Freelancers, Take Control of Your Meeting Schedule


One of the biggest advantages of being self-employed is having the flexibility to dictate your schedule.

Many freelancers find themselves frittering away their days,

unsure of how to leverage their autonomy.

One way to be more efficient is to cluster all your client meetings on the same days. Those days will be long and intense, but they’ll allow you unfettered productive work on the other days.

This is especially important if you have to travel for your meetings: If you can tackle multiple meetings downtown on one day, you’ve saved yourself hours of painful commuting. And before you even agree to that in-person meeting, make sure it’s a good use of your time.

Ask questions about the agenda, and only attend if an important issue needs to be discussed and decided. Otherwise, gently suggest that you’re available by phone or email.

Adapted from “Scheduling Meetings Effectively When You’re Self-Employed,” by Dorie Clark

FREELANCE

Trevor Lee

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

Before Taking an Expat Assignment, Make Sure Your Family Is on Board


Getting an expat assignment can be exciting, but it can also be hard on your family. Before accepting a temporary reassignment to another country, think it through with your partner or family. Be sure to frame the decision as a real choice:

Should we go or stay?

And consider the degree of change: If you live in Amsterdam, relocating to Brussels is very different from moving to Guangzhou, China.

Then go through the pros and cons of each alternative, laying out the full implications for your children or extended family, your career — and your partner’s — and your support networks.

Try to anticipate and discuss how the change would affect family dynamics — e.g., shifting from a dual-career marriage to one where a spouse stays at home, or replacing a grandmother babysitter with a professional nanny.

These discussions will not only shape your decision about the assignment but also help set expectations and prevent resentment later on.

Adapted from “Making Your Expat Assignment Easier on Your Family,” by Katia Vlachos

EXPAT 1

Trevor Lee

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

Candidates Who Decline Your Job Offer. WHY?


Every company gets rejected by job candidates, and you’re missing a big opportunity if you don’t ask these people why they did it. The next time you get a “No, thank you” call or email, explain that there are no hard feelings and dig deeper for more information. Focus on questions like:

  • What did you see as the positive aspects of the role?
  • What were your concerns about the role?
  • What were the most important factors in the decision you made?
  • What feedback or suggestions do you have about your interviews, interviewers, and the interview process itself?
  • Can you provide feedback or suggestions for the hiring manager, human resources, or the organization overall?

These conversations might be awkward, but if you don’t solicit feedback from people you’ve interviewed, they may give that feedback publicly via social media. It may not be good!

Adapted from “Why You Should Interview People Who Turn Down a Job with Your Company,” by Ben Dattner

job-offer

Trevor Lee

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

Executive Search & Interim Management since 2001
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

Short-term Assignments


Short-term assignments, transfers, or rotation programs can have big advantages: You’re exposed to new geographies, functions, cultures, and people. But these temporary positions often come with little or no training, so it’s your responsibility to get up to speed fast.

Here are three ways to make sure you’re getting the most from a short-term assignment:

  • Set goals.At the start, write out what you hope to accomplish during your tenure — whether it’s to receive a permanent position or to develop a certain type of expertise (or both!). Also think through what you need to reach those goals.

  • Ask for feedback.Mention up front to your boss and peers that you’d like their feedback as you acclimate to the new role. Set up at least one formal check-in with your supervisor.

  • Keep a journal.When you see something that works — or doesn’t — write it down. Compile your thoughts over time and reflect on them. Taking note of lessons learned makes it more likely that you’ll leave even a brief experience with real insight.

Adapted from “Maximize Your Learning in Short-Term Assignments,” by John Coleman

 Trevor Lee

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

tblee@ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

CEO LOGO

Plan Your Post-Retirement Career


If you want to continue working in some capacity after you retire, you’ll have to do some planning. Start by asking yourself four questions:

  1. How much money do I need to earn? If a certain income is mandatory, this criterion needs to come first and will influence your other decisions.

  2. How much location independence do I want? If you have visions of balancing some work with a lot of travel, or if you’d like to spend winters in sunny climes, think carefully about how to cultivate a location-independent second act, such as a seasonal or internet-enabled job.

  3. How much change am I seeking? If you’d simply like to downshift in your current career, ask your manager about transitioning into a consultant role. A bolder change will require additional groundwork.

  4. How can I start test-driving my future career now? Experiment with some small side projects while you have the security of your regular income.

FUTURE 3

 

Adapted from “Planning Your Post-Retirement Career,” by Dorie Clark

Trevor Lee

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

http://www.ep-i.net

@trevorblee

Executive Search & Interim Management 
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

 

 

Assess New Hires for Creativity


 

creative-person

 

To build a team of creative thinkers, you need to hire people who are open to new experiences and have resilience, emotional stability, flexibility, and empathy.

During interviews with potential hires, ask questions that test for these traits. For example, you might ask the candidate to come up with multiple solutions to a problem, and then see if they are able to draw connections between those solutions to find a novel approach.

If you want to test a candidate’s ability for empathy, ask them to create a persona for a new product, or have them tell a story about a day in the life of a potential customer to see whether they can take on someone else’s perspective.

These exercises give you valuable clues as to how well the applicant can connect with others both emotionally and intellectually.

Adapted from “A Data-Driven Approach to Group Creativity,” by Bastian Bergmann and Joe Schaeppi

creative-man

Trevor Lee – EP International

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.

 

On the Brink of Extinction


In his 1994 book Job Shift, William Bridges refers to the “job” as “an artifact of the industrial revolution”. The traditional organization is designed to function like a machine. It is a hierarchy with jobs as the building blocks. In this model people are essentially cogs in the wheel of production. This model, and the leadership style of command and control it refined and has historically rewarded, is no longer sufficient for today’s organizations to thrive. We know this intuitively.

Many of us have had to invent ways to work that are often unsupported or even thwarted by the confines of the structure we are in and the remnants of command and control leadership style and practices it encourages.

Yet for better or for worse, this model is not going away anytime soon.

hierarchy-1

The hierarchy continues to represent what organizations looks like. From an individual perspective the construct of a “job” also continues to be very important. It tells us how we fit and helps to clarify what is expected of us in exchange for a paycheck. As we move up the boxes on the hierarchy it represents power, authority, achievement, and the promise of increased financial reward.

There is a significant flaw in this model that provides a clue to what is needed from leaders now and into the future.

The traditional model of organizations, including the thinking and assumptions that underlie it, ignores the extent of our interdependence. Leaders now and into the future can no longer afford to ignore this reality in style or practice.

Most work in today’s world gets done through a multitude of transactions conducted between individuals and rarely follows the neat path of organizational lines. Even the notion of organizational lines is blurring as collaboration across businesses, becomes more prevalent and the rapidly growing ranks of the self-employed create a kind of free agency workforce.

The command and control style of leadership may have ensured the order and efficiency essential to success in the industrial age. Yet in today’s world it all too easily causes the hierarchical model to devolve into the kind of bureaucracy we can no longer afford and are less and less willing to tolerate.

The world of work is far too complex and rapidly changing to continue to relate to the definition of our jobs in the simplistic terms of what we do. And the construct of setting individual objectives that are expected to somehow “roll up” into organizational objectives is no longer sufficient to ensure we succeed together.

We must all begin to think about our jobs in terms of what we promise, not just in terms of the things we must do, but also in terms of the promises we must make to others to produce results.

It is that network of promises, both in terms of organizational goals as well as the everyday fabric of our promises to each other, which interconnect our actions and ensures our shared goals are ultimately achieved.

A job description will never be able to capture everything we need to do to get the job done. And an org chart is not designed to reflect our interdependence. We don’t need to ditch the org chart. But positional leaders do need to make an essential shift from focusing on the relationship between jobs to fortifying the relationships between people.

why-2

Because the foundational building block of organizations of the future is no longer the job. It is relationships.

The hierarchical model inherently keeps our focus on people as the boxes in an org chart and keeps our attention on what separates us. This undermines our relationships, unwittingly keeping the destructive dynamic of “us” vs. “them” intact. It is far too easy to retreat into our “box” when something isn’t working, justifying ourselves with “It’s not my job” or “I did my part, but someone else didn’t do theirs” so it’s not my responsibility.

To be effective now and in the future leaders must instead foster a culture of accountability, shifting everyone’s focus to clarifying and fortifying their inter-dependencies in terms of their commitments to each other.

The job may or may not become an artifact as Bridges predicted, but those organizations whose leaders fail to change the way they relate to them may find themselves on the brink of extinction.

working

Trevor Lee – EP International

http://www.ep-i.net

http://www.ceo-worldwide.com

@trevorblee

We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.