Trends in Executive Leadership

The Executive Leader of any organization carries a substantial amount of responsibility for the success of a business. Needless to say the investment in training and educating these leaders needs to be an ongoing priority. The landscape of business is constantly changing, therefore, it is important that the education of our leaders changes and adapts with it. In their article found in the Harvard Business Review, Mihnea Moldoveanu and Das Narayandas talk about how, “The need for leadership development has never been more urgent.”

As demand grows for executive education that is customizable, trackable, and measurably effective, new competitors are emerging. Business schools, consultancies, corporate universities, and digital platforms are all vying to provide skills development programs, and each player has certain advantages and constraints.


Moldoveanu, Mihnea and Narayandas, Das (2019, March). Educating the Next Generation of Leaders [Web log post]. Retrieved March 26, 2019, fromhttps://hbr.org/2019/03/educating-the-next-generation-of-leaders

Moldoveanu and Narayandas explain what the training and education opportunities for executive leaders have been as well as the trends we are seeing in this area now. They refer to as the “Personal Learning Cloud” or PLC as an up and coming method of executive leadership training. Essentially what they are referring to here are the online training courses and forums and any sort of social platforms where learning/education can be found at the click of a mouse. These are being sourced not only by traditional institutions but “upstarts” as they say. This clearly opens up the way for leaders to gain access to learning opportunities quicker and more conveniently and most likely at a lower cost point.

Companies are seeing a disconnect between the training their executive leaders are receiving and the actual practical application of that training on the job.


Chief learning officers find that traditional programs no longer adequately prepare executives for the challenges they face today and those they will face tomorrow. Companies are seeking the communicative, interpretive, affective, and perceptual skills needed to lead coherent, proactive collaboration. But most executive education programs—designed as extensions of or substitutes for MBA programs—focus on discipline-based skill sets, such as strategy development and financial analysis, and seriously underplay important relational, communication, and affective skills.
No wonder CLOs say they’re having trouble justifying their annual training budgets.
Executive education programs also fall short of their own stated objective. “Lifelong learning” has been a buzzword in corporate and university circles for decades, but it is still far from a reality. Traditional executive education is simply too episodic, exclusive, and expensive to achieve that goal. Not surprisingly, top business schools, including Rotman and HBS, have seen demand increase significantly for customized, cohort-based programs that address companies’ idiosyncratic talent-development needs. Corporate universities and the personal learning cloud—the growing mix of online courses, social and interactive platforms, and learning tools from both traditional institutions and upstarts—are filling the gap.


Moldoveanu, Mihnea and Narayandas, Das (2019, March). Educating the Next Generation of Leaders [Web log post]. Retrieved March 26, 2019, fromhttps://hbr.org/2019/03/educating-the-next-generation-of-leaders

It appears that more practical, ongoing (online) training is starting to come into favor versus the more traditional forms of education when companies are budgeting for their Executive Leadership training. The benefit of going this route is having a more flexible schedule as well a more tailor-made training program curated specifically for a particular business’s needs. This is will provide companies with a higher Return On Investment for the training of their Executive Leadership because it is less likely the leaders will be spending time and resources on material that will not translate directly into their roles within that company.

Additional Resources:
https://www.aesc.org/insights/thought-leadership

6 Executive Communication Tips for C-Suite Success

Executive Communication

Communication is critical to the success of any organization, particularly if you are the leader of that organization.  It is important to take time to develop your communication skills so you can ensure your organization is performing optimally.  Take a few minutes to read these great points.

Original article click here.

Yes, your strong communication skills helped you climb the corporate ladder, but now that you’ve made it, thriving in the C-suite requires a different set of communication skills to master.

To be truly successful at the executive level, effective communication is key. Not only can strong communication skills make your job easier by reducing confusion, they can encourage open dialogue, maintain transparency and vastly increase collaboration and the productivity of your staff.

“Executives can sometimes get by without great communications skills — they compensate with other skills or knowledge that are critically important to an organization’s success. That said, it makes them less effective and can put them at professional risk. I’ve had clients that were ultimately jettisoned by organizations because of communication issues, despite their functional excellence,” says Howard Seidel, senior partner at Essex Partners.

The communication skills you hone as an executive might be different from the skills you needed in management, or in other lower-level positions. These six tips will help you master the communication skills necessary to thrive in the C-suite.

1. Drop the jargon

At the executive level, you’ll need to interact with more people outside of IT — so you’ll need to adjust your language.

“I had to drop all the cybersecurity jargon. Finance, marketing, sales, operations, all have jargon the rest of us probably don’t understand. I found success by using language that was more neutral. Like using ‘risk’ rather than ‘zero-day exploit,’” says Kip Boyle, founder and CEO of Cyber Risk Opportunities.

As you move into the C-suite, you’ll want to gain a better understanding of the lingo and business-speak other departments rely on. It will boost communication and help solidify bonds with other executives if you can speak and understand their language.

2. Learn what other executives value

Communication skills at the executive level aren’t just important when you are interacting with the public or employees — they’re also important when working with other executives. If you learn what other leaders in the company value, you can find the best way to explain things or present new ideas.

“For example, the COO liked more reliability of operations and the CEO liked more indemnity. So, I was always trying to explain situations in those terms — either good or bad​,” says Boyle.

Figure out what matters to each department and try to keep that in perspective when you interact with other executives. Communication skills can help you make sure every interaction helps establish you as a leader, especially when dealing with other leaders.

3. Consider tone and cadence

Every department within a company has its own culture, goals and personalities — and that’s something to consider when you address individual departments. And sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.

“What makes sense to the engineering department may not always resonate with the marketing team. That’s why it’s important for CEOs to adapt their tone, cadence and even diction to each team to truly motivate them,” says Neil Lustig, CEO of Sailthru.

If a team is high-energy, then you might do well with conveying that energy back to them, but the same might come off as insincere with another department that operates differently. You shouldn’t change how you act completely, but read the room to figure out how to deliver your message.

4. Know your audience and keep it simple

Executives are the face of a company, so it’s important to get to know your audience — whether you’re speaking to clients, employees, customers or the public.

“The C-suite represents the brand of the company, so he or she must always be ‘on message.’ At the end of the day, executives must always factor in the audience, what is meaningful to them, and how their message impacts them,” says Sabrina Horn, managing partner at Finn Partners.

Understanding your audience can help you prepare any message you need to deliver, says Horn. She suggests “preparing and outlining three key messages or themes” that you can use to frame communications. Don’t overthink it either; keep your messages “simple, understandable, focused and effective.”

5. Go beyond just listening

Listening is one of the most obvious communication skills, but as you climb the corporate ladder you should do more than just listen. Once you take on a leadership role, people expect you to follow through on resolving concerns, complaints and questions.

“To me there are three essential communication skills: listening, advocating and inquiring. All three are important at all levels, but as professionals welcome more senior positions, the ratios change,” says Seidel.

Listening is always important, but at the executive level you also need to know how to “inquire” so you can “fully understand another person’s position,” while also advocating your own opinion. Seidel says that inquiring without advocacy can feel like an interrogation, while simply advocating your own opinion without asking any questions can make someone feel like you are bulldozing them.

6. Rehearse any important messages

You want to have comfortable communication skills for daily interaction as an executive, but you’ll need to communicate differently if you are speaking to the entire company, the press or addressing a difficult topic.

“C-level executives are in leadership roles, and as such, have more of a voice and an impact on the audiences they speak to. From internal employees to the media, and from customers to prospects or investors, what an executive communicates and how he or she communicates key messages can make or break acceptance of a new product, program or service, a partnership, customer deal, or company direction,” says Horn.

She suggests videotaping yourself delivering important speeches, so you can play it back and watch your body language, listen to your tone and hear how fast or slow you are speaking. Ultimately, being a leader with strong communication skills takes a certain level of self-awareness, so watching yourself with a critical eye can go a long way.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Executive Interview Tips

Executive Interview

There is a plethora of resources that exist for how to prepare for an executive level interview including books, online articles such as this, interview coaches, seminars, YouTube video.  We are sharing a few points we feel are important to your interview success.  

Be Prepared to answer unstructured questions

When open ended questions are inevitably asked such as “Tell us about yourself”, be prepared to seize the moment and offer some positive insight, open up about your career trajectory, and focus on your strengths. Be careful though, accordingly to Fast Company There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, “What do you want to know?”  You are better off considering the type of information a hiring manager or recruiter is looking for.  Think about the qualities they want in a candidate and apply your strengths to answer this common question.

Let your accomplishments be known

It’s no surprise that interviewers and hiring managers are looking for someone effective to bring on board their organization. Prepare in advance to hit on a few key accomplishments that truly demonstrate how effective you can be.  Capture your opportunities by listening closely to the interviewers and interject with a relevant accomplishment.  Use the CAR (challenge, action, response) to paint a picture of the situation, how you acted, and what the outcome was. Entertain your listeners as best you can with a brief but powerful story.  Remember to finish your accomplishment example with how your decision positively affected other people involved, whether it was a satisfied client, a boost in office morale, increase in stock price etc.  Also, keep in mind that demonstrating your accomplishments should not come across as bragging, but offering insightful information about how you handle adversity.

Be human, mention a weakness

Give time for self-reflection in advance of your interview and offer your interviewers and hiring manager a genuine response about a weakness you feel you have.  According to the Harvard Business Review “When leaders showcase their own personal growth, they legitimize the growth and learning of others; by admitting to their own imperfections, they make it okay for others to be fallible, too.”  Don’t stop there, explain what you are actively doing to turn your weakness into a strength.

Tips for Discussing your last position
  1. Explain perceived “job-hopping”.  Perhaps on paper it looks like you’ve bounced around a little too much in the past 5 years.  Or perhaps a company you worked for was acquired.  Be honest and forthcoming with your transitions, following up with a statement explaining where you want to land.
  2. Leaving your last position. You may be asked why you left your last job.  Give an honest answer, even if there was conflict, and keep the mood and the tempo of the interview upbeat.  Perhaps you can explain your decision in a way that you wanted to make a move to grow and develop, or were looking for a new or different kind of challenge.

 

Do your research

Whether you are changing industries or are looking for a new position within the same industry, do your research.  Not only about the company but industry trends.  Offer up some insights and your perceptions of the industry to your interviewers.  An interviewer may ask how you would handle a company or industry specific issue and you will need to be prepared.

 

Closing the Interview

You are essentially selling yourself in an interview, right?  Treat an interview the same as a sales opportunity and be prepared to close the deal if you think it is a good fit.  BlueSteps suggests you close with “I’m very excited about this opportunity. What’s our next step?”  Clearly let the interviewers know that you are interested (if you are) and remember to be enthusiastic and smile.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWU is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

 

5 Ways To Make Employees Feel Welcome Right Away

New Hire

We write resumes for both sides of the hiring spectrum, those whose are hired and those who do the hiring.  This article is a good reminder that it’s not always easy to become integrated into a new work environment and what company leaders can do to make a positive difference in their new employee’s experience.  

Original article click here.

Everyone can agree that onboarding is extremely important for new employees. It helps answer questions, communicate expectations and introduce policies or procedures. Many experts agree that it’s vital to employees’ success at the company. However, in addition to the informative structure, it’s good to make employees feel welcome.This will boost excitement and enthusiasm right from the start.

As you are onboarding a new employee, consider implementing any of these five ideas that do a little extra in making the employee feel like they’re a part of the team from the start.

  1. Formulate a welcome strategy

Beginning with management, everyone who is working with a new hire should have a role in welcoming the employee. Putting a plan into writing helps communicate to the entire company the importance of first impressions and making new hires feel welcome. When new employees feel welcome, their enthusiasm and productivity also soar.

  1. Create a fun way to introduce employees

Instead of the plain organizational flowchart, add a little personality and fun. Include pictures of employees, and maybe add a little fun information, like hobbies, favorite movies, favorite travel spots, family – whatever your employees are comfortable sharing. Not only does this add some extra fun to the onboarding process, it’s also helpful for the new employee to learn about their coworkers.

  1. Implement a mentor system

A great way to make a new hire feel welcome is to pair them with another employee who can help them during their first week. The mentor should hold a meeting, or two, to go over questions and details of the job, take the new employee out to lunch, and just be available for support. While an individual employee can be assigned as a mentor, encourage others to jump in and extend their welcome to make the new hire feel comfortable.

  1. Get to know your new employee as a person

You don’t need to know your new hire from childhood, but it would be helpful to know a little bit extra to help them feel welcome as you go through the onboarding process. Things like knowing how your new employee likes to work (in quiet vs. background music), or how they learn best (visual vs. auditory) can make a big difference in how they respond to the onboarding process and information.

  1. Involve the employee in company culture

It’s important to get your new employee involved from the very beginning. Sure, they are still learning the ropes and getting to know the company, but you hired them for a reason so you can show them you value their opinion by asking for their input during meetings (nothing too daunting). Encourage their co-workers to do the same and to invite them into conversation or lunches when it makes sense. The more included the new employee feels, the more they will want to be engaged. This can lead to them greater success, which benefits everyone.

 

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

Seven Tips For New C-Level Executives

Successful new exec

We write resumes for a lot of C-level executives and wanted to share some great tips for those professionals who are in a C-level position for the first time to help make sure you are successful.

Original article click here.

Becoming a C-level executive can be one of the most rewarding moments of your career. It can also be terrifying — there’s a bigger spotlight to go with the bigger title and paycheck, meaning that the stakes are that much higher for you to get it right. There’s no manual for being an executive, which means that you should prepare for a bit of a “feeling out” period as you become more accustomed to your new responsibilities. The following tips can help out during those early days as you get your new executive feet under you.

1. Find a mentor.

Just because you’re in a position of power doesn’t mean you have all the answers. Having someone to talk to about your challenges and bounce ideas off of will keep you sane. Smart leaders surround themselves with people they can lean on and trust. You’ve made it this far because of things you’ve proven: good decisions, a strong vision and excellent insight. But this is not all you need to excel in the next phase of your career. It’s important to get input from people who have also been on the C-level journey, so choose who you get advice from wisely. The question I ask is, “Have they done the thing I wish to do?”

It’s also important to understand that the business world moves fast, particularly in a technology field, so tactics that have worked before may no longer apply. Strategy, on the other hand, often holds the test of time. A quality mentor will help you identify the best thought process that will help you through difficult situations, while also acknowledging that their methods may be outdated.

2. Keep your word.

When you’re working your way up through the ranks of an industry or a corporation, there are many practical lessons you’ll learn along the way. One of those lessons is the importance of keeping your word — not just in the way we’re taught as young children (“don’t fib”), but to maintain a high standard of integrity regarding appointments, agreements and information. Commitments are critical in business, and as a C-level exec, not only are your decisions and actions magnified; they help define the culture of your company. Being a person of integrity and reliability translates to your reputation and the identity of your company.

3. Be humble.

Think you’ve done a good job? It’s great to feel pride, but it’s not about you. It’s about your team and all the people that have made the project a success. Find ways to praise and acknowledge them for their hard work. Any sort of urge to brag about yourself should be stifled. It’s obnoxious and will win you more enemies than friends. Instead, let the results speak for you. This is generally a good philosophy for life, not just C-level management. However, in the executive microscope, every move tends to be heightened, so always give praise and appreciation without talking yourself up. It will make your team feel special and appreciated.

4. Get enough sleep.

In today’s modern business culture, sleep deprivation is almost considered a badge of honor. Unfortunately, these types of things shouldn’t be celebrated as they lead to (at best) burnout or (at worst) severe health issues. C-level executives define company culture, so if they want their workers to be healthy and balanced, they must demonstrate self-care principles by getting proper rest, emphasizing the importance of off-the-grid time (no phones, emails or social media) and striving for a healthy work-life balance.

5. Learn constantly.

You may have worked your way up the corporate ladder with your industry knowledge, but just because you’ve attained an executive position doesn’t mean you know it all. In reality, learning is more important than ever before. C-level executives are driving the direction of the company, which means that they need to look at both micro and macro issues. For example, C-level executives need to learn about areas of the company they may not have necessarily worked in before to get a better perspective of company decisions. On the other hand, they should look at processes and strategies outside of their own industry for outside-the-box points of view. Every day offers new lessons, and each can be a new tool in your executive toolbox.

6. Understand your reach.

When you’re the boss, your choices go beyond immediate task decisions. They ripple outward and impact people’s lives and their livelihoods. That means that your mood, your words, your actions and your reputation carry far more weight than in your previous position. Your responses must always be thoughtful, especially when situations escalate. That doesn’t mean you should roll over every time. In fact, it’s fine to be upset as long as it’s expressed in a respectful way that encourages problem-solving and teamwork. Otherwise, you’ll begin to lose the trust of your staff quickly.

 7. Be straightforward with problem-solving.

Once you’ve reached a certain level of power within your company, there may be others that want to take it from you. This can manifest itself through territorial battles, undercutting your suggestions or even working around you through other executives. When facing these types of situations, it can knock you off balance at first. You will find your own style, but a few things I have found helpful is to always stay calm and focused, and remember that you are the leader and others are looking to you. Making assumptions about others’ intentions will make you feel crazy. Instead, get curious and start asking questions about behavior.

Management on an executive level is unlike anything you may have encountered in business before. It’s a unique journey, which means that you’ll need to take some time to find your style and voice. However, using the above tips can get you off to a good start. And remember: Stay true to yourself while you discover what kind of executive you’ll be.

Article written by: Tiana Laurence

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!

7 Tips to Get Shortlisted for a C-Level Position

C-level interview

We write for a lot of professionals who are entering a C-level role for the first time as well as seasoned executives looking to explore new opportunities.  In either case this is a great article which offers useful tips to get noticed during your job search.  

Original article click here.

Landing a C-Suite role can be the ultimate challenge for many seasoned executives, with the number of potential roles narrowing the further one climbs to the top. While many leadership styles, experience levels, and personal traits vary from one C-Level executive to the next, there are several key characteristics and activities that the majority of successful C-Suite share which their success can be attributed to. If you have C-Suite aspirations, here are our top tips to better position yourself for when your next C-Level opportunity arises.

  1. Be willing to take on new challenges…with enthusiasm: When it comes to C-Suite candidates, hard work definitely pays. Those who set themselves apart in the workplace as being willing to take on new responsibilities, particularly those that no one else is prepared to do, will help to establish themselves as having true leadership potential. It is important to appear energetic, proactive, enthusiastic and above all, punctilious.
  1. Be prepared to move laterally: In today’s business environment, C-Level executives are expected to demonstrate an increasingly broad range of business skills, from finance to strategy. It is now essential for hopeful C-Suite executives to have a deep understanding of metrics, margins and their company’s financial health. If your current role or career path has not allowed you to develop or demonstrate a wide variety of business skills in a multitude of environments, it might be worth considering a lateral career move before attempting to move up to a C-Level position. Smaller or similar size roles that add to your credentials can have the power to lead to bigger opportunities so it’s important to think about the big picture when taking your next step.
  1. Position Yourself for Good Timing: If you are hoping to stay at your current organization, it is vital to critically assess the likelihood of a C-Suite opening becoming available. If the C-Level position has recently been filled by a popular, successful and relatively young executive, you could be forced to wait for a long time for the position to become open. Be realistic about your potential future opportunities, and consider your options if the timing looks like it might not be in your favor.
  2. Be Able to Demonstrate Your Impact: Being able to measure your tangible impact on your current and previous organizations can be instrumental in securing your future C-Suite role. You must be able to provide facts and figures to show how your efforts have improved your company and how you have been able to achieve high calibre results in high pressure environments.
  1. Be Prepared to Make Tough DecisionsWhen entering a leadership position, you will be expected to make difficult decisions, under pressure, that are not always popular, while simultaneously maintaining the respect of the team. In order to reach a C-Level position, you need to showcase this level of decision making in order to demonstrate your ability to get things done and meet business goals. Top C-Suite executives are often characterized as being proactive, aggressive and efficient.
  1. Understand the Importance of Cultural Fit: Executives should be mindful to never underestimate the importance of cultural fit. C-Suite executives are supposed to set the tone for their teams and for the organization, so if you are not in sync with the company’s culture, it is unlikely that you will be selected for upcoming C-Level positions.
  1. Be Open and Vocal About Your Ambition: Transparency is key to getting on the C-Suite shortlist. Without the support of those at the top, it is difficult for executives to rise above their current position, so make your ambitions known in order to gain their trust and support. Voicing your C-Suite aspirations can be a sensitive topic, but it is possible to broach the subject in a way that expresses honesty and humility. Articulating your ambitions to those at the top also has the added benefit of allowing your superiors to let you know the present situation and the achievability of your C-Suite goal.

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Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!