Thursday, June 21, 2012

Are You Coaching Females To CLIMB The Corporate Ladder or To HOLD ON To Their Current Positions?

Are You Coaching Females To CLIMB The Corporate Ladder or To HOLD ON To Their Current Positions?

Are you coaching your female corporate clients to climb the corporate ladder or to hold on to their current positions? Without realizing it, you may be coaching for the wrong skills. You may unknowingly be a victim of social norms and worse you may be passing this behavior onto your clients!

What’s new in the research on women’s leadership? Are we behind the “eight ball” compared to other developed nations when it comes to developing women leaders? As a coach, should you structure your engagement differently when coaching a female leader?   

To register for this Free webinar copy and paste this link into your browser:

If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744;

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stop Working All Those Hours

by Robert C. Pozen  |  11:20 AM June 15, 2012

"He's one of my best employees. He always puts in ten-hour days, sometimes much more."
Is this how your boss judges you and your colleagues? Probably yes, according to a 2010 study published in Human Relations. In the study, a group of researchers led by business professor Kimberly Elsbach conducted extensive interviews of 39 corporate managers. They found that these managers generally considered their employees who spent more time in the office to be more dedicated, more hardworking, and more responsible.

At first glance, this seems perfectly reasonable. Hourly wages and the classic 40-hour work week have trained us to measure our labor by the number of hours we log. However, this mindset is dead wrong when applied to today's professionals. The value of lawyers, consultants, and analysts isn't the time they spend, but the value they create through their knowledge.

Even worse, when managers judge their employees' work by the time they spend at the office, they impede the development of productive habits. By focusing on hours worked instead of results produced, they let professionals avoid answering the most critical question: "Am I currently using my time in the best possible way?" As a result, professionals often use their time inefficiently.

Business meetings are a perfect illustration. Very few professionals would say that attending meetings is the best use of their time. In one survey, white-collar workers estimated that two thirds of meeting time is pure waste. I agree: all too often, information is repeated or the discussion goes off-topic.

Yet, many meetings are too long, too large, and too unfocused. Why? Consider one manager's description of an employee, as reported in Elsbach's study:

"So this one guy, he's in the room at every meeting. Lots of times he doesn't say anything, but he's there on time and people notice that. He definitely is seen as a hardworking and dependable guy."

In other words, this manager praised his or her employee not for the value that he added to the meetings that he attended, but merely for his physical presence. Given this structure of rewards, it is no surprise that we keep seeing unnecessary and unproductive meetings.

More broadly, many professionals use their time inefficiently because their firm's hour-oriented culture hasn't forced them to think rigorously about what's really important. Sometimes, this leads professionals to spend an inordinate amount of time perfecting one particular task — say, the formatting of an internal presentation — instead of spending time where it might be more useful.

Worst of all, if you measure your productivity by time spent, your only way to get ahead is to spend more hours in the office — to the detriment of the rest of your life. In research published in HBR in 2006, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Carolyn Buck Luce reported that 62 percent of high-earning individuals in America (whom they define as the top 6% of earners) work 50 hours or more per week; 35 percent work 60 hours or more per week.

That fits my observation of New York law firms, where associates routinely bill 3,000 hours each year. That equates to 60 hours per week during a 50 week year; including non-billable hours, these 3,000-hour lawyers generally worked 12 hour days, six days a week. They barely had enough time for sleeping — let alone caring for their families, or just having fun.

What You Can Do About It

How can you remove yourself from this treadmill of long, wasted hours at work? Start by constantly evaluating your use of time — even if your organization's culture doesn't force you to.

That means knowing what's important to you, your organization, and your boss — and, vitally, what's not important. So think critically and rigorously about your priorities.
Then, be prepared to say "no" to requests that don't matter:

Decline meetings, whenever you can. To be polite, you can explain your workload and request to see the meeting's minutes instead.
Don't be afraid to use the "delete" button when reviewing your inbox.
If you can't say "no" to a certain request, recognize that it may only require a B+ effort. Don't spend hours bumping it up to an A+ unless you really need to.
While individual employees can change their own habits, organizations need strong-willed leaders to make more radical changes. These leaders must thoroughly reform their organization's implicit and explicit reward structure. Are employees praised for coming in on Saturday — even if only to finish work that could have been completed during regular hours? Are employees suspicious of others who leave early for the day in order to watch their child's Little League games?

Of course, this change won't come easily. It's easy to count hours. It's much harder to set project metrics or make subjective evaluations. But smart leaders realize that the only way they can succeed is by getting the most out of their employees. And the only way they can get the best out of their employees is to focus on results, not hours.
More blog posts by Robert C. Pozen
More on: Work life balance

Robert C. Pozen is a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His forthcoming book, Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, will be available in October


If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, BCC, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744;

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

4 Hiring Requirements You Have No Control Over

by Vault Careers
Published: Friday, June 08, 2012
At Vault, we spend a lot of time telling you which factors of a job search are in your control: cover letters, resumes, networking, first impressions (firm handshakes, everybody!)

That may lead you to believe that when you don't get the job, you must have done something wrong.

And it's a possibility. But there's also a chance that some silly stuff is going on with employers that has nothing to do with you.

The truth is, it's a buyers' market. And with huge pools of candidates to choose from--and a huge risk aversion--employers are really dragging their heels with hiring. Thus, they're also getting a nit picky with their hiring criteria.

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about misinformed, unfair, or just plain ridiculous requirements--but you can take heart knowing it's not always you. Sometimes, it's them.

 1. A Hot Spouse

James Franklin, the head football couch for Vanderbilt, has strategy for hiring, and it doesn't have much to do with qualifications. "I've been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife. If she looks the part and she's a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That's part of the deal."

The reasoning? "There's a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a women, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him."

Okay. So it's this tactic is really about finding candidates with confidence. But it's still gross.

2. A Job

Yahoo's Vera H-C Chan illuminates this obnoxious practice with a dating analogy: "Wanted: Someone exactly like my last boyfriend (see list of qualities), only better. Demonstrate success in a proven relationship, preferably a current one."

It seems counterintuitive—why ask that those who need a job don't apply for it? But the practice of only wanted to hire the employed has to do with risk management. Employers don't want to invest in a candidate whose skills have gotten rusty. And it's easier to assess the employee's current situation for clues to work history than it is to ask questions about a job from months or years earlier.

But beyond just unfair and extremely frustrating, many have been wondering whether stipulating that "unemployed need not apply" is actual discrimination. Several bills seeking to ban this practice have been brought to legislation committees as recently as April.

3. A Hop-Free Employment history

You've probably heard that switching jobs often is bad for your employment prospects in the long run.

And unfortunately, weeding out the job hoppers is a fairly common part of employers' screening process: between two and six percent of job seekers are rejected for having moved around too much, according to a study by Evolv.

Too bad this conventional wisdom is completely unfounded. Evolv's research also showed virually no difference in candidates "survival" rates at their next jobs, whether they'd had one job their whole lives, or 15. Check out this handy graph for a visual on the nonsense.

4. Current Employment with the Company

To be fair, there is merit to the practice of hiring internally; it's less expensive, time consuming, and has better chances of working out to consider employees for new or elevated positions.

But it can sure feel like a lock out to everyone else.

Read More:
Y! Big Story: Why you can't get the job (Yahoo! News)
Having a Hot Wife Could Land You That Job (Business Insider)
Is 'Unemployed Need Not Apply' discrimination? (U-T San Diego)
An Inside Job: More Firms Opt to Recruit From Within(WSJ)
Does Previous Work History Predict Future Employment Outcomes? (Evolv Study)

Category: Interviewing Job Search Networking Resumes & Cover Letters Workplace Issues

If you are looking to increase your income, move up in your organization or land a position contact:
CB Bowman, MBA, CMC, MCEC at Executive Leadership, LLC 908.509.1744;