What Lack of Leadership does to an Organization

The following is from a guest blogger -

My most recent experience with poor management and communication skills is with an individual who was promoted to a high level operations position coming from a career strictly with Loss Prevention.

Unfortunately this experience informs almost everything flowing from the position. Accountability is a good thing in an organization but like everything it can be taken to excess. Within the operations group and through the field organization, audits and accountability sign-offs have gone from a monthly occurrence to weekly and now nearly daily. The very culture of the organization has changed dramatically over the course of six months. Not only does this individual operate from an LP perspective but they do not take any kind of criticism or questioning of decisions well.

Employees quickly learned that if even a small mistake is made there will be serious consequences. Further, if a policy or decision is brought up for discussion, everyone learned in a hurry (at the unfortunate expense of a few employees) that you may be subjected to a humiliating public shout-down followed by a couple weeks of prodding.

This abrasive and unproductive leadership style has resulted in poor morale in the workplace, a lack of important feedback from employees, a reduction in productivity, increased turnover and the implementation of programs and initiatives that have led to reduced revenues for the company. Several strategies have been rolled out with bad results that most employees saw coming but there is no longer the dynamic communication a healthy organization needs to be competitive and strong.

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KIRBY BEST – CEO, PERFORMANCE HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS, INC.

Kirby Best

Kirby Best

From the former driver of the Canada 1 bobsled team to corporate CEO and now as a thriving entrepreneur, Kirby Best has never backed down from a challenge. And his latest foray in to the estimated $750M medical apparel industry is no different.

His recently launched, Nashville-based Performance Healthcare Products, Inc. has partnered with chemical and textile manufacturing titan Milliken & Company to develop and release a line of scientifically-designed medical scrubs that offers the a major step forward in the industry.  Throughout his professional career Best has successfully “built a better mousetrap” by analyzing the landscape and implementing a new, more effective approach to reach his goals. So what does a former CEO bring to the table as an upstart entrepreneur? I caught up with Kirby recently by phone to get some thoughts.

You went from being the CEO of the leading print-on-demand book publisher Lightening Source to manufacturing medical scrubs.  Doesn’t seem like a typical career path.

Kirby Best: You’re right! My path to the medical scrubs industry was actually the result of my wife’s successful battle with breast cancer. She had suffered terribly with night sweats during her medical treatments and I’d offered her one of my sweat-wicking athletic shirts in the hopes it would keep her dry. It wasn’t the most comfortable but it did help.

After she beat cancer we were looking for a way to give back to the cancer community and remembered how helpful the sweat-wicking t-shirt was. From there we partnered with a company to develop a line of soft and functional sleepwear intended for women dealing with night sweats. And with that, we launched DryDreams Sleepwear which we recently folded in to our new company under the name Performance Sleepwear. 100% of our profits from the sleepwear line are donated to a host of cancer charities which brings us a lot of satisfaction. Funny thing is our biggest market is young women who just love the look!

And from sleepwear you moved on to medical scrubs?

It opened my eyes to the many applications of this type of “smart” material. As I started looking around at potential markets it didn’t take me long to see who could benefit the most. Nurses, vet assistants and dental assistants have been wearing the same type of cotton or poly-blend uniforms for decades. Considering the high-tech environment these professionals worked in it just made sense that they’re uniforms should be high-tech too. So we set out to create a material that truly speaks to the needs of healthcare workers. It’s not easy being first to market with anything but we couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve developed.

I understand that you do all your manufacturing in the United States. With so many companies outsourcing overseas what was the reasoning behind this decision?

My decision to open our manufacturing facility in the United States made sense on a few different levels. First, we’re currently the only scrubs company manufacturing in the U.S. so that’s a good point of differentiation. Second, it allows us to offer customization. Our customers can hand pick their design and color and because of the proximity of our facility we can turn around an order quickly and with better oversight.

And finally, it eliminates the upfront costs of maintaining a large inventory.  And while our profit is only minimally effected we feel that it is more than made up for by the control we have over our product and the better customer service we can provide.

So as the “new kid on the block,” what strategies are you employing to get your name out there?

Our biggest success so far is to let our product do the talking. Word-of-mouth carries a lot of weight in the medical community and if one person wears it and likes it, not only will we have a repeat customer but they’ll recommend us to their colleagues. The apparel industry is partly driven by influencers and partly driven by personal choice. We’ve tried to accommodate both these elements. My belief is that it’s not about the ‘hard sell.” It’s about the “smart sell.”

For more information on Performance Scrubs go to www.performancescrubs.com.

To reach Kirby Best directly please contact kirby@performancescrubs.com.

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One of the coolest jobs in the world!

Gregorio Palomino

Gregorio Palomino

Event Planning inside CRE8AD8 (Create A Date) is not only one of the most competitive and in-demand career choices in the world, it ‘s also the most fun, take it from me!  I have been doing this for over 13 years for Victoria’s Secret, FedEx & UPS and have worked in some of the most exotic atmospheres, energy-driven high-flying clients drive you to do the best!  I travel the world, eat the most flavorful foods, drink the finest beverages concocted by some of the world’s best Mixologists, stay in some of the finest hotels and have friends who you see on TV every day!

When you wake up in the morning, hop a private plane to the airport enjoying champagne with celebrities, land and get greeted with a butler and ready to eat meals in the Rolls Royce off to a launch party for their next album or invention, it’s a great feeling.  The energy, the fun, the life and the friends are some that money simply can’t buy.

The Event Marketing field isn’t for the faint of heart, you’re on the road, getting sleep when you can, tough to keep a family, but all in all, if you’re single and ready to take hold of the reigns, the world awaits…and companies like ours are always looking for talent!

We come in all forms and there are so many various facets of who we are and what we can do.  We work hard and play even harder.  We’re young and young at heart.  We’re go-getters, driven and ambitious.  Many times we’re VIP everywhere we go and you’ll pass us right by if you don’t realize it.    Clients come to us to make decisions and make things happen, you are the BOSS, the Head Honcho & for sake of better terms…you are the “Untouchable” for the evening!  We walk with our heads high and we know when the music starts and the lights do down…it’s about what our imagination designed!  It’s YOUR show!

Gregorio Palomino, CWP, CEP

Corporate Event, Celebrity & Wedding Planner

(210)846-8900

Website ~ LinkedIn ~ Facebook ~ Blog

An Event Marketing Agency

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Career Change and Your Resume

Inbound Marketing

Michael Trust

Over the last several years, we have seen a dramatic shift in the concept of a “career” as more and more people have been downsized, right sized, outsourced, and the like.   A career isn’t just vertical anymore; it’s how horizontal and in many cases, very much a zigzag.

What do you do if you’re a former real estate agent or broker, automaker in Detroit, a mortgage broker, a banker, someone in manufacturing, etc.? Most of these roles have a greatly decreased volume of jobs these days (although autoworker jobs are picking up in Detroit once again).

As many know, in the 21st Century economy, it will not be uncommon for people to change jobs 10+ times during their “career” and to even change careers 3+ times.  How, you might ask, is that possible? The ever changing economy constantly demands new skills, new flexibility , and an application of best practices. In most organizations, gone are the days of a 30 year career at one or two or maybe three organizations, and a gold watch at the end (except in non-political government roles, where the norm is still a long, generally stable, horizontal career; but, that too may be changing as many states and municipalities struggle with vast revenue shortages and huge budget deficits).

So, given this new reality, what does one do about one’s resume?  How do you go about showcasing that you’re an ideal candidate for a position when it may not be apparent?

Here are some tips:

  • Write a compelling and strong Summary Statement. Highlight your skills. Most jobs require a foundational set of skills that don’t change from job to job: customer service, sales, attention to detail, computer skills, teamwork, team building, project management, etc. This Summary must be highly compelling to the reader or they won’t read any further.
  • Be sure to accentuate your accomplishments rather than you job duties. These two concepts are easily interwoven and employers care about results; not about reading a “tombstone” that just recites job duties.  Your accomplishments show your motivation to get things done no matter the circumstances and are a nice (and even more important in most cases)  complement to your skills. Many people have the skills. How many people can show that they’ve successfully used them? This makes you stand out.
  • Don’t throw in every potential skill and experience that you have had. It may be tempting to do on the often used, and mistaken assumption that the reader will “figure out the connections”. Not so. It’s not the reader’s job. It’s your job.  Rather show the most salient skills and experience and how they easily transfer from one role to the next; the context may be different, but the skill is the same.

Changing career is a challenge even for the most skilled and accomplished people. However, by using the suggestions above to write a resume around the target job’s requirements and to show your value with accomplishments and with skills, you have a good chance of landing an interview.

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA, is a Certified Career Coach and a Certified Executive Career Coach, who helps people find their passion and fulfill their dreams as they relate to careers through his organization, Trustworthy Coaching, www.TrustworthyCoaching.com.  Mr. Trust’s Coaching, Business, and Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions. In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, business strategies, and related areas. Mr. Trust is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Copyright © 2010, Trustworthy Coaching.  All Worldwide Rights Reserved.

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Experiences when Contacted by Recruiters

Shorav Kaushik, Esq.

Shorav Kaushik, Esq.

I graduated from Law School last June and since then, have been either unemployed or working at temporary positions. It is a difficult market for entry level attorneys, and most employment opportunities are fickle and show little opportunity to advance professionally. Accordingly, I have been presenting myself as a business and legal professional, and trying to leverage my law degree to acquire a position in the corporate world.

My Monster/Hot Jobs profiles emphasize my accounting, contract negotiation, administrative, and management experiences. However, I have not had much luck in using my law degree and experiences to acquire a position. When I first got contacted by a recruiter, I was a little excited because surely he must have reviewed my profile and thought that I was an excellent candidate. I promptly replied to his email and sent him my resume. When I didn’t hear from him I called him, and he asked me if I had any experience with the Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance System. I have spent a few years working with a nonprofit that represents claimants at New York State Unemployment Hearings, but have never worked in Pennsylvania. I was confused, because he had seen my resume and that is not something that I had worked in. He then said, “okay I’ll keep you in mind, thanks,” and never contacted me again.

I was also contacted by another recruiter who told me that I would be an excellent candidate for a $60,000 Business Analyst job. He then told me that I was required to take a class online that was free of charge, which I agreed to do. When I started the class I was asked to pay $300. I promptly stopped taking the class, and sent the recruiter an email the next morning advising him that, if he knew of a position, great, but that I was not willing to spend any amount of money taking a class that was clearly designed for much less experienced people.

Aside from those two particular experiences, I am regularly contacted by recruiters from various search firms looking to fill positions with major insurance companies, support positions at white-shoe law firms, and analyst positions at various banks. Most of these positions are contract-to-hire, which is fine by me. I have productive conversations with these recruiters but, then I never hear from them again. When I send follow-up emails a week later, they are not responded to; I find this to be very perplexing. I’ve noticed that most of these recruiters are of Indian extraction, and for the most part based in New Jersey. Some of them have very limited English skills and on a couple of instances, I’ve found it easier to just speak Hindi with them. I wonder if they are at call centers somewhere, and whether they are paid by the number of candidates that they identify.

As a final observation, I noticed that when I changed the name on my profile to Rob S. Kaushik, employers started to show greater interest in my candidacy. I suppose that Shorav can be an intimidating name, and isn’t necessarily gender-specific.

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“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match…”

Jenson Crawford

Jenson Crawford

Employers look to recruiting agencies to try to find the right candidate for a job opening.  Can recruiters accomplish this goal?   As a software development executive, I’ve found that a good recruiter can do this and produce real benefits for both the employer and candidate.

The Value of a Good Recruiting Firm

A good firm working to understand everything the employer and candidates are looking for, and then presenting the employer a handful of very qualified candidates to work with.  They will take the time to really sit down and get to understand your background, goals and needs, regardless of which side of the interview desk you’re sitting on.  A good recruiter increases the chances for both employer and candidates of a finding a successful match.

Unless the internal HR department has experienced professional recruiters, agency recruiters have a better network to draw on to find passive candidates.  They also generally have more knowledge than the HR department about the specialized skills needed for a position, as recruiters focus on specific professions.

Making the Right Match, or Looking for a Quick Buck?

Unfortunately, some recruiters and agencies only seem to be after the placement fee, rather than working together with the employer and candidate.  I’ve developed an easy way to determine whether recruiters and agencies are trying to build long term relationships or are simply focused on the next placement. I simply find out how they treated the receptionist when they called. Recruiters that are polite and treat the receptionist with respect are the ones who build long term relationships and make the right matches. Recruiters that are rude, pushy or dishonest are just looking for quick buck and don’t make the list of people that I work with.

I still shake my head about one recruiter’s attempt to contact me: did he really think that I wouldn’t find out he claimed to be an old friend of mine?

Finding a Good Recruiter

Whether you’re a candidate or a hiring manager, the best way to find a good recruiter is to talk to your friends, and ask for a short list of recruiters that they trust and like to work with.  As one of my favorite recruiters says, “the best people know the best people.”

As a candidate, look for a firm that will help you when you’re not just looking for a job.  Will they help you negotiate a better raise for yourself?  It’s important to find a recruiter that will be honest with you – if an interview didn’t go well, getting truthful feedback about how to do better next time is crucial to landing the job you want.

Do your homework.  You’ll find that working with a good recruiter is definitely worthwhile.

Jenson Crawford is Director of Engineering for Fetch Technologies in El Segundo, California. www.linkedin.com/in/jensoncrawford

Fetch Technologies has a singular, powerful and revolutionary mission: To get the best real-time data so that our clients can make high-caliber business decisions.  Major corporations, business intelligence companies and news organizations use Fetch to connect with millions of real-time data sources for a myriad of applications including competitive intelligence, news aggregation, data analysis and background screening. www.fetch.com

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Already Looking for Your Next Job? Get Started Now.

Deepak Gupta – Social Media Consulting

Michael Trust

Are you unemployed, unhappily employed, or underemployed?  If you are, this is the time to get your job search in gear.  Below are some tips to help you get started:

  • How warm is your network? By this, I mean you may have 10,000 Linkedin connections, but in reality, how many people do you actually know from that list? How many of those people would actually be willing to help you land your next gig?  Do you only contact your network when you need something or do you keep in regular touch?  Asking for help when you are desperate or only when you need something is a sure way to turn off people who might otherwise be willing to help.  As with any networking relationship, be sure to always give back. Pay it forward. Give to get. You get the idea.
  • Is your resume and cover letter up to date and up to snuff? It’s easy to forget accomplishments between the last time you updated your resume and when you need it. I suggest a minimum of a quarterly review of your resume.  That keeps you focused and your resume up to date. And, with networking being the key way to get a new gig these days, there’s a very good chance that you will be approached by someone in your network who needs your resume now. Pronto. Better to have it ready.
  • Are your skills up to date? It’s easy if you’ve been laid off or working outside of your field to let your skills lapse.  The job market is still so competitive that any little thing can give you the make it or break it edge. Ensure that your skills are completely up to date and be ready to showcase that fact on your resume and/or in your cover letter.
  • If you’re in a gig that’s out side of your normal career, be sure to highlight transferable experiences and skills that you have gained that can help you in your normal career.

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA, is a Certified Career Coach and a Certified Executive Career Coach, who helps people find their passion and fulfill their dreams as they relate to careers through his organization, Trustworthy Coaching, www.TrustworthyCoaching.com.  Mr. Trust’s Coaching, Business, and Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions. In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, business strategies, and related areas. Mr. Trust is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Copyright © 2011, Trustworthy Coaching.  All Worldwide Rights Reserved.

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