America's Best Leaders: Q&A with Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami
What is your biggest flaw? And how do you address it?
Impatience. By putting people around me who will calm me down and slow me down and make sure I work through an issue. I have always hired very strong people. No one has ever said I surround myself with "yes" people. I have always hired people of different ages. Young people and older people. People in their 70s and in their 20s. People who are fully capable of talking back to me.
What was your biggest mistake?
I have made mistakes with the people I have hiredsenior people. And legislation and tactics. I'm just willing to make decisions. And if you are willing to make decisions, you have to be willing to make mistakes. All of the personnel mistakes I made were because I didn't trust my own instincts. I overanalyzed the situation and listened to advice from people. I am now at the point in my career at which my instincts are better than my head. My gut is far better than my intellect. It is not unusual for me to select someone 90 percent of my advisers think is the wrong candidate. -