Posts Tagged: leader


Find the Perfect Career Coach and Maximize Your Investment

September 22nd, 2017

There are many reasons why your job search might not be exactly progressing. Maybe you’re one of those people who originally had success when job hunting. Then time passed and life happened. Maybe you’re a young professional who decided to take a few years off and take care of the kids while your spouse continued working. Now that you’re ready to jump back into the game (at least part-time) you’re finding that today’s job market has changed and that you’re not getting replies to any of the hundreds of resumes you’ve been sending out. Maybe the job you used to do doesn’t even exist anymore! Before you get tangled any deeper in a web of both your own device and the result of a downward sloping economy, it might be time to call in an expert – a career coach who is in tune with the latest ways to be successful in finding a new career.

Where to Begin

A keyword search on Google can get you started. If you live in Newark, Wilmington, Hockessin, or the New Castle, Delaware area, put your location name online along with keywords like career coaching services, career resources, and finding a job. A career counselor will help you by using a variety of career assessment tools (MBTI – Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator – Career Leader, SkillScan, etc.) to explore your aptitudes and work with you on applying the results to your job searches. A career coach will work with you on successful resume preparation and help you to understand career research resources, and also prep you on how to prepare for an interview. Today’s career counselors will review your presence on various social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, etc.) so that you will present a positive picture for any prospective employers when they go to check out your online presence. In addition, they will provide job search support, and help you with strategies to overcome any obstacles in today’s very hard job market.

What Will A Career Coach Do For You?

A good career coach will do their best to suggest careers that are very closely matched with your life purpose. They will discover what your life purpose is by administering tests, having general discussions with you, and also ask you some specific questions about your goals. The best career coaches are very honest, and they will show you what your strengths are as well as your weaknesses. They will help you both with your job search and your resume, and they will coach you on how to perform in the job interview. Remember this, though – you can hire an excellent career coach, but if you don’t do the follow-ups and listen to the advice that is given, you will simply be throwing your money away. A career coach will instruct you on which job posting site is best for your particular career, and which staffing agencies, employment agencies, temp jobs, and temporary staffing opportunities can offer the most chances for a successful new career opportunity.

Why Identifying Hiring Roadblocks is the Answer to Hiring Challenges

November 30th, 2016

Most professional struggles with time management, even the most successful organizations. There are an infinite amount of things to do in any given day, and some challenges are prioritized over another. However, when it comes to hiring, it’s hard to imagine a successful business without a successful workforce plan. If you’re having trouble finding or retaining good talent, start asking some tough questions to avoid wasting time, money, and great employees.

Do you really know what you’re looking for?

In this market where loyalty is low and demands are high, it’s easy to think a lot talent management is outside of your control. But hiring is all about aligning your expectations with the candidate’s outlook. Once completely honest with the current workforce dynamics, you can start to see certain red flags that are not helping the situation. For example, if you’re willing to ignore an IT candidate’s cultural challenged in favor of their talent, then you have to expect it might not work out for the team long-term.

3d worker with hand on roadblock, barricade

Are you thinking long-term?

Hiring managers must take into account both the stress they place on staff when they’re in need of talent, and the potential problems that come from hiring someone who may not be the best candidate simply because the need is so great. Both factors are important, but contradict each other. If its beginning to take entirely too long to identify someone is that is a fit, it could be time to reassess how the hiring process is being executed.

Can you find the talent on your own?

Sometimes managers just don’t have the resources to identify talent, vet their resumes, sit down for multiple interviews and then deliberating over the final decisions. Generally speaking, fatigue will set in somewhere along the way, causing people to skip or half complete one of the steps. Partnering with recruitment firm can make all the difference, but it’s pivotal to find a partner who not only has connections, but can also really understand the role both skill set wise, and culturally. It’s possible to outsource every part of the process, or just bits and pieces, but a recruiting partner can provide great value, and a specialized expertise.

Outside-In® Chronicles: Why Values and Culture Matter More than Rules and Handbooks

September 17th, 2014

DSC_0372-300x199As a leader of a successful recruiting company and the coach of a local high school soccer team, I’ve come to understand that too many organizations attempt to create order and discipline through handbooks and rule books.  Don’t get me wrong – they have a place. However, I believe that too many organizations make rules for the 1 in 100 that take advantage of the system, and then 99 have to suffer because of it. Yet, values are forever. They force a union and ownership amongst employees and leaders just as they do players and coaches. Values are enforceable by an entire organization, and there are a lot more players then coaches! This puts the emphasis on all having say and ownership!  Like the saying goes, “Treat people the way they wish they were treated and they just might live up to that standard!”

So if your not convinced, picture me coaching in a game. Imagine my superstar player who is losing his cool or maybe drawing attention to himself in away that puts him above the team. I can promise you that this happens. I might need to talk to him, but 18 other players will step in remind him of the value that  team comes first at all times! Or perhaps we get behind in the score and some players get down on themselves. I hear over and over again about the value that our soccer program never, ever, ever, ever gives up.

My personal favorite though is “Nothing negative said, nothing negative received”. I think every business, HR firm or not, needs this value. This one is about team or group trust. Too many times we assume that something said was negative, and too many time we hear it as such. We want a positive atmosphere, where we maintain a benefit-of-the-doubt team culture. We want to trust the gap between what we see and hear and what happened!

I hope you enjoy seeing how our values work for the team. By the way, this is my third year with the team and results come slowly (when they are going to stick)! This is the year we win some games! Our philosophy: Our goal is not to win alone, but to build and improve every day in order to play the game perfectly.

Below is a list of values that we hope all players at Elkton High School can embrace. If we can accept and practice these values, we can better our team and the soccer program, but more importantly we can better our lives and better serve others around us.

Elkton Soccer Program Values:

1. We never, ever, ever give up.

2. Nothing negative said, nothing negative received.

3. Our goal is not to win alone, but to play the game perfectly.

4. We will outwork our competition on and off the pitch.

5. We will follow our player agreements.

6. Everyone plays, that is how we get better as a program.

7. Team comes first at all times.

8. We will play with emotion, not show it.

9. We will do everything with intention (practice, training, pregame, off the field).

10. We must be willing to teach and learn.

11. Every player, regardless of their background, brings an important and necessary element to the team.

He Who Can Provide Outside-In® Leadership Has the Whole World with Him

October 9th, 2013

Each month our leaders focus on learning and development. Do you consistently allocate time for shared leadership experiences and discussion? This form of renewal really brings the team together and gives us time to think about how accurately each of us lead. Recently, we have been working from Dale Carnegie’s original self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book is one of the most important influences on the way we do things as a business—specifically how we deal with people!

images2We have been focused on Chapter 3, “He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him. He Who Cannot Walks a Lonely Way.” My leaders discussed and discovered that we have a tremendous role in understanding our staff’s needs and wants. How many times do we present ideas or share our opinions in a way that is good for us? How often do we think, write, or present in a way that is of the other person’s interest? We all think about ourselves before others—this is simply human nature. However, to be truly Outside-In® leaders, we have to start with the other person’s interests first. As the book says, we must learn to “bait the hook to suit the fish.” Just because you like something doesn’t mean that others will and vice versa. Are we really ready to talk in terms of someone else’s interests? We better be.

We can use our title as ammo or yell as a leader to get things done for a moment. Cracking the proverbial whip works once or twice but only for a very short period of time. A sales person can be successful every now and again when they talk about what they want, their product and service, their quota, their tough day, etc. However, consumers want to feel like they are really being listened to. They want to buy, not be sold to. And they want to know that their needs are being met.

How can you take into account the other point of view? We made our list together as leaders.

  1. Listen. Talk less. Be clear that we understand what others want and need.images
  2. Be clear about what needs to be done, especially as we understand how staff wants to do their jobs.
  3. Create a reminder of the hook and the fish concept. What bait do you need to have an effective employee, customer, or family discussion?
  4. Be aware of wants and needs as we delegate. If done correctly, delegation is the key to knowing exactly what these wants and needs are.
  5. Be clear about expectations.
  6. Give staff the opportunities to explore.
  7. Remember that not everyone’s way works all of the time. Sometimes a good leadership push is in order.

Finders. Minders. And Binders.

September 25th, 2013

ID-100170525Risk in the early years does not seem like risk at all! When I started my business and a customer sent over a contract to review I did not have the army of lawyers and professional service folks that are around to protect me today. The contract came in, I printed it off, read all 83 pages, learned as much as I could and then I signed it. Why? Most of that stuff isn’t going to happen anyway, right? Well, even though it was true, I signed it because making something happen in the business was a much better outcome than the alternative—watching lawyers markup and edit a document over and over again. The risk of signing a bad contract was lesser than the gain of working with a new customer, testing out our service line, gaining the revenues, cash flow, references, and the experiences that the contract provided.

This concept plays out across your entire business. My first employee was hired with a verbal acceptance. They worked for me for years and they had no offer letter—imagine that! We got along fine without a handbook. Everything was understood. We just stood and talked across the office. The purpose for the company was simple and clear.

Accounting was just as simple. We paid bills, invoiced customers, and made sure that there was enough money in the bank to do payroll. Then someone comes in to lead accounting and they want to build a budget like their last job in Corporate America. The budget process starts in the Fall, finishes by the New Year, and becomes outdated by February. Small business moves too fast and changes too much for a traditional budgeting process.

A business can expect to see this in all facets of the organization. The “little company that could” designs a marketing campaign and tries it without upsetting corporate. As the business grows, it eventually has a team whose job it is to keep that spirit and make marketing better. Staff members who often want to just go and fix things now have to remember who does what.  And in the process they often ask the question, “Why are we organized this way? It just slows us down…”

Years ago I heard a famous entrepreneur, the founder of Hercules, answer that question with a compelling speech about business and entrepreneurship. He shared that there are three types of people in business: finders, minders, 110819-Gulliksen-Slide3and binders. “Finders” start the business and figure out their market and their customer. They turn themselves and the business “outward” (Outside-In® in my world) and they focus on growth and winning. But as the business grows and gets more and more complex it requires different skills and expertise to keep advancing. Enter the “minders.” Minders are the functional talents that come in across the business to do a better job of keeping track of the company. Important and necessary. They are minding the store so to speak and helping create the scorecard of success.

And finally there are the “binders.” If you’re an entrepreneur this is where you exit perhaps. Binders are like the son who tells his Dad (a successful sandwich shop owner) to stop giving away free chips and pickles and to reduce his portion sizes because these are recessionary times. Of course the Dad listens and soon enough business is way down. The son was wrong! The binder ended up screwing up the secret sauce/brand promise of the sandwich shop. And a good business is withered away by the strain and scrutiny.

All three dynamics are contributing factors to the development of business. A finder’s role is to build the early business. Know when to bring in enough minders to keep the business orderly. Avoid the binder influence and phase of the business. Or know how to exit when the business achieves that level of “success.”

9/11 and the Resilience of the American Worker

September 11th, 2013

911Guest blog spot by Kelly Murray, Marketing Coordinator

Twelve years ago, our country sustained a tragedy so shocking that it rattled each American citizen to their core. We will always remember where we were the morning of 9/11, and the horror we witnessed as two landmarks of international commerce fell at the hands of terrorists. Thousands of lives were claimed that day but in turn, millions of Americans were united under the strength of our nation and a vow to Never Forget those lost.

As the years go on, 9/11 etches its place into American history and its symbolism grows. I was only thirteen when the World Trade Center fell, and at the time I struggled to comprehend what this blow meant to our country on an international scale. I understood the degree of death and destruction that had occurred and felt the confusion, fear, and grief that any little girl would at the time. Years later, now a young working professional, when I look back on 9/11, I am struck by the resilience our nation had to have in order to pick up the pieces and move forward – not only emotionally, but as a political and economic entity.

When hit with unexpected hardship, whether emotional or professional, it’s difficult to maintain focus on the job and push forward. Of course, the events of 9/11 exceeded any difficulty one could have expected to endure. However, I think its important to note that as Americans, both our humanity and work ethic were tested on 9/11. The al-Qaeda chose to destroy a symbol of international trade and commerce (as well as a symbol of defense and national security, the Pentagon) that day. The burden of strength in the eyes of adversity fell on our political leaders, but also on the American worker: corporate executives, entrepreneurs, young professionals, entertainers, laborers – no profession or discipline was spared. We had to dig deep and continue working to carry each other through.

As an entrepreneur, CBI Group’s president felt this burden especially hard that day, when his company opened its doors for the first time on the morning of September 11th. And yet, he and his employees, like many, had to press on and focus on creating business, even if it felt ‘wrong’ or ‘inappropriate’ to do so during a time of such great loss. Each year at CBI Group, this day is met with a bittersweet sentiment: as a celebration of another year in business met with a solemn reminder of a national tragedy. Over a decade later, we continue to operate successfully and help businesses fill jobs, recruit employees, and develop their workforce – a reflection of the resilience of an entrepreneur and his country.

So, this article is simply a testament to the American worker, for rising up and pushing forward in times of turmoil. Since 9/11, our nation has struggled economically and suffered the impact of war, but we have pressed on. In the American spirit, our country has rebuilt (quite literally, the National September 11th Museum and Memorial opened in 2011) and reclaimed our place as an economic force.

To all those lost and affected by the tragedy of 9/11, we honor and remember you. As citizens, we will never forget what happened that day and the toll it took on our country. As workers, we will continue to push forward and keep the American Dream alive…a notion that drives the belief that in America anything is possible and anyone can find success – if they work hard enough for it.

Leaders Must Stand Alone

September 4th, 2013

Leading when times are good is easy! Leaders can walk around patting people on the back and giving compliments for a job well done. The work environment seems to have its own momentum. The heart of the business seems to beat faster and faster and faster. All we need to do as leaders is run alongside and just try and keep up. The team is confident and everyone seems to believe in the culture, the business direction, and you as the leader. Times are good…until they are not.

All of sudden the air gets still and the phone stops ringing. What you did yesterday does not work today. An employee is unhappy. A customer complains. We lose a new customer with whom we had a signed contract. They can’t do that! But they did. You’re off your sales forecast now. So, what do you do? Leadership confidence is real.

As leaders we must be careful where we take our energy from and derive our confidence. As leaders, it is a cautionary tale to take our cue from the external events around us. Events change every day. Confidence and leadership self-esteem are everything – and that must come from within.

Fear is normal. Worry is real. Feeling sorry for yourself is okay for a moment (with your boss or when your alone). However, great leadership is defined by what you do next. What do you that is useful with that stress?

It is easy to manage a winning team, whether it be a sales team, recruiting team or maybe your Tuesday night recreational sports team. Managing a losing team, well, not so easy. For example, I inherited a soccer team that had not won much in the last few years. I had to change the culture and instill values that the kids could believe in. I had to make changes. We had to work incredibly hard to improve our skills and our fitness. We have worked tirelessly for two years on and off the pitch. We are in shape now. We know the strategy and the plan. But we must learn to win. Every team – and every company – must learn to win.

So insert yourself here now. Are you coaching a winning team? Are you ready to do the work and make the necessary changes? Frankly, there is no such thing as an overnight success. But remember, it starts with you. Leaders must stand alone!

CBI Group Lands on 2013 Inc 5000 List

August 28th, 2013

INC5000Recruitment solutions firm CBI Group has earned a spot on the Inc 5000 list for the third time in six years. The Delaware-based human resources company first made the list in 2007 (4,648th) and again in 2008 (1,380th).

One of sixteen Delaware companies to make the cut in 2013, CBI Group secured the 2,734th spot on the exclusive list which recognizes the fastest growing companies in America. For a three year margin, CBI Group reported a 128% growth rate from 2010 to 2012.

“Appearing on the Inc 5000 list is not only an honor for CBI Group but it reflects the current realities of an ever changing workforce. To see consistent growth within a recruiting and staffing company shows that organizations need to have recruitment and talent strategies that meet today’s fluctuating business climate. We are able to help more of our customers gain a real advantage with their people practices,” says CBI Group President, Chris Burkhard.

In addition to the Inc 5000 list placement, CBI Group received two ‘2013 Honors’ including a #11 ranking in the Top 100 Delaware Companies and a #69 ranking in Philadelphia Metro Area sub-categories.

CBI Group is headquartered in Newark, DE with an office location in Wilmington. An Outside-In® Company, CBI Group partnered with local HR companies Placers and Barton Career Advisors this year to provide full-scale recruitment, staffing, and outplacement services nationwide.

How an Entrepreneurial Mindset Encourages Innovation Within

August 14th, 2013

Photo credit: The New York Times

When I worked in corporate America one of the competencies I always thought needed improvement was political awareness. Truth is, I did not long to be politically aware. I wanted to stand up in a leadership meeting and share my own thoughts. One day, the Chairman of our company asked 60 of us a question to get our input. He wanted our thoughts, right?  Well little did I realize that even though the Chairman wanted our thoughts, his Senior Manager minions wanted to make sure our answers were approved, cleansed of imperfections, and void of insights that would make anyone in the room uncomfortable. In fact, it would have been best if we sat quietly, smiled, and let senior management solve the important problems of the company. Why even bother inviting us? I still ask that question, but now I kind of know the answer.

In corporate America, you are paid to do a singular job and paid well. Make sure you don’t rock the boat though! Remember, you’re paid to NOT rock the boat, to do your job, and to keep your head down. Alternatively, in most entrepreneurial companies, you are paid based on value that you create. Your ideas seem to matter more. Your actions and risks are more likely rewarded. Try it! Make something happen and take that risk! Most likely, nothing will happen immediately, but you’ll begin the build your confidence and aptitude towards continued risk-taking. Remember, everyone is valued to do their job and using their whole brain. Identifying something is wrong, fixing it and making the place better is a risk that is always rewarded.

Truth is, my story is flawed. The Chairman really did want our thoughts, but his culture would not allow it to happen. Politics, history, hierarchy, personal agendas, and poor leadership prevented him from getting what he so craved; which was an entrepreneurial entity that thrived from the bottom up. Where his employees could help him feel a part of something greater by being a part of the fix. None of us had the authority to participate and the fear of taking any risks. We knew that political correctness was rewarded, not risk taking.

So I started my company knowing I wanted to be the Chairman (funny thought) that could be trusted. Where risks are welcomed. In my company, there is no need for pre-meetings to make sure the staff know how to speak to me. At my company, the culture is transparent and free thinking is encouraged!

Why Values and Culture Matter More than Rules and Handbooks

August 7th, 2013

Elkton High School Varsity Soccer 2012As a leader of a successful recruiting company and the coach of a local high school soccer team, I’ve come to understand that too many organizations attempt to create order and discipline through handbooks and rule books.  Don’t get me wrong – they have a place. However, I believe that too many organizations make rules for the 1 in 100 that take advantage of the system, and then 99 have to suffer because of it. Yet, values are forever. They force a union and ownership amongst employees and leaders just as they do players and coaches. Values are enforceable by an entire organization, and there are a lot more players then coaches! This puts the emphasis on all having say and ownership!  Like the saying goes, “Treat people the way they wish they were treated and they just might live up to that standard!”

So if your not convinced, picture me coaching in a game. Imagine my superstar player who is losing his cool or maybe drawing attention to himself in away that puts him above the team. I can promise you that this happens. I might need to talk to him, but 18 other players will step in remind him of the value that  team comes first at all times! Or perhaps we get behind in the score and some players get down on themselves. I hear over and over again about the value that our soccer program never, ever, ever, ever gives up.

My personal favorite though is “Nothing negative said, nothing negative received”. I think every business, HR firm or not, needs this value. This one is about team or group trust. Too many times we assume that something said was negative, and too many time we hear it as such. We want a positive atmosphere, where we maintain a benefit-of-the-doubt team culture. We want to trust the gap between what we see and hear and what happened!

I hope you enjoy seeing how our values work for the team. By the way, this is my third year with the team and results come slowly (when they are going to stick)! This is the year we win some games! Our philosophy: Our goal is not to win alone, but to build and improve every day in order to play the game perfectly.

Below is a list of values that we hope all players at Elkton High School can embrace. If we can accept and practice these values, we can better our team and the soccer program, but more importantly we can better our lives and better serve others around us.

Elkton Soccer Program Values:

1. We never, ever, ever give up.

2. Nothing negative said, nothing negative received.

3. Our goal is not to win alone, but to play the game perfectly.

4. We will outwork our competition on and off the pitch.

5. We will follow our player agreements.

6. Everyone plays, that is how we get better as a program.

7. Team comes first at all times.

8. We will play with emotion, not show it.

9. We will do everything with intention (practice, training, pregame, off the field).

10. We must be willing to teach and learn.

11. Every player, regardless of their background, brings an important and necessary element to the team.

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