In my over 40 years as a business leader in the corporate arena, it’s been one of my distinct joys to lead and be a part of some amazing, cohesive, high-performance teams. When you’ve assembled a team that gets things done, and does so with integrity, it is deeply fulfilling to watch as everybody works together to shoot the lights out. But it can be tricky to get the balance exactly right. As a senior leader in the Fortune 500, I’ve had the opportunity to think a lot about this crucial leadership question: What are the ingredients to a successful team?
It’s an important thing to understand. Leadership is the art and science of influencing others. As we strive to responsibly cultivate our influence with teams, and earn their trust, we must first be able to identify what the key components of highly-functioning teams are. In my experience, a great team boils down to three key things. You can evaluate any team – one that’s working, or one that isn’t – using these three areas as a tool to assess what the issues, or strengths, may be.
Competence.This may seem like a blinding glimpse of the obvious but leaders must start with competence when building or evaluating teams. Ask yourself, can the people assembled perform in their specific area of responsibility? Competence is not necessarily a given so it’s always worth considering this carefully. You hope that the process you’ve set in place to attract, hire, and place talent has worked -- but nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes talented people can find themselves on a team where their skill set is not being fully or appropriately leveraged, or sometimes there’s a mismatch between style and culture etc. In reality, there are many factors that can undermine a team’s ability to perform.
That’s why it is imperative to think closely about whether or not a team has the capacity and competence to get the job done. When you observe an outstanding team, it’s not surprising to see that its members are highly competent; great teams are always comprised of extraordinarily capable and motivated individuals with the right skill set for the job at hand. They’ve got to have the chops.
Character.This is where things become more complicated. Competence alone is not enough to guarantee good results. Not by a long shot. Unfortunately, high-competence, low-character contributors do exist; it’s important to weed them out because their misdeeds can poison the entire effort of your team, or even your entire organization. If you have a superstar salesperson who pursues the sale with questionable ethics, or a communications whiz who undermines teammates in a desire to look good externally – their skills will not be enough to save the team. Maybe they can perform in the near-term, but not in a sustainable way. Ultimately, the low-trust environment created by a lack of integrity will jeopardize the team’s ability to deliver.
Can your people count on you to show up for them when it matters?So how do you assess character? We’ve developed a comprehensive leadership character checklist here, but the for the purpose of evaluating teams, it’s as simple as asking this question: does this person, or group of people, do what they say they are going to do? Do they deliver when it matters? Can I count on them – and can they count on each other? While there is a rich tapestry of behaviors that can contribute to a person or team’s overall character, it all really comes down to people doing what they say and having each other’s backs. Again and again. That’s how you build trust. And that’s how you gauge character.
I would also add that – as the leader, you’re part of the team, so you must hold yourself to the same standard. Can your people count on you to show up for them when it matters? Do you walk your talk? Make sure the answer is yes.
Chemistry.It is maddening, but perhaps fitting, that the final (and arguably most important) component of highly successful teams is the hardest to define. You might not be able to articulate exactly what comprises chemistry, but most people will tell you: you know it when you see it. And it’s important to think about as you’re crafting teams and building high-performance relationships.
Although chemistry can be an elusive thing to measure – in my experience, there are two things to think about: are their skill sets complementary and do they genuinely care about each other? You can’t have one or the other. Neither component alone guarantees the extraordinary work output that chemistry creates. You must have both. When each person can contribute fully to a team in a way that uniquely supports and improves the efforts of the other team members – and when each team member gets along and reallycares about the other individuals as people, not just as colleagues – that’s when a team is truly poised to make magic. There may be some trial and error; sometimes you’ll have to do some tinkering to a team to get the chemistry just right, but it’s worth it. A high-chemistry team will astound you with what it can achieve.
Chemistry can be an elusive thing to measure but you know it when you see it.How does your team measure up? As leaders, we’re depending on other people in a deeply significant way. And they’re depending on us. This is the truest in the case of teams. We can’t do our jobs without the support and skills of the teams we build, join, and grow. There’s an elegant symbiosis when we get it right. Everybody wins when we carefully ensure the triumvirate of Competence, Character, and Chemistry are in place. And, that doesn’t just apply to our teams; it applies to our own leadership in equal measure. We should assess ourselves inwardly using the same criteria we use to evaluate teams outwardly. Just as people need us to create the conditions for them to thrive in high-performance teams, they also deserve a leader who has the skills and character to lead and who genuinely cares about them.
About the Author:Douglas R. Conant is an internationally renowned business leader, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and social media influencer with over 40 years of leadership experience at world-class global companies. For the past 20 years of his leadership journey, he has honed his leadership craft at the most senior levels – first as President of the Nabisco Foods Company, then as CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and finally as Chairman of Avon Products. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership: a mission-driven community of leaders and learners who are championing leadership that works in the 21st century. Learn more about leadership that works from Doug personally at his upcoming Boot Camp or join the leadership conversation by tweeting @DougConant, connecting with him via Facebook or LinkedIn, or exploring the suite of leadership resources at conantleadership.com.
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
It continues to be tough for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace. Here's why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with military service experience.
On this Election Day our sights turn to country, duty, and of course, voting. But we wouldn’t have what we do, and live under the protections that we have, if it wasn’t for our military service men and women.
To that end, military service is probably the greatest honor that any American we can bestow on the nation, but it is also a sacrifice. The trouble comes for some veterans when they try to rejoin the civilian work world. A recent report looked at the topic and arrived at a discouraging statistic: 85 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans are not completely satisfied with their current job. And, according to the iCIMS report, titled ‘America’s Heroes at Work: The Veteran Hiring Report,’ 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans spend time each week looking for a new job.
In collaboration with RecruitMilitary, the nation’s leading veteran hiring firm, the study was conducted to gain a better understanding of post-9/11 veterans’ experience and expectations while job hunting and at work, following their military experience.
The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans has declined 1.4 percentage points from 2014 to 2015 to 5.8 percent. While the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is on the decline, the iCIMS survey reveals just how tough it continues to be for veterans to build a career in the civilian workplace – and why some employers fail to attract talented candidates with military service experience.
“The results from our survey are eye-opening, and reinforces the need for employers to focus on nurturing their veteran employees and enhance their recruitment efforts to attract veteran job seekers,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS. “Although it is encouraging to see the unemployment rates for post-9/11 veterans on the decline, our survey reveals just how tough the transition continues to be for those who are trying to build a career in the civilian workforce and why some employers are missing the mark in attracting talented candidates with experience in the military.”
Job Hunt Challenges
When looking for a job, post-9/11 veterans might not be finding the right opportunities. In fact, 86 percent of post-9/11 veterans decided not to apply for or accept a job after leaving the military. Disappointment with the salary or benefits offered (56 percent) was the top reason, followed by believing they didn’t have enough education or training to do the job (41 percent), and reading negative reviews about the company’s culture or work environment (30 percent).
Corporate veteran hiring initiatives and programs make a difference, but here’s some discouraging news from post-9/11 veterans: 74 percent believe it would take them longer to find a job than a non-veteran with the same level of work experience.
Many veterans expressed the fears and challenges they face during the job search process, including a perceived bias and skills gap. In fact, 41 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe hiring managers do not understand their military experience, 37 percent believe hiring managers devalue their military experience, and 36 percent believe job postings require more specialized experience than they have.
In the face of a perceived anti-military bias, veterans in the civilian job market may downplay their military experience. In fact, 47 percent of post-9/11 veterans have understated or excluded their military service on their resume or online job application. Among those who have understated or hidden their military experience, 44 percent were concerned their military service would negatively impact the hiring decision.
Even after being hired, veterans can still experience a career slump. Among those who have been employed post-discharge, 59 percent of post-9/11 veterans believe they have fewer advancement opportunities than expected and 58 percent feel their work was less meaningful than their military service, and 54 percent feel overqualified for their position.
According to a recent survey of employers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), leadership, strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, and ability to work in a team were among the top six skills employers seek on a candidate’s resume.
Leadership is something that comes naturally for many veterans – and companies can tap into this if they have a strong mentorship program says the ICIMS study. In fact, 93 percent of post-9/11 veterans would be willing to serve as a mentor to a civilian employee, for example, teaching skills they learned in the military and how they can be applied to the workplace.
Forty four percent of veterans feel they have a strong work ethic, 35 percent say they have good problem-solving skills, 28 percent report they have great adaptability, 26 percent said they work well in a team environment and 24 percent report they excel in organization and discipline.
If you’re looking for the best and the brightest veterans to join your team, keep in mind the job qualities post-9/11 veterans say would most attract them to a company: salary or employee benefits (67 percent), advancement or promotion opportunities (58 percent) and on-the-job training opportunities (32 percent).
Where to Find Job-Seeking Veterans
General job boards such as Indeed or CareerBuilder are the most popular among job-seeking post-9/11 veterans with 61 percent looking for jobs on them, followed by government websites (45 percent) and career websites of specific companies (42 percent). While our research has shown that many jobs seekers now use social media to search for and apply to jobs, surprisingly only two percent of veterans said they use these sites to look for open jobs.
“Executive recruiters can also help military personnel transition out to the civilian business community to land jobs, especially in an era of tightening labor supplies,” reports Greenwich, Conn-based talent tracking firm Hunt Scanlon Media. The U.S. military is a workforce similar to any other major corporation that goes through an expansion or contraction. Leveraging their human assets during times of contraction, such as now, is a strategic business move for companies looking to bolster talent reserves in areas as diverse as supply chain, cyber security and logistics to name just a few.
What Employers Can Do to Improve
Even when companies recruit and hire veterans, they may be failing to make the most of their talents and experience. Disappointingly, 63 percent of employed post-9/11 veterans believe they use 50 percent or less of the job skills they learned in the military. This could be causing frustration and even boredom for veterans transitioning to civilian jobs. By gaining an understanding of the top skills veterans hold, employers can tap into this talent and ensure they are providing a challenging and rewarding career path.
Employers are still missing the mark when it comes to building out great veteran hiring programs and continuing to improve them. In fact, 89 percent of post-9/11 veterans who have been employed post-discharge have never been asked by an employer or prospective employer for their feedback regarding its veteran hiring program. In order to recruit and retain veteran top talent, employers need to be asking for feedback about the application, interview, and employee onboarding processes to make sure they are not missing the mark.
Below are three tips on how to put these insights into action with technology:
1. Monitor and Adjust Sourcing Strategies – In order to make an organization more visible, employers should regularly use multiple channels to discover which sources are most effective. Employers can make open positions easy to discover by advertising where candidates are looking, such as government websites or veteran job boards. Dedicated talent acquisition technology helps companies more effectively build candidate pipelines with automation and ease. Companies of all sizes can explore and test candidate outreach channels to attract more candidates and reduce their time to fill. Employers should partner with a technology provider that allows for a seamless flow of information from multiple vendors into a single talent acquisition system of record.
2. Encourage Employee Referrals – Leverage your existing veteran employees’ networks and encourage them to refer others to your open positions. Part of the reason employee referrals are considered so successful by employers is because they are effective at attracting talent that easily fits into a company’s existing culture. By capitalizing on employee networks, companies can enhance their ability to compete for veteran talent.
3. Promote Your Employment Brand – In order to market your organization as an employer of choice for veterans, companies need to build their employment brand in the military community. Allow candidates to sign up for email communications and automate the process with a recruitment marketing tool. Produce veteran facing recruitment marketing email campaigns that highlight the veterans who work in your organization and what they have accomplished while working for you. Address why your company is interested in recruiting veterans and clearly outline how a military background is a good fit for your open positions.
“It is evident that there is a disconnect and a lack of understanding between veterans and employers,” Ms. Vitale concluded. “Our servicemen and women, who have received some of the most sophisticated training and experience and have made extreme sacrifices for our country, are having trouble gaining job security, stability, and a sense of purpose as civilian workers. By gaining more awareness of the top skills veterans hold, employers will be more equipped to tap into this talent and create mutually beneficial relationships with candidates who have served.”
Employers That Are Doing It Right
According to MilitaryTimes, the top five employers for veterans in 2016 were Verizon, Union Pacific Railroad, USAA, PwC, and BAE Systems.
Scott A. Scanlon is founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media. Based in Greenwich, Conn., Scott serves as Editor-in-Chief of Hunt Scanlon's daily newswires, its recruiting industry reports and Executive Search Review.
This blog first appeared at http://huntscanlon.com/
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
How to stay sane in the tumultuous year ahead
I used to mistake stability for a good thing. My immigrant parents instilled in young Bo the notion that stability and security are markers we should aspire to in life. Growing up, society reinforced that same sentiment - that achieving a constant in life is what we should all strive for. When you grow up, you marry, have 2.5 kids, buy a house. That’s the road to happiness, right?
Wrong. Nothing about life or 2016 is stable. 2016 was straight-up emotional and bipolar. According to the DSM-5, I would diagnose 2016 as Bipolar I, the more extreme version. In Bipolar I, one must have had at least one manic episode in their lifetime, plus major depressive episodes. One specifier of both I and II is called "with rapid cycling." We can all agree on that 2016 has been a rapid cycling of highs and lows.
2016 was the year of acquisitions, product changes, crushing election results, and big personal changes. Microsoft bought LinkedIn. Yahoo went up for sale for pennies. Gone are the days of huge IPOs - in this “winter is coming” market, acquisitions are the only way to survive. Classpass canceled their unlimited tier option to many a workout aficionado's chagrin. Airbnb introduced trips. #blacklivesmatter took Twitter and social movement by storm. Our first female presidential candidate, the most qualified candidate to have ever run for president, lost. The polls and Five Thirty Eight were wrong. #thefutureisfemale became the most famous t-shirt on the internet. #imwithher turned into #imstillwithher.
In 2016, I ended a long-term relationship, quit my job, published a tell-all post about my experience at Facebook, and moved across the country to New York. For me, 2016 has been best described as bipolar: the highs have been so high and the lows so low this year.
I've dealt with change in 2016 by reframing change as an equilibrium. Instead of resisting change, we should see it as something necessary until a balance is achieved.
In a chemical reaction, an equilibrium is not achieved until all the reactants and products have no further need to change. Reactants are converted to products and products are converted to reactants vice versa until they’ve reached an equilibrium.
Change is really a state of reactants and products reacting until there is nothing to react to.
As much as we push for stability, it can only be achieved organically. As humans, we get attached to the current state, and often resist any change that pushes us away from that. If a product works, we think there's no need for radical changes, preferring to make small iterations over time. Feeling complacent in your current product market standing creates blind spots for small players to come in and eventually sets the scene for the innovator's dilemma. It’s normal - we cling onto current success, status quo, relationships because we don't want to let them go.
However, life and the marketplace is anything but stable. Change is a fact of life. We will inevitably encounter forces and unexpected events in all areas of life that will yield chemical reactions and catalyze change. These catalysts typically come about after a moment of crisis: a failed product launch, an unexpected political loss, or surprising breakup--devastating losses despite rosy predictions.
We must learn to weather the ebb and flows of political, economic, and social instability. If your product doesn’t get any traction, you need to re-evaluate and reconsider what’s working and what isn't. If your political candidate loses, you need to analyze how that could have happened, see the other side, and think what you’ll do to ensure future success. Be sad, be angry, be scared, but most importantly, don't give up taking action for change. Everyone has a role to play in the next four years.
Architecting a good life and growing an organization comes in waves. We need to evolve or we will stagnate and die a slow death as individuals, organizations, and a country. A study about Romanian orphans from the 1990s really resonated with me regarding the mentality of embracing resilience in the face of change. Despite early years of abject neglect, most of the children in this study were able to recover and live normal lives. We have a great deal to learn from their example.
“Resilience, in psychology, is a person’s individual ability to cope with stress and adversity, and bouncing back to a previous state of normal functioning after trauma.”
Innovation and creativity are very difficult processes. What people often miss is not a lack of creativity but resilience to persist after many setbacks. Most people don’t have a master plan for success and know exactly what they have to do to. I certainly don’t - when I build products or write a piece, it doesn’t happen all in one go. Rather, my process with most things is iterative with many points for reflection and reassessment after each setback. When challenges inevitably happen, I try to face those moments and devise ways to get past them.
Perhaps as we grow as adults, in pursuit of stability, we forget how resilient we once were.
When it comes to the the next year in 2017, I hope that we frame change as an equilibrium and attack problems with resilience. We’ll certainly need it.
ORiginally posted on Linked IN by:Bo Ren
Contact John Assunto for all of your Education Recruiting needs! Johna@worldbridgepartners.com or 860-387-0503
There's little surprise that many international students want to get an internship or a job in the states. After all, it's the land of opportunity. Last summer, I interned at Andreessen Horowitz, and now I'm in the hunt for a full time job. The search process? It's like riding a roller-coaster, to say the least. I'm drafting this on Thanksgiving Day, What do you think? During my interactions with employers, I noticed some commonalities and summarized the top 9 myths of hiring international students.
Myth I: Why international students? It's not worth my time, money and effort.
• Extensive work experience • Multi-lingual • Team-management in various environments • Divergent perspective on global issues • Cross cultural understanding of market dynamics • Flexible to relocate • Potential relocation to origin country could provide employer a reliable international liaison.
Highly educated immigrants are twice as likely to hold patents, three times as likely to start their own businesses.Myth II: It is illegal to hire a student without a green card.
Fact: Federal law permits international students to obtain off-campus employment on their F1, J1 Visa. Students are allowed to work in jobs related to their field of study.
76% of patents from the top ten patent-producing universities in 2011 had a foreign born investor. Myth III: International students need work authorization before I can make a job offer.
Fact: Students DO NOT need work authorization before an employer makes an offer. Students DO need such authorization ready before they can BEGIN working.
25% of high tech companies in the U.S. from 1995-2005 had at least one immigrant founder. Myth IV: Hiring process is exhausting and paperwork is time consuming.
Fact: There's NO paperwork needed from the employer to hire a student working on F1/J1 Visa. To hire an international student on an H1B visa, the employer just needs to prove: 1.The job must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, 2. The employee is paid equal to or more than the federally determined prevailing wage.
More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies in 2010 included at least one immigrant founder or the child of an immigrant founder. Myth V: Sponsoring H1B Visa is expensive.
Fact: The total cost of a qualified immigration attorney and filing fees for a 3-year H1B visa ranges from $3500-$5000. The visa cost is only a fraction compared to the overall value of finding the best candidate for your role.
So is the case with Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, P&G, Pfizer, Kraft, Comcast, Intel, Merck, DuPont, Kohl’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Sun Microsystems, United States Steel, Qualcomm, eBay, Nordstrom, and Yahoo! Myth VI: I must advertise H1B position and prove there is no qualified U.S. worker.
Fact: Employers DO NOT have to document/certify that a foreign citizen working on a F1 or H1B Visa prevented a qualified US citizen from obtaining the position. This is only needed during employer-sponsored applications for permanent residency (green card).
Immigrants with entrepreneurial aspirations start their business an average of 13 years from arriving in the U.S., so you may be hiring a future job creator.Myth VII: I'm displacing a U.S. worker by hiring a international student.
Fact: Hiring foreign nationals with advanced degrees promotes job growth. For every 100 H-1B work visas approved, 183 new jobs are created each year. If you control for just the jobs in the STEM fields, 262 new jobs are created.
More than 50% of PhDs and in some cases, nearly 50% of the master’s degrees in the STEM fields are awarded each year in the U.S. to international students.Myth VIII: There are only a small number of H1B visas available each year and the odds of winning the lottery are small anyway.
Fact: There are 65,000 H1B visas available each year, plus an additional 20,000 for international students that complete their graduate studies in the U.S.
Studies show that Immigrants disproportionately contribute to economic growth, employment, and wage gains.Myth IX: No H1B for small company or start-ups.
Fact: As long as the process is carefully planned out and the documentation is available, the startup should have no issue obtaining an H1B approval. Cost-wise, International students on F1 or J1 visas cannot benefit from social security, therefore they don’t have to pay into it which means neither does the employer. Also, since domestic applicants tend to change jobs more often than foreign applicants, there may be turnover costs as well as more training costs.
Thanks to @Desa Philadelphia and @Tien-Li Loke Walsh for their sharing and inspiration!
As a former Nielsen and A16Z, now studying Entrepreneurship at Marshall Business School, I write about product, marketing, technology, and innovation. Read my previous post:8 Lessons Amazon Could Learn From Alibaba
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Haiqun(Léo) Wang
I’ve been interviewing and placing job candidates for 40 years and tracking their subsequent performance for almost as long. Based on this and training more than twenty thousand recruiters and hiring managers on how to actually predict on-the-job performance, one problem always stands out:
The best person for the job is rarely hired. The best presenter is the one who typically gets the nod.
By overvaluing interview presentation skills over past performance we sometimes hire people who are strong but just as often hire people who are not. This causes a worse problem: Not hiring the best performer because he/she is not a great interviewee or doesn't look or sound quite right.
Getting past the veneer of presentation skills and digging into a candidate’s past performance can eliminate both problems. In fact, by just following the simple steps below it can be done in the first 30 minutes of the interview.
Define the work before defining the person doing the work.
Most job descriptions including your company's look like this list of more than 800 jobs on Indeed.com for mechanical engineers in the Chicago area. Other than the common generic responsibilities the requirements define what the person hired needs to have in terms of skills, education and experience. These are not job descriptions, they’re “person descriptions.”
Since clarifying job expectations has repeatedly been shown to be the number one driver of performance, it’s important to define the work that needs to be done before defining the person doing the work. Most jobs can be defined as a series of 5-6 performance objectives. Here’s an example of one and the instruction manual on how to prepare one for any job.
Getting the job is not the same as doing the job.
Emotions play a big role in who gets hired. Most managers overvalue first impressions, affability, assertiveness and communication skills. Techies overvalue the depth of technical skills. Most interviewers quickly eliminate those who “just don’t fit,” using some nebulous criteria including those who seem quiet, less interested and introspective.
One way to overcome these biases is using a scripted 30-minute interview for all candidates whether they make a good first impression on not. This delay forces objectivity into the assessment. At the end of 30 minutes you can then determine if it makes sense to seriously consider the person. Using a talent scorecard with specific ranking guidelines quickly separates the objective interviewers from those who over rely on emotions or their intuition.
Recognize that strangers are treated differently than acquaintances and referrals.
In a recent post, I contended that people who are personally connected to the interviewer in some way – even loosely – are evaluated differently than strangers. Strangers are assumed unqualified to start. Under this premise they are judged largely on the depth of their skills, level of direct experience, personality and first impression. These are terrible predictors of performance and fit. The connected person begins with a significant advantage: they’re assumed competent. The subsequent assessment is slower and based on the person’s track record of past performance and ability to learn new skills. Here’s a simple way to assess everyone the same way.
Managers ask irrelevant questions and assess people on meaningless facts.
Brain teasers were proved not too smart long ago, although it took a huge study by Google before these questions were shown to be useless. I had a GM client who related strong organizing and planning skills with an orderly desk, and wanted to visit every candidate’s office as part of the assessment. This past year I had a client who assumed people who cancel interviews at the last minute due to a family crisis lack a strong work ethic. Since it’s hard to know when a hiring manager or someone on the interviewing team will go ballistic I suggest using more panel interviews. This way everyone hears the same questions and answers and everyone keeps everyone else honest.
The typical hiring process is too transactional.
Filling jobs with those who are the most skilled is totally different than hiring the strongest person possible. The former is largely a box-checking exercise with the compensation determined by supply and demand. The latter involves spending more time with fewer candidates focusing on their past performance, upside potential and intrinsic motivation to actually do the work that needs to be done. When people are hired this way there’s an instant improvement in quality of hire, an increase in job satisfaction and a huge reduction in unnecessary turnover.
There are a lot of great people who don’t get hired because they don’t fit some misguided stereotype of success. And it’s not because these people are different or odd. It’s that the traditional approaches for hiring and stereotypes are flawed. Bottom line: Don’t use the interview to make the hiring decision, use the interview to collect the evidence needed to make the hiring decision.
Lou Adler (@LouA) is the CEO of The Adler Group, a consulting and training firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He's also a regular columnist for Inc. Magazine, SHRM and BusinessInsider. His new Performance-based Hiring micro-course is now available on Lynda.com. His latest book, The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench, 2013), provides hands-on advice for job-seekers, hiring managers and recruiters on how to find the best job and hire the best people.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Lou Adler
I am a fitness buff, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 years you know that there are countless diets and other dietary or nutritional products promising all kinds of miraculous results. In my quest for better and better fitness, I have learned (and tried) many of these diet and fitness solutions. It's now a hobby to analyze each new diet, gadget, and technique to understand their underpinnings and how much truth, practicality, and hype exist in each.
Unfortunately, a huge percentage of these products are garbage. Many of them have an idea or principle that is valid, but the results are blown way out of proportion in relation to what can truly be achieved using these solutions. On the other hand, some actually work…
If It's Too Complicated No One Will Use ItTake diets for example, there are quite a number of them with merit. The problem is that some diets are ridiculously complicated and too difficult to maintain, let alone adopt as an ongoing lifestyle. All the current leaders in fitness and nutrition now agree that the ease of going on and maintaining a diet is a major factor (if not the major factor) in the creation of a successful diet. If people can’t effectively start or maintain the diet, it doesn’t matter how effective it could be because they won’t be able to sustain it. And that, my friends, is why I am going on and on about diets in an article about advancing the sale—because closing techniques suffer similar complications.
Name any book on closing, and odds are, I’ve read it. There are books with hundreds of sales closes in them, each with their own clever name, like the board of nails close, or the one-dollar-for-one-hundred-dollars close, or my all-time favorite the Atomic-what-would-Jesus-do-BOMB close (no, I’m not kidding).
Someday, to give you a good laugh and protect the innocent souls out there who might actually consider using one of these gems, I’ll put up a website with a Sales Closing Wall of Shame listing all of the ridiculous closes I’ve collected over the years.
Closing ConfusionJust like the diets, most of these closes are garbage—and by garbage, I mean counter-productive. They will actually hurt your chances of closing the sale. But also like the diets, some of these techniques actually work from time to time. And thus, the confusion sets in.
Some of these old-school closes are very elaborate, are specialized for particular situations, and require intricate setups. Some take hours to execute. This is again where they are like diets. If there is too much to remember, or they are too complicated to execute, then no one will use them. Who wants to take the time to memorize one-hundred-and-one closes—one for every possible situation? What if in the heat of the moment I use the wrong one? Oh, the pressure!
It’s a waste of time and effort to use what amounts to a counter-productive close 90% of the time. It is also totally unnecessary.
The Criteria For a Good CloseA good closing approach should meet the following criteria:
That last point is what we are focusing on here. The approach must be easy enough to follow so that when it comes time to actually use the approach, it's natural and simply second nature. That eliminates all the stress and frustration associated with closing that we sometimes feel.
CLOSING TIP: Helping a customer move towards their goal is an act of service. It shouldn't be difficult or stressful at all. It should be easy.
About the Author: James Muir is professional sales trainer, author, speaker and coach. He is the Best-Selling author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales that shows sales and service professionals a clear and simple approach to increase closed opportunities and accelerate sales to the highest levels while remaining genuinely authentic. Those interested in learning a method of closing that is zero pressure, involves just two questions and is successful 95% of the time can reach him atPureMuir.com.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: James Muir
Do you have enough passion in your life? Passion is the difference between playing the piano and being a pianist; it’s who you are, not just what you do. Passion makes you leap out of bed in the morning, eager to start your day.
Dr. Robert Vallerand at the University of Quebec has studied passion more than anyone, and he asserts that passion is self-defining. According to Vallerand, “Passion is a strong inclination towards a self-defining activity that people love, that they consider important, and in which they devote significant amounts of time and energy.”
“Passion is the genesis of genius.” – GalileoIt’s important to note that passion doesn’t require expertise—although there is a correlation, it’s not a given. Vallerand and two other researchers studied 187 musicians and found that those who focused on perfecting their performance—what Vallerand calls “mastery”—developed a higher level of expertise than those who focused on merely being better than other musicians. If passion defines you, it makes sense that your personal best will be about you and no one else.
So what does passion look and feel like? A great way to understand passion is to consider what makes passionate people different from everybody else.
Passionate people are obsessed. Put simply, passionate people are obsessed with their muse, and I don’t mean that in an unhealthy OCD sort of way. I’m talking about a positive, healthy obsession, the kind that inspired the quote, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” No matter what else is going on, their thoughts keep returning to their passion. Not because they feel burdened and pressured by it, but because they’re just so dang excited about it. They’re obsessed with their muse because it inspires them and makes them happy.
They don’t waste time. You won’t find passionate people wandering around a park all afternoon playing Pokemon Go. They don’t have time to be bothered with things that don’t matter or things that just kill time. They devote every minute available to their passion, and it’s not a sacrifice, because there’s nothing else they’d rather be doing.
They’re optimistic. Passionate people are always focused on what can be rather than what is. They’re always chasing their next goal with the unwavering belief that they’ll achieve it. You know how it feels when you’re looking forward to a really special event? Passionate people feel like that every day.
They’re early risers. Passionate people are far too eager to dive into their days to sleep in. It’s not that they don’t like to sleep; they’d just much rather be pursuing their passion. When the rooster crows, their minds are flooded with ideas and excitement for the day ahead.
They’re willing to take big risks. How much you want something is reflected in how much you’re willing to risk. Nobody is going to lay it all on the line for something they’re only mildly interested in. Passionate people, on the other hand, are willing to risk it all.
They only have one speed--full tilt. Passionate people don’t do anything half-heartedly. If they’re going, they’re going full tilt until they cross the finish line or crash. If they’re relaxed and still, they’re relaxed and still. There’s no in between.
They talk about their passions all the time. Again, we’re talking about people whose passions are inseparable from who they are, and you couldn’t form much of a relationship with them if they couldn’t be real about who they are, right? It’s not that they don’t understand that you don’t share their obsession; they just can’t help themselves. If they acted differently, they’d be playing a role rather than being authentic.
They’re highly excitable. You know those people who probably wouldn’t get excited if an alien spaceship landed in their front yard? Yeah, that’s not how passionate people operate. It’s not that they’re never calm, or even bored. It’s just that it takes less to get them excited, so they get excited more frequently and stay excited longer. One theory is that they devote their energy to just one or two things, so they make more progress, and that momentum fuels their excitement.
They’re all about their work. Passionate people don’t worry about work/life balance. Their work is who they are, and there’s no separating the two. It’s what they breathe, live, and eat, so there’s no such thing as leaving it at the office. Asking them to do that is tantamount to asking them to deny who they are. And they’re OK with that because there’s nothing else they’d rather be doing.
Bringing It All TogetherNow that you know what separates passionate people from everybody else, do you think you have enough passion in your life?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.
If you'd like to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence (EQ), consider taking the online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal® test that's included with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book. Your test results will pinpoint which of the book's 66 emotional intelligence strategies will increase your EQ the most.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Dr. Travis Bradberry
Listening in to the orientation session at a ‘Becoming a Mentor’ program, the organizer repeatedly reminded us that we, the mentors, get more out of mentoring than that what we put in. That mentoring is a two way process and apart from the satisfaction of being able to guide and help someone in their path to a good life, the mentor greatly benefits.
I sat there thinking that it was quite true. After each mentoring session I could go home feeling all warmed up inside, much like the feeling after a tot of brandy in a coffee, satisfied that my previous hour changed a life. That the ‘life’ was going to someday look back on the mentoring sessions and say that ‘yours truly’ made a difference. Yes, that story has a ‘happily ever after’ kind of ending.
All this is true. Mentoring in the traditional sense of the term is a relationship between mentor and mentee where the mentor provides guidance and direction to the mentee, who is usually younger. Areas like clarity on life and career, different perspectives and cultural values, opportunities to develop new networks, access to new resources that lead to greater likelihood of career success are part of the mentoring ‘syllabus’. Organizations that have a structured mentoring program benefit a great deal by developing the pipeline of talent and setting up a structure to transfer formal leadership skills. Employee retention, improved communication and a demonstrable commitment by the employer to the employee are the up-sides to mentoring.
All this sounds perfect in the world today, right? Not entirely so. The work force today has demographics quite different from those of 15 years ago. The channels of communication are changing and on an almost daily basis - new social networks, new technologies are stressing the efficiencies of the ‘old experienced hands’. Experience is no longer the only teacher.
With a growing generational gap and shifting expectations, leaders are faced with new challenges. If these senior leaders want to stay relevant and ahead in an age where digital natives will soon represent half the global workforce and will soon be a force to contend with, they will need to stay on the cutting ‘digital’ edge.
Reverse mentoring is not entirely a new concept. In 2014, Microsoft came out with a reverse mentoring program. Realizing that millennials consume services quite differently and understanding that this is key to business strategy and execution, senior executives are engaged in this program where they turn to their younger colleagues for insights into what they value, insights into more information and for guidance through the millennial maze.
I can almost hear you dear reader saying, but this is what analytics does. It collects millions of data points and with clever computing spews forth information that understands the behavior of the consumer and drives business decisions. Yes, it does. But analytics is used mostly for the external customer not the internal customer, your employee.
Reverse mentoring is a win win program.The older manager mentoring a younger colleague switch roles where the younger colleague becomes the mentor. It goes beyond getting an insight ONLY for business decisions. Senior leaders get to know and appreciate the need for new ways of communicating and newer trends and the younger ones get invaluable insights into the larger picture and leadership. Exposed to new behaviors and motivations, senior leaders can better understand what drives the younger workforce and how one can attract the best of talent. This way companies can stay relevant as employers and can engage with an important customer segment. Understanding what makes them ‘tick’ will make companies explore newer marketing ideas.
My own experience with engaging in informal reverse mentoring has helped me learn better collaboration and the ability to leverage the strengths of those I manage. As is managing and motivating a younger workforce is challenging. Reverse mentoring helps bridge this divide. One finds, very often, that we are leading people who are doing jobs that we have never done and probably didn't exist before this time. Gone are the days when a 40+ year old dictating what should be happening without listening to opinions and experts, exists.
When all is said and done it isn't only about learning new tools and technologies and behaviors. It challenges one to move out of their comfort zones and at some point becomes an introspective tool to reflect on managing styles. More power to reverse mentoring!
The author is CDO with Investronaut - Vishwakarma Group & a Mentor withKatalyst an organization that provides an enabling environment to enhance the employability of girl students pursuing professional degrees or courses.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Ramona Parsani
I saw this picture posted above by Wendy Zdeb showing a very low turnout at a recent MSU job fair for new teachers. She said it broke her heart to see this because in the 80's and 90's this event would have been packed with new teacher candidates looking for teaching positions. I also ran across a video (https://www.facebook.com/ATTNVideo/videos/1684951141809840/) on Facebook yesterday where it stated that enrollment in teacher training programs is down 35%, and then it went on to explain some reasons why that may be so.
As a 31 year veteran teacher, I know we are currently facing very challenging times in education. I've heard many teachers and other educators say that they are encouraging family members and others to avoid going into teaching as a possible career choice. This is where I disagree.
Now, more than ever, we need to be attracting strong, determined teaching candidates that will be up to meeting many of the challenges we currently face. Too much is at stake! Our schools need to remain strong if we are to have a strong future in our country. To do that we need to continue to staff our schools with the best teachers we can. Teachers that continue to have passion, purpose, vision and integrity to model to their students each day as they help prepare them to become successful and productive citizens and adults.
I believe we need to create a team of educators that still love and believe in this profession that are willing to come together as ambassadors for teaching. This team could go out to help recruit and retain strong teaching candidates that are willing to come in to teaching with open eyes ready to take on and conquer the many challenges we face in education today and any future ones we may face.
As I prepare to retire soon from teaching, I would like to dedicate the next 10-20 years of my life working with such a team to help recruit and serve future teachers. It would be an honor to go out and share my love and passion for teaching with those thinking about joining one of the most challenging and rewarding professions I can think of.
Working together, I am confident we can fill the hallways at MSU's next job fair for new teachers and many other teaching job fairs around the country!
Originally posted on LinkedIN by:Bill Cecil
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