Developing Humility as a Leader

Developing Humility as a Leader – Whether we’re looking at business or politics, sports or entertainment, it’s clear we live in an era of self-celebration. Fame is equated with success, and being self-referential has become the norm. As a result we are encouraged to pump ourselves full of alarming self-confidence. Bluster and the alpha instinct, contends Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of business psychology, often get mistaken for ability and effectiveness (at least for a while). It may well be why so many (incompetent) men rise ahead of women to leadership positions, as Chamorro-Premuzic argued in a recent HBR post.

Yes, we have scores of books, articles, and studies that warn us of the perils of hubris. The word comes from the Greek and means extreme pride and arrogance, generally indicating a loss of connection to reality brought about when those in power vastly overestimate their capabilities. And yes, many of us have also seen evidence that its opposite, humility, inspires loyalty, helps to build and sustain cohesive, productive team work, and decreases staff turnover. Jim Collins had a lot to say about CEOs he saw demonstrating modesty and leading quietly, not charismatically, in his 2001 bestseller Good to Great.

Yet the attribute of humility seems to be neglected in leadership development programs. And to the extent it is considered by managers rising through the ranks, it is often misunderstood. How can we change this?

First, let’s get a few things straight. Humility is not hospitality, courtesy, or a kind and friendly demeanor. Humility has nothing to do with being meek, weak, or indecisive. Perhaps more surprising, it does not entail shunning publicity. Organizations need people who get marketing, including self-marketing, to flourish and prosper. (read more…)

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Executives in Transition

Hey, CFO’s and all Executives in Transition: Don’t Be ‘That Guy’

Are you the type who communicates with recruiters only when you’re looking for a job? Take note: It may harm your career. An executive search professional, my role is to help client companies fill open positions. But I also get many calls and emails from senior financial officers who are looking for jobs. On rare occasions, serendipity intervenes and the person is actually a good fit for a current assignment. Otherwise, I try to help them as I can, usually with advice or networking support. I reserve Friday mornings for these job-seekers. It’s the right thing to do. (read more…)

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Why I Won’t Be Reading Your Cover Letter

Is your cover letter ready to be sent out? Before you say yes, read this…

We had an open position we were trying to fill awhile back and I was amazed—or should I say appalled—at the blanket responses we received from job seekers. Potential candidates sent us cover letters describing experience they possessed that was completely irrelevant to our opening; it was the same as someone having a degree in veterinary medicine but seeking employment as an IT director.

Did these job seekers really think going on and on for paragraphs about irrelevant experience was going to make me want to read their resume—or even more so—interview them?

I think I understand the dilemma here: Truly active job seekers are sending out countless cover letters as quickly as humanly possible—probably exasperated by the sheer volume of applications they feel pressured to submit. It’s not a shot-in-the-dark game, people. Or a game of numbers.

I truly don’t believe it’s a situation where you have to submit 200 applications to receive two call-backs. What it comes down to is a matter of focus and relevancy. Can you make the correlation between your experience and career background and what the employer truly needs? I’ll give you a perfect example.   (…read more)

Courtesy:   Careerealism.com

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Mistakes on LinkedIn

Candidates: 9 Mistakes on LinkedIn

What separates the master networkers from the amateurs? The former tend not to make these mistakes.

Lots of articles describe how to create a more marketable LinkedIn profile, how to find the right groups to join, how to choose the best profile photo… I should know, I’ve written about that. Oh, and that. Yep, and that too. Since most people understand the value of taking those steps, let’s go deeper. To really harness the power of LinkedIn, don’t make these mistakes:

1. You give only because you expect to receive.

Connect with people on LinkedIn and you can write a recommendation that gets displayed on their profiles.

That’s awesome, unless you’re only giving recommendations because you want one in return. Then it’s tacky.

For example, say you’re a plumber. A pipe burst and we call you at three in the morning. You immediately rush over, fix the leak, and save us from inadvertently converting our basement into a swimming pool. I’m extremely grateful and I write you a deservedly glowing recommendation.

Then I ask you to write a recommendation for me.

The problem is, you don’t know me professionally. The only thing you really know about me is that I could be heard in the background screaming like a little girl when my wife called you. How can you recommend me? You can’t. You shouldn’t. And you shouldn’t be asked to.

Give sincere recommendations. Recommend because you want to, not because you expect to receive a recommendation in return. The people who know and respect you may return the “favor.” If so, great; if not, also great. Either way you’ve given credit where credit is due.

(…read more)

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