Welcome to the CEO Skills Corner Blog. IF YOU'VE FOUND YOURSELF HERE, YOU ARE ON OUR OLD BLOG. Please find our NEW Blog at http://ceojobexpert.com .jheckers@heckersdevgroup.com or my cell phone, 720.581.4301. Please feel free to ask questions and post comments, and I will respond, either personally, or on this blog. If you are asking the question, it is likely that others have a similar concern. Visit our website at http://www.heckersdevgroup.com/ . All posts/articles copyright 2008, John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC, all rights reserved. Posts may be forwarded only in whole and with appropriate attribution.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Monday, September 28, 2009

You DON'T Have Irons in the Fire

I am switching from Google Blogger to Wordpress, as it is far more functional. My new blog address is www.ceojobexpert.com. I will publish here for a little while, but if you follow my blog, please transfer your info over to www.ceojobexpert.com. I look forward to seeing you there!

When it is time for people to decide whether or not to retain me as their Transition Coach, I get bedtime stories. The biggest lie that people tell me and themselves is “I’ve got irons in the fire.” Here is some reality for all of the executive dreamers out there who believe fantasies instead of dealing with hard, cold reality.

1). “I’ve got irons in the fire.” No, you don’t. Until you’ve actually started work and been there a few weeks, all you have are fantasies. I’ve only seen 2% of these supposed “irons” work out over the years, and fewer of these “irons” since last summer when the Depression of 2009/2009 started. You don’t have “irons in the fire.” You’re hoping that something comes through and you’re counting on it. “Hope” is a very tenuous thing to hang your hopes on, and an even more tenuous thing to try to pay your bills with. Get rid of hope and get your ass to work actually finding something.

And, if you have a chance to engage a proven Executive Transition Coach, don’t be a fool and wait until your “irons” pan out. They won’t, and, even if they do, you still need Executive Coaching to make you the best exec you can be.

2). “I’ve got a pretty good network.” Bull hockey. You do not have a good network unless you have at least 350 people who will call you back within 48 hours and help you. Let me tell you when you know that you have a good network. If you can make a day’s worth of calls, and get at least one real, viable interview out of it….you’ve got an Okish network. If not, you don’t have squat. You’ve got some golfing buddies that you think are a network, and fantasies and laziness running through your head again.

3). I’ve got incredibly unusual and desired skills in this market. Probably not. Most executives look pretty much alike. You might fantasize, again, about how incredibly valuable and unusual you are. You aren’t. But this gives executives loads of comfort….to think that they’re so valuable and so unusual that they won’t have any problem finding work.
Executives tell themselves this because the reality — that their skills are a dime a dozen — is just too painful to realize. Here is the reality. I’ve had days where I’ve interviewed three or four people with virtually interchangeable résumés. Only the names were substantially different. This is the norm rather than the exception.

4). You think you’re the exception. You aren’t. Everyone who cheats on their spouse thinks they won’t get caught. Most do. Everyone who smokes thinks they’ll dodge lung or heart disease. They don’t.

We have a deep seated need as human primates to believe that we’re an exception to the rule. We’re not only “exceptional,” but we think that the odds don’t apply to us. Most of us think that we’ll dodge the Grim Reaper, the Fates and that 50 Ton Mack Truck bearing down on our careers. You won’t. You’re not an exception….unless you do something exceptional! If you do what everyone is doing, you’re likely going to get what everyone else is getting.

To be really blunt here. Executives who listen to me and do exactly what I tell them whether they like it or not wind up getting employed, on the average, very, very fast….with many months cut off of a statistically typical job search. Those who think that they’re the exception sit out for months until a job mediocre enough for them pops up.

People have a need to tell themselves these lies because believing these lies keeps them from having to do any real work. It also, unfortunately, keeps them from getting a job.
You can feed your ego or you can get employed and feed your family. You cannot do both simultaneously. Realistically, as long as you’re operating in your pride and arrogance, and believing fantasies and dreams, you aren’t going to get employed.

The fact is that you need help. Lots of it. And you need to operate in this little thing I like to call “reality.” I’ve seen hundreds of executives play the head games with themselves and sit out for months and months and months until they get their heads out of their sphincters and get the help they need.

Best of luck on your job search,

Why Executives Don’t Get Employed

We have two types of client. One type we really are amazed that they’re not employed. It completely puzzles us. They’re such great people who do everything we tell them to, and, while they do get employed pretty rapidly, we’re amazed that recruiters aren’t lined up around the block to snatch them away for a choice company. Then there are the other kind…

There — we are amazed that they ever got employed in the first place to be laid off. But we completely understand why they were chosen for layoff or termination. After all, if we, as professional career counselors, dread it whenever they appear on the appointment calendar, their bosses and employees must have dreaded working with them even more. Here are some things that the understandably unemployed do that have kept them receiving that miniscule government check each month and paying COBRA.

1). They think they know better. They’ve paid many thousands of dollars for a top-notch career coach and are completely uncoachable. We’ve had several clients like this. There are people from some companies I just won’t work with. They won’t do anything I say, anyway. They’ll be a pain in the ass, and whine about what we’re not doing for them, even if we haven’t said we’ll do it.

You don’t know better! If you’re going to work with an employment or transition coach, or any other kind of coach, it might be a good idea to do what they say. Try it their way first, and for quite a while. If, after a few months, it isn’t working, do something else. Otherwise, keep doing what the coach tells you.

2). They WHINE! Too many executives get whiney when things don’t go their way. I often want to ask them if they want some cheese with that whine. The ones I really despise are those who won’t do anything I tell them (see above) and whine that our program isn’t working. Reality — you’ve got to work before any program will. Wimpy Whiners are like the 97 pound weakling who goes to the gym and hires a trainer, but won’t show up and won’t keep appointments, then complains that weight lifting is useless. I’ve started asking Wimpy Whiners to leave my program, as all they’re doing is taking up valuable space that a useful person could use.

3). They blame, argue and are generally jerks. I had one client who was in the “C” Suite of a major Denver company who I kicked out of my practice. He was supercilious, would consistently argue with my advice, and torqued off almost everyone I gave him as a referral and almost every other client. Bye-bye. One understood why he was kicked out of the “C” Suite. I’ve had others continually question my advice, scream at me on the phone, and many other inappropriate things. These people almost certainly were hell to work for and either a kiss-ass subordinate or a difficult subordinate. Either way, they wouldn’t belong on MY team.

4). Some are dishonest. OK, this is a very small minority. However, I had a CEO level client who was a pretty consistent liar, and would try to make “deals” that were very dishonest. I have told, several times, the story of how he was dishonest with me, generating other stories of his dishonesty from others. Denver is a very small town. He is going to have a somewhat difficult time finding other work now that he is no longer at his previous position, unless he finds it with someone who just isn’t networked at all….which is possible. But, if someone is networked, they’ll hear earfuls about his lying. You’ve only got one reputation. Guard it with your life. (And, along that line, vigorous defend, as I do, any false statements about you or your business.)

5). Some are very, very cheap. I have executives who whine about paying for coffee with a networking partner. This is very short-sighted. Many executives do incredibly stupid things, like refusing to buy a lunch, refusing to buy a new suit, etc. Don’t hoard money. As Deepak Chopra points out, hoarding money will result in money not coming to you in the flow. Stay in the flow. Buy and pay for what you need and what is necessary.

6). Some are very demanding. Little tin gods only wind up being worshipped by little tin worshippers. The days of the tyrant CEO are long over. While an executive shouldn’t take any nonsense from subordinates nor vendors, every executive these days had better know how to “play politics.” If you do not know how to play politics, you will have a very hard time keeping a job. Subordinates have more power than ever these days…and might wind up as your boss someday (I have seen this happen a couple of times in the last couple of years).

Be nice to everyone. Understand that you are not God’s gift to the world and that people aren’t going to drop everything to respond to you. Be humble and be patient. While patience is not my greatest virtue, it is a virtue we all must learn in today’s world. Being humble doesn’t require you to be a doormat. It does require that you treat all others, even the custodian, with great respect, understanding that the worth of a person is not in their title, salary, the house they live in or the car they drive. These things are far too important in America, but this is changing. Perhaps someday we Americans will understand the important things….like, as Martin Luther King said, the content of a person’s character. Character cannot be measured by bank accounts or titles on doors. It must be measured by the heart.

The executives who do things like the above stay unemployed a very long time. If you don’t want to join their ranks, do the opposite. Be gentle, patient, humble, coachable, honest, full of integrity, and don’t whine or think you know better than those who are experts in getting you employed. If you do not want to remain in the unemployment line, act like those executives that are universally respected and revered, not the greedy, overbearing, obnoxious resident of the “C” Suite of this first decade of the 2000’s. That cowboy mentality is dead and cold. Cooperation and humility are the values currently coming into vogue. It is about blanking time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Communicate for Heaven’s Sake!

Someone I know has an inability to communicate information in response to questions. For example, I said “How much does that cost a month?” The answer was “Well, I bought it for a year.” “How much,” I asked again, “does it cost a month?” “Well,” was the answer, “maybe I bought it for six months.” Again, I asked how much it cost a month. The response this time was “$125.00” “Well,” I replied, “Is that a month, like I asked for, or is that for the year?” “For the year,” she replied, “I think.” I did refrain from homicide, though no jury would convict me.

Some people, if you ask them “Are you married,” will reply “Ice cream.” Unfortunately, we’re seeing far too much of this in executive interviewing. Job-seekers are refusing to answer simple questions with simple answers. Instead, they’re listening to coaches who tell them to answer questions obliquely. This is a major mistake. Here are some simple tips.

1). Actually listen to the question. Hear what the person is asking. This is the first and foremost requirement to intelligent answering of a question. Sometimes, in interview training, my clients are answering questions I never asked and refusing to answer clear, concise, and uncomplicated questions I ask. This habit is a very, very bad one. It is common whenever the subject of remuneration comes up. If I ask “And how much were you making at your last position,” I often get, “I like frogs a lot.” Don’t avoid this question. It is really making people angry.

2). Don’t rush ahead in your mind to answer the question. People generally hear about 10% or less of what any individual says before they start to frame an answer to it. This is why so few people actually respond to what someone else has said. SHUT UP for heaven’s sake. Close your big mouth and open both your ears, and shut off your monkey mind and actually listen to what the other person is saying before you begin to frame a response to it.

3). Engage your mind before your mouth. Think for a moment before you answer a question or make a comment. Too many people flap their jaws without connecting their brain to them first. Few people use even half of the brains God gave them, so if you use that or more you’ll appear to be one of the smartest people in the world.

4). Answer the question, not what you want to answer. Trying to get an answer to the question that was asked, especially in an interview, is one of the hardest things in the world. Don’t evade. Don’t go around the barn to answer the question. Answer the question!

I see executives stumble and mumble when they’re asked to give an example of something, especially a “team player” question. These folks give their philosophy on being a team player. They say how much they like team players. How important it is to be a team player. The thing that few of them do is give an example. I’ve seen more interviews blown with executive evasiveness than any other way.

5). Can your corporate jargon. “Well, I’ve always found it vital to proactively apply 24X7, 365 solutions to integral issues within the hierarchical structure to operationally increase one on one customer interface for the enhancement of bottom line, and even middle line or top line equations.” Huh???? Believe me, I’ve heard worse than this. Try speaking English (or Spanish or whatever) rather than Corporatese. Many people, including me, truly hate that hooey. All you’re doing is showing how ignorant you are when you speak like that. Someone with a working brain can explain, to some degree, Quantum Mechanics to a second grader, much less business. Business is not really rocket science, although some businesspeople try to make it seem so. I’m consistently amazed by the lack of common sense that some executives display. Go talk to a second grader or a horse and get some horse-sense in your brain instead of your jargon.

6). Assure understanding. After you’ve answered an interview question, make sure that the interviewer understood. Check it out. Say, “Is there anything you feel I’ve left out there that I could talk about a bit more?” Take full responsibility for any lack of understanding of the answer you’ve given.

7). If they aren’t understanding your answer, it is your responsibility, not their stupidity. If people continually have a problem understanding you, it isn’t that they’re stupid. It is that you aren’t clear. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to speak to the lowest common denominator when you’re speaking. Don’t use a $5 word when a 50 cent one will do. Don’t ramble on and on. Keep your sentences short and in clear language.

Executive interviews are not really that difficult. It is the executives that make them so.

If you want to know more about executive interviewing, call me at 720.581.4301 and I’ll be pleased to speak with you. I offer executives at the Director Level, VP Level or “C” Suite Level a free, one hour evaluation. Part of that eval can certainly be a short, diagnostic mock interview to see where you are. Don’t guess whether or not you’re a good interviewer. Know.

If you’d like to make an appointment, call my partner, Nicole, at 303.480.5484 and ask to come in for an executive eval. She’ll make an appointment for us.

I hope this helped with your executive interview. Good luck!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Stop the Recession and Save America

The recession is far from over. Yes, yes, I know that people who are “experts” are saying that the recession is ended. Everyone is putting on happy hats and singing Happy Days Are Here Again. They aren’t.

Look, I hate to be a gloom and doomer, and I’m not. Denver isn’t in all that bad of shape. In Denver there are plenty of jobs for those who are working a good and deep network. But the recession is going to be driven for a while yet by several things. And, in the job market, executives had better be prepared for it.

1). Companies are still laying off people. Some of the hardest hit so far as numbers of those laid off goes are those in the executive ranks. This, alone, is going to keep the recession going on for months, and possibly years, more. Executives buy houses, cars, big screen TVs, vacations, boats, and lots of other expensive things. Executives also spend lots more at the grocery store and even at Walmart. Walmart? Sure. Walmart has some stuff no one else has conveniently. And executives, while they’re in there, will pick up 10 or 15 $10 movies on sale, and a few other things that someone on a strict budget won’t buy. These impulse purchases are what give most retail stores a goodly part of their revenues. If Bob Executive isn’t buying these things, Walmart suffers too. Eventually executive layoffs mean Joe Lunchpail gets laid off. Do the math.

2). There are tons of houses still on the market that are going for fire sale prices. Exactly who is going to “eat” that? If the government does, and they might if Obama keeps giving away the store, we are going to see hyper-inflation, which means further recession. The government has two ways of obtaining money. They can print it or they can tax collect it. Either way leads to a deepening recession. We’re already in an inflationary cycle because of the printing press. But people in modern times notice these things. So, be prepared for higher taxes. Regardless of what they tell you, even if they say “read my lips, no new taxes,” there will be new taxes.

3). There is still a war going on in Iraq and it isn’t getting any cheaper. There is a war in Afghanistan that is getting incredibly expensive. We’re spending billions of dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hate to remind our politicians of this, but their little adventures have to be paid for in dollars and, tragically, the lives of brave young men and women. Where is the money going to come from? Again, printing presses or taxes. And what about the young lives? Do you really think that the kids of the CEO of AMEX are going to go to war? Or the kids of a President? In Britain, the Royals have to send their kids to the military. If the Bush kids had been put on the front line (which would have probably generated a real improvement in the gene pool of America) let’s see how much the idiot would have said “Bring it on.”

4). Everyone is terrified. Terrified people don’t spend money. They hoard. The executives I work with are doing incredibly stupid things around money now, and have been since late last year. These folks have hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in the bank, yet are complaining about anything that costs them money. One executive, whose salary was over $250K, and who has substantial investments and savings, asked me reimbursement for parking after a free executive networking event. How much was parking? $7.00. I would put this down to a cheap bahstahd if he was the only one who did this. Actually, four executives, all with similar situations, asked for this at a free networking event. One person didn't come to the event because of the seven dollar parking fee.

This is just plain absurd, but I am seeing it all of the time. Executives are hoarding their money and not spending. Until these guys get out of their heads and start earning big dollars again, the recession is not over, trust me. And when the recession is over, we won’t have a boom again very soon. The congenital stupidity of the Bush, then Obama administrations have kicked these guys in the groin. Understand that the groin of executives does not reside between their legs. It resides in their back left pocket, and has the slang name of “wallet.”

5). Corporations are not terribly intelligent. You would think that corporations would have learned something in 2000 when the dot com bubble burst. You would also think that corporate officers would have learned something over the years about the fact that public reaction is going to effect their stock prices.

These people, alas, are operating on very few working brain cells. They still, obviously, believe that, even after Joe Lunchpail’s taxes have bailed these idiots out of their moronic decisions that they can still take bonuses and go on spa retreats. And you’d think the government would have learned to prosecute these congenital idiots and put them in Club Fed where they can’t do these stupid things, both for the public’s protection and their own. Nope. Because these people own and operate the government, they got a little tiny tap on the wrist and “no, no, no.”

Look, in most other countries in the world, both these incredibly dumb and dumber executives and the pols who enable them would be pulled out of their corporate limos and burned alive. We, however, live in America. This means that we meekly put up with people burning through our tax dollars rather than hauling their sorry asses out of their limos and burning them. I’m not sure whether I’m grateful that Americans are like this, or whether I think that makes us the stupidest people alive. I think I’m grateful. But ask me after a few more of these are swept under the rug, and I might have a different call.

The fact that people are getting away with grand theft of our tax dollars, the fact that the Obama administration and the do-nothing Congress and lazy Justice Department are letting them get away with it, and the fact that more Americans aren’t so outraged that they are demanding prosecution of these people argues that the recession won’t be over soon.

6). They didn’t learn anything. “Change we need?” Ptooey! The Obama administration and the Democratic Congress is business as usual in Washington. The corporations are still running America, not the people. The Dems are as bad as the Republicans, just in a different way. Both parties have sold out the American people to the corporations.

And the corporations haven’t learned a damned thing, either. They are still making the same mistakes that got America in this mess. They have not changed one damned thing!

If there is one thing I have learned about top corporate executives is that they are arrogant as all get out. They believe they are above the law. They believe they are even above laws of common courtesy, common sense, and mutual respect. They are not going to change one bit until they are forced to change, either by public outrage that actually stops buying things from them, or by the government passing laws to make it too expensive to keep doing stupid things.

As long as both the politcos and the brain-dead executives keep doing business as usual, not only is the recession not over…it will deepen and unemployment will get worse.

So what needs to be done? Here are a few common sense tips that will probably not be implemented as long as we keep electing Republicans or Democrats to our government. Perhaps a Congress full of Libertarians might make a difference….but I wouldn’t count on that, either.

1). Make executives actually accountable to stockholders. If a company is publicly traded, the stockholders who are the actual owners of the company should have a large say in how the company is run. Now, for those of you who don’t know how corporations work, it may surprise you that actual stockholders have almost no power in most corporations. But it is a fact. The Boards of Directors and “C” Suite executives in most large companies retain almost all of the power. And the Boards, supposedly independent, are composed of the golfing buddies of the “C” Suite. The executives in the “C" Suite sit on the Boards of most of the people on their Boards. If this isn’t a recipe for corruption, I don’t know what is.

2). Force Boards to be truly independent. Prohibit “C” Suite executives from serving on the Boards of the executives who sit on their Boards. Require that at least half of the Directors directly represent the interests of regular (not preferred) stockholders. Require a 2/3rds vote to pass anything which materially effects the company’s revenues or stock prices.

3). End “Sweetheart” perks for executives. This can be easily done with a simple law that requires that everyone in a company have the exact same access to every benefit.

4). Stop rewarding failure on the part of executives. A company can lose millions or even billions of dollars, lay off half of their workforce, and have stock prices tank, and the “C” Suite can walk off with millions or billions of dollars of bonuses. This is not only morally wrong, it is incredibly bad business! Again, a simple law requiring that executives work for a winning company before being paid even one dollar in bonuses would stop this nonsense at once. And make it a Federal crime to give executives cushy retreats or any bonuses whatsoever if the company takes even one dollar of government bail out money.

And don’t get me started on the failure net called “golden parachutes.” These must end. Rewarding a “C” Suite executive for complete failure is both completely immoral and incredibly bad business. If they fail, fire them, take away their stock options and let ‘em file for unemployment. And don’t give me the B.S. that top talent will go to other countries. NO other country permits these kinds of shenanigans. They’ll stay right here, no matter what fear tactics they deliver.

5). Control Executive salaries. No, not by limiting them to a multiple of average salary, but by requiring a vote of all stockholders on executive salaries and perks. The fact is that, in many companies, stockholders can’t even know how much the executives make. Make it illegal for companies to withhold this information. After all, the stockholders are the owners of the company. They have an absolute right to know how much their employees are making.

And then require a vote on the salaries of top executives by the stockholders. That will control executive salaries in a hurry. The fact that most executives hate this proposal simply shows that they know they’re overpaid and underworked. You see, stockholders might actually tie the salaries of the “C” Suite to their making money. Horrors! Executives want their salaries tied to their bulls**t. This is why this proposal gets hatred from most executives.

6). Completely eliminate corporate income tax. I know this doesn’t seem to fit in with the other proposals, but it does. Think about it. Corporations don’t pay income tax. Their customers do. So eliminate it. Then also eliminate any tax deductions for people making over $1M per year in salary, bonuses and disbursements. This might have taxes actually collected from those who actually utilize corporate profit.

7). Allow individuals to contribute unlimited amounts of money to candidates, but prohibit organizations, groups, corporations and companies from contributing one thin dime. It is the right of individuals (free speech) to endlessly support any candidate they please. Corporations and groups have no rights guaranteed by our Constitution. People do. Put the government back into the ownership of people and take ownership of politicians away from corporations and interest groups altogether. Sure, individuals have certain interests. But that is the way our government is supposed to work. Not having a Congressperson completely owned by an industry. And if a thousand people are allowed to donate all they want, and they happen to oppose the interests of the billionaire that is donating, there is some chance that the people themselves will be able to get the politician’s attention. It is easier to compete with a person than a group.

8). Require the children of everyone elected to public office at the Federal Level to serve in the military in a combat role if physically able. If the children won’t serve, remove the politician from public office immediately. This would certainly make the government much less eager to beat the war drums, and save the country billions. If it’s important enough to risk MY kid and yours, it should be important enough to risk theirs. This is one British idea that should have survived the American revolution. I’d also love to see the requirement that everyone running for Federal office be a veteran. If they love America so much, let’s see if they were willing to put their lives on the line for America’s ideals. If not (or if they deserted or didn’t finish out their term of enlistment, etc.) they shouldn’t be serving in public office. Someone who truly cares about America, if physically able, will put his or her life and the lives of his or her loved ones on the line for America. If not, they are all BS and not worthy of American public office.

I know these proposals won’t totally end the recession nor fix the epidemic of corporate corruption that exists in America. But they might help.

If you are in the Denver Metro Area, join us October 12th (Monday) for Executive Structured Networking at the DAC in LoDo from 12:20 PM - 4 PM. Information is at http://www.heckersdevelopmentgtoup.com/. Limited to Director Level, VP Level and "C" Level executives only. No vendors and nothing is sold nor promoted.

Watch for John's new Book In Transition: Rapidly Finding Your Next Executive Job (Even in Difficult Times) sold through the Internet, radio and TV shows and John's speaking engagements. Available by November 1st, just in time for the Holidays.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stop Whining and Get to Work!

While most of my clients are great, there are some that are whiney as all get out. They are not likely to find executive level employment in a hurry….if ever.

Executives can be the whiniest and least proactive people on the face of the earth. They expect everything to be done for them as soon as they ask it to be done…even if it isn’t the job of the person to whom they’re speaking. So, executives out there who are looking for a job, here is some hard-core common sense and reality for you.

1). Your priority is not anyone else’s priority anymore. You are unemployed. You don’t have a “staff” you can order around. Networking contacts certainly aren’t your staff, nor is a transition coach, nor is your wife, your husband, your kids, or employers who might be looking to hire you. Things don’t happen “snap.” They happen when they’re going to happen, so learn a new word: “patience.”

2). You can’t order people anymore. You have to ask nicely and wait for a response. Sometimes neither you nor the people trying to help you will get one. Get over it.

3). You are no longer the most important person in the world. This especially applies to you CEOs out there. Get used to it. Learn another new word: “humility.”

4). Be nice to everyone you meet and everyone who is helping you. If you aren’t, we probably won’t bend over backwards to help you.

5). Be nice to everyone whether you think they’re your “equal” or not.
Get over your snobbishness and superiority complex and treat everyone like the human being they are. I know that, especially for large mega-corporation executives, this is a new and interesting concept…that people are human beings and deserve to be treated nicely. Get used to the idea. Karma is a bitch, isn’t it?

6). Realize that you were probably laid off for a good reason, and it doesn’t all have to do with the economy. Some of the reason you were chosen for layoff has to do with your behavior, attitudes, performance, or way of looking at life. Ask someone honest who knows you what you’re doing that is obnoxious and seek to change it. For example, I’m an ass and I know it. In my job, which is kicking executives in the butt to get out and do something pro-active to find themselves a job, being an ass or worse is a real advantage. But I wouldn’t try to work for Mother Theresa Ministries, either. Find out who you are and change it or use it.

7). Remember, if you’re in Denver, that this is a very, very small town…and some of us know almost everyone in it. Don’t go up against someone who is “old Denver.” You’ll lose. This is a strange town. I’ve been in Denver for over 50 years. Be nice to those of us who have been around this block for a while or you won’t get employed in Denver, period. This is an “old boy’s and old girl’s town.” Those of us who have been around for a while at least know OF one another and usually will help one another. If you’d like to get employed again in Denver, hook into this network and be nice to everyone in it, or start looking at out of town jobs. And, executives, this matters more than what you’ve done for anyone’s bottom line.

8). Shut up about where you used to live and stop expecting Denver people to behave like people where you used to live. This is Denver. We have our own way of doing things. Better learn it if you want to be employed. And you’d better listen to those of us who have been here for a while. We know Denver and we know how to get things done.

9). Stop believing you know how to interview. You don’t. You don’t have a “good network,” and you’re probably not a good driver or good lover, either. Get humble and get interviewing and networking help immediately if you want to get employed again. Humility is, again, the best word for you to learn. Learn it now or pay the price.

This is very harsh. I should have been harsher. Stop whining about your unemployment, or the slowness of people getting back to you, or anything else you’re being a crybaby about and get your ass to work to find a job. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you, even if you have a transition coach. It is your job and your responsibility. If some idiot career firm has told you that they’ll do it for you, or some idiot headhunter has said that you don’t have to or shouldn’t pay for help, they’re lying to you…ignore them. Even if you’ve paid someone to help you (an excellent idea if you want to be employed anytime soon), they aren’t going to do it for you.

Get out there, stop whining and get to work. You’ll be employed a lot faster. No one wants to listen to a crybaby and, certainly, no one wants to hire one. Oh, and…..act in integrity during your job search and after.

Good job luck,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Where Have We Been???

Dear Readers:

I've had some folks ask me where we've been, as it has been a couple of months since we posted on this site. Sorry 'bout that.

I have spent all of my writing time writing, editing and preparing some new books for publication over this summer. The first is In Transition: Rapidly Finding Your Next Executive Job (Even in Difficult Times), which was shipped from the publishers on Thursday, June 25th! Our next book is The Six Figure Resume Guide which will be shipped in about two weeks. By August, we'll have a book for non-executive white collar personnel called Getting Employed (Even in Difficult Times). This book gives effective strategies for non-executive personnel to find employment, including over 400 killer interview questions and how to answer them. By September, our book 1001 Killer Interview Questions and Their Answers (working title....we haven't decided on a final yet) will be out. Then, finally (at least for a little while) we're putting out a career management book the working title for which is Highly Cynical Career Management Techniques.

Some of these have DVDs to go along with them. In Transition has two associated DVDs currently in editing. The first DVD is a multiple DVD set with over 6 hours of training on finding executive employment. This will be about a 4 DVD set. We also have a 2 DVD set on answering the 4 "biggie" killer questions, with footage of actual clients answering these questions. I'll put up on my management blog sites further informaiton as it becomes available. Our wonderul internet publicist, Keith Eckhardt, is tirelessly working to get the DVDs finished and put up venues to allow people to buy these books and sets. If you'd like more information on these, please feel free to go to info@heckersdevgroup.com.

So...to make a long story endless....and to quote the Governator....we'll be baaack....very soon.

I hope you're having a great summer!