There is a huge disconnect in America between corporate and political pronouncements of “what we believe” and how we act or react.
Recruiters frequently hear that disconnect in the candidate screening process. Candidates trying to put forward their best version of themselves try to ignore, or gloss over, their various career brand shortfalls from yesterday or yesteryear.
What? People can’t change?
Sure they can. It happens all the time but the job interview is not necessarily a venue for forgetting or conveniently ignoring, salient background hiccups from previous executive misadventures that may have an afterlife on the Internet. If a recruiter is worth her or his weight in salt, they will know, or suspect, if anything is amiss in your past. So, if you feel the time has come for a brand/leadership style makeover because you realize that what got you here won’t get you there , here are some crucial issues you should consider:
- You cannot ignore the past. So, don’t try. Do not shy away from talking about your past successes and setbacks, especially if they got you sacked. Personally I would lead with the successes! Build a believable narrative of how you have benefitted from those lessons and adapted your leadership style. Hopefully you can share some recent success stories to reaffirm that you truly have grown in the process, that you are a more effective leader today.
- Emphasize your leadership style. Connect your approach as a leader with the operating realities of today in a way that will resonate with the needs of a future employer.
- Be Authentic. The word authenticity is a stand alone concept. This word should never be used in the same sentence with “spin” or “disingenuous.” We all make mistakes. That is an immutable truth of business. As you reveal how you have changed, you must have a narrative that is not only believable but is compelling, exuding energy and passion for the challenges of today. Incorporate your vision and values. As an authenticity “check meter” remember that this is not some ordinary job, nor is it about you. You are being selected for a great privilege — to lead and organization and its people.
- Bring Your References Along. Many candidates take a hands off approach regarding what their references might or might not say. A candidate’s primary references are almost always positive. Recruiters and employers get this, or they should. If you have experienced career setbacks, if you have changed your style and approach, it is always a good idea to share this information with your references. If you don’t, how can they possibly share information that is consistent with what you are telling a potential employer? So bring them along, confide in them. Rest assured that recruiters, or at least the good ones, will find “secondary” references, people you may mention in the course of interviews, or others who have been associated with your prior career endeavors to provide additional insight so it is always a good idea to maximize that part of the search process which you can actually control.
- Use Social Media. Social media sites like LinkedIn can be a highly effective tool in reinforcing your leadership style and values. I am a believer in using a values-based career profile that emphasizes your experiences and successes as well as your values regarding leadership. You have to sell yourself. Similarly, you need to support your profile — your brand — with carefully curated, recommended written endorsements of your abilities as well as your successes and style of leadership.
Physician, Hospital Alignment
As healthcare providers move from volume to value based reimbursement, a key to success will be collaboration between hospitals and their medical staffs. Yet across the country, there are hospitals and physicians who are not on the same page. It all began when hospitals were pushed in to DRG reimbursement structure and physicians were not, and the friction has continued since then. Some of the conflict has been offset by employment of physicians by hospitals but it is clear that changes in reimbursement, including lower rates, will exacerbate how physicians and hospitals work together.
JohnGSelf + Partners has the expertise and resources to help healthcare organizations navigate this potentially explosive issue. For more information our approach to fostering positive hospital-doctor alignment, contact John G. Self or Laura Merker, RN, DrPH.