Five things that will help you climb as high as your talents will take you:
1. Be a Problem Solver: The best leaders look for opportunities to apply their talents and make a difference. Make a habit of anticipating, identifying and solving problems. When you have ideas about how to do something smarter, better, or more efficiently, speak up! Your boss might not take you up on every suggestion, but your efforts won’t go unnoticed. It shows that you are proactive and engaged—indispensable leadership qualities.
2. Say Yes to Stretch Assignments: Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way—even if it seems like a reach. There’s no better way to grow professionally than by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. By the time I became CEO, I had worked in four of our company’s five businesses, held 19 different leadership positions, and moved my family eight times for new assignments. The more challenges you master, the more opportunities you’ll receive.
3. Show How Your Work Drives Business Results: Results matter—so when you’re doing great work, make sure you keep track of the evidence. Showing your leadership how you’ve increased revenue, decreased costs, improved operations, or won customer accolades makes your value to the organization clear and tangible. This isn’t bragging or self-promotion, it’s demonstrating that you understand your organization’s objectives and are working hard to advance them. If you do, you’ll have a decisive edge when promotion time comes around.
4. Understand Your Organization’s Leadership Values: Show management you understand what they value in leaders and pursue opportunities to demonstrate that you have what it takes. At Lockheed Martin, for example, we are constantly on the lookout for employees who stand out not simply for their performance but also for their behavior. Our Full Spectrum Leadership model focuses on people who see over the horizon; who are great at building relationships; who energize and inspire others; who generate tangible results; and who embody excellence, integrity, and accountability.
5. Remember That Success Is a Team Sport: Even as you’re working to distinguish yourself, remember that no one ever makes it on their own. Demonstrate your leadership skills by helping to create a positive work environment for everyone. Pitch in when a teammate needs a hand. Share credit for good work. Take the time to really get to know your co-workers. Treat everyone with respect. Remember that the more you look out for others, the more others will look up to you.
Senior leaders spend a lot of their time focused on developing talent, building succession plans, and identifying who is ready to take on a leadership role. The success of an organization rides on doing this effectively. By practicing these five habits, you could be at top-of-mind when the next leadership position opens up.
Recruitment is a simple concept to understand, but rarely plays out as smoothly as we’d all like. This means that prior experience is crucial, and it’s something start-ups often need to develop too. So, why all the fuss?
– 50% of digital companies in London are micro firms (less than 10 employees) as of 2013.
– 95%+ are small to medium size businesses (up to 250 employees) as of 2013.
Top ten tips
Considering the rate of growth in other sectors, this is a nice challenge to have though. When it comes to tackling these hiring challenges, there are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Clearly define the brief and your key criteria.Make sure you’re breaking key criteria into ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’, and outline what the unique challenges and characteristics of the role are.
2. Make time to hold more than one interview. You and the candidate both need to be sure that this is the right fit.
3. Plan the interviews. It’s hard to find out what you need otherwise, and it can be hard to control the interview without some advance planning. A lack of prep also leaves candidates feeling let down and they can easily lose interest, even if they’ve impressed you. Make it personal – the star candidate that catches your attention will have options, and you want to stand out.
4. Hire on brand. Distinct values & passionate staff reinforce your story.
5. Be honest. Make opportunities and potential challenges really clear to candidates. Make sure they fit the environment and are up for it. Start-ups can be dynamic, even chaotic at times. If a new hire isn’t up for that challenge, there’s a significant risk that they’ll leave within the first few weeks.
6. Diversity. Digital products have a diverse and global reach, and bringing in a wide range of perspectives can help make your products relevant to a much wider audience.
7. If talent is scarce, are there international or remote alternatives? This has worked well, particularly for hiring developers who can easily work remotely. This will also save on overheads.
8. Hire great people and give ownership. Don’t be afraid to let go of the baby, it will enable you to crack onward and upward.
9. Get as much advice as you can from friends, contacts and aspirational brands. Learning from others is invaluable and also free! Use your network and the networks of people you know early and often.
10. Spend time with your staff. Once you’ve hired, make sure they’re settling in – a quiet chat early on can iron out a variety of common issues and prevent disappointment.
The cost of getting the wrong hire is far higher than the time and cost it takes to hire the right person, so it’s best to invest that time and energy in making sure you’re doing everything you can to win over the right people.
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In the best interviews, job candidates say a lot and interviewers very little – after all, the interview is about the candidate, not the interviewer.
But there are a few things interviewers would like to tell job candidates well before the interview starts.
1. I want you to be likeable.
Obvious? Sure, but also critical. I want to work with people I like and who in turn like me.
So: I want you to smile. I want you to make eye contact, sit forward in your chair, and be enthusiastic. The employer-employee relationship truly is a relationship — and that relationship starts with the interview (if not before.)
A candidate who makes a great first impression and sparks a real connection instantly becomes a big fish in a very small short-list pond. You may have solid qualifications, but if I don’t think I’ll enjoy working with you, I’m probably not going to hire you.
Life is too short.
2. I don’t want you to immediately say you want the job.
Oh, I do want you to want the job — but not before you really know what the job entails. I may need you to work 60-hour weeks, or travel 80% of the time, or report to someone with less experience than you… so sit tight for a bit.
No matter how much research you’ve done, you can’t know you want the job until you know everything possible about the job.
3. I want you to stand out….
A sad truth of interviewing is that later I often don’t recall, unless I refer to my notes, a significant amount about some of the candidates. (Unfair? Sure. Reality? Absolutely.)
The more people I interview for a job and the more spread out those interviews, the more likely I am to remember a candidate by impressions rather than by a long list of facts.
So when I meet with staff to discuss potential candidates I might initially refer to someone as, “the guy with the bizarre stainless steel briefcase,” or “the woman who does triathlons,” or “the gentleman who grew up in Lichtenstein.”
In short, I may remember you by “hooks” – whether flattering or unflattering – so use that to your advantage. Your hook could be your clothing, or an outside interest, or an unusual fact about your upbringing or career. Better yet your hook could be the project you pulled off in half the expected time or the huge sale you made.
Instead of letting me choose, give me one or two notable ways to remember you.
4. … but not for being negative.
There’s no way I can remember everything you say. But I will remember sound bites, especially the negative ones – like the candidates who complain, without prompting, about their current employer, their coworkers, or their customers.
So if for example you hate being micro-managed, instead say you’re eager to earn more responsibility and authority. I get there are reasons you want a new job but I want to hear why you want my job instead of why you’re desperate to escape your old job.
And keep in mind I’m well aware our interview is like a first date. I know I’m getting the best possible version of “you.” So if you whine and complain and grumble now… I know you’ll be a real treat to be around in a few months.
5. I want you to ask lots of questions about what really matters to you…
I need to know whether I should hire you, but just as importantly I need you to make sure my job is a good fit for you.
So I want you to ask lots of questions: What I expect you to accomplish early on, what attributes make our top performers outstanding, what you can do to truly drive results, how you’ll be evaluated… all the things that matter to you and to me and my business.
You know what makes work meaningful and enjoyable to you. I don’t. There’s no other way to really know whether you want the job unless you ask questions.
The more questions you ask, the more you learn about a job candidate, right? Wrong. Here’s a better strategy.
Eventually, almost every interview turns into a question-and-answer session. You ask a question. The candidate answers as you check a mental tick-box (good answer? bad answer?).
You quickly go to the next question and the next question and the next question, because you only have so much time and there’s a lot of ground to cover because you want to evaluate the candidate thoroughly. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn about the candidate.
Sometimes, instead of asking questions, the best interviewing technique is to listen slowly.
In Change-Friendly Leadership, management coach Rodger Dean Duncan describes how he learned about listening slowly from PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer:
Duncan: He urged me to ask a good question, listen attentively to the answer, and then count silently to five before asking another question. At first that suggestion seemed silly. I argued that five seconds would seem like an eternity to wait after someone responds to a question. Then it occurred to me: Of course it would seem like an eternity, because our natural tendency is to fill a void with sound, usually that of our own voice.
Lehrer: If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you’ll discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he’s already said or he’ll go in a different direction. Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.
Duncan: Giving other people sufficient psychological breathing room seemed to work wonders. When I bridled my natural impatience to get on with it, they seemed more willing to disclose, explore, and even be a bit vulnerable. When I treated the interview more as a conversation with a purpose than as a sterile interrogation, the tone of the exchange softened. It was now just two people talking…
Listening slowly can turn a Q&A session into more of a conversation. Try listening slowly in your next interviews. (Not after every question, of course: Pausing for five seconds after a strictly factual answer will leave you both feeling really awkward.)
Just pick a few questions that give candidates room for self-analysis or introspection, and after the initial answer, pause. They’ll fill the space: with an additional example, a more detailed explanation, a completely different perspective on the question.
Sitting around all day isn’t just making you unhealthy. It might also be making you dumber.
Your desk, scientists reported recently, is trying to kill you.
According to the New York Times, scientists discovered that when we sit all day, “electrical activity in the muscles drops… leading to a cascade of harmful metabolic effects,” and sadly even getting regular doses of exercise doesn’t offset the damage. But now there’s new evidence of the harm of sitting. Not only is it making you fatter, it might also be making you dumber.
Sabine Schaefer, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany, recently looked at the effect of walking on working memory. Your mother may have warned you not to walk and chew gum at the same time, but when Schaefer compared the performance of both children and young adults on a standard test of working memory when they were sitting with when they were walking, her results contradicted mom’s advice. The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest sums up the research results:
The headline finding was that the working memory performance of both age groups improved when walking at their chosen speed compared with when sitting or walking at a fixed speed set by the researchers. This was especially the case for more difficult versions of the working memory task, and was more pronounced among the children than the adults. So, this would appear to be clear case of mental performance actually being superior in a dual-task situation.
Or in other words, rather than assume that walking while thinking splits your mental and physical resources, leaving less to devote to each, the scientists actually found “an increase in arousal or activation associated with physical activity… which then can be invested into the cognition,” according to the paper reporting the research. Walking increases your resources of energy, which you can then invest in thinking.
Why didn’t walking at “fixed speed” have the same effect on working memory as walking at the subjects’ preferred pace? The scientists speculate that, “walking at the fixed speed, which was considerably slower than the preferred speed in both age groups, might simply not have been fast enough to increase arousal sufficiently to achieve an effect,” or that the need to “pay some attention to adjusting one’s walking speed to the speed of the treadmill” interfered with the main memory task.
Of course, not every mental activity can or should be performed while walking, but this new research reinforces anecdotal evidence and other research findings that suggest being too tightly chained to our desks is bad for our minds as well as our physical health. Science shows we often have creative breakthrough when our minds are disengaged from the problem we’re wrestling with, hence the common experience of getting great ideas while relaxing in the shower.
Getting up for a walk or a jog is another way to achieve this sort of head space–after all, it worked for Einstein and Charles Darwin. (Beer, apparently, also helps.)
Interviewing job candidates is tough, especially because some candidates are a lot better at interviewing than they are at working.
To get the core info you need about the candidates you interview, here’s a simple but incredibly effective interview technique I learned from John Younger, the CEO of Accolo, a cloud recruiting solutions provider. (If you think you’ve conducted a lot of interviews, think again: Younger has interviewed thousands of people.)
Here’s how it works. Just start from the beginning of the candidate’s work history and work your way through each subsequent job. Move quickly, and don’t ask for detail. And don’t ask follow-up questions, at least not yet.
Go through each job and ask the same three questions:
1. How did you find out about the job?
2. What did you like about the job before you started?
3. Why did you leave?
“What’s amazing,” Younger says, “is that after a few minutes, you will always have learned something about the candidate–whether positive or negative–that you would never have learned otherwise.”
How did you find out about the job?
Job boards, general postings, online listings, job fairs–most people find their first few jobs that way, so that’s certainly not a red flag.
But a candidate who continues to find each successive job from general postings probably hasn’t figured out what he or she wants to do–and where he or she would like to do it.
He or she is just looking for a job; often, any job.
And that probably means he or she isn’t particularly eager to work for you. He or she just wants a job. Yours will do–until something else comes along.
“Plus, by the time you get to Job Three, Four, or Five in your career, and you haven’t been pulled into a job by someone you previously worked for, that’s a red flag,” Younger says. “That shows you didn’t build relationships, develop trust, and show a level of competence that made someone go out of their way to bring you into their organization.”
On the flip side, being pulled in is like a great reference–without the letter.
What did you like about the job before you started?
In time, interviewees should describe the reason they took a particular job for more specific reasons than “great opportunity,” “chance to learn about the industry,” or “next step in my career.”
Great employees don’t work hard because of lofty titles or huge salaries. They work hard because they appreciate their work environment and enjoy what they do. (Titles and salary are just icing on the fulfillment cake.)
That means they know the kind of environment they will thrive in, and they know the type of work that motivates and challenges them–and not only can they describe it, they actively seek it.
Why did you leave?
Sometimes people leave for a better opportunity. Sometimes they leave for more money.
Often, though, they leave because an employer is too demanding. Or the employee doesn’t get along with his or her boss. Or the employee doesn’t get along with co-workers.
When that is the case, don’t be judgmental. Resist the temptation to ask for detail. Hang on to follow-ups. Stick to the rhythm of the three questions. That makes it natural for candidates to be more open and candid.
In the process, many candidates will describe issues with management or disagreements with other employees or with taking responsibility–issues they otherwise would not have shared.
Then follow up on patterns that concern you.
“It’s a quick way to get to get to the heart of a candidate’s sense of teamwork and responsibility,” Younger says. “Some people never take ownership and always see problems as someone else’s problem. And some candidates have consistently had problems with their bosses–which means they’ll also have issues with you.”
And a bonus question:
How many people have you hired, and where did you find them?
Say you’re interviewing candidates for a leadership position. Want to know how their direct reports feel about them?
Don’t look only for candidates who were brought into an organization by someone else; look for candidates who brought employees into their organization.
Source : INC