Goldman Sachs Executive Teaches MBAs How to ‘Leverage’ Human Qualities

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"Find what is unique in your style and turn up the volume a couple of notches. Mine is that I'm Italian. I speak with an accent. At first I was embarrassed, but then a coach at Goldman told me that Americans have a longer attention span when they listen to someone speaking with a foreign accent. So I figured, great! And instead of hiding it, I turned it into an asset. And actually, I'm able to get away with a lot because of it. I'm expected to be very passionate. I hug my clients sometimes, but that's fine because I'm Italian. I talk with my hands. Figure yours out and leverage it." — Goldman Sachs managing director Monica Mandelli, speaking to Harvard MBA students recently. [BI]