One of the most common assumptions in the world of career transitions is that executives, regardless of their competence, know how to look for a job. That is just not true.
Hours, days, weeks and months are routinely lost in job searches because executives engage in a trial and error methodology. While looking for a full-time job is a full-time job that requires discipline and focus, that is where the similarities end.
For executives with no marketing or sales experience the process of a job search is more like running a sales promotion campaign than running a business. In this sales campaign, you have one product that consultant Tom Peters labeled as a “Brand called You” in his August 1997 article in Fast Company magazine.
“It’s time for me — and you — to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You,” Peters wrote.
It is a simple enough concept that baffles many executives. Why?
Most of us were reared by our parents with the admonition against bragging brightly etched into our brains. Show people with your actions, your accomplishments, not your words, was the rationale behind the no-brag rule. In today’s digital world that is like saying do a good job, develop a good resume and prospective employers will sort it out. No worries.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The sidelines are filled with competent executives who are waiting to get back in the game, watching lesser mortals grab the top jobs because they do a better job selling themselves. Oh, they are qualified but their track record may not be as impressive as those of the frustrated executives struggling to find another position.
Some of this talent disparity can be blamed on inexpert recruiters, faulty talent evaluation processes or both, but the most common reason that some executives get hired while more qualified leaders do not is the latter group’s inability to master the new rules of a job search in the digital age.
Career Transition Coaching is an invaluable resource for executives planning to take the next step in their careers, or those who have laid off or terminated. For more information on our plans, including affordable options to our popular programs, contact us, CareerTransitions@JohnGSelf.Com
© 2019 John Gregory Self
A special Mother’s Day tribute to the power of a mother’s love in developing successful leaders.
© 2019 John Gregory Self
From Becker’s Morning News Brief
Firefly Value Partners Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager Ryan Heslop is bearish on Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, according to Reuters.
Mr. Heslop, who was one of several hedge fund managers to present May 6 at the Ira Sohn Investment Conference in New York, announced a short position in CHS during the conference.
He said CHS will likely go bankrupt over the next few years due to rising debt costs and dwindling revenue per hospital bed.
The company’s “pile of debt and the declining profitability of hospitals make it almost certain that this patient will die,” Mr. Heslop said, according to Reuters.
CHS didn’t immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
On Monday a hedge fund manager predicted that for CHS, the train was on the tracks…heading for bankruptcy.
More than five years ago I predicted that CHS “was toast.” That blog post, I will admit, drew some scorn and a few trolls but it should not have been any great surprise. At the time their stock price was flying high at more than 62 a dollars a share. Today, if you are one of the lucky investors who stuck around for the ride, your shares are worth around $3.50.
My post was based the changing reimbursement patterns as well as my belief that the geographic location and size of their hospitals, as well as an insane push for double digit growth by relying on the “butts in the bed” mentality, would blow up in their faces.
The reality is that what really accelerated their downhill slide was their foolish acquisition of HMA, a notoriously borderline hospital management company that lived on the ethical edge, to strengthen their growth in revenue. HMA, too, was focused on inpatient admissions, even to the extent of forcing ER physicians to admit a certain percentage of their patients.
If you live on the edge, there will always be consequences. As the late Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson once wrote:
“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
And there is the reality of the HMA debacle:
Former CEO Pays Big Fine But Denies Wrong Doing
Government Slaps HMA With Fine for False Billing Scam Billinghttps://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/hospital-chain-will-pay-over-260-million-resolve-false-billing-and-kickback-allegations-one
This unfortunate affair, motivated by a desire to please investors (read: greed), includes massive ethical lapses even though the former HMA CEO denies he did anything wrong. That sounds familiar — an earlier Columbia/HCA scandal.
In the end there are always victims, many of them innocent of the bad leadership decisions. Many jobs are lost, some communities may actually lose their hospital and the many doctors who drank the Kool-Aid and partnered with CHS may face significant disruptions.
There are consequences to our ethical lapses.
As for my criticism of CHS, I am afraid I qualify for newspaper columnist Murray Kempton’s definition of a critic: “Someone walks down the hill after the battle is over and shoots the wounded.”
© 2019 John Gregory Self