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A Checklist For Faster Landings by Mike Lorelli, CEO, Water-Jel Technologies
Pilots know everything to do to prepare for a flight. Nevertheless, they use a checklist to ensure they don’t skip something ‘obvious.’ Herewith, 9 things that all of us know. . . but lets just check to be sure. 1. Business Cards You need one, and it needs a title. Otherwise, you look like a ‘Trust Fund Kid.’ In my last transition, my card read as follows: Michael K. Lorelli President, CEO or COO – Consumer and B2B I sat next to a delightful guy on a flight, and as we were taxing in we exchanged business cards. He looked at my card and asked “So for what company are you the CEO?” I said, “That’s exactly the point. I’m trying to decide which one I want to run next.” Deal with confidence. Without a proper card you appear like a homeless. They’re free at www.vistaprint.com. 2. Dedicated telephone line The worst way to have a recruiter have his phone call answered is “My daddy can’t come to the phone right now.” Using your cell number (often busy) is about as distinguished as all the poor day laborers on the Stamford street corner. A real secretary is obviously best. A close second is the computerized IVR Administrative Assistant. I keep my dedicated home business line, with ‘her’, even after I land. I don’t want to miss the calls from recruiters even while I’m an Alum. You can program ‘her’ to find you wherever you want to be found, including your cell. The service is called Wildfire, and its $99/month, including a dedicated phone line. (800) 441-1188. Ask for Jennifer Thomsen. Mention my name. 3. Study The Terrain There’s no substitute for 3 solid days of study before the first interview. Devour the recent Annual Report, Prospectus (a good place to see comp of the top 5 officers, and their employment agreement terms), latest 10-Q, play back the last Analyst Conference Call (usually still on the Investor Relation section of their web site), etc. Often they’ll have PowerPoint presentations given at industry conferences and the like. The Analyst Call is particularly valuable in that you pick up their lingo, and the things they like to talk about.
4. Hand the Recruiter the Flight Plan
The night before you meet him/her, email him that “you got so excited about the fit after rereading the spec, that you put your thoughts on paper” and email an attachment labeled “John Active- Candidate Qualifications” and list your bullet points. It will give you a leg up on the other 8 candidates he’ll meet at The Marriott tomorrow. And he may even use it (at least subconsciously) as he prepares his candidate slate for the HR gatekeeper. See Page 3. 5. Situation Assessment or Strategic Plan Take those 3 days of prep to distill their Strategic Plan down to a single sheet of paper. When you meet the boss, tell him “I got so excited about studying your company that I took a shot at distilling your Strategic Plan.” Hand it to him and innocently ask if it’s at least partly right. Gets the boss talking shop, instead of interviewing you. You can tell him how you handled a similar problem at assignment X in your past. See Page 4.
6. Work All The Radio Channels Simultaneously, and Aggressively
Every month that you’re Active cost you $40,000 in lost earnings. Do all your mass mailings (yes, snail mail still works for many recipients) to 1,200 recruiters, 900 private equity firms, Researchers, eBlasts, etc. With a paid Administrative Assistant, it will cost $8,000 to quickly get your name in play. If the simultaneous channel (“All channels all the time” as Ken Cole says) approach shortens your Active status by a mere 10 days, it paid for itself. A great eBlast service (it comes from their server, but has your email address; they also have a list of 1,200 Fortune 100 HT types) is www.SolutionsDatabases.com, Llew Smith, (203) 655-2601.
7. Netshare, Operations Ladders, RiteSite, and Exec-U-Net at 5:00 AM Everyday
I used DHR recently on a search for a V.P. Supply Chain. After one week, they handed me resumes of ten totally spot-on candidates, 6 of whom were in the geographic area. I asked the recruiter how she did that so fast. Her response was “I put it on Exec-U-Net and Netshare, turned the box off at 11:00 AM when it was full, and had my admin hand me the best 100 (in her judgment). She then browsed the 100, called 25, and gave me the 10 candidate short list. Lesson learned? If you don’t do the above 4 sites at 5:00 AM every morning, you never make the in-box. For CEO and C-Level assignments, the best sites, in order, are: 1. Netshare.com 2. ExecUNet.com 3. TheLadders.com 4. RiteSite.com 5. ExecutiveRegistry.com 8. When to Use a Bio If a mutual acquaintance got you a 20 minute cup-of-coffee with a CEO or Board Member (and you want to get names from their Outlook), don’t pressure them into feeling like you want them to give you a job. . . which is exactly what you do when you walk in with a resume. Instead, hand him your Bio, professionally prepared as though you are the McKinsey Partner who will handle their $4 million project. A bio is not 4 paragraphs of boring Word copy. For a good format, go to: http://www.lorelli.net/bio.html .
9. Don’t waste time on “The Entertainment Channel”
You only have 24 hours in the day. Use your precious time wisely. There are those recruiters who don’t understand why you’ve had 6 employers. They’re looking for the 27 year Postal worker (if you check their Bio, odds are they jumped through 7 recruiting firms after they flunked out at Korn Ferry). When you meet “one of those” don’t give them another minute! It’s easier for them to undergo a sex change operation, than to be convinced of the value of your breadth of experience. p.s. A ‘missed approach’ is better than a bad landing Actives are all too anxious to land. My hypothesis as to why many executives in transition recycle back to Active status within 18 months is that they took a job that they wouldn’t have considered, had they been gainfully employed at the time. Better to “go around” then bend aluminum on a bad landing. Godspeed!
Mike Lorelli, Office: 203 655-2444, MikLorelli(at)aol.com
Mike Lorelli Relevant Qualifications
20 years of leadership with Global Fortune 100 companies; 10 years PepsiCo 20 years marketing and sales excellence with best-in-class companies, including: Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCola North America Credited with authoring PepsiCola’s ‘Big Event Marketing’ strategy (integrating advertising, PR, event partnerships, promotion, and direct marketing). Developed ‘brand standards manual.’ EVP, PepsiCola North America Point person for franchisee relationships- widely recognized for building constructive dialogue and trust Demonstrated ability to profitably build market share in huge, highly competitive categories (soft drinks, fast food) Acknowledged major strength in creating and articulating compelling visions, developing supportive strategies, building the organization, and energizing the team to succeed Relevant category experiences: Global mega-brands Beverage Food Property (restaurant) Franchising – company owned – joint venture (‘managed’) Internationally versed Led Pizza Hut’s international development from 68 to 92 countries Launched first global Pizza Hut advertising campaign, and global promotion events Quoted extensively in “International Excellence,” by D. Rowland Have personally traveled to 44 countries Solid educational background New York University, MBA, Marketing New York University, Bachelor of Engineering, Industrial Engineering
A personal passion for travel. 118 stays in 2003 (57 Marriott Gold Elite, 17 Hyatt Gold Passport, 11 Hilton HHonors, 11 SPG) ___________________________________
• • • Huge, $15 billion global market Industry consolidating Thomson #3 Reuters $5.5 billion • McGraw-Hill $1.6 billion • Thomson $1.5 billion • ‘Other 45%’ splintered 2003 revenues off 5%. . . but US market conditions now improving, Europe expected to follow EBITDA flat at $406 million, margins up 1 point to 26.7% Revenue now 90% electronic. International only 20% of sales Banking & Brokerage (54%) and Investment Management (31%) well developed. o Corporate (8%) underdeveloped Drive for productivity and cost reductions Leader in web-based, tailored solutions Unique combination of content, workflow and integrated services Strong brands: Thomson One, First Call, Investext Thomson ONE increasing market penetration • 43,000 desktops added in 2003 • recent major win: Wachovia 19,000 desktops Successfully migrated all 25,000 First Call web users to Thomson ONE “To become the leading provider of integrated information and technology solutions to the financial community”
• • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • Further penetration of Thomson ONE— through migrations and new sales Gain market penetration of Thomson ONE Banker Install pilots for Thomson ONE Yield and Equity Expand sales, service and support models Improve customer experience and efficiency of core processes Selective acquisitions Solid, 20 year Fortune 100 background “DNA” has been marketing, in large and fiercely competitive categories: • Profitably built market share as PepsiCola North America’s Chief Marketing Officer • Created many marketing/industry event-driven “firsts” • Pioneered first commercial on a home video (1987 Top Gun) • first commercial logo on an America's Cup sail (1988 Stars & Stripes skippered by Dennis Conner),
Mike Lorelli Qualifications •
major/first home video release for ET with Stephen Spielberg and Paramount (created a new success benchmark for home video releases Leadership B2B business and marketing experience in high-technology environments (Air Express International)
• MBA (Marketing) with technical undergraduate degree Read this before every interview The 10 Second Interview
By Greg Chenevert Most half hour interviews are over in the first ten seconds, the remaining time is spent either struggling for credibility or reinforcing a positive image. Then you reach the tipping point of the interview and slide in the direction set by those first ten seconds. The first ten seconds of an interview are likely to determine its outcome. This is the time interval for the primary step in the interview process: establishing rapport. The absence of rapport structures an interview to be either an awkward exchange or worse, an interrogatory. Only after establishing rapport will communication, the second step of the process, develop; communication is a prerequisite for the third and most critical step of the interview: overcoming hiring resistance. The interviewer often voices this resistance when expressing doubts or asking questions in a negative context. Candidates succeed with their interviews when they understand the interviewer’s perspective and communicate an acceptable solution to the interviewer’s concerns. Successful responses to these questions are based upon specific principles. Interviews are scheduled after an applicant’s resume has been reviewed, found to meet the general, positional requirements and moved into the pool of potential candidates. The hiring manager or HR manager, after establishing that a candidate possesses the requisite training and experience to match their requirements, proceeds to conducting telephone interviews from this group of selected candidates. This is a screening step. Many interviewers commence dialing with the concept that a candidate, while being technically competent, may not necessarily be matched to their needs. This is a very subtle but definite negative bias, a hiring resistance that needs to be identified and addressed by the candidate. During the interview, a candidate may want to discover as much information as possible about the position, the company, and its future and structure. By establishing rapport with the caller, a candidate develops the foundation for a dialogue and demonstrates attentive listening. It also affords the candidate and interviewer the opportunity to develop a degree of trust and professionally relaxed dialogue which creates an information exchange that provides these details. A candidate who maintains the interviewer’s comfort also provides that intangible sense of organization ‘fit’. During this segment of the professional conversation, an interviewer may likely express any specific concerns or objections pertaining to the ‘fit’ or acumen of the candidate. These concerns may manifest in different forms but are commonly vocalized when the interviewer asks one or more questions in a negative context. This exposure of a hiring resistance and the candidate’s response is the tipping point of the interview. The candidate has a single opportunity to make that balance go in their favor. Simply countering the interviewer’s concerns may add reinforcement or leave lingering doubts. Achieving confluence with the interviewer’s perspective often resolves their doubts, allays their concerns and opens the corporate doors for an in-person interview, and when done during an inperson interview, goes to secure an offer letter. The principles that a candidate may use for successful interviewing are first, developing rapport with interviewers. Next is applying the rapport to maintain a dialogue, which fosters an exchange of information. The dialogue naturally evolves into a conversation, and provides an opportunity for the interviewer and candidate to discuss their professional abilities. Within that conversation the tipping point of hiring resistance will be exposed. Resolving the resistance leads the candidate to
successfully conclude the interview process. While each step in this interview process is equally important, it all starts, and could possibly end, in the critical first 10 seconds. ______________________________________
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