I noted recently a 2013 NYTimes Corner Office piece which touched on interviewing. From the bowels of crm vendor Salesforce, the advice of their top Ops guy was to know yourself well. The question he favours to uncover this is;
“How would you describe who you are, in the core of your DNA, in one word?”
And then disclosed;
People often struggle with that. The most common response I get is, “Do you really mean one word?”
I didn’t find him to make a great execution on answering this himself. But then he is a techie I suppose. His responses have evolved during his career from ‘analyst’, ‘problem-solver’ to ‘leader’. Poor.
Still. I liked the concept of the dna analogy.
My first thought evoked the dumbwaiter pitch. That’s a one-word construct as well.
Then I moved swiftly to thinking what is dna?
It isn’t like the Salesforce chap had, a mere business-babble word that may sum up their main activity. It’s more like something that runs throughout you, like the letters in the stick of Blackpool rock, wherever you slice at your core that word will appear.
I’ve long been shaped not by the ‘what’ but by the ‘why’.
Then in a snap-thought, I remembered that dna scientifically is made up of pairs of four letters; AGCT.
I immediately started riffiing on an acronym from a quartet of initial letters of words that may represent me.
Then realised that my Sales or Career dna need not be restricted to the four pairs in the double helix. Why not an extra letter?
(I once did a spot of corporate branding around the mnemonic pride; passion, results, initiative, delivery, effort. A long time ago, I’d alter these today but a worthy programme nonetheless.)
I chuckled when I imagined how my reply in such manner would have scared the life out of the interviewer.
Yet the process does have legs.
Especially as it does reveal the candidate’s thinking processes.
If you’re in the midst of trying to get recruited, it’s for sure a good addition to your ‘tell me about yourself’ answer. If you’re seeking to add to your team, you can test the mettle accordingly too.
Then there’s other applications, right?
How about the dna of your Proposal?
Is there a word (or acronym) that sums up your deal? How about discussing it with your prospect? Quite a revealing exercise there I suspect. And any decent answer could add distinction and value to your documentation.