Archive for the ‘Great First Impressions’ Category

Customer Service, Loving Your Job, and Leadership

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Hotel BellI’ve often wondered the connection between our people loving their jobs and the level of service they provide to the candidates they come in touch with throughout their days, and the clients we serve on executive search assignments at McDermott & Bull and MB Interim Leaders. I know there have been many articles written about job satisfaction, relationships with fellow employees, and service levels delivered by happy employees having fun at their jobs. I’ve often wondered how variations in leadership style affects this type of customer experience.


Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

BaseballI know that’s a particularly cryptic title for a blog, but hopefully it makes you want to read more. I do think it’s appropriate for the topic.

I’ve heard this too often lately, and witnessed some of it myself in my interviews with candidates. Brandon Barrett, our Director of Business Development for our MB Interim Leaders business unit, and I recently called on a human resources executive at a major Southern California company (major for SoCal is revenue north of a billion). This particular executive happens to be an old friend – someone I’ve worked with personally and through our firm at 3 different companies over the past 14 years. She’s one of my favorites!


Do You Preflight?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Piper Malibu MirageI’m a pilot, and the first thing you do before you get ready to fly is to preflight the plane – and the trip. The preflight is pretty involved and requires a thorough inspection, both inside and outside of the plane, as well as all the available information for that flight, including weather and notices to airmen (NOTAMS) about the airport I’m departing and my destination. Missing information here could have me set up for an approach that the NOTAMS would have told me were not applicable that day or time, or even worse, an airport or runway closure.


Are You a Linchpin?

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I recently finished the book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. Great book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

While most business books I’ve read don’t really introduce new concepts (I know my blog doesn’t really either), the really good ones get me to focus on the important things I’ve been missing, or some areas for improvement, generally in leadership. This book falls into that same category and reinforces some important concepts we’ve all learned in the past, but does put a different perspective, in my opinion, on the mindset the Linchpin has while doing her work. She’s an artist, and is “giving” away her art, or, in my opinion, her gifts and strengths to an organization and those it serves. It’s just who she is – she is going to do a great job and not keep score, and make sure she leaves those she serves better off for having interacted with her. Keeping score – “They don’t pay me enough”, “I’m not appreciated”, or “They overwork me” – can be very tiring and generally leaves the score keeper not feeling better for the experience.


Perseverance in the Job Market – How Much are You Sweating?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

“Leave it all on the field.”

“Twice the sweat for ½ the return.”

“Yesterday’s ‘A’ game is today’s ‘C’ game.”

These are just some of the quotes I’ve heard recently about today’s economy. By the way, these weren’t from job seekers – they were from business people that are just as challenged today in selling their products and services.

Good quotes to think of and remind us that we’re not alone, and that those that are persevering in this market are going above and beyond to stay alive. Many companies have downsized significantly, and in some cases shut down plants or entire business units. Becoming more efficient quickly was the name of the game in 2009 and now it’s still challenging and no one is ready to shout, “Mission Accomplished!”


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part VI: How to Position Yourself for that Dream Job

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Did you hear the one about the person who applied for the advertised job, only to be told there wasn’t one? While companies may post jobs, or hire search firms like McDermott & Bull to fill them, the reality is that jobs have changed character over the last 20 years. In the past, a job meant a potential career with a company. You really evaluated that company thoroughly, spoke to the hiring manager about upward mobility after that assignment, and tried to picture yourself retiring from that company. How often does that happen anymore?

The answer: not a lot. In fact, today, you need to take a different tack if you’re looking at an opportunity. A job is no longer a potential career (that’s not an entirely accurate statement), but instead is an opportunity to solve a problem for a company. Quite possibly – no more, no less.


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part V: The 30 Second Elevator Pitch

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Ever go to a networking event and meet someone that is unwavering in their attempt to make you hear everything they’ve done in their career and what they’re looking for in their next job? OK, I’m exaggerating here, a little. But it is true. We’ve all run across those people that think it’s important you know so much about them, or else you won’t be able to effectively help them. I’m sure even I’ve done it to someone before, and I really sympathize with them now.

Now for the controversial part of the post, so get those keyboards ready and start flexing your fingers. In an elevator pitch, I’m a firm believer that LESS IS MORE! Really, they don’t call it 30 seconds for nothing.


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part IV: The Car Makes the Candidate

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Wow, am I setting myself up for the hate mail or what? I know this post will be controversial to some, and I’m the first to say, if you don’t agree with me, it’s ok, do what you want. These are only my opinions, are not set in stone, and sometimes even I go against them if I feel compelled.

That said, I do have some thoughts on how some candidates do themselves harm with their car. I was taught about five years ago by my business coach, Vance Caesar, to walk candidates to their cars after an interview. I must admit, I am not always able to do this, but I do try, especially when interviewing someone at my office. I might say something like, “I’ll walk you out” after the interview is over, and then follow them out of the building since our suite is on the first floor. As we’re making conversation, I might say, where are you parked and they’ll point in the direction so we’ll start walking towards their car.


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part IIIb: How to WOO

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

If you’re an extrovert, you’ve probably never been told you lack energy or the ability to build rapport. However, when interviewing with an introverted hiring manager, it’s important for an extrovert to dial it down. Introverts want to drill down on your past responsibilities, your experiences, and your success stories. Keep it to the point. While one-word answers are almost never great in an interview, stick very closely to the question asked and don’t over communicate.


The Lost Art of Mastering a Great First Impression – Part IIIa: How to WOO

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Many of us by now have read the great book “Now Discover Your Strengths” and are familiar with the talents spelled out in detail. The one talent that some have in excess, and that serves them their entire careers, is WOO – winning others over. We can also call this topic building rapport with all the stakeholders and parties involved in you landing your dream job.

WOO’ing is not easy for all of us. My partner, Chris Bull, can walk into any room and immediately build rapport with just about any type in that room – from the cigar chomping, back slapping CEO type, to the technical R&D product developer type that’s passionate about technology but that sticks to themselves in social settings. I like to say that he can play the entire spectrum.