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 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

How to Send a Strong Intro Email to a CEO

Connect to a CEO

As an executive candidate you need to be aware of the “numbers” of a typical retained executive search where the search firm over a 90 day time frame may interview/screen as many as 40+ qualified candidates. In contrast, when you connect with a CEO or other recommended hiring contact of a company when the news breaks of an opening, there are times when companies work their own network to see if they can interview quick hits for the position without going the full retained search route. In this case, if you are qualified for the position, you are one of 4 or 5 as opposed to 1 of 40 in the typical 150 day exec search.

The Lead5 view is to pursue all angles (direct and through exec recruiters) to maximize your flow of awareness of available opportunities and obtain a greater understanding of the dynamics at play behind the recruiting process.

In summary, at times a position warrants a quicker fill time with best athlete available vs. the “take our time” 150 day full due diligence process. Lead5 is built to create awareness, leads, and ultimately connections for both types of openings. Below are sample emails Lead5 recommends you send to CEOs and other recommended hiring contacts in various scenarios, along with commentary in BOLD italics.

Sample Note to for CEO Opportunity

Hi Carol,

Good afternoon. I recently became aware of the CEO opening at ComTech. I would like to confidentially submit my credentials to the search committee. I am an experienced executive officer most recently with (insert current company, a $x billion market cap publicly traded insert industry sector/brief description of your current/most recent company). I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss the position. (Also consider adding a line or two about your combination of experiences over the last 5 to 7 years leading large teams, driving P&L, working in a related biz model, etc. that might relate to the particular company)Thanks in advance for your time.

A note that is efficient/to-the-point they can read in less than 30 seconds and have a good summary understanding of your skill set is best – they can always click on and read your resume if they want more information.

Best Regards,

Jason Candidate

Sample Note to CEO for Potential CHRO Opportunity

Robert,

Good afternoon. I recently became aware of a potential CHRO opening at your company. I am an experienced CHRO most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer (or best description of your most recent company). I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the position if it remains available. Also consider adding a line or two about your combination of global manufacturing, leading large teams, process improvement, etc. that might relate to the particular company – i.e. “I have 15 plus years of experience leading the HR function for global manufacturers that would be highly relevant to Smith Corporation. Thanks in advance for your time.

A note that is efficient/to-the-point they can read in less than 30 seconds and have a good summary understanding of your skill set is best – they can always click on and read your resume if they want more information.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Candidate

Sample Note to companies you are targeting with newly appointed CEO’s

Catherine,

Good afternoon. Congratulations on your appointment to NewCo Corporation as CEO. I wanted to make a brief introduction. I am an experienced Chief Human Resources Officer most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer. I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss available leadership positions that may be open in your company. NewCo Industries is a company I have targeted for my career search given the similarities in business model and industry sector to my career experience. Thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Joseph Candidate

Sample Note to Private Equity Partners or CEO’s of PE backed companies that are the result of a recent/relevant PE deal

Robert,

Good afternoon. Congratulations on the recent deal of NewCo Corporation’s recapitalization with MountainTop Capital. I wanted to make a brief introduction. I am an experienced Chief Human Resources Officer most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer. I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. I am interested in pursuing HR leadership roles with private equity backed middle market companies in the industrial and consumer products sectors. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss an HR leadership position if it becomes available with this new investment/growth phase for NewCo Corporation. Thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Candidate

6 Ways for Executives to Elevate Their Careers

Congratulations, you have made it to the C-Suite. You landed your dream job that acknowledges your past professional accomplishments and provides lucrative financial rewards. After celebrating your new milestone, the furthest thing from your mind is to plan the next phase of your career strategy. However, in a dynamic job market, it’s critical that you are continually planning the next move so that in 3 to 5 years you can continue to grow.

By being proactive, and not reactive, in your career strategy will put you and your family in a position of strength and stability, whereas being reactive will mean that you’re acting from a position of weakness which puts you and your family at risk.   Being proactive entails looking for opportunities to strengthen your skills, visibility, and relationships and that’s what this blog is about.

I recently caught up with Lead5 advisory board member Bob Collins who has 3 decades of executive leadership in human resources, including leading staffing at top international brands.  He shared with me 6 ways to ensure that you are always operating from a position of strength as you continually navigate your executive career.

1. Understand that the 6-month mark is important. As an executive, your first 6 months in your job will require pouring a 100% plus of your energy into your role and ensuring that your first year in the position is a success.   Past the 6-month mark, it’s time to widen your lens and invest at least 5% of your energy into your career. At each anniversary date, you should increase this time investment and broaden your focus. Initially, this could mean additional training or education.   It could also mean taking on speaking engagements and networking to exchange knowledge with other executives in your field.   Importantly, these activities not only will help you deliver results for your current firm, but they will also keep your skills relevant and sharp in the marketplace. It will also allow you to build and strengthen your network of colleagues and expand your visibility to those who could play a vital role in your organizational advancement.

2. Always have a long-term career strategy. You should be continually defining, refining, and working your long-term career strategy.   What is the vision of your ideal role?   Are you an industry-specific executive or is there a new industry you’d like to pursue?   This career plan will help guide the choices you make in your career development and prevent you from becoming complacent or stagnant. Just as successful leaders believe that every business plan must have a viable talent plan that describes how the plan is to be implemented, a thoughtful career strategy needs to have a business plan on how to achieve the stated objectives with the required skills to execute it. The time to determine your skill gaps is now before the next phase of career strategy unfolds.

3. Be marketable even if you’re not in the marketplace. This starts with taking on challenges that align with your career plan.   For example, if you’re a CFO with a Fortune 500 firm and you aspire to become a Fortune 100 CFO, a good place to start is networking with Fortune 100 CFOs and doing a gap analysis between your skills and theirs.   Obviously, it will take time to close any gaps and that’s why this career plan is a long-term – not short-term – strategy.    Being marketable also entails continually optimizing your CV, sharing expertise with those who need it, and sharing thought leadership either by speaking engagements or written publications.  Strive to become the person people in your field want to know because of the success you are creating for your company.  Also, cultivate your desire to learn and stay on the cutting edge of your field so that you are consistently advancing the profession in the most critical areas.

4. Develop a continual networking strategy. With your current career demands, it’s not feasible to network with every contact that you have.   But you can take a look at your most important contacts and segment them.   Who are the contacts you should be reaching out to once a month for lunch or simply exchanging emails?   Who are the contacts you should reach out to once a quarter?  What you don’t want to do is wait until you need them and then start reaching out to contacts you haven’t communicated with for years.    Lead5 is a service that provides executives with key executive contacts.   Lead5 also informs its members when important hires like CEOs are made.   That’s a good time for you to do some outreach, sending a short note to a newly appointed CEO, congratulating him/her and mentioning that one day you’d love to share how you can help.

5. Don’t be complacent. The average tenure for a C-suite executive is 3-5 years at the same company. While things could be going extremely well for you now, recognize that all companies have downturns, leadership shifts, and ownership changes.   While it’s your duty to pour your energy into making your firm a success, don’t neglect yourself in the process.   The most successful executive always carves out time to invest in themselves.   As I mentioned above, this benefits your current firm and it keeps you relevant in the marketplace.

6. Don’t neglect development opportunities within your current firm. Executives too often believe that to get ahead that they must switch firms.   While that is sometimes the case, remember that your current firm appointed you for a reason.   While you’re helping your current firm achieve its mission, make a point to find allies who champion your long-term career vision (assuming that this vision is aligned with the company vision, of course).  This will open up doors at your current firm that help you proactively achieve your career plan.

Key Takeaways:

As an executive, if you’re not continually proactive in your career approach, then you’re in a reactive state which puts you in a position of weakness.

How do you shift into this proactive state and position of strength?   As detailed above, look for opportunities that improve your skills, visibility, and relationships.  These three things will keep you highly marketable as you continue to evolve on your leadership path.

 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. 

 

 

Effective Outreach: Timing Is Over Half the Battle

My name is Josh Wimberley and for over 2 decades I’ve helped top executives land prominent roles at leading companies.  Before founding Lead5, I was Senior Partner and Practice Leader at a leading executive search firm.  Both of these experiences have taught me that timing is over half the battle for qualified executive candidates.

Why is timing so important?  When an executive leaves a firm, this leaves a hole that must be filled, and the sooner this role is filled, the better.    Candidates must realize that it’s in the firm’s best interest to hire the best, most qualified candidate, quickly.   Firms understand that there’s already an inherent learning curve that any executive must scale before being effective, and lengthy hiring processes only exacerbate this hole in executive leadership.

How do you make timing work for you as an executive candidate?  

Here’s a few tips I can offer:

1.  Perform your outreach as early as possible.  Do not wait until the position you seek is flooded with CVs.    Have your CV ready to go and understand that services like Lead5 have completely transformed the executive recruiting industry.   Lead5 lists executive positions long before comparable services, and Lead5 has more unlisted executive positions than any other competitor.

2.  Services like Lead5 will grant you instant access to unlisted executive jobs including the hiring contacts associated with the search.  It’s important to review those key contacts and discover if you know these individuals, or if you know someone in your network who can properly introduce you.

3.  Be prepared for the firm’s call.  Understand their business strategy and how you can help them take their firm to the next level.   Also have a picture of what your goal compensation package will look like.

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.  

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