How to be a More Effective Leader When Hiring Talent

09/28/2017 01.51 EST

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 EST

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?...

What Really Matters When Hiring a Leader?

05/29/2014 02.45 EST

...

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...

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

10/24/2013 11.35 EST

...

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...

The Leadership Skills Companies Want

02/12/2013 03.34 EST

...

In this year’s Women on Boards report, Philadelphia’s Forum of Executive Women found that while board seats at companies across the region actually dropped, the portion of board seats held by women have increased by nine percent since 2006.  Over the same time period, the number of top executives who are women jumped by 25 percent.   While the progress for female leaders across the country is slow, there is a growing business case for change.  At Salveson Stetson Group, where we place executives in senior-level roles at corporations and non-profits, a number of our clients have expressed interest in hiring more women into senior leadership positions to diversify their talent pool.   What are companies looking for when they are targeting leadership hires, specifically women?   As an executive search consultant, I hear a common “wish list” when identifying talented female leaders.  First and foremost, candidates need to have a proven track record in managing large, multi-site and global teams.  Secondly, they need to have strong talent management skills as well as possess the necessary emotional intelligence to effectively navigate in their roles.  The ability for a leader to juggle all of these responsibilities across a company is a tall order.   Many emerging female leaders continually ask for advice on ways to accelerate their development.  I have highlighted several recommendations that may facilitate being considered for future executive leadership roles:   Take on a stretch assignment.  If your boss is suggesting you move into a...

Making the Leap from Doer to Leader

02/27/2012 03.01 EST

...

In the countless interviews I’ve conducted for senior management roles during my time in retained search, the one subject that consistently comes up as the greatest career challenge for candidates centers on their initial transition from doer to leader.   As is typical with early career professionals, they gained their first promotions mostly by the superiority of their technical or functional expertise.  They were great engineers, sales people, scientists or compensation and benefits experts.  By and large, their success was predicated on their own competence and labor.  This early achievement usually leads to positions with more responsibility and broader spans of control, where these professionals can no longer obtain objectives solely by their own competence.   As their goals become more strategic and complex, these high performers need to stop doing and start leading in order to be effective.  For some, it is difficult to relinquish control of a project to a group of subordinates; for others, it is impossible.  They tend to micromanage, frustrate their direct reports and end up doing a great job on some – but not all – of their responsibilities.   Those who can’t lead most often derail at this point in their careers, either topping out in their organizations or moving to a specialized track where their companies can take advantage of their functional/technical excellence while minimizing the impact of their lack of leadership competency.   Is there a way to improve the percentage of executives who can successfully make the leap...

The Best HR People I Know

06/15/2011 10.05 EST

...

The first in an occasional series on what differentiates the best HR leaders We do a good deal of recruiting for senior human resources leadership positions here at the Salveson Stetson Group. We’re often asked by our clients what our thoughts are on the ideal profile for an HR Leader. It’s a hard question to answer. Dave Ulrich, the HR Guru of our time, says in his book, HR Competencies: Mastery at the Intersection of People and Business, that the most effective human resources executives share a specific set of skills. They are credible activists, business allies, strategic architects, operational executors, talent managers, organization designers, and culture and change agents. This is a great list of qualities for any senior executive but when I’m asked what differentiates a superior HR leader, I give the favorite cop-out answer of any consultant worth his or her salt: “It depends.” What does it depend on? In my opinion it all depends on context. HR leaders who truly understand what their organizations best respond to are the ones who outpace the pack in terms of impact and access. They are not wedded to any one model or methodology but possess the organizational savvy required to discover which key unlocks their particular kingdom. Over the course of this series, I will outline profiles of HR leaders with vastly different approaches who, nonetheless, achieve a very high degree of effectiveness. Here’s the first. Bill Strahan Senior Vice President, Human Resources Comcast Why he’s...