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What Executives Need to Know about Keeping Jobs in Their Organizations

Imagine you are living on a park bench……. you’ve dropped out of college. You had the lowest scores in the history of your high school…..you have no incentive and no money.

In this blog, I want to share some ideas from Tony Harvill, one of my clients a few years ago. Tony talks about how to keep jobs in your organization. He also talks about how he made it off of that park bench to the mahogany corner office.

This extraordinary and humble individual offers these seven questions. The answers to these queries will help you strengthen your business and keep it healthy.

1. Are you willing to listen and learn? (Rethink your thinking.)
2. What could you learn from the people below you in your organization?
3. To what degree are you utilizing technology?
4. Do you have a fear of technology?
5. Are you willing to restructure the organization top to bottom as required? Every organization has one common goal for a highly successful business: make money. If you don’t make money all the other goals are gone. Hourly and salary people have to be aligned on this issue. If you think that the one common goal is quality – you are wrong. Quality is a given.
6. Do you know exactly how the employees are using technology that has been placed in their hands?
7. Are you willing to put egos aside and be unconcerned with status in order to improve the business?

Tony made it to the presidential corner office in several industries because he was clear on these questions and these answers. He credits making it off the park bench by the good fortune of marrying a great woman who believed in him before he believed in himself. Tony wanted to identify with the people around him.  He was never one for a bunch of plaques and certificates. But if he did, his office would’ve been adorned from floor to ceiling.

The Biggest Interviewing Mistake

I had the honor of being on the selection committee for the next Executive Director/President of the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

My group of 8 professionals culled the list down to 5 incredible finalists. Each candidate exemplified leadership and communication skills, or so I thought.

We interviewed each candidate for 2 hours and began each session the same way. We introduced ourselves with a two to three minute description of our background. Then the Chair of our committee said, “Thank you for meeting with us. Why don’t you take this opportunity to tell us a little about yourself.”

We already had their resumes. We knew about their background. That’s how they were picked as finalists.

Guess how long they talked, ‘when telling a little about themselves’? Four out of the five spoke for OVER 45 MINUTES! Only one spoke for five minutes and then said, “Oh, let me stop talking. What questions do you have?”

Your biggest interview mistake – over talking and under listening. Our two-hour interviews needed to be a group conversation, not a monologue.

For many reasons, we picked the 5-minute orator. But the ability to listen and talk – in that order – was a huge bonus in this person’s favor.

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