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Filed Under: Execunet

 
Will Pearson has learned a lot about the demographic group he calls the "millennial influencers" through his company's engagement with them as president and co-founder of trivia magazine and website mental_floss, the latter of which he launched from his dorm room at Duke University.

In an exclusive conversation with ExecuNet at the World Innovation Forum in NYC, Pearson tells ExecuNet members why they shouldn't underestimate the millennial influencers in their own organizations nor fail to recognize their incredible influence as consumers and technologists. He also shares his view of the strategies required to engage them in meaningful commerce and to market to their surprisingly sophisticated sensibilities and senses of humor, too.

 

 
Who says timing isn't everything?

Procter & Gamble welcomed back former CEO A.G. Lafley, who led the company during a period of record growth between 2000 and 2009, as its new CEO, President and Chairman following the sudden retirement of CEO Bob McDonald, who cited criticism of his leadership as a distraction for the company. That criticism came despite the fact that Lafley had reportedly groomed McDonald to succeed him.

The news cheered analysts and investors who have actually had much to cheer of late. Shares of P&G stock hit a record high in April, and with Lafley at the helm, analysts will surely be watching for signs of any shifts of strategy, research, innovating and branding that could be felt by shareholders.

 

Published on: Monday, July 15, 2013

While You Were Out…

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When interviewing, the most innocuous actions/inactions can be what decides if you get the job or not. One ExecuNet member shared in the Job Search & Career Roundtable that he knew the CEO of a major company who would always take candidates out to dinner to see if they were open-minded or creatures of habit by nature.

The way he gleaned insight into their natural tendencies was outside the box. He wrote, "If they salted their food before they tasted it, he disqualified them. Too much creators of habits."

 

Published on: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Job Creation Remains Constant

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The April jobs report showed a rebound in new jobs added back to the average we have seen for months — 165,000 jobs — and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 7.5 percent. Economists only expected 140,000 jobs to be added, and they thought the unemployment rate would remain steady. The good news is that the very negative initial estimate of jobs added in March of 88,000 was revised to 138,000 jobs added and February's strong showing of 268,000 jobs was revised up to 332,000 jobs added.

The government also recently released GDP growth for the first quarter at 2.5 percent up which was a rebound from +.4 percent from the fourth quarter and back to more consistent levels of the last year.

 

 
At 42 percent in April, ExecuNet's Recruiter Confidence Index, languished just below the 50 percent mark which indicates a major advance. Solid, but not breakout, job creation and economic growth is likely to continue into the second quarter, unlike last year when it did not follow through and dipped back after a fairly strong first quarter, averaging just 100,000 jobs added per month.

 

Published on: Friday, May 10, 2013

While You Were Out…

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Trying to sell yourself to prospective employers is a deeply personal and oftentimes humbling experience. Essentially job seekers are saying, "Pick me! I can help you. Really, I can!" And what comes next, after you spend hours researching the company – and if you're thorough, the hiring manager too? Often candidates are told they are overqualified.

 

Published on: Monday, May 06, 2013

The Keys to Earning and Building Trust

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Trust. There are few intangibles in the world of business as valuable and as sought after.

Trust cements relationships between goods and services providers and their customers. It sets the table for important, sometimes sensitive discussions between professional colleagues, and it speaks to the spirit of collaboration in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and other important business initiatives.

 

Published on: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fewer Companies Expected to Put New Jobs on Hold

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ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index strengthen a bit in March. One in five companies continue to indicate that they will be adding executive jobs in the next six months. The good news is that companies previously suggesting that they were putting jobs on hold declined to just over 3 percent. If there is good news, retained recruiters are more bullish than their contingency counterparts. This suggests companies are having trouble finding the right talent and turning to retained recruiters as a result.

 

Published on: Monday, April 15, 2013

While You Were Out…

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With over 1,000 registrants, our recent webinar, Stories that Move Mountains: Storytelling and Visual Design for Persuasive Presentations, demonstrated how to move beyond PowerPoint presentations to a more engaging visual approach.

Martin Sykes, whose recent book was the basis for the webinar, said, "It's not just telling a story that makes for active communication. It's also the combination of that narrative with a visual that can help to [elicit] an emotional response and clarify the message."

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive index of recruiter confidence remained in the mid-forties — below the important 50 percent level that would signal a major advance — and well above 30 percent where it languished last year. Since this measure of confidence is forward looking, it may suggest the dip in job creation is not a new trend. Given the up and down of the market the last several years, we see this weakening as just more ebb and flow in slow upwardly trending market.

 

Published on: Thursday, March 21, 2013

Having a “Knocked Down” Moment?

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If you stayed up late enough to watch the Oscars a few weeks ago, you might have heard Ben Affleck remark as he accepted the Best Picture award for Argo: "And it doesn't matter how you get knocked down in life because that's going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up."

A business crisis, lay-off or bad movie called Gigli are all recoverable events, despite the depth of devastation you might feel at the time. The pain and damage are real, but it's often not permanent.

 

Published on: Monday, March 11, 2013

While You Were Out…

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"What does success look like?" That's the question I usually ask during project meetings so we can all solidify and envision the same outcome. In interviews, it's a good question for candidates to ask the hiring manager so that expectations are well-understood and defined.

It may be a question that is asked of you — What best defines you as a successful company executive? — and that's the active discussion currently underway in ExecuNet's Job Search and Career Roundtable.

One ExecuNet member simply stated his definition as "One who would reach and exceed corporate and personal goals while keeping all aspects of life in balance."

 

Published on: Thursday, March 07, 2013

Are You Looking in the Right Place?

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Executives get where they are by staying a step ahead, by identifying opportunity or seeing the beginning of a trend before the mad rush. If you're looking at what's next for your career, ExecuNet's recent survey of executive recruiters revealed the growth industries and functions for 2013 — areas where they expect to see the most hiring for executive talent.

 

 
ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index dipped from +15 to +8 in January, 2013. Recruiters still expect about one in five companies will add executive level jobs in the next six months but they also saw an increase on the number of jobs placed on hold and a slight uptick in the number of companies saying they would eliminate jobs.

Companies expecting to eliminate jobs moved from 2 percent to 4 percent, and those saying they would put jobs on hold increased from 6 percent to 7 percent. Recruiters did see that 55 percent of companies indicated that they were interested in upgrading executive talent, though they may not be actively searching for talent at the current time.

 

Published on: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Assignments Expected to Increase in 2013

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Recruiter confidence in the executive market rebounded in January. Forty-six percent think the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, up from 32 percent two months ago.

Recruiter optimism extends to the expected increase in search assignments as recruiters predict a 20 percent increase in 2013. This came after a year where recruiters reported an 11 percent increase in assignments.

 

Published on: Monday, February 11, 2013

While You Were Out…

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"Have you noticed that your industry is changing and you may now need a new set of skills to more effectively compete?," ExecuNet Contributing Editor Marji McClure asked senior-level executives in ExecuNet's General Management Roundtable. "For instance, when you earned your degree, social media didn't exist. Now, your company and its competitors utilize social media technology on a regular basis. But you don't know how to make it work best for your organization and your career. What new skills must you acquire to continue to be successful in both your industry and job function? How can you get those skills you need — get them quickly — and close that gap?"

 

 
In this candid conversation with ExecuNet, innovative branding strategist Russell Stevens shares his views on how great leaders encourage creative thinking within an organization.

He says creativity must be risk-free for the creative types. "You have to take the sense of risk out of it. You can't have people be truly creative if you're going to punish them for it not working. The leaders have to stand side by side with the creatives. You can't just talk about it. You have to commit to it."

 

Published on: Monday, January 21, 2013

Perks Matter

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I have no clue how many surveys have been run in the just the past five to 10 years on the subject of what happens as the employment market turns from one favoring the buyers vs. one where the sellers have the leverage. While we are not there yet, "barring injury" as they say, overall we seem slowly to be headed in that direction. I know that could change by dinnertime, but I still prefer to think of it in positive terms.

As this happens, organizations might want to dust off some of those surveys and remind themselves that after bucks and benefits, what matters, especially to the GenXers (and indeed) lots of Boomers as well.

 

 
ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index increased from +11 to +15 in December as recruiters indicated that one in five companies would be adding executive level jobs in the next six months. This was up from one in six last month. The number of companies expected to upgrade their talent climbed from 44 percent to 51 percent. This positive shift suggests a firmer environment as we begin 2013, but still does not indicate a major breakout we would all like to see as Recruiter Confidence continues to languish below 50 percent.

 

Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Recruiter Confidence Still Lagging

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Recruiter confidence for the next six months improved a bit, moving to 36 percent at the end of December 2012, but remained below 50 percent for the eighth month in row, Being above the 50 percent mark is a critical overall indicator of an expanding executive employment market.

Attitudes captured before the fiscal cliff negotiations completed on January 1, continued to show the overall lack of recruiter confidence that this market trend will change over the next six months. Recruiters still tend to believe, as they expressed last year, that lack of leadership in Washington to create a national climate for business growth was the problem.

 

Published on: Monday, January 07, 2013

Top 12 for 2012

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Thank you to everyone who read, commented, visited and shared content from Executive Insider this last year. Much of what we publish here comes from information gleaned inside our membership, with experts who interact in our executive communities, on-site at exclusive events, and the ongoing conversations we have with professionals like you.

We're pleased you continue to find value in this executive-level career and business insight; here are the articles that were the most read in 2012. You'll find a mixture of downloadable white papers, interesting infographics, expert commentary, "how-to," opinion and other information to get you thinking or moving toward an action. Enjoy!

 

Published on: Friday, December 07, 2012

While You Were Out…

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"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: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Recruiters Want to See the Real You

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What headhunters see should be what they get, as 62 percent of recruiters say it's crucial to have a current, professional headshot on online profiles. With a previous ExecuNet study revealing that 90 percent of recruiters check out executive candidates online, you want to be sure that the picture they found of you is going to be a close match of who they meet in person.

 

Published on: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Follow the Leader: Clay Shirky (3 of 3)

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So what should be asked of business leaders when it comes to innovation? NYU professor Clay Shirky says leaders have to cede control of the conversation with customers in order to achieve the kinds of surprises that can lead to real business breakthroughs.

In an exclusive offstage video interview at the 2012 World Innovation Forum, Shirky shared his perspective of the role executives must play to engage customers and set the table for sustainable business results.

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index jumped from +9 in September to +17 in October. This change was driven by the almost doubling in the number of companies expecting to add executive level positions in the next six months. In October, the number of companies expecting to add positions jumped from 13 percent to 27 percent.

 

Published on: Friday, November 16, 2012

While You Were Out…

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"Can great salespeople sell anything?" That was the question posed by the president of a software consulting company in one of ExecuNet's business Roundtables.

"I don't necessarily agree that great salespeople can sell anything," replied a senior vice president of an online services company. "I've run into this question many times, and my favorite analogy is car sales. You can have a salesperson on the lot of a local Ford dealership who is selling Mustangs at $26k a piece, and he can have a sales quota of $2.6 million, and be a great salesman and blow through his quota."

 

Published on: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Follow the Leader: Ray Kurzweil (2 of 2)

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Leading futurist Ray Kurzweil shares his view about what innovation impacts will be felt in healthcare and the practice of medicine and how data and a wealth of information now available about the human genome will transform the healthcare sector for years to come.

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index ticked up seven points in September. This is a rebound from the low level reached last month. Recruiters report that one in five companies are now looking to add executive level positions in the next six months.

 

Published on: Monday, October 15, 2012

While You Were Out…

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"Organizations today are far more sophisticated than they once were when it comes to supply chain, logistics and other operational measures. So where is there room for a breakthrough? Where do you expect to see the focus of the next big operational breakthrough?" asked ExecuNet Senior Contributing Editor Joe McCool of the ExecuNet members in the Operations Roundtable.

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continued at low levels in September and remained below 40 percent. It says that while there are pockets of opportunity, recruiters are not seeing a broad-based improvement in the overall executive employment market for the next six months.

 

Published on: Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Follow the Leader: Mohanbir Sawhney (2 of 2)

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Northwestern University Kellogg School professor Mohanbir Sawhney tells ExecuNet that there are significant human resources implications from the integration of technologies, ideas and market expertise. He shares one example of the virtual workplace and how it could portend change across numerous industries in this exclusive video interview at the 2012 World Innovation Forum.

 

Published on: Thursday, September 27, 2012

Follow the Leader: Ray Kurzweil (1 of 2)

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Recognized as one of the world's leading futurists, Ray Kurzweil shares his view that the democratization of information is having a profound impact on business, on lives and societies and how they interact and provide value for each other.

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index ticked down five points in August to plus five. This is the lowest it has been since last October. This drop reflects the fact that recruiters report only 13 percent of companies will be adding jobs over the next six months, versus 20 percent in our July survey.

 

Published on: Monday, September 10, 2012

While You Were Out…

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"How much of a link, or perhaps cause and effect relationship, is there between the senior leadership in an organization and what the internal culture looks and feels like to employees and other constituents?" asked ExecuNet Senior Contributing Editor Joe McCool of the leaders in the General Management member Roundtable.

"Senior leadership needs to help in setting direction for the company. It needs to be a direction in which all senior leaders are going and striving for. Without such, there is chaos which leads to low morale, less productivity and potentially higher turnover rates," replied a director of a large electronic components company. "Senior leadership should be setting and living the culture of the company in my mind. The cause and effect is how they act is how others will start acting, not everyone mind you, but many will."

 

Published on: Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Follow the Leader: Henry Chesbrough

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Henry Chesbrough, globally recognized expert on open innovation, shared his unique perspective on revisiting and renewing the process of innovating with ExecuNet in this video interview, taken at the 2012 World Innovation Forum. His views on open innovation and cross-functional collaboration can raise engagement with customers in many markets around the world.

 

 
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index was flat from June to July and still below 40 percent. What this means to you is recruiters are not seeing a broad based improvement in the overall executive employment market for the near-term. Since 40 percent are confident or very confident — it seems there are pockets for opportunity, but not across the board. When the index climbs over 50 percent is an indicator or a more broad-based improvement in the executive hiring market.

 

 
Nearly half (49%) of the executive recruiters surveyed by ExecuNet revealed that executives with proven innovation skills were hard to find, compared to other skills, and 31 percent said companies were willing to pay a premium for innovative talent — even in today's job market.

With product lifecycles declining rapidly, increased global competition and pressure from changing customer needs, executives who have demonstrated they can challenge business assumptions and find the areas of opportunities in current business models are in demand. We counsel executives every day that they have to do more than claim they were "innovative" on their résumés. They need to show a quantifiable history of innovating and its impact on their previous organizations.

 

Published on: Monday, August 06, 2012

While You Were Out…

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Feeling stressed? Burned out on work? You're not alone. ExecuNet research recently revealed that 57 percent of executive recruiters' rate executive workloads very high, and an additional 25 percent say they're the highest they've ever seen. Fifty-three percent of recruiters also believe executives’ current workloads are unsustainable and that employers will feel significant repercussions because they’ve stretched management leaders too thin for too long.

 

Published on: Monday, July 09, 2012

While You Were Out…

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Strategy and execution: are they still two very distinct functions within an organization? That's a recent discussion point in ExecuNet's Consulting Roundtable where senior-level executives exchange business ideas, solve daily challenges and engage peer feedback.

While the strategy and execution teams may be linked, given the challenges of the business environment and the need to close potential performance gaps, the member consensus was that they are very different functions. However, one member pointed out that "where one is on the organization chart has a bearing on which activity one is involved in and one may be involved in both activities."

Here's where other ExecuNet executives stood on the division of responsibility between strategy and execution:

 

Published on: Friday, June 22, 2012

The 11 Steps to Innovation

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Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple, and author of 10 books, most recently, Enchantment, said he always uses the "top 10" concept for his presentations. "This way, if I suck, you know exactly how much longer I'll be speaking."

Luckily, for 2012 World Innovation Forum delegates, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, Kawasaki didn't suck, and he even added a bonus step.

 

Published on: Monday, June 11, 2012

While You Were Out…

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You need more than a successful career behind you to get ahead in today's marketplace, particularly if you are over a certain age. Executives over 50 are finding job search to be a much different experience than what they may have previously encountered, requiring new strategies, tactics and techniques.

In a recent ExecuNet webinar, Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane, authors of Fired at 50: How to Overcome the Greatest Executive Job Search Challenge, discussed strategies for job search success, and Sloane explained there are many reasons for over 50 age bias. They include: low energy; negative attitude; inflexibility; near retirement; high compensation; and physical appearance.

 

 


Put down the mouse and get out of your house. Or, at least spend more time meeting people than you do responding to online job postings. Recruiters revealed in ExecuNet's 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report which activities yield the highest ROI for candidate sourcing, and various forms of networking came out on top.

 

 
For more than a year now, executive search firms have taken a very cautious approach to rebuilding their own consulting and research staffs in the wake of a global recession that forced some of them to close offices and many of them to downsize their teams.

 

Published on: Friday, May 11, 2012

While You Were Out…

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Every executive needs to have demonstrable leadership ability to be marketable today. Whether you're currently navigating a company through this recent wake of economic catastrophe or you have high aspirations for your leadership career, you have to be able to "lead with purpose."

 

 
A monthly ExecuNet survey of executive recruiters finds most are confident the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, despite some slippage in that hiring indicator last month and a flurry of headlines about the sluggishness of the broader jobs market.

 

Published on: Thursday, April 05, 2012

While You Were Out…

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Your subject matter expertise is your differentiator; it exemplifies your individual intellectual capital and highlights your core competencies. But it has to be effectively promoted outside your immediate circle to a bigger network of influence if you want to get "known for what you know."

In a recent ExecuNet webinar, Peter Winick, who has worked with many thought leaders as he built and managed several consulting and professional development organizations, explained how executives can effectively promote their skills to a larger network.

 

Published on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trading Up is Hard to Do

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I'm among the last people to pay attention to sports, but I did watch Peyton Manning's recent press conference. It was hard to miss; the emotional clip was played across all mediums, and I especially noticed it because there is something about crying sports figures that really gets to me. The movie Rudy leaves me wrecked for days.

But after the tears, what I immediately heard was the list of teams already vying for his attention. What was a sad day for Peyton was a happy one for his potential employers.

 

 
A monthly ExecuNet survey of executive recruiters finds that 28 percent of companies are expected to add new executive jobs in the next six months, and only 1 percent are poised to cut top management positions during the same time.

 

Published on: Thursday, March 08, 2012

While You Were Out…

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Can a "Quiet Leader" also be a "Bold Leader?" a VP of operations asked of other ExecuNet members in the General Management Roundtable. "Sometimes the best leaders are the 'Quiet Leaders,'" he noticed.

"When I think of quiet leadership, I think of men and women who lead by example rather than words, be they spoken loudly or softly," ExecuNet founder and CEO Dave Opton replied, noting Colin Powell as someone who came to mind.

 

 
The number of employers expecting to recruit for senior-executive roles over the next six months is higher than the number of employers planning to shed management jobs during the same time, according to the results of an ExecuNet survey in January of 157 executive recruiters.

 

Published on: Monday, February 13, 2012

Follow the Leader: Patrick Lencioni

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Business author, consultant, and speaker Patrick Lencioni has seen a lot of organizational dysfunction at play over the years. So it may come as no surprise that Lencioni advocates for disrupting corporate bureaucracy by determining what's essential to achieve and then building structure around those business objectives.

Lencioni says organizational politics often emanate from the senior leadership team, or may otherwise be condoned by that team because no one is willing to confront it. "Are we creating the kind of organizations where politics doesn't work?" Lencioni asks as something of a litmus test on bureaucracy and the politics that inevitably populate.

 

Published on: Friday, February 10, 2012

While You Were Out…

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When we published Ben Zander Shares His 6 Secrets to Success in our ExecuNet member newsletter, the positive reaction was overwhelming, which signaled to me that the conductor's inspirational words were the right message at the right time for many.

But, what Zander put so eloquently was not much different than the experiential wisdom that ExecuNet members share amongst each other. I captured the insight on a variety of topics that members give to each other so freely in the community to share with you: [Some were edited without changing context.]

 

Published on: Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Six-Figure Hotline: Network Past Education Bias

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As part of ExecuNet membership, I conduct a weekly teleconference called Six-Figure Hotline where members call in to ask the questions keeping them up at night, and to gain market and trend insight from the career experts who join me in talking about issues that are important to executives today.

An ExecuNet member asked: "After over 15+ years of a successful career as a procurement specialist, considered a lobbyist/partner within the law firms where I was affiliated in DC, I am changing careers to business development and want to work in-house. Although I have worked with corporate CEOs, Presidents and Emirs, I find that my lack of formal education stops my application when it hits HR. I'm frustrated because in my field it's about delivery and not about your degree. How do I overcome this challenge?"

 

Published on: Friday, January 13, 2012

Do You Know Where Your Career Plan Is?

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, execunet, executive job search, hidden job market
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Whether you are in active job search or just keeping your options open, it's important to have a map for where you want to go. If you are employed and your New Year's resolution was to get a new job, you should visualize where you will be in the summer, as recent ExecuNet research with recruiters revealed that it takes, on average, seven months to transition.

But where to start? That's one of the most common questions we get at ExecuNet. At the executive level, you're less likely to find your next job by going online and sending out résumés; just a fraction of $200K positions are publicly posted anyway.

 

Published on: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Six-Figure Hotline: Face-to-Face Networking

Posted By: Dave Opton
Filed Under: execunet, networking, dave opton, six-figure hotline, john o connor
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As part of ExecuNet membership, I conduct a weekly teleconference called Six-Figure Hotline where members call in to ask the questions keeping them up at night, and to gain market and trend insight from the career experts who join me in talking about issues that are important to executives today.

In a recent teleconference in which John O'Connor, an executive career coach and ExecuNet meeting facilitator joined me, a caller asked, "What can one expect at an ExecuNet networking meeting?"

At ExecuNet, we have found in our more than 20 years of connecting business leaders that about 70 percent of executive positions are found through networking, so it's no surprise that networking is a key component of ExecuNet membership. In fact, last year we redesigned our website with what we call "The Social Media Platform" to allow our members to interact with each other more effectively. We also have a great deal of networking related content and programs. Here's our reply to the caller:

 

Published on: Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 for 2011

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Thank you to everyone who read, commented, visited and shared content from Executive Insider this last year. Much of what we publish here comes from information gleaned inside our membership, with experts who interact in our executive communities, on-site at exclusive events, and the ongoing conversations we have with professionals like you.

 

Published on: Monday, December 12, 2011

While You Were Out…

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"Why is help so frequently not sought?" That's the question an ExecuNet member, a C-level executive in the manufacturing industry, posed to his peers in one of the business Roundtables. He noted that, in his leadership career, he would have failed countless times had he not asked for help.

"Perhaps part of the culture in this country is that failure is just not an acceptable outcome," wondered the manufacturing executive. "Certainly nobody seeks it, but the irony is that the only way to become experienced and enjoy wisdom in business is to have a healthy mix of successes and failures. We just have to minimize the impact of failure as much as possible and learn to pick it all up and proceed forward again after it does occur."

 

 
If your company doesn't have a strong retention plan, then it better have a successor lined up for the CFO position. ExecuNet's findings reveal these financial executives have one hand on the purse strings and the other on the doorknob.

 

 
If you're a CEO, you'll want to benchmark yourself against others like you. If you're an in-role senior leader, insight into the chief executive can help you strategically focus your performance goals. For those in job search, you can better position yourself as a solution if you know the CEO's business priorities. Finally, if you recruit top talent, knowing CEOs' retention and engagement triggers can help you place your next candidate.

 

Published on: Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have You Heard the One About the First-Time CEO@f50

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There are many different ways to present information, and we've found three approaches typically resonate with our ExecuNet members:
  1. Benchmarks and market intelligence borne from our statistical research
  2. Authoritative advice from vetted experts
  3. Experiential knowledge from peer communities

When an ExecuNet member landed an opportunity at the top of the org chart, we were able to present him with data revealing CEOs' top business priorities, as well as perspectives from Board experts on what they expected from their chief executives. But the real inside information came from those he engaged in ExecuNet’s General Management Roundtable who already sat in the corner office:

 

Published on: Friday, November 04, 2011

While You Were Out…

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"You will eliminate innovation if you require proof of an idea in advance of trying it." – Roger Martin

I've had this Roger Martin quote on my white board since I heard him speak on The Design of Business at World Innovation Forum earlier this year, as a reminder to myself and everyone who enters my office to, as I like to say, "always be in beta."


 

Published on: Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Should You Ask for a Step Back?

 
As part of ExecuNet membership, I conduct a weekly teleconference called Six-Figure Hotline where members call in to ask the questions keeping them up at night, and to gain market and trend insight from the career experts who join me in talking about issues that are important to executives today.

In a recent teleconference a caller asked, "Once you've progressed far enough in the interview process, how aggressive do you really need to be as far as asking for the job offer? How do you respond to the question, 'Is this job enough for you?' How do you counter the fact that a position may be a step back, but you really want the role for a variety of reasons, (e.g. great company, advancement opportunity, industry, etc)?"

Here's what I told him:

 

Published on: Friday, October 07, 2011

While You Were Out…

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A friend of mine who worked in corporate roles followed his passion a few years ago and went to cooking school. Shortly after graduating, he left the cubicles for the kitchen but couldn't really connect with the right opportunity.

About six months ago, he was hired for a position that perfectly combined his showmanship and love of food teaching cooking classes and doing new product demonstrations. He'd be perfectly happy if he wasn't so stressed about the salary reduction he incurred when he dropped out of the corporate world.

 

Published on: Monday, September 12, 2011

While You Were Out…

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Pity the Poor Interviewer is the conversation executive coach Judy Rosemarin recently sparked among members in ExecuNet's Job Search Roundtable, reminding candidates to see the interview from another perspective.

 

Published on: Friday, August 05, 2011

Start with Why

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It used to be tough enough to pick a few columnists to follow, but when blogging grew into a hydra it became impossible to pick "just a few." Indeed, even if you wrote off the millions who make you wish for a universal "block and report" spam button, there is still so much "good" stuff that one could not begin with any organized approach, and even if there were a "system" I am too undisciplined to have followed it.

I have to say that despite all the issues we face in the country on more levels than I can count, I am encouraged by what seems like a never-ending stream of creative, thoughtful, and often very insightful writing that I come across either by chance or because someone sends me a link they think I would be interested in.

 

Published on: Wednesday, August 03, 2011

While You Were Out…

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What have you done for yourself lately?

Take a look at your to-do list. Is there an equitable distribution between what you do for others and what you do for you?

If you're like most busy working adults, probably not. Your time is mostly allocated to your job, family, and obligated to "life maintenance" tasks like dry cleaning and the dentist, which are things we have to do and are not necessarily fun.

Take a few moments today to schedule something for yourself; it doesn't have to be especially time-consuming or extravagant. Before you read on to a collection of the best information to help you advance in your current role, find a new one, gain expert insight and learn what's happening in the marketplace, please tell us:

What will you add to your to-do list for yourself today?

 

Published on: Friday, July 15, 2011

While You Were Out…

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To be successful in job search today is to set a focused goal and mount a strategic campaign armed with a well-researched list of target companies, strong relationships that can lead you through a chain of referrals, a polished personal marketing program, an online reputation communications plan, and, of course, a sharp skill set and depth of experience.

Yet, some land in new roles through less calculated methods: being in the right place at the right time; tolerating higher levels of risk than others; conditions that stimulate promotion; family ties; etc.

Hopefully, no matter the method you took to get there, you retain the position through your merits and build your own success.

Before you read on to a collection of the best information to help you advance in your current role, find a new one, gain expert insight and learn what's happening in the marketplace, please tell us:

Did you land in your last job by choice or by chance?

 

Published on: Friday, July 08, 2011

Do You Know What Got You Here?

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Do you remember how you landed your last job? Can you tell me specifically what you did to land it? Probably not. It's just not something we spend much time thinking about — until we have to.

Now, if I asked you what you did to deliver last quarter's revenues or to ensure a new product reached the marketplace in time, I'm betting you can explain very specifically how you and your team accomplished that objective. And you'll tell me with enthusiasm, vigor and pride.

 

Published on: Friday, June 10, 2011

While You Were Out…

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"Networking," in various forms, is the top response when we ask corporate leaders about how they connect to career options in our annual executive market intelligence survey, and we've posed similar questions to our LinkedIn and Facebook groups.

Before you read on to a collection of the best information to help you advance in your current role, find a new one, gain expert insight and learn what's happening in the marketplace, please tell us:

How did you find your last job?

 

 
Executive job seekers and employed managers considering a career move would be wise not to put their career planning and professional networking on the shelf this summer.

Two leading indicators of projected executive job market expansion — a monthly forecast of management-level job creation and a separate reading on recruiter confidence — suggest continued hiring activity through the summer and fall. Recruiters expect 80 percent of employers to recruit for new management roles or trade up with new hires for existing roles.

 

Published on: Friday, May 13, 2011

Tell Them Why They Want You

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Ever wish you had access to an executive recruiter just to ask that one question you've been wanting answered? Members routinely email us their questions, and we tap into our network of executive recruiters for their thoughts. This insight into the minds of executive recruiters is often rather fascinating.

One ExecuNet member wrote: "I have a background in sales and marketing with high-profile accounts. I recently became certified in Lean Manufacturing to complement prior VOC [voice-of-the-customer] training. I believe it gives me insight into offering more targeted solutions to clients. Additionally, my MBA will be finished in six weeks. I would like to go into sales or consulting for a business solutions-oriented company, as that is where my true passion lies. Are there any recommendations for a starting point?"

Executive recruiter Nick Corcodilos, in his usual straightforward manner, offered his thoughts on the topic. Here's an excerpt of what he had to say:

 

Published on: Wednesday, May 04, 2011

While You Were Out…

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I read this quote recently and wanted to pass it along to you:

"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." — Vincent Van Gogh

"Paint" can be a metaphor for anything we have thought about doing but have not yet taken the action. It can be a creative endeavor, a personal goal or something that feels bigger, or more risky, like job change.

Whatever it is, don't let the inner critic or external cynic stand in your way. Make a plan, take a chance, try, and see what happens. Even if you learn you learn you're a terrible artist, you might have fun playing with the colors or discover something new about yourself along the way.

With that in mind, here are the recent blog posts you may have missed that can further inspire you in your everyday decision-making. We welcome your comments!

 

 
As North American employers set their sights on achieving 2011 strategic goals, they are more focused on rebuilding and upgrading their senior management teams, according to the latest Executive Job Creation Index data.

In March, ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index revealed that 33 percent of employers are expected to add new executive management roles over the next six months, and 50 percent are forecast to leverage the economic climate by selectively trading up with new hires for existing executive jobs. Only 2 percent of employers are expected to continue eliminating executive jobs during the same period of time according to the 155 executive recruiters who participated in the monthly ExecuNet poll. The remaining 15 percent of employers were expected either to avoid adding new management roles or choose not to fill existing leadership vacancies.

 

 
Executive recruiters are following the same cautious route to new hiring as many of their clients, despite indications that executive job creation is increasing in an economy much improved from where it was just a year ago.

In March, ExecuNet's benchmark Search Firm Hiring Index revealed that 26 percent of 155 responding executive recruiters indicated they would be adding new professional research and consulting staff over the next three months.

 

Published on: Friday, April 08, 2011

While You Were Out…

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It's already the end of Q1 '11! Are you where you wanted or expected to be? What will it take to get there?

For me, and many others, it's time. A few more hours in a day, weeks in a quarter, to do a couple other things, catch up, get some more done.

It's impossible for me to give you more time, but I can save you some time. Here are all the blog posts you may have recently missed gathered together in one place so you don't have to do all that time-consuming searching, scrolling and clicking.

 

 
As part of ExecuNet membership, I conduct a weekly teleconference called Six-Figure Hotline where members call in to ask the questions keeping them up at night, and to gain market and trend insight from the career experts who join me in talking about issues that are important to executives today. Whether you are in a job search, thinking about changing positions, or want to learn how to strengthen your success in your current position, this weekly teleconference is designed to provide you the support you need to reach your goals.

Recently, in one such teleconference, I was asked about candidacies getting flattened by the "You are overqualified" objection. The caller said: "I am trying to re-direct my career from doing turnarounds to becoming COO with an early stage company. Invariably, this means working with younger individuals. It seems they buy into me on paper and on the phone, but when they find out how old I am when I show up I am suddenly 'overqualified.' Maybe it's just my imagination, but..."

 

Published on: Thursday, March 24, 2011

Coping with Multiple Online Personalities

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As a finance executive, I am hard wired to be "confidential." It's easier to always be in a guarded state than to have to actually evaluate whether or not it's "safe" to answer a question, identify myself or share something with anyone other than my dog (who I know won't repeat it). So it should come as no surprise that I am no early adopter of anything social, let alone media that lets me interact with strangers, broadcast to a large audience of folks I don't know, or (gasp) be followed by anyone.

In fact, I guess I am not an early adopter of anything besides the dog. My colleague at ExecuNet, Robyn Greenspan, teases me because she's seen first-hand that I actually still have a VCR that has a wired remote. Yes, believe it or not, I can still manage to trip up guests simply by pulling that cord across the room to pause the playback. Come to think of it, not only is the remote obsolete, but now so is the VCR! I also still have a Nextel flip phone, and there's no email account attached to my Palm Pre (I just wanted portable Internet). It's not that I'm afraid of technology, or even change. I am just wary of investing my time and reputation into anything online until I am assured control over my privacy — and a decent return.

 

 
While executive recruiters continue to express confidence that executive hiring activity will increase over the next six months, they are also following many corporate clients' slow and steady approach when it comes to hiring new professional staff.

In February, ExecuNet's benchmark Search Firm Hiring Index revealed that 28 percent of 171 responding executive recruiters indicated they would be adding new professional research and consulting staff over the next three months.

 

 
Executive recruiters see four-out-of-five employers either creating new executive management roles or, to a greater extent, trading up with new hires for existing management roles to drive business performance in the next six months.

ExecuNet’s benchmark Executive Job Creation Index (EJCI) held positive for a fourteenth consecutive month in February as 169 responding executive recruiters reported they expect 51 percent of employers to leverage the current economic climate by trading up to strengthen their management and 30 percent to add new management roles. Recruiters anticipate that, over the next six months, only 14 percent of employers will choose not to add new executive positions, only 3 percent to leave existing management vacancies unfilled, and only 2 percent to eliminate executive jobs.

 

Published on: Monday, March 07, 2011

While You Were Out…

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February was a short month, but we managed to bring you a tremendous amount of information to help you reach your career and business goals in 2011. Guest bloggers shared their own special insight, along with ExecuNet experts who capture the trends and deliver the news that informs your every day professional decisions. We’ve gathered all these articles together so you can catch up on your reading.

 

 
Executive recruiters' six-month forecast of growth of executive hiring activity softened in February but remains buoyant as client corporations continue to hire selectively for new management leadership roles and upgrade with new hires for existing roles.

In February, ExecuNet's benchmark Recruiter Confidence Index revealed that 68 percent of 164 responding executive recruiters are "confident" or "very confident" the executive employment market will improve over the next six months. That was down seven points from January but still far above the territory this index ranged in over much of the past year.

 

Published on: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Executive Job Creation Reveals Corporate Growth Plans

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Executive recruiters are expressing more confidence in the executive employment market as they forecast management hiring activity over the next six months.

But now, for the first time in well over two years, executive recruiters are considering or are already rebuilding their recruiting and research teams to keep pace with this anticipated surge in new business.

 

Published on: Friday, February 18, 2011

More Companies Eye Growth, Create Executive Jobs

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ExecuNet's benchmark Executive Job Creation Index (EJCI) held positive for a thirteenth consecutive month in January as executive recruiters reported employers are more focused on rebuilding depleted management teams than they are in cutting existing executive jobs.

Forecast hiring among employers expected to add executive jobs in January topped those planning to eliminate or postpone filling top roles by 12 points, signaling a slow but steady rebuild of management resources as employers focus on executing their 2011 strategic growth plans, according to the poll of 188 executive recruiters.

 

Published on: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creating Winning Social Media Strategies

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"The key to creating winning strategies in social media is first to give up control," Charlene Li, leading analyst of social technologies told delegates at the 2010 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, "You need to give up control but still be in command."

First, leaders must realize that social media is a lot more than just Facebook, said Li, also author of the bestselling books, Groundswell and Open Leadership. Then, she advised, you need to make sure you have a direction that everyone understands and will follow. "The only way to get people to follow you is if you lead them."

 

Published on: Monday, February 07, 2011

While You Were Out…

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Did the year get off to a good start for you? Are there specific professional goals you'd like to achieve? We've pulled together the best information from January to help you advance in your current role, find a new one, gain expert insight and learn what's happening in the marketplace.

 

 
Confidence among executive recruiters continues to climb as an increase in management recruiting activity confirms that more companies are thinking about growth in 2011, and more business leaders are poised to explore their career options.

In January, ExecuNet’s benchmark Recruiter Confidence Index revealed that 75 percent of 188 responding executive recruiters are "confident" or "very confident" the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, reflecting a five-month surge in recruiter confidence in increased executive hiring activity.

 

 
Our Recruiting Community at ExecuNet has been very active, so I took some notes from their recent meeting to report back what they're hearing directly from the search firms and corporate recruiters who source our executive members.

Sure, we bring you the Recruiter Confidence Index stats every month, with the most recent finding at the highest level since mid-2008, and then our company president and chief economist does the monthly video interpretation, but I wanted to find out what the recruiters have been whispering to our recruiting services team lately:

 

Published on: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It’s About Giving, Not About Getting

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Unless you have been in a time capsule, when it comes to managing a successful job search, everyone knows that the most effective strategy is networking. Saying the word reminds me of the conversations I used to have in a former life around the subject of performance appraisals. We all agreed that it was needed, but nobody liked them. On the other hand, nobody has come up with something better either.

For over the 23 years ExecuNet has been around, 70 percent of the members we have talked to who have made a change say it was networking that was the key for them. People sometimes think that since we are always trying to drive home this message that somehow we have a plug and play answer on making it work for them, and preferably making it work like yesterday! Would that we could!

What we do try to do, however, is not just talk about it, but put all sorts of resources together to not only show them how, but also try to provide them (both online and off) with the ways and means to implement a plan effectively.

 

Published on: Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 for 2010

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Can we legitimately report the most popular for the year if our blog is only six months old? Having been a business network since 1988, ExecuNet has always been ahead of our time. Here are the articles that captured the most reader comments and attention in the short time we've been publishing:

 

 
Executive recruiters are optimistic that the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, but judging from their own hiring plans, it seems a conservative approach to rebuilding their teams is the order of the day.

In December, 21 percent of the 144 executive recruiters who participated in ExecuNet's monthly Search Firm Hiring Index poll indicated they planned to increase their professional research and consulting staff to keep pace with expected search assignment growth over the next three months. That was down four points from November.

 

Published on: Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recruiter Confidence Extends Upward Trend

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Two-thirds of executive recruiters believe that companies will hire more management talent over the next six months despite continued pressure to contain corporate headcount.

With fewer companies slashing executive-level jobs and more of them identifying skill set needs and gaps in talent that could prevent them from achieving corporate objectives in 2011, recruiters expect companies to do more management hiring if only to replace underperforming leaders with those more qualified to tackle shifting job responsibilities.

In December, ExecuNet's benchmark Recruiter Confidence Index revealed that 66 percent of 144 responding executive recruiters are "confident" or "very confident" the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, up five points from November and the highest confidence registered since the second quarter of 2008.

 

Published on: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Read Anything Good Lately? Want To?

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The number of business books published is staggering, and some wind up in my office, filling shelves, desks and every available surface. Many are quite good, and we work to bring those authors and their thought leadership to our executive members for direct interaction and knowledge-sharing. After all, when you're looking for guidance, advice and practical tactics for improving business performance and career advancement, the experts are the go-to resources.

 

Published on: Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why You Should Care about a CEO’s Sleep Patterns

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Like many, chief executives are tossing and turning at night, worried about the issues we identified earlier this year in our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report:

  1. Economic uncertainty
  2. Consistent execution of our business strategy
  3. Balancing the demands on my personal and professional life
  4. Achieving my personal work-related goals
  5. My pay will not increase

While it may be true that the higher the thread count on the sheets, the bigger the troubles, the reasons those CEOs aren't sleeping are still of consequence to you.

 

 
There are a lot of hardworking yet highly unsatisfied management executives walking the halls of corporate America these days.

Just don't expect them to tell you so, or anyone else, for that matter, unless you're an executive recruiter. After all, they're not working long hours and occasional nights and weekends with limited resources in search of the casual opportunity just to tell their existing employers and colleagues that they're already lining up their options for a new job elsewhere.

Employers and colleagues will find out just as soon as he or she accepts an offer of employment from another company — and then, in typical fashion, they'll scramble to pick up the pieces and search for a replacement whom, if recruited from the outside, may not be found for six to 12 months.

 

Published on: Tuesday, December 07, 2010

While You Were Out…

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The unpredictable year of 2010 is racing quickly toward a close, dragging with it a bag of mixed emotions. Some saw marked improvement over a devastating 2009, while others spent the last 12 months still trying to recover.

We're hopeful about 2011 and have had some good news signals lately. Here are all the trends, market intelligence and expert insight from November in one easy-to-read place.

 

Published on: Monday, December 06, 2010

More Executive Search Firms Plan for Growth

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Executive recruiters are gaining confidence as they forecast corporate executive hiring in the coming months, and now they're also girding to add new professional staff to meet the anticipated demand for executive talent.

 

Published on: Thursday, December 02, 2010

Rebound in Executive Job Creation Reveals Corporate Growth Plans

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ExecuNet's benchmark Executive Job Creation Index (EJCI) held positive for an eleventh consecutive month in November as executive recruiters reported employers are encouraged by improving economic indicators and plan to create more management jobs over the next six months.

The number of employers expected to add executive jobs during that time topped those planning to eliminate or postpone filling top roles by 21 points, a 12-point gain from October and a signal that more companies will recruit executive talent to rebuild their management teams and realize their 2011 strategic growth objectives.

 

 
Executive recruiters are gaining confidence that economic growth, increased consumer spending and growing investor confidence will weigh positively on corporate business objectives — and management hiring plans — over the next six months.

In November, 61 percent of the 147 search firm respondents to ExecuNet's benchmark Recruiter Confidence Index expressed they were either "confident" or "very confident" the executive employment market will improve during that time, based on their read of corporate hiring plans stretching well into 2011.

 

Published on: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Countries Network the Crossroads Nation

Posted By: Dave Opton
Filed Under: execunet, networking, dave opton, new york times, david brooks
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"The Crossroads Nation" was the title of an Op Ed column by David Brooks that was in the November 9th issue of the New York Times. It is worth a read as a stand-alone piece if for no other reason than it can serve as a bit of an antidote to some of the poll numbers that speak to how disillusioned many of us are about the prospects for our country going forward.

There were a couple of other points made in this piece that I kept going back to:

  • "...creativity is not a solitary process. It happens within networks. It happens when talented people get together, when idea systems and mentalities merge."

  • "Information networks need junction points. The nation that can make itself the crossroads to the world will have tremendous economic and political power."

 

 
Our recent blog post, The Scam Artist All-Star List, really struck a nerve and generated a lot of great comments — from those who experienced these fraudsters and from career professionals with additional tips. The reader feedback was too good to keep hidden, so we're bringing some of the edited highlights to the forefront with plenty more to read at the original article too.

 

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What World Renowned Business Leaders Have to Say

Many of the world's top business leaders, from a variety of industries, gathered in New York City to share their views on business and the challenges today's leaders will face in the coming years. Attendees learned how visionaries from a wide range of management disciplines define the process and commitments required to realize the potential for raising organizational performance in a time of lingering economic uncertainty and a changing global economy. These are can't miss insights for any business executive!


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