Flashcards in Leadership/Teamwork Deck (43):
How have you demonstrated leadership?
Clear habit of leadership that began at an early age.
(1) KIPP – each week I volunteer to mentor and tutor middle school students. At the age where kids really look up to me, important to lead by example and to help them push their boundaries and realize their potential
-In college, I created a fundraising platform for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) research
-Extremely rare bone disease that affects my friend’s little brother
-Spearheaded concerts and other fundraising events that have raised tens of thousands of dollars in donations for FOP research
-First concert was in September 2010; raised $16,000
-Contracted top artists, booked venues, secured corporate sponsorships, and managed promotional team of sixty students
(3) Treasurer and Social Chair of Beta
-Took on A LOT of responsibility during my Junior year of college as the Treasurer and Social Chair of my fraternity during the same academic year (this was unheard of to hold two exec positions simultaneously, but I had a lot of fun and managed to make some meaningful changes)
-Inspired members to increase annual contributions by 15%; managed and allocated $100K budget
-Spearheaded charity fundraisers and weekly social events; forecasted expenditures and managed social budget of $28,000
-Led through my infectious enthusiasm
(4) President of Lantern – organized networking events,
-Elected to lead Wharton Senior Honors Society of twenty-four students
-Guided Executive Board through its weekly operations and facilitated communication with University administrators
-Allocated budget, organized networking events, managed alumni relations, spearheaded member recruitment
-One of my favorite extracurricular activities; I am still very involved with the Lantern alumni community
(5) Swim Captain / Founder of Water Polo – despite stringent opposition by school administrators, I started a water polo team during my senior year of high school. Coaches were worried would steal talent from other sports like football and soccer, which were core to my high school’s athletic department. However, through student surveys and petitioning, I demonstrated that the creation of the team would actually create a new class of athletes were previously not playing a sport. Example of my persistence as a leader and my ability to do my homework and ultimately persuade others
What is your definition of a leader? How do you fit that definition?
(1) Collaborative – communicates with confidence and conviction and remains open-minded to alternative points of views and new ideas (WP)
(2) Ability to inspire – leads with high level of enthusiasm and positivity (FOP)
(3) Determined – demonstrates strong work ethic and is committed to the goal, willing and able to get down in the trenches to produce results (Water Polo / Swimming --> woke up early)
The key underlying principle that threads all of this together is someone that is honest and has high ethical standards. True leader defines the culture and establishes core values.
I think these characteristics are at the core of who I am.
What kind of leader are you? How do you get people to follow your lead?
Most important: high ethical standards
Who is a leader you admire (who you have worked with or not)?
Instilled in me two key principles
(1) Work ethic
(2) do what you are passionate about --> success / happiness will follow
(3) high ethical standards
CEO of Civitas
(1) inspiring --> surrounded him with excellent talent
(2) great vision
(3) fiercely ambitious
Did you work with any truly exceptional leaders in your last job? What made them exceptional, and why did people follow them?
Yamamoto --> excellent delegator; incredibly efficient; rely on him to get stuff done
CEO of Civitas --> great vision
How do you make big decisions? How do you think? Do you exercise rigor and structure in the process?
(1) Do my due diligence (trusted advisors, subject matter experts, gather all of the information)
(2) Synthesize that information and form point of view
(3) Execute – commit to the decision with confidence and conviction
Examples: transfer into Wharton, banking versus consulting, private equity, business school
How do you work in teams?
(1) Natural collaborator --> glue that holds team together
(2) enthusiasm keeps those around me motivated and focused on issues that really matter
(3) committed, strong work ethic and great at executing on work plan
How has your leadership changed over time? Give me your leadership resume. Start when you think it’s appropriate and demonstrate growth.
(1) Founder & Captain Water Polo --> administrative pushback --> initiative + persistence
(2) Founder FOP --> multiple charity concerts --> natural enthusiasm + entrepreneurial drive
*FAILURE = 2nd concert was a flop --> NEED TO DO HOMEWORK (akin to new Apple launch)
(3) Beta --> two exec positions + institute change --> execute
(4) KIPP --> mentor to underprivileged kids --> lead by example + help others push boundaries
(5) WP --> develop point of view --> dissect problem, focus on issues that matter, and communicate
Tell me about your current role. How have you exhibited leadership on the job?
(1) I am responsible for identifying, sourcing, and evaluating new investment opportunities
(2) Work as part of 4-5 person deal teams. I oversee all aspects of industry and business due diligence
(3) I have demonstrated an ability to lead from the bottom up in two ways
(i) I don’t wait for direction. I develop a work plan and execute, keeping an open communication channel
Example: Maxymiser. VP was busy. I took control and conducted diligence, managing team of outside advisors, scheduled quick interim updates to make sure everyone was on same page. Got the team to an answer efficiently
(ii) I have demonstrated an ability to communicate and advance my opinion amongst the partners
Example: I took a contrarian point of view on PPT. Partner wanted to do the deal, because missed out on prior opportunity. But I did my homework and made the team focus on the issues that really mattered. Team realized was not a good investment opportunity (too much unknown/risk) and we passed.
Can you describe a situation when you demonstrated maturity?
Sharp Elbows / Big Personality: Yamamoto --> perhaps the most demanding boss I have ever had --> at first I dreaded working on projects with him because he was notorious for his “Chemicals Best Practices” one sheet of paper that analysts must adhere by --> however, I quickly figured out how to work with him
(1) build rapport and establish trust with a few small assignments but great job (2) go above and beyond to demonstrate value on first big project (3) demonstrate collaborative approach to work on future projects
Result: not only did I end up love working for the guy, but he became a good friend and invaluable mentor. Forged a strong relationship with him. Turned out to be my recommender!
Tell me about a time when people relied on you
FOP --> people fronted the money to fund the concerts --> had to execute
Maxymiser --> team was swamped --> developed work plan and executed
As a new person in the business unit without any direct reports, how do you get your new teammates to work with you/for you?
(1) build rapport and establish trust on smaller projects
(2) go above and beyond to demonstrate value on first meaningful project
(3) demonstrate collaborative working style on future projects to establish team-oriented behavior
Explain your most complex advisory problem at work in a way that both your grandmother and a 13 year old would understand
What is an operating model and how do I build one?
Problem: companies need to be able to forecast with reasonable certainty how they will perform in the future. Apple, for example, must be able to have a reasonable estimate of how many iPods they will sell next year
Goal: goal of an operating model is to use historical information to make reasonable estimates about future financial outcomes to project profits
Profits = P * Q - Costs
Solution: use a software program called excel in order to enter historical financial data, analyze trends, and use insights to project financials into future
What is SaaS?
Problem: when a salesperson is out on the road, traditionally would log information about customer interactions with pen and paper; this is inefficient and does not allow for real time distribution of information across an organization
Goal: goal of software as a service is to provide software to people, such as a sales person on the road, to anyone anywhere on any device
Solution: web based software allows you to login to www.salesperson.com/michael and track any and all information from any device, and then access that information later on any device. All in return for an annual $ subscription fee
Have you ever worked with a subordinate who did not meet your expectations? How did you deal with it?
New Analyst --> Writing investment memo --> took ownership --> worked collaboratively to improve --> delivered strong results together
Describe a scenario in which you have mentored a struggling colleague
Summer Analyst – no prior experience in venture capital or private equity
Included her in side projects for me so that when she had to present to more senior investment professionals, she was in a position to do so
Gave her a broad experience with (1) identifying (2) sourcing (3) evaluating --> had weekly catch-ups to review questions / problems
Did mock presentations with her for end of summer
Describe a time when you failed as a leader
FOP – second concert was a flop; let a lot of people down
1) venue choice
2) day of the week
Lesson: never go to market without first doing your homework
Rebounded with huge success later that year
How do you react to feedback?
(2) Ask for recommendations to improve
(4) Follow up feedback
Examples: BX --> Speak up; WP --> investment memo
Discuss another group experience that you were involved in and how you impacted the outcome.
WP: InAuth, Civitas, PPT
Wharton: Treasurer/Social Chair, Venture Capital, Corporate Valuation
How have you led an organization through change?
Beta Theta Pi
Treasurer --> 15% increase in annual member contributions + 5yr capital plan to renovate house
Social Chair --> weekly social events partially self-funded due to outreach efforts to alumni
Tell me about a management team you admire and why.
(1) inspiring --> surrounded him with excellent talent
(2) great vision --> tackling big problem and related to social good
(3) fiercely ambitious --> impressive traction to date and excellent execution
Tell me about a person you admire in the business world and why.
CEO of Civitas
Describe an occasion when you worked under a bad manager. What did you do? Was there anything you could have done to improve the situation?
The Micromanager = DY
One of my first deals, worked with a VP that has a tendency to micro manage. I am capable of running with diligence work streams with little to no guidance so first project was a bit frustrating.
(1) build rapport and establish trust on smaller projects/tasks
(2) go above and beyond to demonstrate value on first meaningful project
(3) demonstrate collaborative working style on future projects to establish team-oriented behavior --> OVER communicate; always keep in the loop
The Wanderer = AK
One manager I had would often change his minds, which made my job more difficult. He would ask for something one way, then ask it for another way. It felt as if he was unable to clearly organize his thoughts and focus on the issues that really matter.
Tell me about your experience in groups and more specifically, have you made a lot of group presentations?
Group work and presentations have been a significant part of my life since college.
Wharton: corporate valuation, management 100
Neustar: very junior but presented to senior execs
BX: took control of valuation strategy calls with clients
WP: part of my weekly work flow; constantly presenting investment opptys to the partners
Tell me about a time you have had to negotiate
Roxy. Did not have to persuade opponent. Found mutually aggregable outcome
He wanted to charge a venue fee of $4,000, which was a large upfront cost for me. I worked collaboratively with him to understand his true interests. Turns out he was very focused on attendance because directly tied to his bar revenue. Low attendance, lower revenue and $4,000 covers some of that risk. I designed a tiered structure that lowered the cost of the venue based on the number of guests that attended. For example, fewer than 500 guests, $4000. 500-600 $3000, etc
Tell me about a situation in which you encountered opposition or conflict within a group, how did you handle it?
Beta --> raising dues received immediate pushback --> convinced them with data
WP --> debating is part of our decision making process --> PPT
What is an example of times that you have taken initiative?
Water Polo --> started a new varsity sport despite tremendous opposition from school administrators
FOP --> decided to start something from scratch and throw large charity fundraisers
BX --> Assurant. Deal team quit
WP --> Maxymiser. Deal team was swamped. I developed work plan and executed on it
What is an area of weakness in your leadership style?
My ability to confidently address large groups of people. Something that I am working on. I deliberately push my own boundaries and take myself out of my comfort zone on a weekly basis to get more experience and boost my confidence
What are the six tenants of successful negotiations?
Information-based bargaining focuses on solid planning, careful listening, and attending to signals
1) Style. Know your bargaining style: competitor, problem solver, compromisers, accommodators, conflict avoiders
2) Goals. Set your goals and expectations
3) Standards. Survey applicable authoritative standards and norms
4) Relationships. Build rapport and forge strong relationships with the other party
5) Interests. Explore and understand the other party’s interests
6) Leverage. Improve your leverage with a good BATNA.
What makes a good negotiator?
I personally believe the best negotiators are those that set out to solve problems and those that are collaborative in their approach, rather than those that set out to win. Important to diligently plan, carefully listen, and gather information
Tell me about a difficult conversation you have had to have with someone
Feedback to superior
First explained how much I enjoyed working with him and why.
Then provided two areas for improvement, based on my exposure to all of the different VPs in the group
1) Manage both up and down – principals can often be demanding and can set artificial deadlines; important role of the VP is manage expectations upward and to manage the time downward
2) Give me oppty to speak up – almost all VPs let associates present their findings and their point of view; this one prefers to do it himself, which does not give me the opportunity to grow
Tell me about a time when you influenced someone
1) PPT --> pass on investment oppty
2) FOP --> $4,000 venue fee
Tell me about a time when you mentored someone
Something I enjoy very much
1) KEEN Club --> sports with mentally handicapped
2) Penn Tutor --> tutor struggling Wharton students
3) KIPP --> mentor middle school students
I also love to make myself available to younger professionals to provide guidance and career advice
Tell me about a time when someone needed your help
KIPP --> tutoring boy how to read
Tell me about a time when you convinced others to follow your plan
1) Beta --> raise dues and set out capital budget plan
2) FOP --> manage and motivate team of 60 students
3) Water Polo --> start varsity team despite
What irritates you about other people?
3) Undetermined or unambitious
If you had to choose a business partner, what qualities would you look for?
But would want someone from different background with different experiences fosters foundation for innovation
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
Leader is able to inspire those around him towards his or her vision
Manager is able to efficiently delegate in order complete immediate tasks at hand
Are you a good public speaker?
I love talking to people. And I am very good in group environments. However, I have never been a tremendously confident public speaker. Over the years I have proactively taken steps to improve this skill because I think it is incredibly important
1) High school public speaking class
2) College management 100 class
3) WP presenting investment opptys
I look forward to improving my skills indirectly by participating in classroom case discussions and directly by taking Arts of Communication
Is it better for a leader to be loved or feared?
I’m sure different people have different points of views. But it would be my personal style to be a leader that is loved. I believe in leading through
What do you do when you encounter someone smarter than you?
I make them my friend and try to learn from them!
I love surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me because it is the perfect opportunity to satisfy my intellectual curiosity.
BX/WP --> very smart people; learned a great deal
Tell me about a time you have helped out a colleague.
Job is very team oriented and always has puts and takes.
Maxymiser: VP was getting crushed, and I stepped into the role
Have you ever had to depend on someone else for success? How did that go?
Swimming: always swimming for personal best times, but in order win meets, other teammates had to perform.
(1) Led by example (not best swimmer but my pushed myself; showed up early for 6am morning practices; waffle workouts) and (2) inspired through enthusiasm (brought a level of spirit that team had never seen --> convinced my group of ten friends who were mostly lacrosse and football players to come to our Metro finals meet; never before had a cheering section)
When you are let down, all you can do is provide encouragement and work harder.
Finished 2nd place at IAC (our regional conference) --> best performance in over a decade