Executive Career Management

After asking many executives what characteristics made a successful leader, I created a list of the 20 top answers. Are you following all 20? And with the right experiences can all executives learn to be leaders?

1. Ethical and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) - leadership sets the standards and culture for ethical behavior.

2. A Leader is there to serve - A truly successful leader understands that you are there to serve your team, not to be served.

3. A vision of commitment to the organization - Leadership is about creating a vision that inspires those who work for and around you to participate actively in key goals, objectives and the overall mission.

The ownership of developing one’s career rests more with the individual than with the employer. Although there are occasions when the employer initiates a move and provides exciting opportunities to high performing executives or those with unique expertise and skills, it is wise for the individual to initiate these opportunities. Senior Executives should evolve their career management strategy by assessing the surrounding environment and match potential opportunities or directions with career aspirations and needs. Assuming a passive role and expecting natural events to direct the best paths can only be construed as leaving control of one’s destiny entirely to others!

New Survey from BlueSteps.com Shows 55% of Senior Executives Unsatisfied with their Work-Life Balance
In April 2010 BlueSteps surveyed over 800 global senior executive members to discover the latest attitudes to work-life balance (The Economist Intelligence Unit assisted with the development of survey questions). Of those surveyed, over half reported that they currently do not have a satisfactory work-life balance – the highest dissatisfaction figure recorded since the survey began in 2006.

Executives, once at that exclusive and illustrious level, no longer have the luxury of applying for a job through the regular means which were available to them during the earlier part of their careers: an ad in the paper, or on an online job board, or just randomly approaching target employers by mailing a CV. At senior and executive levels, individuals seeking a change need to reconsider the usual push strategy and employ a more drawn out, pull strategy and this requires a switch in mindset that they have to get acquainted with.

Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of key executives – CEOs, Partners, COOs, Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents, and so on. Top business professionals like these present unique challenges to the Career Consultant, because they face unique challenges in their own transitions! Specializing in working with this clientele, I have identified 10 distinct issues that senior executives usually confront with when conducting a job search – and I have developed practical solutions for each one of them:

#1 – EGO
  • Loss of self-esteem, identity, self-worth, and self-concept
  • Embarrassment, shame, and “tarnished” image
There are federal employment laws which impact your executive career. When professionals and executives transition in or out of a company, there is a myriad of issues to consider. Compensation, severance, benefits, retirement accounts, non-compete clauses, discrimination, and other legal rights are being negotiated and can dramatically affect your career.

Employment Law

Interpersonal relationships are the greatest challenge for leaders in business, especially for those in senior executive management positions. As a leader you must prepare to operate across many racial, social and generational lines, and accommodate multiple working styles. Each situation, team and organization requires a specific approach. Gain a competitive edge in leadership positions by following the 6 critical steps outlined below by Adriana Prates, president and founder of AESC firm, Dasein.
When the job market gets gloomy we ponder about other options to keep ourselves gainfully engaged. To those who have been out-placed (with or without due compensations) one of the thoughts that quickly occur is ‘Why not consult until I find the next right job?’ It is an exciting option provided we are absolutely prepared and clear about what we are getting into. There are always the not-so-obvious points to consider before plunging in. This article will discuss the concept of assignment-based partnering – that is, offering to collaborate and form teams with other consultants or consulting organizations on short and mid term assignments.

Maintaining existing relationships is as important as building new ones. It is easy to prioritize exciting new contacts made within your target industries or organizations, while neglecting those important long-term relationships. However, the contacts that will help you the most, especially during an executive job search, are those that you nurture and maintain.

BlueSteps recently released a guide on retained executive search to all our members, featuring advice on how to best work with search consultants and how to develop your network to include relevant executive recruiters. Read on for our expert advice, and a selection of our top tips: