We had the opportunity to view Gary Hamel’s video in which he speaks to ‘Reinventing the Technology of Human Accomplishment’ that we found profound and resonated with our experience of coaching executives and managers throughout North American and other global organizations. Gary is a leading management thinker and author and co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX). He makes a very cogent argument for management that can be expected in the 21st century. Turn up your sound and enjoy.
This video is a portion taken from the University of Phoenix Distinguished Guest Video Lecture Series. We would enjoy hearing your response. Take care.
When coaching executives who are either updating their résumés or are already into career transition mode, the following executive résumé preparation tips are some that are gifted in our conversations.
Military versus Civilian Background: try using a functional résumé format with an emphasis on professional development received related to your targeted role
Education or Foreign Experience: Provide foreign degrees and certifications with their U.S./Canadian equivalent, using position titles understood by the potential employer
Age: again, use a functional résumé, forget stating your birth date, highlight your past 15 to 20 years of experience, and eliminate graduation dates
Don’t Have a Formal Degree: describe your “on-the-job” training and development, listing special workshops, seminars and training
Addressing that “Job Hopper” Impression: here goes with the use of the functional résumé once more, perhaps exclude those early or very short-term jobs, and/or include a number of short-term roles in one of your descriptions
Work Experience with Primarily One Employer: describe positions of increasing responsibilities, try combining the chronological and functional résumé formats with an emphasis on different challenges and roles, focusing on advancement and promotions
Don’t Have Experience in the Field Being Targeted: use the functional résumé format here where you highlight your accomplishments that illustrate your related functional expertise and skills that translate easily into your targeted field or industry
Work History Gaps: be prepared to address any questions related to information you leave out in your résumé, that can be effective if you use the functional résumé format and have very few gaps―don’t apologize, simply provide a simple positive statement of explanation
If you have additional comments or tips around supporting the creation of powerful executive résumés, we would love to hear from you. Take care.
Although the two concepts – solitude and leadership – on the surface do not appear to be strongly connected, Derisiewicz does a masterful job of illustrating what they truly are and how they are intimately connected. He states that leadership are the “qualities and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government”. Solitude “is what you have the least of . . . . the ability to be alone with your thoughts. . . . solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership.” Derisiewicz makes powerful references to the Francis Ford Coppola’s movie Apocalypse Now and the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad to ingeniously drive home his point.
Derisiewicz feels he needs to forwarn leaders that they will find themselves wrestling with bureaucracies “where what is rewarded above all else is conformity”. He encourages a different kind of leader and feels there is a crisis of leadership in America. What is missing are thinkers . . . “people who can think for themselves . . . who can formulate new direction for the country, corporations, colleges, for the Army . . . a new way of looking at things . . . people in other words, with vision.”
He goes on to invite leaders to learn to concentrate, to focus, which is all about solitude. He encourages leaders to think for themselves
by finding themselves, “finding their your own reality . . . . don’t marinate yourself as leader in conventional wisdom, others’ realities, but rather listen to your own voice and find a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward a cliff.” To achieve, this the leader is encouraged to take the personal time to read books that are based on the writer’s own solitude in thinking for his/herself. Further, he claims “books stand against conventional wisdom of today simply because they’re not from today”.
The intent of solitude is to get to know yourself better. A powerful form of solitude is that of friendship, deep friendship, that may appear on the surface to be counterproductive to the point being made. This involves intimate discussion―uninterrupted talk. This promotes ntrospection―talking to yourself―that can done by talking with someone that you have vulnerably trust with. . . . a very close friend or a highly qualified executive coach and confidante. Here you can truly think out loud with full confidentiality being kept within a
crucible of non-judgment. We all intuitively know that being in solitude is difficult and challenging, some more than others. However, leadership demands this.
Derisiewicz claims that “taking counsel with yourself in solitude’ is the essence of leadership . . . the position of leader is ultimately an intensely solitary, even intensely lonely one . . . . however many people you may consult, you are the one who has to make the hard decisions . . . . and at such moments, all you really have is yourself.”
What is in the challenge of solitude and leadership for you? What are related hidden opportunities and threats? We would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on this important subject.
The executive’s job search continues to be getting even more challenging. It is particularly difficult in these extremely challenging economic times. That is exactly the experience of my client Rick who had departed from his executive role with his previous employer about 6 month ago. A former Senior Vice President, Rick was struggling with job search networking, something he had never faced before. Here is how he expressed this in a recent coaching meeting, “How in the heck do I approach potential corporate contacts and what do I say to them when do give them a call?”
After a series of related coaching questions in support of Rick, he concluded some the following from our discussion.
First, his initial contact with key contacts would no doubt be by phone. The objective of which was to set up an appointment to meet. It became clear to him that it was critical for him to make his contacts very comfortable at the outset. When asked how this would be done, he quickly ascertained that it would be important for him to make it clear to each contact that he in fact was not asking them for a job! He felt doing so would put these key contacts at ease . . . important for him to be able to connect. Rather, he concluded, it would be important that they understand that he is approaching them for expert advice only. His ultimate objective was to set up a short informal twenty minute meeting over the next two to three weeks at their convenience and he would communicate that he would fully respect their valuable time in doing so.
Rick was also quite prepared to pick up the expense of potential meetings that might take place over lunch or coffee. He also concluded the need to dress business conservative, no matter how the potential contacts were dressed.
When asked what he might say in these initial telephone discussions, Rick concluded after some excellent dialogue that the following needed to be fully taken into consideration and tailored accordingly on each call he made.
Mention who referred him and that they felt such contact would be mutually beneficial.
Quickly summarize who he is professionally, years of experience in his specialty, with which organizations and where he has been most effective in adding value.
Reiterate that he does not expect that the key contact has or knows of opportunities available, but rather to gain some of the key contact’s insights and advice around industry trends over the foreseeable future.
Ask to get together sometime over the next two to three weeks at a mutually agreeable date and time for about twenty minutes.
When the meeting takes place, to again reiterate the foregoing.
Most importantly, at the end of each meeting, ask the key contact for other potential key contacts, and if any contacts don’t come to the key contact’s mind at that time, that he will offer to follow up within the next or so . . . to keep the momentum up.
Rick felt quite relieved to have developed this plan of action and could not wait to get back to his temporary office at home and start making it happen.
We would enjoy hearing what other suggestions that you might have for Rick and others like him to consider when undertaking their job search campaigns. Thank you in advance.