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December 3, 2004

News & Opinion: Apprecaite the Differences

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 7:15 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Another mentoring technique parents learn is the ability to appreciate individual differences. People with two or more children quickly learn that kids are all born different. We all come equipped with our own individual strengths and weaknesses, and a wise parent - or manager - never tries to make one size fit all. One persons template for success is not the same as anothers. The best managers discern an individuals strengths and then water that plant. As Penelope Leach, the British child-rearing expert, puts it, "Going by the baby is better than going by the book." This is very similar to the philosophy of Herb Kelleher, chairman of Southwest Airlines and one of the most admired business executives in the United States. "Ive always felt that you shouldnt have to change your personality when you come to work," Kelleher has said. "So we decided that we were going to hire good people and let them be themselves..."