Best career advice- “Play Hungry Hungry Hippos”

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!

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Secrets to Successful Transition

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.

The positive outcomes of post-interview follow-up:

  • Your resume gets shuffled to the top.
  • You demonstrate your level of interest.
  • If what you have provided is effective, you've increased the level of your candidacy.

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.

Get Creative

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!

Jim

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What was your value in 2016?

Do you have years of experience or one year of experience, repeated each year? We want to grow each year and create real, tangible value for our employer. Now is the perfect time to write down and record the value you created in 2016. I’m not talking about serving on committees, task forces or anything that is activity based or simply spending time. I’m talking about real results- the kind your employer pays you to produce.

Take a look at improvements over the year in the following areas:

  • Customer service,
  • Employee engagement,
  • Community perception,
  • Quality,
  • Sales,
  • Revenue growth,
  • And profit.

Any noted trends or themes (especially across multiple years) become your value proposition. This is what you’re known for - your personal calling card.

As you look forward to 2017, make sure to build on your successes in 2016 while working on any developmental gaps. We want to continuously grow and develop as this helps shape and improve the value we bring to our employer.

Happy New Year!

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Safeguarding your Business History for 2017

One of the most important housekeeping tasks that executives have a tendency to ignore is creating a personal backup of professional achievements. By this I mean the Tier 1 and Tier 2 achievements that show how you have made the organization better.

Many times our clients struggle to come up with hard data for their resume because they neglected their personal information file cabinet. Very often separation is sudden and there is NO chance to look at past strategic plans, or board reports for the numbers or percentages.

Even if a report is confidential to the system you should be writing down your accomplishments somewhere to make sure you have access to your information in the future.

Create and keep an updated list of contact information for superiors, peers and subordinates for every job in the last ten years.

Don’t let another year go by without making sure you have access to your ever increasing list of accomplishments.

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Executive job seekers- why your Master’s degree and years of experience aren’t good enough

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.

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Prepare for an A+ Interview

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.

Pre-interview, you must focus on tactics that will brand you in the most positive way. The goal is to have those who interviewed you to say these three things about you:

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills
  2. Is results oriented
  3. Aligns well with the position

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.

Post interview, review how you did with the goal of improving for the next one. In order to lock in your follow up you need to ask yourself these following questions.

  • Did the interview go well? If so, specifically why?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What did they focus on?
  • What did I learn about them on a personal level?
  • What value did I bring to the interview?
  • What and when is my next step?

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!

Jim

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Drive the C.A.R.

Circumstances. Actions. Results. (C.A.R.) Recruiters want to hear that story.

When a recruiter asks you about your tenure or a specific challenge you’ve faced, remember to drive the C.A.R. Too many people wax on about their experiences as just that - experiences filled with activity. Recruiters and hiring managers want to hear about results, not just activity.

A good response looks like this, “When I arrived at XYZ Health System our operating margin was -6%. Over three years we implemented two new service lines, recruited 24 physicians, implemented productivity standards for all departments and closed an unprofitable service that wasn’t meeting community need. As a result our operating margin is now 7%.

If you are not clearly communicating the circumstances, actions and results you are not fully demonstrating your value.

Look for examples in the following areas:

  • Service
  • Quality
  • Growth
  • Finance
  • People and Community

The C.A.R needs to be driven on your resume and when speaking with recruiters and hiring managers- make it a part of your lexicon. The root of the word executive is to execute. We must achieve results as that is why we are hired.

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Regain Momentum in Your Career

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.

Here are some "fence post identifiers" that you will need to define as you are planning your career advancement:

  • Why do I want to be successful?
  • What is my definition of success?
  • What are my career goals?
  • What leadership or technical experience do I need to achieve those goals?
  • What leadership or technical skills do I need to move to the next fencepost?

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!

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Can your resume be understood in less than 10 seconds?

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.

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Passion For Success: Expanding Your Network

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.

The Value of a Healthy Network:

  • Competitive Edge: A large and deep network will give you information, you could never reach in isolation. Too many of us become trapped within the four walls we work in.
  • Resources: Tap into subject matter experts, fill positions, and gain valuable Industry information from known, credible sources.
  • Reputation Management: Being attacked on the internet can tarnish your reputation. A large and deep network that supports and believes in you can minimize that situation.
  • our Next Opportunity: I can't tell you how many times an opportunity was offered to a particular person because they were known within their network and "believed it would be a good fit." You can secure your next opportunity and your career with little competition through networking.
  • Time in transition: It has been proven that there is a direct correlation between the size and depth of your network as it relates to the time you are between jobs. The better your network is, the shorter your transition will be.

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

Keys to Expanding Your Network:

  • Be intentional: Dedicate yourself to at least two calls a week.
  • Choose wisely: Reach out to both people you already know but are not in regular contact with and new people you would like to connect based on your next career step, resources, influence, and information.
  • Plan your call: Do your homework- there is so much information out there that you shouldn't have any problem knowing with confidence your opening line or question.
  • Be Reciprocal: Give your audience as much value as they give you.

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!

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Throw Darts Not Hand Grenades

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!

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Interview Advice; It's Not About You

I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?

When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.

Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.

Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.

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Do You Know Your Numbers?

Do you know your numbers? (not just finance)

“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.

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Present Yourself Powerfully

To execute well in a network meeting or an interview, you must present yourself in a powerful way. As most of you are aware, the elevator speech has long been utilized as a tool in this area. This presentation focuses on who you are, what you've accomplished and where you're going. At Wiederhold & Associates, we have refined the elevator speech and taken it to a different level.

We call ours the "2-Minute Presentation", and when done correctly, will connect you to your audience as well as align you with the opportunity or the situation.

The 2-Minute Presentation should be as close to 2 minutes as possible, be modified to fit different audiences and contain three distinct components:

  • Humanization
  • Elevator
  • Differentiation

Basically, it's your elevator speech on steroids. Here's how it works.

Humanization

The goal is to make a connection. It's amazing what happens when you find a mutual connecting point to your audience. Remember, relationships are built on personal information, not business. Lastly, the power of the concept of "I, therefore, you." If I share something with you of a personal nature, you will feel compelled to share something with me. Connecting to people on a personal level is an essential part of both networking and interviewing.

Elevator

There are two key messages here:

  • My career moves are logical.
  • I'm clearly on the left side of the career bell curve and the best is yet to come.

The Differentiation Statement

The differentiation statement answers these two questions in a powerful way:

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What distinguishes you from other network connections or candidates?

Bring Your A-Game

Both networking and interviewing have become highly competitive. On top of that, people have limited time to give you. Bring your A-game with one of the most powerful tools you can put in your toolbox - a well developed 2-Minute Presentation.

Jim

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10 Steps to Ace Your Next Interview

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:

  1. Preparation: Know the five top critical elements of the opportunity and be able to address them with current experience and success. The five top criteria is the top five things they're looking for in their next candidate. Next understand the three other critical elements which are organization, position and location. Have specific information in each one as to your interest. The more specific the higher the impact.
  2. Mirroring: A good interview is like a dance, both partners are in sync with each other. Mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter.
  3. Listening to understand: We test this in every interview we do and the majority of people fail. We are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question.
  4. Introduce yourself with confidence.
  5. Take the lead: As you enter the interview, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. Demonstrate your interpersonal skills and give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.
  6. Put together an effective two-minute presentation which includes three key components to drive your message as well as connect with your audience. Those components are humanization, elevator, and differentiation/value statement.
  7. Understand what a real achievement is and present that way.
  8. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought.
  9. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview.
  10. Brand yourself so that your message is consistent.

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!

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Keys to Your Successful 2016

First and foremost, I want to wish you much success in 2016.

The new year is a time to start new journeys. As you know there are journeys we choose and journeys that choose us.

So with that in mind, we took a real good look at the people we work with in career transition and found that the most successful ones had three consistent behaviors. Those three behaviors were passion, attitude and confidence.

Passion is one's intense desire or enthusiasm to do something. The level of passion for these successful individuals kept them on track even when there were challenges and bumps in the road. They did not roll over or quit when things got tough.

Attitude is how an individual's behavior reacts to a person place or thing. We live in a world where most individuals focus on the negative side of a challenge. Successful individuals took a more positive look at the challenge of career transition and focused in on the benefits that would result from this journey.

Confidence is one's assessment and feelings about their own skills and qualities. These successful individuals realized that they live in a deposit/withdrawal system. Unfortunately, withdrawals are automatic and deposits have to be made manually. They have learned how to make necessary deposits.

So as you begin your journeys in this new year remember to pack the right amount of passion, attitude and confidence. Because a good start usually means a good finish.

Here's to your success,

Jim

Connect with us on LinkedIn and join our Active Network Program.

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Thanks for the Networking

Jim, I want to publically thank you for your efforts on my behalf over the years. (This is long overdue by the way.) The network has been extremely valuable in a number of ways. From a professional point of view I have met many network members from whom I have gained knowledge which has been both educational and personally rewarding. Certainly my own network has benefitted significantly as a result.

Over the years I have also been able to tap into your network in order to fill executive level positions. In many cases your personal recommendation has been the key to a final decision regarding a person. It is gratifying to see these individuals grow and mature into talented leaders.

Most recently I depended on the network again in an effort to quickly identify experts who could assist with due diligence. You were able to recommend a number of folks with whom I have been in touch. Although this particular effort did not materialize, I believe you have provided a core group of experts on whom I could call in the future.

You may also remember that, almost 10 years ago, you were the primary influence in assisting me through a personal transition. All you asked in return was that I be willing to talk with others who might benefit from my experiences and knowledge. I hope I have met your expectations in that regard. These contacts have benefitted me as well.

Warmest personal regards,
Dave Bussone

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Running the Job Search "Race"

When Jim related the response of his race partner to a network blast regarding the race they ran together during our staff meeting, everyone on the call (we all work virtual) agreed that having Jim as your running partner was no different than having Jim as your job search partner. The preparation, the expectation of working hard, having others around you pushing, pulling, cheering you on. It is what he does every day with our clients – and us on those Monday meetings. Typical of Jim, we asked and he said yes to posting it, and typical of those in our network, we asked Rick for permission and he said “whatever you need.” Here is Rick’s email:

I ran one of the best races of my life running with Jim. So let me add to Jim's list of things one can learn from a race:

  1. Humans were made to run with one another, not against each other.
  2. Competing with a friend, like everything else in life, drives you to do your best. Jim was in better shape and ran the faster race. He hung back to give me a chance to catch up. This drove me to do my best; run faster and compete better than I would have on my own. I finished in the top ten for my age group in the first half marathon I ever ran. I have always had a *Board" when making important life decisions. Jim was my "Board," my wingman during this difficult race. The race started at 6:00 am on a rainy day when the temperature never exceeded 37 degrees. I am not sure if I would have even started the race if it had not been for him.
  3. Like Jim, I was very apprehensive about this race. When I agreed to run, I planned an extensive training program. All of this went off track when I was unexpectedly required to travel out of town every week since early March to a location that did not support my training program. What I learned from this experience was not to let unexpected obstacles stand between you and your goals. Running is nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other. Many challenges are nothing more than taking one step at a time and persevering.
  4. This took more out of me than I would have expected. I thought I was doing well until it was over and I crashed. There is a time to run you race and time to rest and reconnect.
Best,
Rick Newsome

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Transition Assistance Trends

I wanted to take a moment and tell you about something I am passionate about and very concerned about. Over the last two to three months, there has been a disturbing trend with organizations who, for whatever reason, are letting executives go and providing minimal to no severance and no transition/outplacement assistance. The cuts have been a reaction to healthcare reform and some consultants who see no value in helping exiting executives

This concerns me for several reasons: First, what message are these organizations sending to their remaining employees when they do not give adequate assistance to exiting employees? Second, they are opening the door to increased litigation. Third, where mission is important, does that mission only apply to patients and not employees? Fourth, these individuals are moving into the most, or one of the most, competitive markets we have seen without tools to be successful.

This mentality seems short term driven with no consideration of the trickledown effect or concern for the exiting employee who, in most cases, served the organization well, but are being impacted by things outside their control.

The solution, to me, lies in two areas. One, we need to voice our concern and be heard and, two, every executive should ask for an employment agreement prior to joining any organization. An agreement that provides adequate severance and funds for outplacement/transition assistance, making sure that they have the choice of the firm they want to use.

Executives are constantly asked to make tough decisions and to do so with the best interest of the organization at hand; they need a safety net and an employment agreement provides that. Additionally, if exiting employees have not put an agreement in place they still need to ask when leaving for severance, extension of benefits and outplacement/transition funds to be used with the firm of their choice. I see too many executives leaving money on the table they could use because they forgot to, or will not, ask. In many cases, it will not be mentioned until you ask.

Thanks for listening.

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Personal Networking During Transition for Healthcare Executives

A client sent me this email:
"Jim, I had a great recent success story with LinkedIn. Several months ago, I mistakenly sent LinkedIn invites to all of my email contacts! Several responded and "linkedIn." I recently updated my LinkedIn profile with my new interim position, and to my surprise LinkedIn sent messages to all of my contacts of my new role, to which I have rec'd 50+ "Congratulations" responses - all from a mistake I made several months ago. What a neat way to stay in touch with my network!"

The strength of this message wasn't how much LinkedIn did for him but showed how much personal networking he has done to get this type of response. This client has a relationship with these 50+ people or they would not have taken the time to send their congratulations. That is networking in its truest form.

In the beginning of their transition, most of our clients have a neglected personal network and struggle to pick up the phone and call their colleagues or past business associates Fortunately we have a tremendous network of healthcare executives across the country to introduce them to, growing each of our "circles of influence." Not once in my almost twenty years of executive outplacement and coaching can I remember someone telling me "networking doesn't work," instead more often than not we are told, "It's much easier than I thought! The names you gave me were so helpful, I think I can do this!"

Try it, and tell me your success stories....

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