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Published on: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Follow the Leader: Barbara Corcoran

The hyper-competitive market for Manhattan real estate taught Barbara Corcoran some tough business lessons, some of which she uses today on the hit television show Shark Tank to assess the merit of investing in a wide range of startup companies.

So do you really have to have gnashing teeth or sharp elbows to compete and win in a wildly competitive or regularly disrupted industry? And are successful entrepreneurs really wired a bit differently from the rest of us?


The increasing confidence that executive recruiters showed in October prior to the election reversed in November. Recruiter confidence plunged from 46 percent to just over 30 percent, dipping to the lowest level of confidence registered this year. Meanwhile, the number of executive recruiters who are not confident the executive job market will improve increased to the highest levels seen in the last four years.


Published on: Friday, December 07, 2012

While You Were Out…

"What does it take for a company to survive and thrive in a competitive market environment? Is innovation the answer? Better people? Something else?" ExecuNet Senior Contributing Editor Joe McCool asked executives in ExecuNet's IT Roundtable about creating a sustainable competitive advantage.

"The answer clearly depends on the stage at which the firm and the market are in terms of their evolution," replied a product line manager in the electronic components and semiconductors industry. "If it is an emerging market space or a start-up firm, innovation — in technology, process, business models or position in the supply chain — is the key. If the firm is established and competing in a mature market space, innovation does matter, but other aspects of the business (like scale, brand, advertising, macroeconomics, etc.) tend to dominate."


Published on: Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It’s Time To Grow… With Optimism

Business leaders have been stymied, frustrated and held back by the indecision and uncertainty that has clouded the US economy for more than four years. It is for this reason some economists, authors and other notables have described the global business condition with the term "VUCA" – representing volatility, uncertainty, change and ambiguity.

Yet, now with the results of the November election known, and likely more of the same gridlock on Washington's docket, it's time for business leaders to get on with the business of rebuilding their companies. It's time to take our collective fingers off the "Pause" button and strive for the kind of growth we used to know.

But that's going to require significant measures of personal and enterprise resolve, re-investment, confidence and a commitment to pursue business expansion even if the politicians in Washington can't find room to compromise and get the nation more firmly on the path of economic renewal and financial sustainability.


Until recently, Mr. Stevens was a partner at the strategic communications agency SS+K, guiding the company’s consulting group and business development operations. In May 2012, he left to begin Saddle River Group, a boutique consulting and investment practice, with long-time friend and former AOL President Ron Grant.

In this candid conversation with ExecuNet, Mr. Stevens shares his views on when to follow one's passions as a career, what to do when you find yourself at a career crossroads, and other aspects of executive life.


Finding new ways to do business is always a challenge, but for success in an ever-changing world, business leaders today must be willing to try new things and remain extremely flexible. Read what some of the world's greatest innovators had to say in this ExecuNet exclusive.

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