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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
This interview with Meridee A. Moore, founder of Watershed Asset Management, was conducted by The New York Times. Watershed is a $2 billion hedge fund based in San Francisco.
‘Q. How do you hire?
A. We look at grades and scores, of course. We want the person to be competitive. Also, if the person has had a rough patch in his or her past, that’s usually good.
A. Well, if you’ve ever had a setback and come back from it, I think it helps you make better decisions. There’s nothing better for sharpening your ability to predict outcomes than living through some period when things went wrong. You learn that events aren’t in your control and no matter how smart you are and how hard you work you have to anticipate things that can go against you.
It’s also important to be a good communicator. Our strategy involves negotiation, and you have to understand management’s perspective, the judge’s idiosyncrasies, the different professionals and principals involved, and what they might do in a bankruptcy. When I screen for people, if they have a good sense of humour and are engaging communicators, they tend to be good negotiators and seem to be better at reading the qualitative side of human decision-making.
Q. What’s your best career advice to somebody just graduating from undergrad or B-school?
A. Find a mentor. And it doesn’t have to be a mentor who looks like you. They can be older, a different gender, younger, in a different business, but someone you admire and respect, and just attach yourself to that person and learn everything you can. I’ve done this my whole career. It is so valuable, especially if you choose a good one and they end up teaching you everything and then rejoicing in your success.’