Lead5 Executive Empowerment Center

Welcome to the Lead5 Executive Empowerment Center

Hello, Josh Wimberley here, CEO and founder of Lead5 – The Executive Career Platform.  I wrote this blog to help you elevate your executive career by highlighting the 5 dimensions that successful executives must master.  It’s also intended to be a reference guide for Lead5 members to help them get the most value from the platform.   I have broken this information into 6 modules.    Please email me anytime with your feedback or if I can assist you in any way!   josh@lead5.com

Your partner in success,

Josh Wimberley

Module 1: Unveiling the Hidden C-Level Career World

Before forming Lead5, I led the largest executive search firm’s CFO practice. In over two decades, I have helped 100’s of C-level executives just like you advance their careers and achieve their goals.  As such, allow me to share some important C-level recruiting insights that you were probably unaware of:

– Most of what you think about managing your executive career is wrong because most of the key information is hidden.   This hidden information includes: job opportunities, insider intel, and meaningful ways to network.  I formed Lead5 to unlock those doors and I will be covering these elements in more detail in this blog.

– The proactive executive always has the edge on new opportunities.  As an executive, you have been trained to wait on a recruiter’s call that may never come.  You’re also probably relying too heavily on your personal network.  These approaches provide you with only a fraction of the total opportunities available to you. Through a combination of AI, dedicated research teams, and crowd-sourcing, Lead5 provides you with instant access to hidden executive jobs, expanding your universe of opportunities.

– Your openness to relocation is a critically important variable for your success. Most c-levels will move multiple times over the course of their careers, and an unwillingness to relocate will ultimately hold you back in your career. Lead5 helps you find opportunities worth the move, wherever you are.

– A ‘full-cycle career plan’ is your means to continue your success in today’s challenging economic climate, and Lead5 is built around the 5 dimensions that comprise this career strategy.  Executives are often so maximized in their current role that they think about their career through only 2 dimensions: managing their current role and then scrambling to find their next one, and often, when it’s too late.   You must understand that it typically takes 4-6 months for executives to find their next opportunity, and this is during strong economies.   The Lead5 Executive Community keeps you connected throughout your career life cycle with thoughtful insights and discussion, expanded opportunities and key contacts.

Lead5 Is Built Around the Following 5 Dimensions That Successful Executives Must Master:

1.  Proactive Opportunity Outreach

2. Continuous Networking

3. Honing Your Skill Set

4. Connecting with Peers

5. Establishing Yourself as a Thought Leader

Because this 5-dimension full-cycle career plan is so important, we offer a complimentary phone consultation to help you develop this approach.  To set up this up, please contact me: josh@lead5.com

Module 2: Personalize Lead5 and Maximize Your Results

My5 is the name of Lead5’s search filters that you will set to deliver to you personalized open opportunities and career intel on the Lead5 Platform.   My5 consists of the 5 company attributes that most C-level executives consider as they pursue their next opportunity.

The My5 components are:

1. Function

2. Industry

3. Region

4. Market Cap

5. Ownership Structure

Once you’ve set your My5 filters, you will see focused opportunities and intel in your dashboard, and you can quickly apply these filters in the section called “Jobs & Intel.”

As your search criteria changes, remember to keep your My5 filters up to date so that Lead5 can work for you optimally.

My5 Search Filters are located at top of all Lead5 web pages:

 

My5 Search Filters: Simple check boxes give you complete control:

Tip: Expand the plus symbol (+) for more granular filters.

My5 Search Filters personalize your dashboard view:

Apply your My5 Search Filters with 1 click:

By selecting “Apply My5”, you quickly surface relevant intel when browsing.

Module 3:  ‘Potential’ and ‘Verified’ Opportunities on Lead5: What’s the Difference?

To maximize your total universe of opportunities for your outreach, Lead5 offers two types of opportunities – ‘potential opportunities’ and ‘verified opportunities.’  Here’s what you should know about these.

Potential Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has discovered that a company will likely be looking to fill an opening soon.   Not every potential opportunity evolves into an actual opening, but potential opportunities have significant value because candidates can enter a potential job search at the earliest possible moment, increasing their likelihood of being discovered.

– How to Pursue Potential Opportunities: We advise members to reach-out to a ‘recommended contact’ that we provide and make an introduction.

Remember: making a connection is always the first step to landing an executive role.  Even if a potential opportunity doesn’t pan out, making a positive impression expands your network and could open up new doors in the future.

Verified Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has uncovered intel that a company is actively seeking to fill this role.

– How to Pursue Verified Opportunities:  We advise members to reach out to the recommended contact and/or recruiter. In some cases, an application link is provided. At a minimum, you should strive to make a connection and broaden your executive network.

Action: Once you’ve identified an opportunity to pursue – whether potential or verified – click the “Pursue Opportunity” button on the opportunity details view.  This will trigger theLead5 Advisor’ which will make a recommendation on the best approach.

Here’s an example opportunity:

Most of our opportunities are unlisted, meaning there’s no online application. Once you click the “Pursue This Opportunity” button, it launches the Lead5 Advisor to organize your steps.

The Lead5 Advisor:

The “Lead5 Advisor” Provides Action Steps

When launched, the Lead5 Advisor gives you specific guidance, recommended contacts, email templates, and more — everything you need to pursue opportunities of any type.

Additionally, we provide suggested email outreach templates to help guide your messaging to the suggested contact(s).

Module 4: Use Your Lead5 Playbook to Maximize Your Productivity

A full cycle career approach includes proactive outreach and continuous networking.  To perform these tasks effectively, we built the Lead5 Playbook to help you organize your activities and store important data.

Your Lead5 Playbook helps you track, plan, and organize:

– Opportunities you wish to pursue in the future

–  Opportunities you’ve already pursued

– Contacts you wish to reach out to

– Phone call notes

– Future scheduled activities

Here is a My Playbook example:

Your time is valuable.  By using your Lead5 Playbook, you can maximize your productivity on Lead5.com.

Module 5: Harness Lead5’s Intel to Elevate Your Career

Utilizing insider intel is key to your executive success.   Lead5 offers actionable intel that will help you in every stage of your career life cycle.   This intel can be found in the ‘jobs & intel’ and in the ‘community’ sections on Lead5.com.

Verified Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has uncovered intel that a company is actively seeking to fill this role.

Action: You can pursue this role or make important connections with key company contacts.

Potential Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has discovered that a company will likely be looking to fill an opening soon.  Not every potential opportunity evolves into an actual opening, but potential opportunities have significant value because candidates can enter a potential job search at the earliest possible moment, increasing their odds of being discovered.

Action: You can pursue this role or make important connections with key company contacts.

Executive Moves: typically covers executive appointments which indicates a near term executive hiring (example: CEO will soon be appointed and will seek to build his/her team).  These executive appointments all signal potential changes in vendors and suppliers.

Action: This is a perfect moment for you to make a connection.

The Lead5 Executive Community: here you can exchange intel with an exclusive membership base comprised of your executive peers.   These intel focal points are: opportunities, career insights, and career best practices.

Action: This is a forum where you can establish yourself as a thought leader, hone your skills, and connect with peers in a meaningful way.

Private Equity Deals: represent acquisitions or assumption of a controlling interest in a portfolio company.  These deals indicate near-term C-level executive hiring flows, new growth capital, and potential changes in vendors and suppliers.  Most PE-backed companies replace the executive team in the first 6 months of the deal closing.

Action: This is a perfect moment to make a connection to the PE deal partner while new leadership teams are being formed.

Module 6:  Connect With The Lead5 Executive Community

Connecting with peers and establishing yourself as a thought leader are important fundamentals to achieving full cycle executive career success.   In an economic environment that is increasingly isolated, we have received feedback from members who have expressed a desire to connect and contribute.  In response, we recently launched The Lead5 Executive Community to help you exchange information with our exclusive network of top executives and executive career experts.

This information includes:

– Member-Contributed Opportunities

– Career-empowering insights

– C-level best practices

It only takes one opportunity, insight, or connection to elevate your career or the career of one of your peers.   As the Lead5 Executive Community continues to grow, our members will reap the benefits.

Here are some specific ways that you can benefit and contribute:

Ask a confidential career question on our message board and receive insights from peers and the Lead5 leadership team who has decades of experience in executive recruiting and executive career management

Submit an opportunity that may not be the right fit for you

Provide impactful insights that helps your peers and establishes yourself as a thought leader

Participation is completely voluntary and you have the option to provide information under your name or anonymously.

I hope this blog has been useful to you.  Please email me anytime with your feedback or questions.   josh@lead5.com

Your partner in success,

Josh Wimberley

Lead5 CEO

5 Tips to Mine the Hidden Executive Job Market

The challenge: 80% of C-Suite level executive opportunities are never published.   If you’re an executive looking to make a career move, that statistic can seem daunting.

In the past, due to the secretive and cumbersome process of finding executive search opportunities, executives have been trained to be passive in their career journey.   This includes waiting on a call from a retained recruiter, sending in a CV for a published executive role (where it sits on a desk with the other 1,000 CV’s), or networking and hoping that the stars align.

But there’s good news.   There is a better way.    Here are 5 effective steps to help you transition from being a passive executive job seeker to a proactive participant in your career.   Now you have the power to land your next senior role.

1. Subscribe to Lead5.com. Lead5 has helped leading executives tap the hidden executive job world for the last 5 years.    It was founded by Josh Wimberley a former Senior Partner at Korn-Ferry who recognized that executives need transparent access to unpublished senior roles the moment they become available.

2. It’s a timing game. The highest earning positions are the most sought-after.  As such, you must throw your hat in the ring at the earliest possible point in the job search.   Lead 5’s edge is timeliness driven by its proprietary AI.   Lead 5 lists jobs on average 45 days before other comparable services giving you a competitive edge.  

3. Be prepared.  Related to timeliness listed above, you must have a keen sense of what your next role will look like, and how to tailor your CV and outreach accordingly.   Remember, companies have a vested interest in landing the right candidate sooner rather than later.   Make sure you’re prepared to strike.  

4. Information is key. At the executive level, your understanding of the role, company, and industry is table stakes.   To stand out from your competition, you should leverage insider information.   For example: services like Lead5.com inform you on the dynamics of departures so that you can understand who you are attempting to replace (and in certain cases, who you should actively differentiate yourself from).

5. Continuous networking. Too often we see executives tapping into their network after they sense their current opportunity is no longer viable.   As executive job transitions often take 180 days on average, this means that they’re already behind the eight ball.  The lesson?   As busy as you are, don’t neglect the people that have played a role in your success.   Likewise, be the person that other executives seek out when they need a helping hand.   This is an exclusive world and what goes around, comes around.

Most executive jobs are unlisted.   Use Lead5 to uncover hidden executive opportunities and gain the intel required to land your next prominent role.   Lead5 has been the executives trusted partner for 5 years.  

Start your complimentary trial today.

 

Executive Outlook – September 2020

On September 4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment has continually declined since the jobless peak spurred by the covid-19 lock down measures in March.  Lead5’s recent analysis of executive appointments shows a gradual improvement in the c-level job market, and we will continue to monitor and report on these trends as executive hiring is historically an early indicator of overall employment.

A discussion point in the Lead5 Executive Community is what executives should be doing now to increase their marketability.   The good news is that there are proactive measures that executives can deploy that are proven to be effective in any market.   The key is developing an action plan and sticking to it.

Executives: Be Proactive and Discover New Opportunities

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Executive Outlook – August 2020

Executive hiring is historically a significant leading indicator of the overall health of the US economy.

Lead5 analysis of the start of Q3 data (July through mid-August) shows a continued downward trend in executive appointments (see chart below).  This trend is troubling, but Lead5 forecasts that the decline from Q2 to Q3 will be slightly less severe than the decline from Q1 to Q2.

Executive opportunities tracked by Lead5 are also trending downward by 45% from Q1 to Mid-August.

Here at Lead5 we have been in constant discussions with executives through our member consults along with corporate talent partners and PE investors. The general view is June started with good momentum, but July and August from an executive hiring/decision making standpoint has stalled out. Our data supports this view. The historical “check with me after Labor Day” mantra seems to be more heightened this year with the effects of the pandemic and social unrest.

Lead5 will continue to monitor the full Q3 data through September with an eye on a possible uptick after Labor Day to finish Q3 on stronger footing.

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Job Outlook – July 2020

Executive hiring has long foretold the overall health of the U.S. economy which has been severely impacted by covid-19 and global socio-political factors.

Analysis of Lead5 data from Q1 to Q2 for 2020 shows a quarter over quarter 30% decrease in executive opportunities, a 35% decrease in PE deals, and a 43% decrease in executive appointments.  This decline was expected as executive searches which typically take 90 to 120 days were canceled or put on hold during the lockdown.  Industries with the largest decrease in executive appointments from Q1 to Q2 were consumer followed by business services and industrial. Technology, healthcare and financial services also had declines, but not to the extent of the other sectors.

For executive opportunities, July is trending above June through July 10.  Some economists predict that the economy will begin a resurgence in Q3 and if that occurs, US companies will respond by appointing new executive leadership teams.  Lead5 will continue to monitor these data trends going forward.

Leading During Crisis

Members of the Lead5 Executive Community are tasked with leading their organizations during unprecedented crisis involving every aspect of society.  In this video, Peter Thies from the River Group has joined Lead5 CEO, Josh Wimberley, to discuss key character traits that are helping successful leaders connect with and empower the employees whom they serve.

The video can be also be viewed in the Lead5 Executive Community forum section where you can ask questions about leadership, or anything else career-related.

Executive Assessments

Members of the Lead5 Executive Community have frequently asked us about executive assessments, which have become standard in the executive recruiting process. In this video, Peter Thies from the River Group has joined Lead5 CEO, Josh Wimberley, to discuss assessments, including the best way for executives to approach them. The extended video can be viewed in the Lead5 Executive Community forum section where you can ask questions about assessments, or anything else career-related.

Lead5 Analysis of Public Company Executive Salary Reductions

Lead5 Analysis of Public Company Executive Salary Reductions

As we have now entered week four of the economic lock-down caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic, the economy is approaching record levels in unemployment as U.S. companies scramble to navigate the crisis. Lead5, the Executive Career Platform, has analyzed public company filings to produce a detailed view of how executive management teams are handling executive compensation in response to the economic crisis.

The first red flag and the turbulent weeks that followed

On March 16, Lead5 observed that Ashford Inc. announced salary reductions for its leadership team.  Ashford Inc. is a small cap company based in Dallas, Texas that provides asset management services to the hospitality industry, so it is no surprise that they took swift action ahead of the brutal hit to their industry sector. Three days later, two more public companies made salary reduction announcements, Darden Restaurants and Hersha Hospitality. Darden is the large cap holding company for familiar consumer brands such as Olive Garden & Longhorn Steakhouse, and Hersha is a small cap hospitality REIT.

What followed over the next three weeks is a cascade of salary reduction announcements from over 150 public companies across all industry sectors with more being added on a daily basis. Below are summaries of the average reductions of executive salary by management teams and market cap, along with data broken out by industry sector and region.

Average Executive Salary Reduction by Company Size for Senior Management Teams

  • All Companies, All Market Caps = 30%
  • Large Cap Only = 39%
  • Mid Cap Only = 29%
  • Small Cap Only = 26%

Average CEO Salary Reduction by Company Size

  • All Companies, All Market Caps = 50%
  • Large Cap Only = 71%
  • Mid Cap Only = 45%
  • Small Cap Only = 41%

Average Executive Salary Reduction by Industry Sectors

  • Consumer 48%
  • Industrial 24%
  • Healthcare 12%
  • Technology 10%
  • Financial 6%

Average Executive Salary Reduction by Headquarters Regions

  • Southeast 23%
  • Midwest 20%
  • West 18%
  • Southwest 17%
  • Mid-Atlantic 16%
  • New England 6%   

How long will these reductions continue? 

The most common reported durations for these salary reductions are until June 30th, 2020 followed by September 30th, 2020. A number of companies stated the executive team salary reductions will remain in place until the board determines the Covid-19 crisis is over. Several companies included a reduction or elimination of board retainer fees for the duration of the crisis.  Notably, of roughly half of the large cap announcements, CEOs have forgone 100% of their respective salaries. These overall findings represent just a fraction of the total public companies in the U.S., so we anticipate continued ongoing announcements.

This Lead5 analysis is based on 153 public company filings between March 16 and April 9, 2020. Lead5 will continue to analyze and report as new filings occur.

 

Visit: Lead5, the Executive Career Platform

Access hidden opportunities.  Gain expert insights.  Connect with peers.

The Executive’s Career Strategy for the Current Economic Climate – March 2020

March 2020 – Special Report

The Executive’s Career Strategy for the Current Economic Climate

Josh Wimberley, founder and CEO of Lead5 here.  I wanted to provide a mid-month update given the unprecedented nature of the last two weeks. As you can see from Lead5 metrics, there is a sharp decline in executive opportunities and PE deals, accelerating the trend revealed by February’s data. I’ve been receiving phone calls from executives who I have assisted over the span of my career, and a lot of our conversations have revolved around the appropriate career strategy during the near-term economic slow-down. I decided to compile and disseminate this information in the hope that it will be valuable to you.

  • If you are in the market seeking opportunities, you can expect opportunities to be frozen or put on-hold and a continued slowdown in executive hiring. My advice is to use this period as an opportunity to undergo some introspection on your career and your marketability and perform some important research steps that will give you increased leverage in the marketplace.
  • Polish your CV. Many executives wait too long to do this so don’t be caught off-guard when the next opportunity arises.
  • Network. During economic turmoil, it can be challenging to network with members of the C-suite; however, corporate in-house recruiters are prime candidates for your outreach. Remember, you have a green light to reach out directly to corporate executive recruiters in the same manner you reach out to traditional executive recruiters (contact information for these in-house corporate recruiters can be found with their respective companies in the Lead5 Company database).
  • Research Companies. I have helped executives land positions with great firms that they never knew existed in their industries and preferred locations. Part of our mission at Lead5 is unveiling this information and I encourage you to start building your company list today. This puts you in the driver’s seat so that you are no longer waiting on a recruiter’s phone call.
  • Career Consultation. This is a complimentary and confidential session where all career questions are welcomed. To set that up, you can email me directly at josh@lead5.com

I hope this blog is useful to you as you navigate these extraordinary times and I wish you and your family safety and good health. If I can be of service, please don’t hesitate to reach out at josh@lead5.com.

Sincerely,

Josh

Josh Wimberley | Lead5 Founder and CEO | josh@lead5.com

Boost Your Executive Opportunities by 200%

Boosting your executive opportunities by 200% is easier than you think.

Are you an executive who is seeking ways to increase your market exposure?   The good news is that it’s easier than you think.   From placing top executives in leading firms for over two decades, here is a trap to avoid and a tactic that is proven to work:

  • Trap to avoid: many execs I consult with rely solely on their own professional network to seek new opportunities or they select a few executive recruiters they have come in contact with over the years.  While it’s smart for you to tap into this network, you must realize that this represents only a small fraction of available opportunities.
  • Best method: I emphasize to my executive clients the need to be proactive.  This means researching and discovering the companies and opportunities that fit your background and marketing yourself directly to those company’s key contacts. It also means marketing yourself to the relevant industry or functional practice sector consultants at all the major, regional, and boutique executive search firms, not just the select firms you know from the past.
  • How can you start today? My company Lead5 offers comprehensive lists of companies that you can filter by position, region, company size, industry, and ownership structure.  This list, combined with Lead5’s intel of executive departures, yields companies that are strong candidates for your outreach. Lead5 also maintains an executive recruiter database of the leading US-based retained search consultants for firms of all sizes, sortable by the Lead5 filters.
  • Start small, think big. If you deployed this proactive methodology, even sending only one outreach per week, you are exponentially increasing your chances of being discovered.

To wrap this up, I encourage you to take a proactive role in your career.   This is the best way to maximize your value in the marketplace.  I see too many executives waiting on a phone call from a recruiter or over-relying on their own professional network.   By expanding your comfort zone, you are positioning yourself for career growth and stability.

Harness Lead5’s Company Lists to Boost Your Career Opportunities

 

Did you know Lead5 has a unique company list feature that you will not find online or with any other database?   For these lists, Lead5 focuses on US based companies that are actively recruiting executive level talent because these are the companies that are seeking the men and women who comprise the Lead5 member base.

As a busy executive, you probably don’t realize how many companies in your area are seeking executive-level professionals.   That’s because every area has a handful of well-known companies, but there are many high-growth and successful companies that often fall under the radar.   Additionally, most executive jobs are hidden or unlisted.  At Lead5, we strive to provide you with company lists that give you the full picture of the companies hiring executives in your particular function and region.   This empowers your ability to conduct proactive outreach, putting you in the driver seat of your next career move.

Here’s an example of how you can use Lead5’s company lists:

Let’s say you are a healthcare-focused CFO who wants to remain in Atlanta.  There are 27 companies in the Lead5 database when you filter for region ‘Atlanta’ and select industry ‘Healthcare Services + HealthTech’ that are private equity backed, and another 17 that are privately held with no institutional backing.  Do research and become familiar with those companies. Learn about the cultures of those companies through networking.  If you have been in the same market for some time, you will be amazed at how quickly you can connect with someone who knows the inside story or culture of the company.

Lead5 also shows you that 6 private equity deals have taken place in the last 12 months in the Atlanta market in Healthcare Services + HealthTech. Did you know that when a PE firm acquires a majority stake in a new company, that 70% of the time they replace the CFO within 12 months of the deal? PE deals are important hiring indicators for most C-level functions.

What about a newly appointed CEO? New CEOs will likely restructure their leadership team within the first 12 months on the job. With Lead5 you can track and monitor new CEO appointments for companies in your industry and region. Lead5 has recommendations for how to approach a new CEO directly or through networking contacts. Timing is key and Lead5 gives you an edge for how and when to make these connections.

Here is a breakdown of the companies we cover at Lead5:

  • US based public companies traded on NYSE & Nasdaq over $25 million in market cap
  • Private equity backed companies owned by the leading PE firms
  • Venture capital backed companies that have received $25 million or more in funding
  • Inc 5000 high growth companies over $15 mil in revenue in top 40 US metro markets
  • Private companies over $250 million in revenue in top 40 US metro markets

This mix gives our members a broad lens into the executive hiring landscape across company ownership types and market caps, allowing our members to target companies that are perfect fits for their career elevation strategies.

If you have any questions about how to yield the most value from Lead5 company lists, please email us at support@lead5.com or you can email me directly: josh@lead5.com