Thursday, July 23, 2009

There are no more jobs, only assignments!

Today jobs do not last a lifetime. Whether you are lucky enough to have a new job last ten years, or only a few months, you will be moving on. If a job carries the potential for growth and promotion, as well as mutual commitment, there are no more jobs only assignments. Much like in the Hollywood movie industry, professionals are engaged for an assignment. Over time, some are more trusted by particular people. Being well known and respected is critical as you will sooner or later be needing that reputation. Assume always that you will need to use your network and eperience to find a new one.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Will 1 in 5 US workers soon be unemployed?

The unemployment figures quoted are the narrowest definition, U3, which only includes those receiving unemployment benefits. A broader definition, U6, includes those who are discouraged and have given up, whose benefits have run out, or who can only find part-time work well below their capabilities. So, in June 2009, while U3 was "only" 9.5%, U6 was 16.5%, or one in 6 Americans. By the time U3 hits its peak, at perhaps 11-12%, U6 may well reach 205, or one in 5 Americans. This is a disaster not seen since the Great Depression (when it almost reached 30%), and number which will scar a generation.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

I have learned about executives by coaching them

I have coached senior executives over many years. The vast majority are smart and hard working, yet few get to the top. I see three key issues which hold many of them back:
  1. The inability to see from other perspectives. Too many executives "lock in" on views and are unwilling or unable to see any other.
  2. Decisions based on emotion rather than fact. Very few executives are able to separate their emotions from the facts.
  3. Recognizing the "art of the possible," within the culture in which they work. Sometimes you get more done by pushing less, while other times you can achieve more by pushing hard.
I see CEOs who are no smarter or hard-working than people lower down in the organization, but those others do not know why they are not CEOs. It takes a third party perspective, if then to point out how to improve.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Why do people keep on putting really old photos of themselves in communications?

Whether it is in a bio, a realtors' business card, or an online profile, so many people put a photo which is ten years old. I know that it is impossible to keep totally up to date. Even when we have one taken fresh for the purpose, it gets old fast. However, I have seen many which are so old that I do not recognize the person when I meet them. This is totally counterproductive and really rather sad.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

We underestimate the difficulty

Perhaps if we did not underestimate the difficulty of a challenge we would take it on less often. For example, while intelligent people know that very few start-ups succeed, they really believe that theirs will succeed. When people have a sales call which seems to go well they tend to assume that it will result in revenue, whereas few do, and they tend to take longer than anticipated.

Friday, July 03, 2009

CEOs out of touch!

A couple of days ago I was watching a BBC roundtable of three CEOs, each of whom insisted that employer/employee dynamics had changed for the better. They claimed that employees no longer saw themselves as such, but as members of a team. Even though there have been layoffs and they have no voice in decisions, there is now a feeling that all are partners in a shared enterprise. Following a fairly lengthy discussion, the moderator asked each one how sure they were that the employees felt that way and how did they know. Each said he or she was sure and that was because they spent a lot of time telling them that they were team members. I suspect that the CEOs are completely out of touch with the employees, and are living in a bubble of their own.