The October 24, 2010 New York Times did a Q&A with Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, producers of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. When interviewing prospective executives he asks this: “You’re really smart, but do you know how to make money? Tell me some things about how you made money.”
“Let me tell you, nothing kills an interview like that,” Feld said.
Even if you work in the public sector — no, especially if you work in the public sector — you should have an answer that question. It will keep you focused on your mission and on your bottom line.
(In the mid-1980s, while working at PR Associates, I did local media relations for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Buy me a drink sometime and I’ll tell you about booking the bear act on “Kelly & Company.”)