READ JANE 'S ARTICLES IN TAGLINES MAGAZINE
Birmingham, Alabama. My dad was a banker. We used to drive across town so he could buy gas from one of his customers. We spent more in gas than the customer made from us but my dad was about tending to long term business relationships. I learned well.
I worked my way through college and law school. During college I worked for Shoney's (now Bob’s Big Boy) where I sported a huge button that said “Ask me about my strawberry pie.” And I was a server in the school cafeteria but got fired for talking too much as I served, and for being too messy loading the food into the dishes.
I had a previous career as an attorney and it just wasn’t a fit. In 1980, I read an article in Fortune magazine about Korn/Ferry and the other mega search firms and I knew that I had found a career. I just knew. Maybe it was the six marriages I had arranged…maybe it was my keen interest in business. Or maybe I wanted to be like my dad and build relationships.
Once I interviewed a human resource executive in St. Louis who confided that he loved snakes and slept with his boa constrictor. Another time, the only candidate I could find for a highly specialized position insisted I come to her home for the interview. While there, her Doberman attacked me and as I looked up at the candidate from my vantage point on the floor, she said “I suppose this means I have to go meet the CEO of your client doesn’t it?”
Someone with emotional intelligence who can assess what I’m looking for in the interview and responds accordingly. Someone who listens, is prepared and doesn’t take 20 minutes to answer every question. I’m also impressed by people who have had to work to get where they are—people who have encountered challenges and have used those challenges as springboards to the future.