Used by admissions officers to decide between two (or even two hundred) candidates with almost identical profiles, the application essay is often the only guide admissions officers have of your ambition, personality, and interests. As a result, your essay must be unique, captivating, and informative. Try the free online entrance essay course offered by Essay Edge and Cyber Edit. Named "the world's premier application essay editing service" by The New York Times , EssayEdge has helped more applicants write successful application essays than any other company in the world.
The CIPD (2008, ) also report on the 'dark-side' of charisma and suggest that although some leaders may superficially appear charismatic they hide undesirable characteristics such as dishonesty and greed. By the time such characteristics are discovered the organisation and employees may have suffered irreparable harm. Research undertaken by Collins (2001, cited in CIPD, 2008, ) investigated common characteristics in US companies quoted on the Stock Exchange whose performance was 'outstanding'. The findings indicated that common characteristics included an unshakable belief in their company and also a 'deep personal humility'. These CEOs were not at all charismatic and appeared to be quite unassuming. Collins also noted that failing companies had a CEO 'with a gargantuan ego' causing the company to fail (Collins 2001, cited in CIPD, 2008, ).
Use your best judgment on who you decide to ask - there is no set formula for who should be your recommenders. We know it is not always possible to have a direct supervisor write your recommendation – we would not want you to jeopardize your current position for the application process. Look at the questions we are asking recommenders to complete. Find people who know you well enough to answer them. This can be a former supervisor, a colleague, someone you collaborate on an activity outside of work. How well a person knows you should take priority over level of seniority or HBS alumni status.