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Filed Under: Robyn Greenspan

Published on: Thursday, September 05, 2013

What Makes You Successful?

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At some point in your career as an executive, you looked up from your desk in the corner office and realized you "made it." You climbed to the top of the org chart, led teams, contributed to the bottom line, drove revenue goals, brokered deals, and made money. Congratulations, you're a professional success!

When ExecuNet members reflected on what "success" meant to them, the definitions were as individual as they were, but a focus on team development was a recurring theme.

 

Published on: Thursday, August 22, 2013

Say, “Yes”

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When I came to a career crossroads many years ago, I decided to say, "Yes" to any opportunity before me. Consequently, I did a lot of odd jobs in friends' businesses: worked in a UPS store (shipping bicycles was very difficult); did food catering (it pays well and I ate well); and baked pastries for a deli (I enjoyed the taste-testing).

I also said, "Yes" when an unknown recruiter called about a job where I had no interest, and "Yes" to the hiring manager for the editing role even though I no longer wanted to write.

 

Published on: Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Top 5 Activities to Land Your Next Job

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I recently met a woman at a local networking meeting who wanted her next role to be in a non-profit or academic setting. She had a Basic ExecuNet membership — the level we offer that is free, but with limitations — and asked if she would have access to more non-profit/academia job listings if she upgraded to our paid Platinum membership.

 

 
A couple of weeks ago, I told the story of executive recruiter Lisa P, President of Sanford Rose Associates, and how she received hundreds of positive responses to a message she sent to targeted ExecuNet members about joining her private network.

In this instance, Lisa initiated the contact with executives, but there are many times when executives want to reach out to recruiters to begin the dialogue. If that's your plan, come with something to offer, as this one ExecuNet member, a Global Innovation Director, found successful:

 

 
400 and counting...

That's how many ExecuNet members have become entrusted connections in executive recruiter Lisa P's private network. Perhaps you're among them?

Lisa, President of Sanford Rose Associates, had two urgent searches underway and needed executive candidates in the financial services sector and someone for a hard-to-fill global talent acquisitions director role. She's had great success finding the right candidates for the right jobs in the 5+ years she's been a recruiter member with ExecuNet, but this time, she wanted to try something different and deepen the relationships with a targeted group of candidates.

 

 
For 25 years, ExecuNet has been committed to making executive lives better, and our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report is at the heart of the insight value we bring to our members and community. In this year's survey, we learned many new things about you, your activities, success, attitudes and the state of the executive job marketplace.

In total, we surveyed more than 4,000 senior-level executives, search firm consultants, corporate human resource and talent acquisition leaders and gathered insight that will drive how you can find work, lead better, manage your career and improve business. Among the report highlights:

 

 
Trying to do more with less? Being pulled in too many directions? A growing list of priorities competing for attention? This is post-recession executive life where companies with limited resources are demanding too much from leaders and managers, fast-tracking the risk for burn-out, high-stress and disengagement.

ExecuNet members discussed how they're juggling all the priorities on their lengthening to-do list:

 

 
ExecuNet Managing Editor Will Flammé attended one of our monthly networking meetings where he found some ExecuNet members who were also part of an accountability group. Basically, Will said, they met at a networking meeting and decided to form tighter bonds and dedicate themselves to helping each other achieve their goals.

Will was so inspired by the goal-setting success this group was having, he worked with the ExecuNet editorial team to research and develop a white paper about the merits of having a "personal board of advisors." He said, "As a leader, you know it's essential to be accountable for what you do, and what you do, — your actions and decisions, will help lead your organization and your career to success... as long as they are the right actions and the right decisions."

 

 
Want to know why you're not getting interviews for positions where you're sure you meet the qualifications? Your résumé is immediately being screened out for a reason you don't even realize or a detail you might think is minor, but is sending a huge red flag to a recruiter.

There's an active discussion underway in ExecuNet's Job Search and Career Roundtable about beating the applicant tracking system with great suggestions for how to maneuver through technology and get to the "human" who is involved with human capital decision-making.

But what if your résumé beats the technology system only to be tossed aside by the person responsible for calling you for an interview because you did one of the things that recruiters told us will screen you out?

 

Published on: Thursday, May 09, 2013

Where Recruiters are Going — You Should be There Too

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When I woke up in the Boston area the Friday after the marathon and heard about the manhunt underway, I immediately thought about the safety of the residents and how much they already endured over the past week.

Next, I remembered why I was there and wondered about the timing of the networking meeting we were having for ExecuNet members. The meeting was at 7am and members were traveling some distances; how could we reach all of them upon hearing there was a suspect loose and advisories not to travel around the immediate area?

Despite the circumstances, about 20 senior-level executives were already gathered for the meeting. Since most of the attendees were from out-of-town, many did not get the community notifications, phone calls or mobile alerts advising them to stay put.

As long as we were all there, however, we were determined to maximize the time together. Led by ExecuNet Managing Director Don Weintraub, the group of executives — including a senior VP of HR who provided the recruiter point-of-view — got some tactical solutions to the challenges they faced in their job searches.

 

Published on: Thursday, May 02, 2013

When is the Right Time to Micromanage?

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What kind of leader are you? Do you empower your team to make their own decisions or do you micromanage? Is there ever a reason to micromanage? That's an active discussion in one of ExecuNet's community Roundtable groups.

"From my perspective, micromanagement is never necessary," said an ExecuNet member, the CEO of an Internet company. "In my career, I have seen the need for so-called micromanagement and disagree with the uses… One of the most successful organizations that handles every scenario mentioned without micromanaging that I had the pleasure of working with straight from college is Toyota."

 

 
Can you go a year without a salary or in a job where you're not happy? That's about the length of time to find a new executive-level job. Actually, 11.9 months is the combined total of how long respondents to our executive job market intelligence survey said they have already been searching and how much longer they expect it will be before landing a new role.

Before the depth of the recession in 2007 and 2008, expected time in job search was under 10 months. It began to elongate through 2012 and now executives are hopeful that it will drop further under the one-year mark again.

 

 
Contrary to the song, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, much like a poor attitude can quickly become contagious in a close working environment. Conversely, happiness can be infectious. That's why when given a choice between an "A-Player" with a bad attitude and a "B-Player" with a good attitude, senior managers overwhelmingly choose disposition before qualifications.

Corporate business leaders are emphasizing the importance of cultural fit and think a positive attitude can have a great effect on team morale, particularly as economic factors cause companies to struggle with employee engagement and motivation.

 

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.

 

Published on: Thursday, February 21, 2013

They Are Family — But You’re Not!

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"If you think family business is just business, try firing your mother-in-law and then go to Thanksgiving dinner." Or, worse, try being an outsider in a family business and firing the well-liked, but underperforming, golden child. Those are some of the situations that arise when working in a family business.

 

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?"

 

Published on: Thursday, February 07, 2013

How to Manage Executive “Burn-Out”

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Happy February! How are your New Year's resolutions holding up? If managing work/life balance and reducing stress were among them, I hope you have been effective because heavy workloads have challenged executives, and will consequently create problems for companies.

More than half (57 percent) of the executive recruiters surveyed by ExecuNet rated workloads very high, and an additional 25 percent say they're the highest they've ever seen. The survey also found that 53 percent believe executives' current workloads are unsustainable and that employers will feel significant repercussions because they've stretched management leaders too thin for too long.

 

 
Whether it's by choice or necessity, you may find yourself facing an industry transition. However, for the 93 percent of executives we surveyed last year who reported they were considering or may consider an industry change, it's easier said than done.

 

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: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Career Advice from World Leaders

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: world business forum, robyn greenspan, leadership, management, wbf, executives, wobi
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I've referred to the annual World Business Forum as a two-day crash MBA headlined by all-star professors. If the event is the course, then the executive summary would be the textbook.

 

 
Networking can definitely be one of those activities that forces people out of their comfort zones. Even though ExecuNet facilitates monthly meetings in dozens of markets to enable executives a more relaxed environment to meet, learn and connect, it can still feel awkward if you're unaccustomed or resistant to networking with strangers.

 

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: 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: Monday, November 12, 2012

Why Job Hunting Shouldn’t Take a Holiday

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With Halloween behind us, attention begins to turn toward the end-of-year holidays, at least here in the US. For many job seekers, there is a perception that hiring activity takes a holiday as well, so we surveyed executive recruiters to learn what they're really doing the last couple months of the year.

 

 
The journey of entrepreneurialism can be as individual as a fingerprint, as was learned during the small business panel discussion led by The Wall Street Journal's Small Business Editor Vanessa O'Connell, during a private breakfast for delegates at World Business Forum. What motivates one to start a business, the challenges met along the way, and the obstacles that become opportunity are all part of every entrepreneur's unique story.

But commonality lies in their passion to keep moving forward, despite setbacks, slammed doors or lack of funding. The three start-up entrepreneurs on the WSJ panel, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, have met the gamut of experiences on their pathway to success, and shared what they learned along their individual upward trajectories.

 

 
It's not likely you'd cold-call a C-suite executive and audaciously ask for a job at their company, so why would you dial up a recruiter and expect them to find you a position? Yet, search firm recruiters report they get requests all the time from unknown job seekers asking for help, résumé advice, and, of course, jobs.

 

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.

 

Published on: Thursday, October 04, 2012

What’s the CEO’s Primary Role?

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Marketers market; salespeople sell; owners own; managers manage. The Chiefs have their own fiefdoms: the CTO over technology; the CFO, finances; COO, operations.

But, what's the CEO's primary role? That's the question we posed in a few of our ExecuNet communities, and we got A LOT of opinions — from those who lead and those who follow the leader.

 

Published on: Friday, September 28, 2012

Enlist Your Job Search Scouts to Help You

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, executive job search, networking, employment, job search scouts
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In the article, Three Things You Can Do to Help Others Find You the Right Job, I made a reference to "job search scouts" as people you've deputized to help you seek new opportunities. An ExecuNet member fairly asked "who those job search scouts are?"

Job search scouts can be categorized into two groups:
  1. People you know — those who want to help
  2. People you don't know — those who can help


 

 
A lack of privacy.

Mitt Romney's "47%" video, Kate Middleton's topless sunbathing photos [safe for work] and Paris Hilton's recent conversation in a cab were private moments that were secretly captured and made public.

 

 
Just as we've done for the past several years, ExecuNet will be back on-site at World Business Forum, live reporting the sharp leadership insight on-stage and backstage for our members. For two days in early October, iconic business and world leaders share their best — and next — practices that help inspire individuals and drive high-performing teams.

 

Published on: Monday, September 17, 2012

Three Things You Can Do to Help Others Find You the Right Job

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, executive job search, networking, resume, connections
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Looking for a new job? Help someone to help you.

I think we've all been on the receiving end of emails or phone calls from friends, former business colleagues, acquaintances or network connections that are positioned similarly: "I just lost my job. Do you know anyone who might be hiring?"

Or, maybe you've sent some of those messages yourself, and felt satisified that you've deputized an army of job search scouts on your behalf.

Do you really expect to get great results that way?

 

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."

 

 
I participated in my first 5K recently and, in doing so, learned more about myself than I expected. Most specifically, I learned that I don't like running — but that won't prevent me from probably doing it again. There were many parallels between how I trained and completed the 5K and how I approach much of everything else in my life, and during this self-assessment I learned lessons that can be universally applied:

 

Published on: Friday, August 31, 2012

There IS an I in Team — It’s You

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Most business people have heard, "There's no I in team;" however, when you are the leader, the team can ultimately be a reflection of you. Highly effective teams are typically managed well, while long-term underperforming teams can often have poor leadership at the helm.

Even though Patrick Lencioni asserts that "all teams are potentially dysfunctional," largely because they are comprised of fallible, imperfect human beings. It is up to the leader to ensure that trust is maintained despite difficulties, disagreements and debate. The methods used to manage through the trouble times are as individual as you are.

 

 
Every year for the last two decades, ExecuNet has surveyed executives, search firm professionals and human resource leaders to get their perspectives on the marketplace, and, as a result, we produce our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report.

Companion to the report, is a special webinar for ExecuNet members conducted by President Mark Anderson, where he dissects and provides deeper storylines around some of the data, helping executives sharpen their next career moves.

Of course we think the insight is great, but we always survey attendees about the value of our content, so we’ll let them tell you what you can expect from the webinar:

 

 
I was a big fan of the show Undercover Boss, where the CEO of a big company masquerades in different roles throughout their own organization. I liked the premise the first few times I watched but then the formula became painfully obvious: CEO leaves big house for crummy hotel room; performs tasks poorly; finds employees who are overcoming challenges; discovers employees have good ideas; learns life lessons while undercover.

 

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.

 

 
If you remember rotary phones, have VHS tapes in your home, and found fax machines revolutionary, then you might have encountered age discrimination in recent job search experiences. Forty-two percent of the executives surveyed by ExecuNet believed their age would negatively affect their ability to land their next position, and they were, on average, 51 years old.

 

Published on: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Day with Stephen Covey

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Upon hearing of the passing of Dr. Stephen Covey, bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I was reminded of a day I spent at a seminar with him in 2005 when he was promoting The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

To the crowded room of business leaders he said, "Correct principles are like compasses. They are always pointing the way. And if we know how to read them, we won't get lost, confused or fooled by conflicting voices and values."

These words can guide anyone through any walk of life, and during my reflection, I thought I'd republish the article I wrote for ExecuNet's CareerSmart Advisor member newsletter detailing my introduction to Covey's principles and experience at this ground-breaking author's seminar.

 

Published on: Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can You Create Social Change Like a 9-Year-Old?

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"Group action just got easier." That's the synopsis of the more than 150,000 words Clay Shirky has written in his most recent books on social media and collaboration, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

"We now have a medium that changes the way groups of people act and get things done. It's a change in the business environment because it's about every place we come together," Shirky said at the 2012 World Innovation Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported.

 

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: Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Haven’t You Done Yet?

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, strategy, ceo, risk, goals, passion, dream job
Comments (8)
 
There are so many reasons you are where you are right now. And maybe only one big reason why you're not where you want to be — fear.

Fear is the gatekeeper of risk, where everyone has a different tolerance level shaped by family, finances, circumstances, whatever. Risk that is consistently held at bay becomes absorbed into your comfort zone until so much time passes the dream finally fades in importance.

What would make you go for it?

 

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: Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Does Gray Matter in the C-Suite@f88

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I'm teaching grad students how to write their Master's thesis projects, and one woman wrote very passionately about her topic — but without substantiation. When I questioned her research, she argued that millions were experiencing her personal viewpoint, and suffering the effects she outlined.

But, this isn't a "feelings paper," I pointed out; it's research. Unless she could cite credible sources, I couldn't accept her argument in the way she wrote it.

 

Published on: Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do Your Vision and Values Inspire Others@f85

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Leaders have to do more than bring bottom-line results to an organization; they are responsible for instilling an overall philosophy, coalescing culture, depicting the future, and motivating teams to achieve their potential, which are all monumental feats. George Bradt, co-author of The New Leader's 100-Day Action Plan, asked members of ExecuNet's General Management Roundtable how they've succeeded in bringing their vision and values to life in organizations they've led, and inspired others to do great things. Here are some of their responses:

 

Published on: Monday, June 11, 2012

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
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.

 

Published on: Thursday, May 31, 2012

Are You Getting the Right Feedback@f83

Comments (13)
 
How well you do your job often depends on the feedback you get. And your team's performance is reliant upon the time and attention you place on professional development. Yet, many organizations have a system where performance reviews are delivered annually, which can be too late to reverse already ingrained poor work habits.

 

 


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.

 

 
High-achieving leaders find networking six times more effective for creating career options than online job postings, according to our hot-off-the presses research from ExecuNet's 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report. Further, networking is the activity executive recruiters maintain to have the greatest success finding candidates.

 

Published on: Thursday, May 17, 2012

3 Career Lessons from Vanilla Ice

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I think I spent a little too much time alone in the car recently, because Vanilla Ice was sending me career messages while I sang along to "Ice Ice Baby." Cast no judgment on his music, sense of style or dance moves; you can find some inspiration when you sift through the beats:

 

Published on: Friday, May 11, 2012

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
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."

 

 
Howard Schultz, the former kid from Canarsie, is now mostly known as the king of coffee, but last year, he set his sights beyond Starbucks with social initiatives for cutting the debt, creating jobs and healthcare accessibility.

In just four years, Schultz took Starbucks out of a downward spiral and revitalized the brand, re-centering the focus on the core mission. In 2007, Schultz felt the Starbucks experience and the "theater" of the coffee shop were being diluted. The company was feeling the gravity from the impending financial crash, cutting 6,700 jobs and closing 800 stores worldwide.

 

 
"I am thinking of leaving my organization," reported roughly three in every 10 marketing executives surveyed for ExecuNet's 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report. Despite a couple years of salary decreases, their organizational spirits remained high, but now that compensation is bouncing back a bit, they can endure no more and are ready to walk.

 

Published on: Monday, April 30, 2012

Leadership, Defined by Leaders

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, leadership, inspiration, quotes
Comments (1)
 
Even author and Harvard Business School professor Bill George quoted someone else, Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, when he spoke about leadership: "Leadership is a long journey into your own soul." But, George added, "Nothing is more fulfilling than leading, bringing people together to make a difference in the world."

As leaders, you've read countless volumes learning how to better lead and drive team performance and organizations, and spent more untold hours on-the-job doing, but sometimes it's a simple phrase that crystallizes the leadership experience. Here's some inspiration from successful leaders ExecuNet has captured while on location that we've collected to share with you.

 

 
More than half of the executive résumés that landed on recruiters' desks needed improvement before they could be submitted to a potential employer, according to ExecuNet research, which could cause your application to be delayed or rejected.

Your résumé may be complete, but is it optimized for the right opportunities? This topic evoked an active discussion on ExecuNet's member blog, and the executive community shared their tips from both candidate and hiring manager perspectives:

 

 
When executives began their most recent job search, they thought it would take just over six months to land their new position, according to ExecuNet research. But when a new job didn't materialize after that period of time, our survey respondents estimated it would take almost another half-year before their search efforts were effective.

On average, it had been 6½ years since these executives had last been in a job search, and a lot has changed since mid-2005: The unemployment rate was at 5 percent, and in ExecuNet's 2006 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, our analysis focused on the high demand for executive talent. Here's what we wrote back then:

 

Published on: Friday, April 20, 2012

Do You Talk About Fight Club@f79

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, leadership, roundtables, conflict resolution
Comments (0)
 
Some leaders view conflict as fighting and ignore it, but conflict-avoidance can be every bit as damaging as all-out conference room brawls. "Conflict can be cancerous to an organization," said a president in the manufacturing industry during a discussion in ExecuNet's General Management Roundtable. "The sooner you deal with it the better. It will not go away, and will only get worse. I have found that one must deal with it quickly, fairly and firmly. When dealing with conflict, the longer you delay, the 'cancer' will grow and has the potential to devastate an organization."

 

Published on: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Here’s How You’ll Get to the Next Level

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In ExecuNet's recent executive job market intelligence survey, nearly 2,600 corporate leaders told us what they really needed to do to get to the next level in their careers.

The responses ranged from "nothing" to specific recommendations for the President of the United States. And while I haven't done a full analysis on this portion of the data, it seems many answered from a place of internal locus of control, whereby one is responsible for taking the necessary actions to create their own success. As examples:

 

Published on: Monday, April 16, 2012

Be a Chief Simplicity Officer

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, roundtable, procedures, organizational complexity
Comments (0)
 
Every manager — from the CEO down — has to focus on continually reducing complexity, and this senior technology executive asked his peers in ExecuNet's General Management Roundtable how their companies were managing complexity in today's fast-changing environment.

 

Published on: Thursday, April 12, 2012

Do You Really Need an MBA?

Comments (15)
 
Some who were unemployed during the last few years chose to use that time to pursue additional education, hoping the degree would accelerate their job search or enable a career change.

 

Published on: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Do You Help Your Team Run@f77

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, leadership, success, engagement, team work
Comments (1)
 
A few months after losing my beloved dog, Moca, of 12 years, I began looking for another companion. A friend who worked with a shelter in Puerto Rico sent me some pictures, and I was immediately drawn to Hope, a year-old mix recovering from an injury it was believed she incurred during her time spent abandoned on the streets.

When I met her, she took a few steps toward me and fell, and then never seemed to fully regain her footing. We thought it was due to her long trip, nervousness and new surroundings, but she didn't improve when we got her home.

 

Published on: Monday, April 09, 2012

Is Your Winner a Whiner?

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, leadership, morale, pessimists, team unity
Comments (0)
 
Executive and corporate recruiters have said that skills and experience are the 50 percent that gets you in the door for an interview. Cultural fit, attitude and personality are the other half of the equation and will get you the offer.

Both are equally important, and the members of ExecuNet's Operations Roundtable grappled with the dilemma of how to manage a high-performing employee with a pessimistic attitude, leading a vice president of a food and beverage company to remark that proper handling of this type of person is one of the true tests of an individual's management skills.

 

Published on: Thursday, April 05, 2012

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
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: Thursday, March 29, 2012

In Through the Out Door

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Talking about severance terms when negotiating a new employment offer can be as awkward as discussing a pre-nup at the engagement party, but when the expiration date arises — on either a job or relationship — it's important those conversations were initiated in advance.

ExecuNet members in the General Management Roundtable shared how they broached the topic with their employers and successfully managed positive exit strategies — even after they've been on the job a while:

 

Published on: Friday, March 23, 2012

Welcome Back, War for Talent?

Comments (7)
 
That phrase hasn't been heard much since back in the day when the unemployment rate was under 5 percent and companies faced skills shortages. We're not quite there yet, but ExecuNet's research reveals that workers are restless and ready to move as soon as they feel the marketplace opening and more opportunities developing.

 

Published on: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trading Up is Hard to Do

Comments (0)
 
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.

 

Published on: Monday, March 19, 2012

Find a Way to Have Them Stay

Comments (0)
 
If you are reading this, it is only because I didn't break ExecuNet's "Word Factory" while Online Editor Will Flammé was away on vacation. That's him last Halloween as "Robyn's Hood."

I value Will and all he does to keep things moving in the right direction, and I doubly appreciate him when he isn't here and I don't have him to rely upon. That's when I really see all the things he does that now fall upon my shoulders.

 

Published on: Thursday, March 15, 2012

Are Hard or Soft Skills More Important?

Comments (89)
 
One can have the very best technical and functionally specific expertise but cannot be considered a leader without engaging followers, and that is done through effective communication, relationship-building and developing emotional connections.

"I would argue that it is the proficiency in the 'soft' skills like empathy, communication and emotional intelligence that determine whether a leader is even able to successfully employ the 'hard' skills like analysis, risk management and operating efficiencies. You really can't operate efficiently if you can't get the best from your people, and they may not 'hear' you if there's no emotional connection," began one of the discussions within the ExecuNet community.

 

Published on: Friday, March 09, 2012

Go Ahead, Make a Mistake

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, leadership, innovation, growth, change, mistakes, failure
Comments (0)
 
"Make something today, even if it's a mistake," is something a friend said to me last week at the end of a phone conversation. Fear of making a mistake is sometimes the barrier to taking any action, but that also prevents any learning from happening too. And every lesson serves as a building block toward the next success.

It's been said that Thomas Edison counted all his unsuccessful attempts at developing the light bulb not as failures, but as many ways that didn't work on his journey to finding the one that did. Unfortunately, today's business culture is often not as forgiving, and definitely not as encouraging, of mistakes, yet innovation couldn't exist without failure.

 

Published on: Thursday, March 08, 2012

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
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.

 

Published on: Thursday, March 01, 2012

When Your Company Has the Urge to Merge

Comments (6)
 
The economy is already a destabilizing external force, but many employees have added uncertainty when their own companies merge or acquire other businesses, or get sold. What used to be so familiar becomes unknown, and even worse, job security can disappear. When two companies become one, redundant headcount is often reduced; reorganizations occur; leadership can change; and cultures shift.

An ExecuNet member shared the difficulties his organization encountered in assimilating employees after purchasing several smaller businesses, and called upon his peer General Mangers for suggestions about how they coped in similar situations.

 

 
Just as connoisseurs around the world annually celebrate the arrival of le Beaujolais nouveau, so do I rejoice when the first batch of executive job market intelligence survey data arrives from ExecuNet's analysis team. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared opinions!

While the data is still too fresh for in-depth reporting, I can share some stats to help you benchmark against executive best practices, and guide your next moves:

 

Published on: Thursday, February 16, 2012

Is Green Good or Bad for Business@f66

Comments (9)
 
It all depends on how your company operationally defines "green" and the ensuing strategies. Where it makes the most sense for business and careers is to tie "green" to "efficiency," and these ExecuNet members in the Operations Roundtable shared their experiences when asked whether going green helped or hurt their businesses.

 

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: Thursday, February 02, 2012

Leadership is Transferable Across Industries

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An ExecuNet member who was trying to transition into a new industry finally networked to an interview with the president of his target company. The president was resistant to hiring this executive because he didn't have the experience, know the language or have the contacts in this particular sector.

"Where do you rank your company in this industry?" the ExecuNet member asked the president.
"We're the best," the president quickly replied.
"Then why would you want to hire from a weaker competitor?"

 

 
"Nothing is more important for our career success than making great people decisions," said Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, author of Great People Decisions at the 2011 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported. When he surveyed which of the thousands of business leaders in the audience were formally trained in this selection process, very few raised their hands.

 

 
Ever wish you had access to an executive recruiter just to ask that one question? ExecuNet members routinely email us their questions, and we tap into the minds of executive recruiters in our network to get their unadulterated feedback. "One ExecuNet member wrote: What can I expect from a recruiter when I'm negotiating salary and compensation? After all, doesn't he work for the hiring company?"

Executive recruiter Nick Corcodilos, offered his thoughts on the topic. Here's an excerpt of what he had to say:
This question is so common that I include an entire section about it in my PDF book, How to Work with Headhunters ... and how to make headhunters work for you.

 

Published on: Monday, January 23, 2012

Ben Zander Shares His 6 Secrets to Success

Comments (0)
 
I wish that I were effectively able to convey to you what a roomful of Ben Zander energy feels like. I wish I could have you hear him lead thousands of executives to sing happy birthday to a complete stranger or Ode to Joy in German. I wish you could see 350 hungry business leaders let their lunches grow cold as they sat transfixed and hanging onto his words.

 

Published on: Thursday, January 19, 2012

It’s Okay to Act Your Age

Comments (10)
 
I'm a few months behind reading the New York Times Magazine, so I only recently saw the September 8th issue with the article about the ironworkers rebuilding the World Trade Center.

One of my favorite childhood memories was of my father taking me to his job as a union plumber during the construction of the World Trade Center in the early 70s. The buildings were so unfinished that we rode the freight elevator to the top where it was nothing but steel beams and rough flooring — the windows had not yet been installed.

 

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
Comments (0)
 
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: Thursday, January 05, 2012

A New Career for the New Year@f55

Comments (12)
 
The close of one year and the beginning of another is typically a time of assessment: analyzing what you've done and determining where you'd next like to be. That evaluation can be in the form of deep thinking and looking inside oneself or standardized assessments that scientifically measure strengths and talents, and can reveal potential new career directions.

 

Published on: Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 for 2011

Comments (0)
 
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: Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gift Yourself a New Job

Comments (3)
 
Job seekers mistakenly slow down their searches toward year-end, but there is still hiring activity for companies that have talent needs. Further, networking and career planning are not seasonal events, and holiday parties are good opportunities to learn who's doing what where. (Keep the résumé at home when socializing!)

 

Published on: Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Secret to Happiness

Comments (1)
 
Recently, I visited a naturopathic doctor with a friend who received an acupuncture treatment. Despite a phobia to needles, I was curious to try it and challenged myself to overcome the fear. Before I could brace myself for the imagined pain, the doctor stuck one of the needles in the top of my head.

It didn't hurt, just felt a little tingly. When I asked why she chose the top of my head, she said that's a place for happiness.

 

Published on: Monday, December 12, 2011

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
"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."

 

 
I took this picture at Grounds for Sculpture over the summer, which is an incredible place that I'd encourage you to visit if you are nearby. It resonated with me because, I'll admit, I'm such a gadget geek that I sometimes have my head down, pushing buttons and missing what is happening right in front of me.

My rationale is that I am capturing the moment in a picture or on Facebook or I'm looking up information that I need right now! But I have to be more conscious that it's really the experience that's meant to be savored, not the documentation.

 

Published on: Thursday, November 10, 2011

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

Comments (8)
 
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:

 

 
Before buying your new Android, BlackBerry or latest iPhone, you probably will do some research. You'll check what's available through your carrier, read the expert reviews and user experiences; even visit the hardcore gadget blogs and communities. Maybe you even hashtag the model on Twitter or watch an unboxing and first-time usage on YouTube.

For some, a rave recommendation from a friend is enough to sway a purchase. After all, your smartphone is important to you. You heavily rely on it for email, texts, mobile web, and, even voice calls too. You probably almost feel incomplete (but secretly liberated) when you leave the house without it.

With all the information readily available, copious amounts of research is expected before purchasing a phone that will lock you into a two-year commitment – before buying any product or service, in fact. Yet, candidates still go into job interviews – and even accept offers – without subjecting the prospective employer, management team and culture to the same rigorous due diligence.

 

Published on: Friday, November 04, 2011

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
"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: Monday, October 31, 2011

Networking Lessons from the Frankenstein Monsters

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: robyn greenspan, networking, communication
Comments (1)
 
Whether he was portrayed in film or in parody, the Frankenstein monster was a man of few words: "Fire: bad; friend: good." With that limited vocabulary, it's no wonder the peasants chased him out of the village with torches.

You'll likely get a similar 21st century reaction at a networking event when you don't communicate well. You know when you're chatting with someone and they find a reason to walk away — to freshen a drink, make a call or do something more important? It's often legitimate; after all, there's limited time at many networking or business events. But if you notice a pattern of people excusing themselves from the conversation, that's your "Fire: bad; friend: good" moment.

 

Published on: Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bury Bones in Your Own Backyard

Comments (22)
 
Relocation is a less viable option for executives and companies, as home values have decreased and job security remains shaky. Candidates would rather stay put than dislodge families, so many limit their job searches to an easily commutable geographic radius.

There are strategies to mine for local leads:
  • Searching job boards and online databases by geo/zip codes
  • Networking with friends, neighbors and attending organized, facilitated groups
  • Reading regional business journals, community newspapers
  • Joining the Chamber of Commerce

 

Published on: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Innovation and the Workplace

Comments (2)
 
There are many ingredients to innovation, and some of the most important are those that define the workplace — culture, mission, leadership and identity.

However, if today's employers view their workforces as static or homogenous resources to be dialed up when opportunity knocks and dialed down when the economic outlook presents unforeseen challenges, they're missing out on the potential of innovation and really failing to recognize all the segments of their employee population.

 

Published on: Monday, October 17, 2011

Are You Ready for the Third Revolution@f40

Posted By: Robyn Greenspan
Filed Under: world business forum, robyn greenspan, social media, brand, david armano
Comments (0)
 
David Armano is on the front lines of what he sees as the "third revolution." The first, the executive vice president of global Innovation and integration at Edelman Digital said, was broadcast; the second: broadband. We're now engaged in the third revolution, which is social, whereby the main distinction is computers being replaced by people.

Armano told a small invited audience during an intimate "unplugged" setting at the 2011 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, that February 12, 2006 was a pivotal day for him. He published a blog and began connecting.

 

Published on: Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is the Shower the Final Frontier for Great Ideas@f42

Comments (7)
 
There are few places left to escape the growing mountain of obstacles that prevent great ideas from being created, and even more roadblocks impeding their execution. Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance and author of Making Ideas Happen, said creative people have to find "windows of non-stimulation" to focus on thinking, research and implications on strategy.

In an intimate "unplugged" setting among a smaller invited audience at the 2011 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, Belsky said "The more creative we are, the more unlikely we are to take ideas to completion," that we're suffering from "idea to idea syndrome."

 

Published on: Friday, October 07, 2011

While You Were Out…

Comments (0)
 
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.

 

 
Shortly after joining ExecuNet as Senior Editor, I somehow scored a press pass for World Business Forum, an event that brought Jack Welch, Rudy Giuliani, then-CEO of Yahoo! Terry Semel, Tom Peters, Richard Branson, Colin Powell and Andrea Jung to the stage at Radio City Music Hall.

I settled in to the velvet seat for two days of reflected star power and mind-blowing leadership insight — most of it a much higher level than I had ever heard before. In those pre-iPad days, I returned to the office with a full legal pad of handwritten notes and reported thousands of words back to ExecuNet members about this stunning event.

 

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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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