James A. Runde

What I’ve found is that in the recruiting process, soft skills are under-assessed. In other words, they’re not properly measured.

Once people get hired, they are often slow to be developed by the human resources people. Only when there is a problem, only when somebody gets passed over for promotion, does a person realize that they undervalued, underappreciated how much the soft skills were going to be the differentiator. Because every person at these high-powered firms has a great work ethic and a terrific grade point average and went to great schools like Wharton.

But not every Wharton graduate does as well as the next Wharton graduate. They’ve all got the same degree. What is the differentiator? What I’ve learned is it’s one of these three things: adaptability, collaboration or empathy.

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