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September 8, 2016

Landing the First CEO Job

Ceo IconMany up and coming leaders aspire to become a CEO. Landing that first CEO job is tough, and I’m often asked for advice on how to do it.

It’s a tricky question. In my own work on CEO searches, it’s unusual to see companies willing take a risk on someone who’s never held the top job. Most boards of directors want a low risk candidate who has already been a CEO. Read More

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September 6, 2016

What Does It Take To Run A Subsidiary?

bigstock-World-globe-vector-illustratio-28933154In the last several years I’ve done a number of searches for presidents of the US subsidiaries of foreign companies. These jobs present several special challenges. In no particular order, here they are:

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September 1, 2016

Theranos Appeals Regulatory Sanctions. Good Luck With That.

NEW YORK-APR 21: CEO/founder of Theranos Elizabeth Holmes attendToday’s Wall Street Journal reports that Theranos, the formerly highflying diagnostic startup, plans to appeal the devastating sanctions that were recently imposed by CMS.

Their odds of success are so low that it’s difficult to understand why they bothered. Those who have followed the drama know the full story, and I won’t bother to recapitulate it here. Suffice it to say that the company has developed a reputation for viewing federal regulatory agencies with contempt. That’s the business equivalent of pouring gasoline over your head and lighting a match.

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August 30, 2016

The WSJ Says Employers Don’t Care Anymore About Job Hopping. They Are Wrong.

Business frogBack in the 1960s, when my father started as an HR executive at Pfizer, lifetime employment was still common. Hiring managers scrutinized a candidate’s every job change. People with a pattern of many short jobs were considered damaged goods and were automatically eliminated from contention.

50 years later things have changed, but not nearly as much as the Wall Street Journal’s Joanne Lublin claims in her article entitled Job-Hopping Executives No Longer Pay Penalty.

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August 29, 2016

Family Matters: Relocating Candidates

FamilyRelocating candidates is expensive and risky. As a general rule, it’s better avoided unless absolutely necessary.

That said, there are lots of circumstances where relocation is required. If the talent you need can’t be sourced in the local market, there is no choice but to look farther afield.

In my experience, the single biggest risk comes from a candidate’s family. Family dynamics are always complicated, and it’s an area where hiring managers and recruiters have limited insight. In fact, sometimes I think the candidates themselves have less insight into their own families than they would like to believe.

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August 26, 2016

Automated Video Interviews: Another Bad Recruiting Idea

bigstock--122207921Last week the Wall Street Journal reported on a new phenomenon, the automated video interview. Sadly, this terrible idea appears to be catching on.

In an automated video interview, candidates provide video responses to questions presented by a computer. Later, the responses are reviewed by humans, and the best candidates are passed on to hiring managers for further screening.

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August 17, 2016

Want to Run a PE-Backed Company? First, Answer These Questions

Want to Run a PE-Backed Company? First, Answer These QuestionsEvery week I talk with CEOs who want a private equity backed company. They all know someone who made a similar move and exited several years later with a pile of cash.

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June 7, 2016

Are Your Employees Loyal or Mercenary?

Loyalty Magnet Word Attracting Return Customers Clients EmployeesNowadays loyalty in employment relationships is commonly considered a quaint, outdated concept. Yet time and again, I see exceptions to this rule that demonstrate the power of loyalty in driving business success.

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June 6, 2016

Theranos Hits the FDA Buzzsaw

Theranos, the diagnostics startup, has been in the news lately, and the news has been bad.

Led by a charismatic founder and claiming to have revolutionary technology, the company received breathless accolades until it ran afoul of the FDA. Now, after a series of revelations about the company’s products and regulatory compliance, it has lost all credibility. Read More

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April 26, 2016

People Skills Trump Everything

OK, the title of this post is a bit of an overstatement, but not by much.

Brains, education and skills are important, but they are never enough. People skills are the grease that enables other talents to be productively deployed. Read More

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