In prior articles, we have touched on many aspects of effective networking, whether in transition or not. Building a broad and deep network is so essential to one's success that it cannot be ignored.
What I have personally observed over a 28 year period and confirmed through colleagues is clear: We can't make it without solid key relationships. Many people will find expanding their network to be challenging, but with practice and effort, you can begin to make meaningful and fruitful connections.
If you are looking for career advancement, you must become the most effective networker you can be. Include these three components when you're expanding your network and I promise you will find success.
Here's to your success,
Remember that game, “Hungry Hungry Hippos”? It’s simple - s/he who collects the most marbles, wins. If you want to maximize your career opportunities, you must play this game well. How do you win? You must pocket as many network connections (marbles) as possible. 80% of jobs are found through networking (not online job boards). The more people you connect with, the more people you’ll connect with as networking has a compounding effect. This leads to opportunities.
It’s not just about talking with people- you must connect with them. Be inquisitive, learn about them personally and professionally. Find connection points between the two of you. Once people genuinely like you, they are more apt to help you. And, don’t forget to concisely communicate your brand (or calling card, value proposition, what you’re known for). Once they know your value (turnaround king, patient satisfaction guru, etc.) they can help connect you with organizations who have these needs.
Once you pocket these connections, take care of them. Help them every chance you get- don’t always make it about you. Help them solve problems, introduce them to others, listen, and always follow up.
Be like the hippo - pocket network connections and take care of them!
If you find yourself in transition one of the worst things you can do is limit your job search. Do not say things like, “I don’t want to live in . . . . that part of the country,” or “That job is too small”. There are several reasons to cast a wide net:
You have nothing until you have a job offer. Work to get the cards in your hand and do not ever turn down a job that you don’t have. Cast a wide net in your job search- you will be surprised to see what you catch. For professional help with your transition, please contact us at www.wiederholdassoc.com
Career transitions can be difficult. The more desirable your next position is, the more competition you will face to secure it.
The top priority of an applicant is to stand out from the crowd. Having a great resume and a strong interview is a great place to start. However, most overlook this simple practice that will cause you to stand out from all other applicants: Follow-Up.
First, you must understand how important follow-up is. A good interview followed by poor follow up will not serve you well. An average interview can be positively impacted by excellent follow-up.
During your interview process, connect with as many people as possible as it relates to a specific opening. When more people remember you, your chances of securing the position naturally increases. After the interview, it is your responsibility to keep each of those individuals updated throughout the process.
With an active search, the time frame for touch points/follow up should be a minimum of seven calendar days and a maximum of ten calendar days. Use a combination of the four levels of communication: face-to-face, telephone, text/email and regular mail. Everybody has their favorite on the receiving end, so try to mix it up a bit. Whatever combination of communication you choose, don't be afraid to let your personality show.
One of the biggest concerns for individuals in follow-ups beyond neglect is, "Will I be seen as a pest?" Remember, you only become a pest when your intervals of follow-up are too short and you're always requesting response. If you follow-up without forcing an agenda, they will be received very well.
Of course, I have only scratched the surface of effective active search follow-up. If you would like to learn more in-depth tips in finding success through active transition, please connect with me.
Here's to your success!
The time to kick your transition work into high gear is right now, while everyone is celebrating. The minute you finish reading this get out your list of healthcare executives you know.
Why? December is the very best time to raise your visibility and re-establish connections, personal AND professional. Don’t bring an agenda, apart from extending cheer and good will. Hand write a short note in a holiday card, even if it is just to say you hope they have a prosperous new year. And don't forget to hand address the envelope too. Don’t ask about job opportunities, instead sincerely ask about them. If you only know their email address send them a personalize note that way. But send something so they know you are thinking of them.
If you are asked about your work or your search, be ready with a short, honest and upbeat answer. Of course, follow the conversation if your colleague wants to talk about work, but don’t press it. This is networking of the joyful kind – strengthening bonds to your family, friends and community that will nourish you the rest of the year.
I suggested this a few years ago and here is what one of my clients experienced.
Try it and see what kind of response you get!
If you think your Master’s degree and experience alone will translate into landing that great executive job, you will likely find disappointment. Why? Simple - everyone else in the candidate pool has a Master’s degree and experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. How does one do this? By communicating your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your brand? What is your calling card? What measurable results are you known to achieve? These are the questions you must answer and clearly communicate in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of executives.
Don’t make recruiters and hiring managers figure things out on their own - it is up to you to communicate your brand, value, and worth. Don’t assume people read every word of your resume - they likely do not. You must stand out by communicating why you are valuable to an employer
How do you identify your value proposition? Ask others. Read your prior evaluations. Look at results in the following areas: service, quality, people, community, growth, finance. Identify themes in your resume.
Remember- organizations have problems and executives have solutions. Communicate your brand by communicating the types of solutions you’ve solved for your employers.
I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. If I were to grade my clients' beginning interview skills, most people would have a starting grade somewhere below average. This is by no fault of their own. It is common to not do well on things that are not practiced.
Working with my clients, I can raise the interview grade from a 'C' to an 'A' by practicing these basic principals before, during and after the interview.
Creating this perception starts with preparation. Begin by understanding the five top critical elements of the opportunity so that you are able to address them with current experience and success. Also, develop an effective two-minute presentation which includes humanization, elevator, and your differentiation/value statement.
[ Click here to learn how to develop your 2-minute presentation.]
As you enter the interview, introduce yourself with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, can set a positive perception from the beginning. As you engage in the interview, pay close attention to the person speaking and begin to mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter. Also, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. By demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.
When the interviewer engages with you, take your time to understand what is being said before you respond. Generally, people are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview and keep you in a positive position.
Imagine what would happen if you took the time to practice and prepare a well-executed interview. It could be a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!
If you would like more in-depth coaching to help you make the most out of your next interview, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Here's to your success!
Though desiring to advance, many healthcare professionals have plateaued in their career and are unsure how to regain momentum. Obviously, they had an idea of where they were going when they started, but never took the time to actively and consistently plan and manage their careers which have resulted in advancement delays.
It is also not uncommon for well-meaning professionals to overlook particular skills that create the opportunity for advancement. Healthcare professionals can progress in their careers, but only if they position themselves for success.
I describe career planning like building a straight fence. You define where you want to go and then identify the points and steps it takes to get there. Each step moves you closer to the next one not farther away.
It is logical to think that improving your abilities will automatically advance you to the next fence post. Unfortunately, most executives often focus on mastering hard/technical skills and overlook developing soft/leadership skills. This critical misstep can delay career success considerably. Mastering soft/leadership skills like communications, conflict management, effective messaging, emotional intelligence, relationship building, etc., can be a highly effective way to move your career forward.
Career advancement requires a plan that includes the development of both hard/technical and soft/leadership skills to be successful. If you would like help honing in on these skills, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will help you regain your momentum and put you in a position to achieve your goals.
Heres to your success!
I advise executive clients for Wiederhold & Associates and I don’t read every word of every resume. Do you think every recruiter and hiring manager does? Chances are they are not. One recruiter told me he takes about 10 seconds to size up a resume. A good resume first and foremost needs to stand out. Many executives have the same tired, basic resume format they’ve been using for fifteen years. Many people think it’s safe to have a resume like everyone else’s- that is certainly true. However, if you want to stand out, your resume first has to stand out.
What makes a good resume? One that the reader can paint a clear picture for the reader within 10 seconds. Stand out. Clear value proposition. Numerical accomplishments that hit as many pillars as possible. As an executive I bring in expertise to the organization when called for, so why don’t more people hire professional resume writers? They, like I used to believe, think they can write their resume on their own. For a nominal investment you can have an expert market your most valuable money-making machine - you. Resumes change every 2-3 years and you and I are not experts in that field. Make it easy on yourself and hire a great resume writer to make your candidacy stand out and clarify your value proposition.
If you want your resume to stand out, contact Jim Wiederhold for professional guidance on crafting your own brand and value proposition.
Every journey starts with the right attitude, passion, and confidence.
Many people find networking to be challenging. Most people find a way to do the things they are passionate about. If you're not passionate about networking, it is possible that you simply do not see the wealth of value that comes from developing a healthy network.
I've interviewed over 1500 people in the last 23 years. Not just a surface interview, but an in-depth interview. I always ask the question, "Where did you find your current job?" In 70% to 80% of the cases regardless of level, people found their next opportunity through their network, a relationship built over years.
Now that you understand why it is important to have a solid network, it should be easy to get passionate about expanding it. If you are unsure about where to begin, below are a few ideas to get you started
Enjoy the Journey
Not everyone will want to join your network, and that is ok! Keep trying. Expanding your network is a learned skill that will improve with practice. Develop a system that will help you recall information from past interactions and keep you on track to follow up in the future. As long as you are moving relationships forward, YOUR EFFORTS WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.
If you would like more tips of how to add value to your network including in-depth training on what makes a great network call, then let me know. I am ready to share my secrets to success!
When interviewing, please keep in mind one simple rule- answer the question. An amazing number of people think that when they have the microphone (answering an interview question) they can talk as long as they want about whatever they want in an interview. This is understandable as candidates are excited and want to sell, however it’s a turn off to the interviewer.
Throw darts when interviewing- be concise, brief and use facts/numbers to support your answers. If they want more information, they will ask. Remember- the interviewer has a list of questions they want to get through. They can’t get through the interview if the candidate takes five minutes to answer every question. This is a major turnoff and it signals the candidate isn’t in tune with the employer’s needs.
To answer the question is to be a good listener. If someone asks you a yes/no question- answer with a yes or no answer. Listen intently to the words they are using and ask for clarification if need be. Don’t forget to mirror the interviewer- if s/he is a fast talker, then talk faster. If s/he is a slow talker, then slow down. The goal is to make a connection by listening and answering the question. Finally, only practice makes perfect when interviewing so practice with family, friends and colleagues and remember to throw darts, not hand grenades!
“It’s a nice day outside.” Does this mean it’s 65 degrees, 75, 82? It depends on who you ask. Unless you ascribe a numerical measure to something it will never be fully clear to an audience. So many executives I advise are not fully clear when talking about their career accomplishments- I’ve been guilty of this as well. “We grew revenue and patient satisfaction improved when I was at XYZ Health System” or “We set up this corporation, joint venture, committee, etc.” These are simply not clear statements when compared to, “We grew revenue by 35% and our patient satisfaction improved from the 12th percentile to the 67th percentile” or “We started a new joint venture that grew market share by 34% and grew net revenue by 40%”.
Many comparisons have been made between the airline industry and healthcare. The pilot knows where the plane is going by following specific numerical coordinates. Do you know your X-Y? What was the origin and destination of your last journey? This is communicated simply by knowing your X-Y’s in one or more of the following areas: service, patient safety, quality, growth, service line development, finance, community benefit, market share, cost containment, productivity, physician or employee engagement, turnover, etc. When X-Y’s are communicated well it sounds like this… “When I was at XYZ health system our HCAHPs went from the 23rd percentile to the 78th percentile over 4 years” or “During my tenure we reduced RN turnover from 35% to 16% in three years.
Organizations want results. If you clearly communicate that you achieve results, your chances for success improve when looking for your next job. Contact www.wiederholdassoc.com for more information on learning how to communicate your “X-Y’s” and taking the next step in developing your career.
How often in my conversation with executives do I hear the statement, "he/she is good at reading the tea leaves" or "he/she is not so good at reading the tea leaves"?
What does it mean?
To me, it indicates a sense of external awareness of what's being said around you. When the action and the talk don’t align – you’d better take notice. Unfortunately, a lot of executives get so caught up in their own internal world that they are unaware of what's going on around them.
There's lots of evidence to support this lack of external awareness. In working with executives in transition, I often hear the statement “I never saw it coming.” As I review the details of their last 60 to 90 days of employment and then we review it together, the next statement I often hear is –“I should've seen it coming. Obviously, that executive didn't do a good job of "reading the tea leaves."
Now most of us are aware of the concepts emotional intelligence and political intelligence.
We define these concepts in terms of both nouns and verbs. As you know, a verb implies action, and both forms of intelligence must have an action to be of any benefit.
Both terms suggest a strong emphasis on the external environment as well as the internal environment. As mentioned, too many executives become overly focused on the internal environment. By practicing the art of emotional intelligence and political intelligence you will learn to pay attention to the external as well as the internal and increase your ability to read the tea leaves.
As one wise recruiter once told me, "You can have a B resume which may open the door but you must have an A interview to walk through it."
Let me share ten basic elements that consistently come up in our interview reviews that if addressed would make a world of improvement in your ability to interview and drive the right message:
I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. Historically, most people have a starting grade in their ability to interview probably somewhere around a B- to a C+ through no fault of their own. We just don't do well on things we don't practice consistently. But imagine if you took the time to develop a well-executed interview. What a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!
Facilitating a successful job transition and search is a complex and intensive process. I have found most healthcare executives are trained and focused in their healthcare leadership roles, but are not experienced nor educated on how to conduct a successful job search and transition.
Frankly, most tend not to be very good at it.
Why is that? Most of us are good at things we do most of the time. None of us would be very good golfers if we golfed every two years. Job transitions are just like that. Executives don't have the opportunity to practice these skills often and there is real value in finding a coach or a partner who can accelerate the process.
Let me share a case of an executive that had tried to go it alone in her job transition and learned that with the right coach, training and navigation she could be very successful in her transition. She had the wisdom to realize she needed guidance to be successful.
To give you some insight, the client was a very high-level executive in a large health system. She had been trying to find a position on her own for approximately two years without success. Her organization had merged with another system who had the stronger position in the merger. The position they had offered her was not at the level she had been at and she decided to move on. She began conducting her own search process and was not as successful as she wanted to be. Eventually, she reached out to me for transition coaching.
What did she learn:
What were her outcomes:
Working with this executive was a very rewarding journey for me because she had been out so long and was concerned about her ability to make a successful transition. We quickly moved her forward with the appropriate skills and were successful in helping her land a very good position. She was an excellent partner.
Transition and search is a very specific sales process – the process of selling yourself! With the right coaching, education and practice you can have a very successful result.
Here's to your success,
Are you creating and executing a roadmap that will assist you in moving up within your organization?
The whole concept of internal transition or advancement for executives I find is often neglected. Like overall career planning, without a roadmap, executives have no rudder or direction in mind.
As a result of having no real advancement direction or plan, these are the most prevalent outcomes:
Neglected areas are often:
These are certainly not all of the issues but key ones I often see. Setting a roadmap, following the path and focusing on the key areas needed for your success will help you reach your end goal. That next stop on the career path may be within your existing organization or you will be well positioned for that next opportunity outside the organization.
What is that old saying?
What is that old saying? "If you don’t know where you are going you will never get there."
Enjoy the drive!
Are You Ready to Embrace the Possibilities?
Coaching comes in many forms but the goal is to help you become the very best version of yourself as a leader, executive, and whole person. Executive coaching is like a blend of therapy, strategic discussion, and athletic training.
The focus is on your advancement as you define it, a definition that usually evolves over time. It is important to find a coach with experience working within your industry and the vision to help you realize your evolving personal goals.
What does Executive Coaching aim to accomplish?
Coaches facilitate a process of change or development which enables individuals and organizations to realize their potential.
If you're considering coaching, here are several key benefits:
Effective coaching requires someone to have a desire to learn and grow.
If you're the type of person who wants to grow and improve, and is willing to trust someone to support you, I highly recommend working with a coach.
Ready to get started?
The first few weeks and months of an executive’s tenure are critical. Getting it right can dramatically accelerate the transformation of a new recruit or promotion into a fully functioning business leader. But getting it wrong can be very costly.
In fact, recent studies indicate that 30-50% of newly hired leaders fail and leave within 18 months. Failure to establish key relationships and failure to align with company culture are indicated as leading factors that derail new executives early in their leadership roles.
Organizations that spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in efforts to recruit key talent, recognize the critical importance of ensuring cultural fit as part of the hiring process. But often, the rigor, focus and attention given to the recruiting process don’t seem to carry forward to a solid commitment to assimilate and positively onboard new executives.
Executive onboarding is far too important to leave to chance. The stakes are high for the individuals and the corporations involved. The impact on revenues, employee morale and the company’s corporate image when an executive fails in a newly-assigned role are felt by the organization long after the executive has departed.
Onboarding, not orientation.
Onboarding is not the same as orientation. Consider whether your organization’s internal process achieves the following:
The Solution for Success
Our Onboarding services pick up where the executive search process ends, and help organizations integrate new executives in a more structured and effective way. Focusing on the early stages of an executive’s tenure, we reduce the time it takes for new executives to start making a meaningful impact, and maximize the leader's personal engagement with the organization and culture. We believe in customizing our program to our clients needs and work with new hires and internal promotions.
Early in my 30 year career in executive recruitment and coaching, I was responsible for recruiting and training sales executives at NCH Corporation. I find my background in sales training to be extremely helpful as I work with executives in transition.
When I was in my sales position with NCH corporation, I learned several key things:
Executives in transition are shifting from leading and operating organizations to selling a commodity, themselves. A successful transition, like a successful sale takes focus, energy, a clear plan, and intentional action. You have to know your product, have a clear brand, a value statement, know your market, identify your sales targets, and be confident in representing your product.
I find most executives have no formal background or training in sales and often feel very unprepared for the demands of a successful job transition and search. My role is to be a coach and guide, to help executives in transition find their rudder, set their course and make a successful journey.
Executives successful in transition are the ones who use the time in transition to learn more about themselves and their goals for the future. Creating the right attitude and exuding confidence is a key to mastering your transition and achieving your goals.
In my practice I primarily work with healthcare executives. So I know the market, the role demands, and the key tools required to be successful. I not only provide my clients the tools, I provide the coaching and support for clients to learn through their journey and find a successful path forward.
I’m proud of the many executives I have helped through my 30 years and find the wisdom and experience to be a valued commodity for my clients.
Here’s to your success!