Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Love the Bomb"

Short but good Stephen Colbert article from the LA Times. I loved the quote below about embracing "the bomb".

But a certain fearlessness is a job prerequisite. "The first director I had at Second City said, 'You have to learn to love the bomb,' and I didn't know what he meant for a very long time," Colbert says. "But there's something nice about getting to the point where you enjoy the feeling that people aren't laughing. Imagine a child drinking beer for the first time and they can't possibly understand why you like it, and you can't possibly explain why it tastes good. But there's a buzz to failing and not dying."

While at Kellogg, I was on an interview panel for 1st year students and this was pretty much my exact advice. If you aren't bombing a few interviews, you aren't stretching enough. Some people came to school knowing exactly what they wanted to do, but the vast majority (like me) were exploring. I did a lot of interviewing across industries to figure out what made companies special and see what made the interviewers tick. They're a great proxy for the personality of the company. My favorite interview was Jim Down of Becton Dickinson, which I took as a flyer. He was thoughtful, interesting and we had a great chemistry, so that is where I went to work. I loved working there.

I think this advice extends across a career and I thought it was cool that Colbert lives by that philosophy.