After Labor Day

After Labor Day

Labor Day is more than a holiday here in the U.S.  It is the day when people and organizations change.  A new sense of urgency arises.  Holidays, vacations and travel are set aside for budgets, plans, goals and business activities.  It is a dynamic time.  Think in terms of the Olympic 1500 meter, not the 10,000 meter, race.  There is a bit of time for strategy, but mostly it’s executing. That’s the approach to get the most possible out of this important time of year. Evaluate where you are, considering changes and opportunities that have arisen since your original plan.  Then get moving.  The best tactic is to determine what steps will have the greatest impact, and quickly implement them.  They should be sound, but don’t take excessive time to make them perfect! An organization’s success depends upon the people involved.  If the right people are in place in the organization, get them to buy into the vision. If they are in the organization, but not in the right role, rapidly create a structure to take advantage of their skills and abilities.  If high-performing people have notable gaps, support them.  If people who can contribute are not already part of the organization, identify and attract them. This time of year is just as important to an individual who is in an active job search.  Knowing that organizations will “turn on their afterburners,” increasing your efforts to contact people and following up with people you have previously contacted should be fruitful.  It’s a great time to be energetic! These steps determine how much momentum you gain during the critical last...
Succeeding

Succeeding

Often we go through our careers focusing on succeeding in what we do.  This ability to concentrate is a strength – until it isn’t.  What if our focus suddenly isn’t that important in the work world?  Careers are changing; they will change even more in the future.  How should you handle this? My partner, Jill Macleod, from Toronto wrote a blog that has wonderful insights into differentiating yourself.  It is particularly appropriate for those in an active job search.  But it has broader implications than that:  everyone should be aware of what Jill says as they manage their career. Larry Shoemaker is President of Shoemaker & Associates/Cornerstone Atlanta.  He helps organizations identify, recruit, assess and retain talent.  He is also President of Cornerstone International Group, a global retained search organization comprised of about 70 independently owned offices located around the globe, with headquarters in Shanghai, China and Atlanta, GA.  He holds an International Coach Foundation ACC Credential.    ...
How are you contributing?

How are you contributing?

Sitting in an outdoor cafe in Toledo, Spain, following an invigorating three day Annual Conference for members of Cornerstone International Group, makes it easy to put in perspective the choices we make in our lives. One of the highlights of the conference is getting to know more about the individuals who are part of this organization. We know each other as professionals, and as friends. This year we learned about contributions some have made outside of business. In 2008, Gary refocused his life after receiving a serious medical diagnosis. Thankfully, the medical issue has been resolved, but Gary continues with his bucket list. A young man who was his taxi (tut-tut) driver on a trip to Cambodia, where Gary had gone to visit the temple complex of Angkor Wat, impressed Gary. The young man felt he was not prepared to have a future, but he did have a vision of starting his own business. He was contributing a significant amount of his earnings to help children with essentials needed to receive an education. Gary was so inspired by the young man’s passion that he paid for him to complete his business degree, as well as his MBA. He now has a successful business. But it does not stop there. Gary and the young man stayed in contact. A few years ago he introduced Gary to a village with a very deprived school: the building and rooms were there, but no chalk for the boards, no desks, no supplies. Gary bought supplies and paid for uniforms, shoes and books for students in grades 1-6. He also provided one month’s food...
Are you a corporate lawyer ready for a new role?

Are you a corporate lawyer ready for a new role?

Our client, the U.S. subsidiary of a European based consumer goods company with revenues exceeding $20 Billion, is recruiting a successful lawyer to be their Associate General Counsel.  This subsidiary generates approximately 20% of the company’s total revenue. This organization, which has a portfolio of well-known brands, operates in a highly regulated industry. The Associate General Counsel is a new position, created to support the organization by serving as a commercial attorney and providing litigation support. The Associate General Counsel reports to the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and is a member of a small team providing hands-on counsel to all business units and levels of executive staff. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES The Associate General Counsel assists the EVP, General Counsel in protecting the organization’s legal interests and maintaining its operations within the scope established by law. He or she advises the General Counsel and Senior Management on, and issues recommendations regarding, how to protect and serve the Company’s legal interests. Functioning as a business partner, with an understanding of business and the business implications of legal decisions, the person who best fits this role will have a perspective much broader than just the legal aspects. QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WILL HAVE 8-10 years’ minimum legal experience, with a substantial part of that as a commercial lawyer. Experience working with regulated consumer products is desirable. Successfully provided legal support to multiple internal clients, including senior management. A law degree from a nationally accredited school and bar admission in at least one state. Highly developed oral and written communication and presentation skills. Strong interpersonal skills. Superior analytical skills. “Big-picture” understanding of the broad implications...
Why should someone hire you?

Why should someone hire you?

Talking with my grandson, a college senior interviewing for an internship, made me think about one of the basic questions everyone must address every day. Most of the time it is not in the forefront of thoughts, but it certainly is important to keep in the background.  It is one of the first questions I ask when coaching individuals, whether they are determining how to be better or to find that next perfect role. Why should someone hire you? Face it – people who can contribute are in high demand.  How they convey what they offer is extremely important.  Hint:  what you want is important, but what you can contribute is critical. Successful people think like entrepreneurs.  They are passionate; they focus on attaining goals; they overcome obstacles; they make decisions; they take risks; they are committed to success.  If that describes you, you are taking responsibility for your own success, and in doing so, helping the organization succeed. Managing your career requires effectively communicating why you bring value to an organization, the one where you are currently working or one you would like to join.  Here are some suggestions to assist you in creating a message: Assess yourself. Understand your strengths as well as what you are passionate about. Put yourself in the buyer’s perspective (the person you want to convince). Recognize what she needs to accomplish – what she would pay you to deliver. Communicate the value you bring; do not focus on what you want, but rather on what you offer. Consider previous experience only as your foundation; emphasize what you have learned and how it...
Another Perspective – The Other Person’s 90%

Another Perspective – The Other Person’s 90%

It’s not just candidates who should think in the other person’s 90%!  Organizations also need to do so.  Here is a recent situation that illustrates how important this is. A relatively “young” company wanted to recruit a sales representative.  Beginning with an ad, phone screens, initial face-to-face interviews with at least 50 applicants, then multiple interviews with a few candidates, the company identified the individual they wanted to hire.  They asked all the “right questions” during the process and determined the candidate could do the job.  From assessments to referencing, they were thorough.  They made the offer. At this point it got a “bit sticky.”  The offer was substantially lower than the candidate anticipated, based upon her knowledge of the industry.  During all the interviews there had never been any discussions about the organization’s compensation philosophy.    The managers doing the interviewing only focused on what they wanted to know.  They did not “sell” the candidate about the company, the position, and how it might benefit her.   They did not find out what was important to her.  The managers did not send any message to the candidate that they were interested in her as an individual.  They were only interested in what she could do for them.  They were operating in their own 90%! Even with this, the story does have a happy ending – at least for now.  The candidate was working with a coach who helped her “think through” the situation.  With this assistance, she was able to put the offer in perspective, and visualize what the position represented.  Initially, it provided income – an immediate benefit.  As...