorical change. There’s even a name for the belief that, yes, this time, you’ve got the stuff it takes to transform: false-hope syndrome. []

Want to shed your introverted skin and become the life of the party? Morph from a self-centered jerk into Mother Teresa v.2? Good luck with that.

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I Meant What I Said and I Said What I Meant: Decoding Your Performance Review

Life is what happens when you’re writing performance reviews.

At least that’s the view of most managers I know.  I’ve never met one who enjoyed the process.

Having been on both sides of the manager/managee divide, I get it:  Performance reviews take big chunks of time to write and deliver.  Time that could be spent fighting fires and conquering countries.

Although ‘people development’ (what these reviews are about, after all) should also make the list of time-spending priorities, somehow it loses out.

As a result, managers too often deliver slapdash performance reviews that range in content from a grunted ‘keep-doing-what-you’re-doing’ to a set of stream-of-consciousness impressions that would do James Joyce proud.

Say what? Continue reading