Archive for the ‘Job Performance’ Category

When to Make Sure Your References are Solid

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

magnifying lensIt’s 2pm and I’ve been sitting at Jury Duty since 7:45 this morning, with a break for lunch. Lots of time to catch up on emails, and to think about an impactful blog.

I just received an email from a former employee asking me to take a reference call from a potential future employer. Writers block solved!

I’ve blogged about this before, but it’s probably worth repeating. References can be job winners or job killers. Often, it can be the “back channel reference” – the one the employee didn’t give but where the potential employer knows people that worked with the candidate – that makes an impact. Rather than call references that should be well-versed in singing the candidate’s praises, including not being able to think of a single weakness other than the employee works too hard or really takes his or her job extremely seriously, the back channel reference is a confidential outreach to a co-worker or former supervisor that the job candidate didn’t give their prospective employer. We all know people, and if we can get the real skinny on someone without the concerns of having it sugar-coated, we have a better shot of making the right hire choice.

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What’s Your Ammunition?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Business People Race Across Finish LineHow do you attract stars to your organization? What tools do you give your A-players to help them succeed? A good business will provide their stars with the ammunition they need to win. Often times, we are focused on the dollar signs as a way to attract the best in the business. But the players we really want are not only attracted to the potential income – they also want to win, and win often! The ability to feel like a winner is what will keep those A-players working for you. So, what ammunition are you providing to help your key people win as often as possible, and to attract other winners?

Ammunition can come in many forms – brand strength, quality of products/service, quality of systems and back office, and quality of management, just to name a few. Having a competitive advantage is what A-players seek in an employer. If you can’t answer the question – “What makes you better than your competition?” – you haven’t created enough ammunition for those A-players to join you. Being better, doesn’t only mean in the market with your customers. It can also refer to how well you develop your people, how well you partner with your suppliers to innovate better than the others, and even what the culture of the company is like.

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Are You a Linchpin?

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I recently finished the book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. Great book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

While most business books I’ve read don’t really introduce new concepts (I know my blog doesn’t really either), the really good ones get me to focus on the important things I’ve been missing, or some areas for improvement, generally in leadership. This book falls into that same category and reinforces some important concepts we’ve all learned in the past, but does put a different perspective, in my opinion, on the mindset the Linchpin has while doing her work. She’s an artist, and is “giving” away her art, or, in my opinion, her gifts and strengths to an organization and those it serves. It’s just who she is – she is going to do a great job and not keep score, and make sure she leaves those she serves better off for having interacted with her. Keeping score – “They don’t pay me enough”, “I’m not appreciated”, or “They overwork me” – can be very tiring and generally leaves the score keeper not feeling better for the experience.

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OK, a Little Redundant, But…

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I know I’ve blogged about this already, but it seems worth bringing up again, for a number of reasons. First, I’d like readers to share their own experiences on two topics, and second, I want to give readers a unique perspective and see what they think about it.

OK, onto the topics:

I. Head Trash
We’ve had this conversation once before, but it seems to prevail in the marketplace. I refer to head trash as those thoughts, ideas, and beliefs that serve no purpose other than to create a roadblock in your head. I have a theory on it as well: sometimes head trash serves to be the “reason” we’re NOT making progress in our job search. For instance, if I want to be a leader/manager in a company in the healthcare industry, I can tell myself, after being told the same thing many times, that it’s almost impossible because I don’t have healthcare experience. What does this do for me? It validates why I haven’t made progress and therefore, it can’t be my fault, right?

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“In-Networking” – What is it and why should you do it?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Those senior executives that are either in transition now, or have been in the last 5 years, know that networking plays a key role in finding their next opportunity. The old adage of “who you know” has been changed to “who knows you” and it’s amazing to see how people that never networked before in successful careers that spanned over 20 years have become experts at building relationships in a short period of time.

What amazes me however is that while networking plays a key role during a job transition, people don’t focus on it while they’re working. At the most senior levels of a company, CFO, SVP HR, CIO, CEO for example, “in-networking” is a critical competency for them to perform their jobs successfully. However, even in these roles at a major division level, I still find people that aren’t very well networked throughout their corporations, outside of their own division or subsidiary.

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“How Am I Doing?”

Monday, March 15th, 2010

“What would you like to see me do more of? Less of? Anything I should be doing to be more effective?”

Basically – “How am I doing?”

How many times have you asked your boss these questions, and how often? How about your subordinates asking you?

If it’s not at least once a month, it’s not enough!

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