Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Are CEOs dull and boring or charismatic and visionary?

In today's New York Times David Brooks quotes research to show that the most successful CEOs are not visionaries, but dull, detail-oriented and process-driven. Yet in today's Wall Street Journal, Gary Hamel perpetuates the idea that successful CEOs are charismatic visionaries.

In my experience the CEOs who are most charismatic tend to become insulated from the world and long term David Brooks is more right than Gary Hamel. Perhaps we would each like to believe that CEOs are all "big thinkers," but we may be fooling ourselves.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Has KFC lost its mind?

So KFC puts out a coupon for a free meal - on Oprah even. Then it changes its mind. Of yes, you can drive to a KFC, hand in the coupon and they will mail you another one. Clearly misredemption has been a problem, but they ask you to spend time and money on gas to effectively trade in the original coupon for a new one. Frankly, it seems to be a poorly thought out promotion in the first place, and en even more harmful solution. I would have expected better from KFC.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Making Introductions Effective

Whether in doing business, making friends, or finding a job, introductions are the lifeblood of social commerce. Some people take short-cuts so much that they are virtually ineffective, or even harmful. Some of the key guidelines for making introductions are:
  • Understand each person well enough to determine who they would most benefit from meeting. Don't expect them to tell you - they don't know whom you know.
  • Make the introductions "win-win." Try to make sure that each can get something from it.
  • Make "warm" introductions. Do not simply ask one party to contact a second using your name, but introduce them - whether in person, on the phone, or by email. You only win if the introduction is successful.
  • If using LinkedIn, use the phone as well to determine what is the best way to introduce - some people respond better to phone than email, or email better than to LinkedIn.
  • Follow up. Was the introduction successful? Was one party difficult, rude or simply unresponsive?

Friday, May 01, 2009

JobSerf Index shows jobs posted in March down 65.2% since year ago

The job search service, JobSerf, has been tracking online postings monthly since January 2008. The index started to fall early last year, a fall which accelerated in July. The fall continues, but early indications are that April could be the first month in a while which shows any improvement. While only about 10% of executive jobs are filled through online postings, this is an indicator. It means that since more people have been chasing fewer jobs, it has been much more difficult to get hired. If this changes, both job-seekers and employers need to be ready.