How to be a More Effective Leader When Hiring Talent

09/28/2017 01.51 EDT

Have you ever interviewed with someone and were convinced they never saw your resume? What kind of impression were you left with as a result?
How to be a More Effective Leader When Hiring Talent

As we continue to hire new talent, the competition is nipping at our heels. Given the increasingly competitive search environment, having a recruiting strategy in place before you need to hire a new team member is a critical step to attracting the talent you need.

When hiring new talent, the competition is nipping at our heels. It’s not uncommon now to speak with an executive who has received several offers simultaneously. Given the increasingly competitive search environment, having a recruiting strategy in place before you need to hire a new team member is a critical step to attracting the talent you need....

“Hut, Hut, Hike!” Five Must-Have Leadership Qualities to Call Plays on and off the Field

12/15/2016 10.12 EDT

Whether you’re on the field or in the office, all teams need quality leadership to achieve their goals. So, how do the leaders who call and execute the plays during a game match up to the leaders calling the shots in the workplace?
“Hut, Hut, Hike!” Five Must-Have Leadership Qualities to Call Plays on and off the Field

To be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a player must be able to assess the opposing team’s defense and adjust plays accordingly. At the conference room table and in the general workforce, the best leaders demonstrate agility to assess and adjust a business plan as needs and environments change.

Whether you’re on the field or in the office, all teams need quality leadership to achieve their goals. So, how do the leaders who call and execute the plays during a game match up to the leaders calling the shots in the workplace?...

Moving Ahead in the HR Field

10/12/2016 08.53 EDT

HR leaders not only need to be insightful in the most progressive HR practices, but they also need to understand the business in order to effectively contribute as a member of the executive team.
Moving Ahead in the HR Field

Success does not come to those who wait. Make sure to volunteer to serve on committees or projects, especially if it involves cross-functional teams. You will continue to learn, build relationships, and get noticed.

Serving as a key member of a human resources team can be a rewarding career path. If you are focused on the business and support its growth or changes, you will be ahead of the curve. ...

Rating Philadelphia as a Place to Live and Work: Senior Executive Insights

12/16/2015 02.42 EDT

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Click here to view our report: Rating Philadelphia Survey Results – Salveson Stetson Group  

Perfecting the Customer Experience: Four Qualities of Successful Customer Service

09/03/2015 11.25 EDT

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How many times have you become frustrated with a customer service operation? I would be surprised if everyone hasn’t had a similar, less than positive, experience. This recent encounter of mine may sound familiar: I called a company’s customer service department and I was placed on hold for 20 minutes. Eventually, my call was disconnected. Then, I reconnected with the customer service department and the representative on the line couldn’t help directly. As a result, I was passed off to several of their colleagues, with each person asking me the same questions. Once reaching a customer service professional who could help, I had a great deal of difficulty understanding them. Either their phone system was poor and muffled, or I was connected with their outsourced colleagues in the Philippines or India. In the end, I still did not have a resolution to my problem.   As a result, when you do reach a customer service department that is exemplary, it really stands out. What does above-average customer service entail? Here’s what your experience should look like:   Consistent: One person should be able to handle and answer the questions and problems of a customer. Avoid passing the person around to your colleagues as much as possible. If you need to enhance your knowledge to solve the issue, find out the answer quickly and remain the consistent contact with the customer.   Results-oriented: Be tenacious and find the solution to the problem. Call the customer back to ensure...

What I Learned in Boston

12/08/2014 09.25 EDT

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Random thoughts written on the plane ride back to Philadelphia after attending the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (October 5-8)   Over the past three days, I had the opportunity to participate in the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX) in Boston.  The GPLEX serves as an annual experience that allows Philadelphia leaders in business, government and non-profit to learn about economic development initiatives underway in other cities with the hope that we can bring back useful ideas to apply to the challenges facing the Greater Philadelphia Region.  This trip was an eye-opening experience for me, and I wanted to share some of the highlights.   First and foremost, I found that there are a lot of incredibly talented people in Philadelphia who are deeply committed to improving the prospects for our Region and its residents.  Our delegation was comprised of approximately 120 outstanding leaders who I believe have the capacity to successfully address the challenges facing Philadelphia – such as educating our children, promoting the growth of our businesses, addressing income equality and modernizing our decaying infrastructure.  I would put these folks up against the brain trusts of any other major metropolitan area in the country.   Second, while there are a number of striking similarities between Philadelphia and Boston, we are very different communities.  Our region is much larger and more diverse than Boston.  As a result, our problems are more complex and our stakeholders are more numerous.  That being said, our friends in Boston seem to...

What Really Matters When Hiring a Leader?

05/29/2014 02.45 EDT

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This post originally ran on Modern Distribution Management.  To view it, click here.   Ask anyone who runs an enterprise of any size what he or she looks for when hiring a new leader and you will get plenty of different perspectives, insights, opinions and theories.   You may also hear the opinion that critical executive competencies differ widely from industry to industry.  On the surface, it makes sense.  It seems logical that the critical skills needed to successfully lead a $200 million private distribution company in the Midwest are different that those needed to be successful in a multi-billion-dollar financial services company in London.   Turns out that might not be true.   Our firm recently participated in a global survey that asked executives the world over what they considered the most desirable attributes for a senior executive in their organization.  We heard from 1,270 business leaders around the globe.  What we found surprised us.   First of all, there were very few differences in responses from different industry sectors.  Maybe more surprisingly, there was almost no correlation between desired attributes and the part of the world in which the respondent worked.   It turns out that by a margin of more than 2:1, the ability to motivate and inspire people is considered the single most important attribute for a senior executive.   After motivational ability, the senior executive traits most valued by organizations were: strong ability to manage change, ability to identify and develop talent, and innovative...

8 Ways to Advance Your Career to the Next Level

03/13/2014 09.46 EDT

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It is always refreshing to speak to students, young professionals and mid-career executives.  I find it broadens my thinking, and the group shares great ideas throughout the collaborative process.   At a recent Drexel University Alumni event, I spoke to fellow attendees about how to advance their careers to the executive level.   Here are eight suggestions we shared on advancing careers:    Know your career objective and pursue it with vigor:  If you are fortunate enough to have found your interests and passions in the workplace, do your best to understand and become an expert in the field.  Determine how you can continue to advance your skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis. Competence alone won’t advance you in your career:  Speak up.  Ensure you ask for what you need and don’t be shy about “tooting your own horn.”  You need to be noticed for a job well done; don’t assume your boss or other key leaders know what you have accomplished. Take some career development risks:  It is important that you take charge of your career.  Be proactive.  Have discussions with your boss about what you’d like to do next.  Partner with him or her and develop recommendations on your next steps.  Make it easy for your supervisor to say “yes” and help you move to the next level. Network, network, network:  You should network even if you are not looking for a new job.  Networking can expand your thinking – learn what others are...

How to Stack the Deck for Success

02/10/2014 02.57 EDT

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I recently read a very interesting piece by Jean Martin, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review: For Senior Leaders, Fit Matters More than Skill.  Jean writes about the need to evaluate an executive’s “network fit” when considering him or her for hire.  By “network fit,” she means “how well the potential hire will fit with the way his or her new colleagues work.”  This is distinctly different from “cultural fit,” which predicts how well the executive will align with the corporate culture more broadly.   Jean points out that executives who fail often do so because of a problem with “network fit.”  She goes on to examine whether internal recruiters are better able to sense network fit when compared to external search partners.  I think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t think either party does a particularly good job on this critical aspect of evaluating external executives for key leadership positions.   The article got me thinking – always dangerous – so I thought I would share a couple of reactions.   First – the obvious.  You can’t evaluate network fit if you haven’t met the network!  For all of our searches, we try to meet as many stakeholders as possible when we begin the search.  It takes time to do this, and sometimes clients push back, wondering why it matters.  We generally are pretty insistent about this step in the process.  We have always known how important chemistry is with the team; if you...

Why Would You Want to Work for a PE-Backed Firm?

10/24/2013 11.35 EDT

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This article originally ran on CFO.com.  To view it, click here.   For CFOs who may be of a mind to hook up with a private equity-backed company, open your eyes wide and tread very carefully.   When speaking with senior financial executives about their career aspirations, the conversation often turns to a desire to work for a private equity-backed company. I am talking about a large majority of respondents here – at least 70 percent. When I ask why, the answer invariably focuses on the opportunity to participate in a transaction and the potential financial rewards to be reaped by doing so.   That is a pretty naïve answer. For every success story out there in private equity-backed firms, there are many more failures. Working in private equity is difficult, particularly for a CFO. Any financial officer contemplating making this type of move for the first time in his or her career must to go into it with eyes wide open. At a bare minimum, consider the following:   1. Not all private equity sponsors are created equal. The industry is not monolithic. In addition to industry specialization, private equity differentiates by what type of asset each firm considers. Is the firm buying the asset to clean up the balance sheet and quickly turn it over? Is the investment for long-term growth? Does the private equity firm have a habit of breaking up the companies in which it invests? CFOs contemplating such a move should investigate how the private equity...