From Zenefits’s Reinvention To Getting Paid Fairly: This Week’s Top Leadership Stories

This week’s top stories may help you get paid your due as a freelancer and answer a tricky question without totally dodging it.


This week we found out why Zenefits’s new CEO is hopeful for the company’s future, what it takes to get paid what you’re worth as a freelancer, and how not to dodge (or get trapped by) uncomfortable questions.


These are the stories you loved in Leadership during the week of October 31.

1. The Reluctant CEO: David Sacks On Zenefits’s Rough Ride And The Road Ahead

At one point, Zenefits was valued at $4.5 billion—then everything went to hell. CEO and founder Parker Conrad was ousted amid a flurry of damaging reports about legal issues and a toxic work culture, leaving Sacks to take the reins last February. He didn’t seek the job and says he’s clear-eyed about the company’s odds of success, but this week he tells Fast Company why he’s so hopeful anyway.

2. What To Do When Your Client Pressures You To Slash Your Rates

It shouldn’t come as a surprise when a client asks to get independent contractors’ rates back down to “market value.” But it can still feel like a punch in the chest. This week veteran coach Ted Leonhardt explained how to clearly, professionally, and effectively push back—without ever letting them see you sweat.

3. The Right Way To Discuss Your Failures In A Job Interview

This CEO’s favorite question to ask prospective hires is “”What has been a moment of significant professional disappointment or failure, and what caused it?” Here’s the type of answer he listens for and what it tells him about a candidate’s temperament in the workplace.

4. How To Successfully Respond To A Question You Don’t Really Want To Answer

Getting an uncomfortable question thrown at you, especially in a public forum, is never a fun experience. But you don’t need to hem, haw, or awkwardly gulp water to bide time. This week we picked up a few techniques for offering a smooth response without saying more than you’d like to.

5. Is Your Office Layout Causing Gender Bias?

University of Toronto researchers say that most offices are set up to maximize men’s work styles. “Traditional office models are very hierarchical and segmented,” an author of a new study explains, which can lead to “a lack of mentorship and interactions” that women disproportionately need in order to advance.