For several years now, I have been fascinated with the subject of “resiliency.” Maybe it is because I know that success as a small business owner is hugely a matter of being resilient with all of the ups and downs that are part of the ride. A high degree of resilience is required to be successful, over the long run, in any business environment – large or small.
I’ve often wondered why some people go through trauma (we all do eventually) and come out stronger. Others recover to the level they were before the event, and many, many others crash and never recover, sometimes adopting a sense of learned helplessness. Why the different outcomes?
As part of a research project that I am involved in, I am studying a number of books on the subject. I just finished a great book that speaks directly to resiliency in the work environment. The book “Resilience at Work,” by Salavatore Maddi and Deborah Khoshaba, is a great read and reference for anyone interested in improving their own abilities around resiliency, and/or creating a work and organizational culture that fosters resilient attitudes and behaviors.
The authors point out that the key to resilience is “hardiness.” World War II pilot and POW Lou Zamperini, whose story is told in the great book, “Unbroken“, is an example of an individual with a high degree of hardiness. To grow in hardiness, an individual needs to approach life’s inevitable changes and problems with an attitude of the 3 C’s:
- Commitment – to your job, to your family, to your life’s pursuits - Control - take direct, hands-on action - Challenge – to embrace change as a normal and beneficial part of the life process
The opposite of these 3 C’s is to approach change with an attitude of isolation, powerlessness, and threat. These attitudes can lead to a downward spiral to despair and hopelessness.
My personal goal is to become more and more resilient, and to embrace and recognize the growth that comes through working through adversities. I’d like my organization to have the same culture. The two books mentioned above are great references to improve one’s personal or the organization’s overall capabilities to be strongly resilient.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts or comments on this subject.
One of the habits that I have created over the past few years is that I watch very, very little television, and I never watch TV news.I recognized that my life is much happier, and I am much moreproductive, when I find other uses for my time.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of how beneficial my “no news-watching” habit really is.As the “government shutdown / debt ceiling / fiscal cliff” debate and argument became louder and louder in Washington and in the media, it started to take over the minds of nearly everyone I was dealing with in my recruiting business.I was surprised at how this issue was (still is) top of mind for many people living outside the U.S.I have several international clients and candidates (Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Germany, and Ireland) who are each openly disgusted with, and scared, about how the US political system is handling the budget and debt issues.I wasn’t expecting this, and it brought to light for me how interconnected the global economy really is, and how dominant the US economy and the US dollar are today.
Here’s my belief and my point.The US economy, in spite of what is depicted on the TV news, is generally healthy and is improving. Could it be better? Of course.However, businesses in all types of sectors are doing well, and are active with innovation and improvements in productivity.Smart business leaders are not whipped around by short-term negative economic news, and they stay true to the mid and long term visions and strategies of their firms.Smart leaders don’t get fixated on things they can’t control, and they don’t let the fear monster deep inside their head start to have control – of themselves or their organizations.
The same behaviors apply to smart candidates.They don’t watch TV news, and they don’t get paralyzed by fear of what might happen.They stay physically healthy, and are emotionally intelligent and resilient.They recognize that there is a shortage of talent, especially in technical and leadership positions, and they work to benefit from this shortage.They are optimistic, well liked and networked, and pursue each day with a plan – one that they have designed and of which they are in control.
The problems in Washington and with our politicians will work themselves out.They always do.We all have an obligation to be informed, to be active citizens and vote, and to be passionate about the things that matter in our lives.We don’t have an obligation to become glued to the TV and let the latest dose of bad news monopolize our thoughts and destroy our days.
I am happy to introduce the newest member of the Sanford Rose Associates – Brighton team. Please join me in welcoming Hee Soo Russell as our Director of Strategic Recruiting and Planning. We are blessed that Hee Soo has chosen to join our growing firm, and through her expertise and contribution, we will become even better at quickly locating and placing the very best talent in today’s competitive labor market.
In her new role, Hee Soo’s primary focus is to develop and implement unique approaches to candidate and market research, enhancing the firm’s recruiting expertise and contributing to business development strategies. She enjoys collaborating and supporting the team to find and qualify the most exceptionally talented candidates for our clients. Her experience in executive search includes her previous roles as VP of Finance & Strategic Planning for SRA International, Inc., where she provided corporate support to new offices as well as the entire existing network of search offices, and in her Project Management role for SRA-San Diego to negotiate and execute their ATS conversion. Hee Soo also brings over 20 years of diverse experience as an executive in variety of functional areas including financial analysis, reporting, contract negotiation, strategic planning, business development, and operations management.
Hee Soo is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she earned both her M.S. in Accounting and a B.S. in Business Administration, while tutoring for the UNC Athletic Department. She enjoys caring for her Mom and spending time with her puppy, Mazi Grace. She is an active and passionate volunteer with the Orange County Department on Aging, especially in their efforts to combat Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, Orange County Animal Protection Society, and Paws4ever.
Thanks! Brett Blair – President. Sanford Rose Associates – Brighton. We are specialists in the search and placement of leaders within manufacturing firms around the world.
One of the things I love most about the recruiting profession is the satisfaction of making a great match – matching a qualified professional candidate with an exciting company and new role. When the right match is made, the company is more successful, and the individual achieves his/her career goals.
A critical part of overall success in any new role and/or new company is the success (or lack of it) that takes place in the first 30 days on the job. These few days often times set the trajectory for the individual’s career at the new firm.
This short short video provides some interesting suggestions on how to approach this critical period of time. Whether you are new to a role, a department, or a company, this video may be very helpful. Also, if you are managing new employees, there are some great suggestions. If you are neither, chances are you will be in some sort of transition in the future, and the ideas presented will be helpful then.
I hope you enjoy and benefit from this information, and please let me know if you have any other suggestions for individuals starting in new roles.
As an executive search professional, I work daily with leaders of companies who are interested in finding, attracting and hiring the best talent in the labor market. As the War for Talent continues, especially in leadership and key technical positions, this hunt remains especially difficult. All indications and predictions are that this trend will continue.
I also have the pleasure of working daily with individuals in all phases of their careers. I love helping people, and this part of my profession is extremely gratifying. One thing that I’ve noticed, and want to share in this month’s SRA Brighton Report, is a common theme that I see in the true “A- Players” in the market. A-Players are the top 10% of professionals in any given field. A-Players tend to have a passion for personal growth. The best A-Players also have a passion for balance in their lives. Lifetime personal growth and balance are not common, and are extremely challenging objectives to achieve in today’s fast paced culture, economy and overall lifestyle.
Over the past seven years or so, I have become a student of the field of personal development, which includes professional development, but extends to all aspects of a person’s life. As I’ve adopted new habits, and a commitment to personal growth and balance, I’ve seen my professional and personal life improve in many ways. I’ve seen this as well in many others. In terms of advancing one’s career, over the long-run, I strongly suggest that individuals pursue a course of personal growth and balance.
A couple of key suggestions:
1) Hire a coach! It’s almost impossible to see clearly areas that need to be improved, and a credible coach can provide invaluable help along the way. You simply cannot see the picture when you are in the frame.
2) Become an avid reader of books that will facilitate your growth. I’ve learned to nearly eliminate TV watching from my daily routine, and have replaced it with reading great books. One book that I can highly recommend is “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. This fantastic book illustrates the case that small improvements, maintained over time, can have a dramatic impact in one’s overall quality of life and professional achievement.
I hope these suggestions are helpful. If I can be of any further help on the topic of personal or professional growth, please let me know.
One of the premier sources of data relative to the job market for executives is the annual “Executive Job Market Intelligence Report,” created and published by ExecuNet. The just-released 2013 study, which surveyed over 4,000 North American industry executives, HR professionals and executive search professionals, has some very interesting findings. I thought you may benefit from the full report, which is shown here:
I was surprised to learn that 45% of executives today are thinking about making a career change. While this is down from 52% reported in 2012, it is still a staggeringly large percentage of the executive workforce, and is a representation of the continued uncertainty in the market.
Also, as I’ve written and spoken about many time before, it remains true that the #1 reason that employees will choose to leave a job is because of poor relationships with the people who manage them. From a retention perspective, especially for A-level talent, this is the most important area to focus.
I hope you find this report helpful, let me know if you have any questions, and please share with me any thoughts that you may have.
The North American auto industry continues to recover! Experts have just released new projections that forecast a total of 16 million light vehicles to be produced in the region in 2013. This will be the highest output for the auto industry in 11 years, nearing the level set in 2002 of 16.5 million units. Production in 2012 was 15.5 million vehicles, and nearly all US automakers are now reaching full capacity.
General Motors, Ford, Chrysler/Fiat, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai-Kia have all recently announced increases in production on key models as consumer demand continues to be strong.
This is great news for those of us who love to work in the automotive sector. While we’ve been beaten down over the past 6 years or so, the industry has rebounded dramatically, with improvements in product design, fuel efficiency, sustainability, quality, reliability, safety and overall value. There is a shortage of leadership and technical talent throughout the industry, as overall demand, technical advances, complexity and globalization continue to escalate. For those that choose to work in this wonderful industry, it’s an exciting time to be designing and producing cars and trucks for a brave new world. I’m glad to part of it all, and I know that the best is yet to come.
On May 21, 2013 I was honored to speak at the Revenue North Business Summit in Novi, Michigan. The theme of my presentation was how to find, attract and hire the best talent in the marketplace. I presented 10 specific tactics, with one of the most important being to “Show All Candidates Respect Throughout the Recruiting Process.”
In my work as a search consultant, I am amazed at how often candidates are not shown respect, whether from third party recruiters, or from employees inside a company. When candidates don’t feel that their time and efforts are respected, then can quickly turn negative, pull out of the recruiting process, and be a source of negative buzz out in the marketplace regarding your company. The War for Talent is certainly very much ongoing, and the best candidates are very rare, hard to find and influence, and won’t tolerate disrespect.
A few suggestions that I can make when recruiting in today’s tight labor market are:
In all cases possible, first interviews should be conducted in-person, face-to-face, as opposed to over the telephone or video. A F2F interview is, by far, the best way to impart a positive first impression of the company and the position.
Provide feedback within one business day after any candidate either applies directly to a posting or is presented through a recruiter.
Provide feedback within one business day after each interview, whether a telephone interview or a F2F interview. Candidates will be thinking about pending feedback after interviews, and the longer it takes to get feedback, the more restless candidates will become.
These simple suggestions will go a long way in differentiating your company’s approach to recruiting the best candidates, and will pay off in the long run.
If you have any other suggestions, please let me know. Thanks! Brett Blair – President – Sanford Rose Associates Brighton. Specialists in the search and placement of leaders within manufacturing firms around the world.
I’m happy to share that our firm, Sanford Rose Associates – Brighton, has just celebrated six years of success in the recruiting profession. After opening in Howell, Michigan on June 1, 2007, we have been through the craziness that took place in the economy, and have emerged stronger and more focused than ever on client success. The next six years will be even better, as we continue to grow and sharpen our skills in finding and placing the best talent in the marketplace.
My thanks to a great team. Courtney Grant Tobbe, Brian Hagman and Gary Scypta — true pros in the executive search profession, and a wonderful group of people to call my friends. Also, sincere thanks to our many clients and candidates who have made the past six years possible!