Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Passing the Baton: What’s So Hard About Succession Planning?

“One of the things I did best was provide a successor. Adam has the respect of the owners and the players, he has expertise in the very important areas of social media, international and television, all of which report to him.”

That was a statement this week from the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, David Stern, in announcing his retirement. Stern steps down on Feb. 1, 2014, 30 years to the day after taking charge of the league, and he will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.

“I decided that things are in great shape and there’s an organization in place that will ultimately be led by Adam that is totally prepared to take it to the next level,” Stern said.

As the saying goes, “That’s what I am talking about.” I could almost see Stern’s checklist:

  • Identify new skill set needed for the future;
  • Hire for replacement;
  • Groom/Mentor with other needed skills;
  • Make the appropriate introductions as needed;
  • Work side-by-side as a true partner;
  • Announce retirement;
  • Pass the baton.
What’s so hard about succession planning?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Overthinking on the Job: It’s Both Costly AND Counterproductive

I looked at my phone and there was a text that said, “Urgent: now what do I do?

Like a lot of people in HR, I do a fair share of career counseling, especially with Gen Y. This was a call from someone who, to put it mildly, works in a terrible culture with mistreatment all around. There is no such thing as a normal day (10-12 hours per day).

This person finally decided that she had to get out. Resumes went out and, just like bait, she got a hit. She felt that this was her chance. Now she had to worry about getting the time off to go to the interview.

The power of overthinking a situation

Friday, October 19, 2012

To Attract the Right Talent, You Need a Fertile Environment for Growth

“When my daughter became of age, I recommended her to my boss. She got the job and worked there her entire life.”

While watching the Smithsonian Channel the other day, I saw a documentary called White House Revealed. That quote was from one of the housekeepers that started working in the White House in 1909.

She was talking about her daughter coming to work and getting a job where she worked. This was during an era when there was no such thing as a career. People had jobs and they did them as long as they could.

Her daughter was eventually hired as a seamstress and worked there until she retired. This was such a long time ago that when you think about it, there were not a lot of options open to people. The choices were limited, to say the least.

I had a conversation with a repair person from one of the utilities who was repairing a gas line at my home this week. He told me how he got out of high school and started working for this company and had worked his way up. Now he is trying to get his son a job a job at his employer..

No help from me

Friday, October 12, 2012

Is Your Candidate Experience Broken? 5 Keys If Your Recruiting Really Works

“I don’t understand it. They told me that they were just looking now and that they would not make a decision for at least another three months. Why would you have me make this effort? If I find the role I am looking for, do they honestly think I will stick around for their call? The nerve of them.”

As I heard that, I said that yes, it does make sense. But I also know that we all have done informational interviews from time to time, but three months out is totally different. I don’t know what type interview that I would classify that as.

But this I do know: if a candidate has a bad experience applying for a job, that can play a critical role if your company decides to offer that candidate a position. Your organization is then behind the 8-ball from the start, so if the candidate takes the position, they are probably coming in not fully engaged and already skeptical.

Recruiting: it’s sort of like dating

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Leadership 101: The Most Powerful Words You Want From Any Leader

“All I want is for someone, sometime, just one time, to say thank you.”

She works late every night, and pulls long hours. This particular morning she left home at 5:30 to make sure she got in to prepare for the big meeting. She left at 8 that night to go home.

As she wistfully told me that story, that first statement about wanting somebody to say “thanks” caught my ear.

I have a granddaughter named Peyton She is 2-years-old and is learning to talk. She stayed with us a few weekends ago, and her favorite phrase now is “THANK YOU.” As she followed my wife and I around the house, everything we did together came back with those two words.

Weighty words for a leader