The last few years have been tough for many Canadian organizations. Falling revenues and shrinking profits forced leaders to make difficult decisions about how best to reduce costs, boost productivity and ensure sustainability over the long term. In Canada and around the world, layoffs have been an unfortunate but necessary strategy to remain competitive.
We are constantly bombarded with advice on how to be a better manager or leader. Expert opinions abound; thousands of books, articles, blogs, and TED Talks have been dedicated to management and leadership, and the terms are often used interchangeably. The job market routinely showcases management positions that require the incumbent to lead a group or department.
If you have set your career sights on ascending to the highest levels of any organization, rest assured the competition is stiff and the demands are high. For one, there are far more professionals competing for C-suite roles than opportunities available. And organizations are willing to look far and wide to attract leaders who have the skills, experience and style to drive strategy and success.
It’s a saying you’ve probably heard before: if you want to thrive in business, go with your gut. But if intuition was the only tool you had to use, you wouldn’t be in business for long.
The question “Where do you want to be 10 years from now?” often gives those nearing retirement pause as they consider their options. We tend to think that, once we make this determination, the rest of our lives are settled. Yet, your retirement can span 20-30 years – perhaps even longer – which means you should continue to ask yourself this important question long after you leave the workforce.
In 1975, the world was emerging from a devastating oil embargo and stock market crash. Everyone wanted to do The Hustle, but no one wanted to go near the water, thanks to Jaws. The minimum wage in Atlantic Canada had just gone up to over $2.00 an hour and the RCMP had recently hired its first female member. Employers posted ads, received typed resumes via regular mail, did the interviews, made the decisions and held all the power in the process. The employees they hired were typically male and predominately white, and they could dismiss those employees virtually in the blink of an eye.
The following article previously appeared in the St. John's Board of Trade, Business News, August / September 2015 issue.
The search has begun for a new leader. Your team wants someone with presence and profile, someone charismatic who is widely revered, and maybe someone who knows their way around a golf course. The wish list is likely long, but is it the best list to ensure “the right fit” for your organization?
If you ask any HR Professional they’ll agree, recruitment and selection can be a time consuming process. Even if you are lucky enough to experience a flood of qualified candidates, you ultimately need to choose a single individual to best fill a role; a challenging task when you consider that studies suggest approximately 40% of leaders will fail within the first 18 months, at a substantial cost to productivity, moral, reputation – and the cost to do it all over again.
Business leaders know there’s more to success than intuition. It takes solid strategies, identifying opportunities, close observation of market trends and a concerted effort to recruit, retain and develop talent at all levels of the organization.
Imagine if, overnight, your CEO left the organization, how would your organization ensure continued success going forward? What about the other critical roles on your team, how would you manage with the loss of their experience and knowledge? It’s a frightening thought for most business leaders which is why organizations are taking a more proactive approach to succession planning.