High-demand Capabilities Every Leader Must Master

High-demand Capabilities Every Leader Must Master

Affecting every aspect of industry, the global pandemic has leveled once-thriving businesses while demanding extraordinary productivity from others.

The resulting tumult has exposed the underpinnings of organizations and tested leaders like never before. Our new mode of business and world of work has caused some leaders to realize their defining strengths are of less consequence in the present environment and others to find what had once been considered their peripheral capabilities suddenly—and highly—valued.

In my latest article for Forbes—”High-demand Capabilities Every Leader Must Master and Market”—I examine three major leadership gaps that Harvard Business Publishing recently identified, as well as the capabilities that have crystalized from these gaps:

Leading through uncertainty | Pushing through ambiguity to navigate complexity—and, ultimately, adapt.

Cultivating trust | Creating shared purpose and unity by inspiring engagement, empowering performance, and leveraging the individuality of employees to strengthen the organization.

Reskilling for opportunity | Assessing talent requirements through a future-focused lens and fostering an environment where teams continuously engage in the process of innovation and build digital fluency.

Additionally, the ability to demonstrate command of topline industry trends and metrics and anticipate change—to predict, not react—is now a coveted and marketable skill.

Leaders who can incorporate these high-demand High-demand Capabilities Every Leader Must Mastercapabilities into their career narrative and who lend credence to their personal brand through supporting evidence will continue to hold the upper hand in the job market. It is also important for leaders to think about how they have built these same capabilities among their senior team, as well as deeper within the leadership ranks.

If you are an executive embarking on a new job search read more at Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search strategy.

Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

Marketing Yourself for Your Executive Job Search

The key to marketing yourself for your executive job search is balancing self-promotion and humility. But when it comes to personal branding and messaging, many executives downplay their strengths and successes and find active expression of individual achievements somewhat awkward and unnatural. They are more comfortable including basic facts and figures on their resumes, yet employers need a cohesive narrative to connect the dots and recognize value.

Compounding the aversion to self-promotion is a respected character trait on the leadership spectrum — humility — which can seem at odds with tooting one’s own horn too vigorously. While projecting humility is an admirable quality — employees who perceive altruism from their managers tend to be more engaged and innovative — effectively translating business value into words is paramount when positioning yourself for your next role. The job market is far too fast-moving and competitive for hiring executives to interpret a candidate’s restraint as anything other than a direct reflection of leadership ability and performance.

In my latest article for Forbes—“How to Balance Hype and Humility in Your Job Search”—I examine the reasons many senior leaders struggle to promote themselves, including:

  • They are focused on the aggregate effort
  • They are cautious in the delivery of their communications
  • They are already at the top of the pyramid

I also provide examples of how to self-promote without broadcasting arrogance. Marketing yourself both effectively and authentically is an exercise in balance. If you are too self-aggrandizing, you run the risk of transmitting arrogance and a contrived narrative. On the other hand, if you’re too reticent, you potentially engage in self-sabotage, underselling yourself and downplaying your stature, influence and worth.

Gravitas can be portrayed in career marketing documents when done correctly through discerning content selection, word choice, writing style and voice. The key is to remain fact-based while expressing leadership strengths and impact.

Read more about how to strike the right balance of self-promotion and humility by visiting Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search strategy.

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump

Advancing from leader to senior leader can be frustratingly elusive. Many people reach a point in their careers where they see others seamlessly making the jump to top functional roles and wonder what they are doing wrong. While a certain level of self-analysis is beneficial, its escalation to self-doubt is counterproductive.

Sometimes, career advancement is a matter of gaining the right experience and knowledge and, other times, it’s a matter of building skills that can be difficult to define and harder yet to develop, such as executive presence, strategic agility and influencing decisions outside your sphere of authority.

Regardless of the precise formula, the road to senior leadership begins with taking ownership of your own development and engaging in high-value development activities that will put you on the right path.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Leader to Senior Leader: Making the Jump”—I provide a roadmap for achieving senior leadership at your current job through such activities as:

  • Asking for feedback
  • Stepping beyond your role
  • Focusing on the right things
  • Actively observing
  • Communicating your ambitions

If you’re at a point in your career where more senior opportunities are limited internally, and upward mobility is not in your foreseeable future, it may be time to explore your options externally.

How you position yourself for a step up from leader to senior leader is crucial to your job search success. Since your resume serves as a prospective employer’s first impression of you and reveals you how view your career, you want to be sure that it effectively transmits your fit for a more senior assignment. Simply put, your resume’s content should reflect the job you want, not the job you have.

Read more about making the jump from leader to senior leader at Forbes, or contact me to discuss your executive job search.

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight in the Job Search?

It used to be that company loyalty was a valued attribute and considered a major asset. It implied commitment. Ten years with a company? Great. Twenty years? Even better. Today the tables have turned — now a diversity of experience trumps longevity.

Recruiters and hiring managers like to see that candidates, especially executives, have operated and flourished in a variety of environments, alongside different colleagues, leaders and circumstances.

Whether people leave for a bump in pay, career advancement, or a new experience, a one- or two-year stint at a company is no longer considered a blemish on a resume. Rather, it’s increasingly becoming the norm — even valued.

In my latest article for Forbes—”Company Loyalty: Does It Carry Weight In The Job Search?“— I lay out the implications of a long stint at a company on your career and I recommend what you should focus on when seeking a new job after a long term at your current job, including:

Highlight Diversity of Experience and Impact

Provide a career snapshot that illustrates how you progressed, remained engaged, were challenged by new leadership experiences, solved problems and — crucially — made an impact.

Demonstrate Ability to Lead Change

Focus on the aspects of the job that demonstrate a direct influence on driving change, since it is a highly coveted and transferable skill set. That can mean how you:

  • Led your team and organization through significant periods of growth, ownership changes, corporate restructuring  and strategic business shifts
  • Reinvented the business as a response to changing market conditions, consumer demands or the competitive landscape
  • Shepherded a new business start-up or turnaround

Avoid Company-Specific Language

The acronyms, phrases, and overall jargon some have been using for decades are not always transferable to other companies and may imply that one is too steeped in another corporate culture to succeed elsewhere.

To read more about the effect of company loyalty on your job search, visit Forbes.

If you are looking for a partner to help you prepare for your executive job search, contact me to learn more about how we can work together.