Some think they only have themselves to thank for the expertise and knowledge they have acquired, feeling it is almost an insult should anyone even dare to suggest otherwise. In my mind, a short-sighted and harmful attitude, often even with negative consequences. At worst, hindering a person from listening to, observing and learning from others, potentially missing opportunities and enabling mistakes that could be avoided.
Is there a value in people sharing their experience and knowledge to others, as I do about my expertise, Executive Search, or as other people do about other subjects? I feel there is and greatly so! All the people I have met and worked with over the years, my colleagues, clients, candidates, e.g. have all had a positive impact on me developing into a top professional. They have “shared” their ideas, thoughts, and knowledge with me. If I occasionally “feel tall” it is only because I am standing on the shoulders of numerous other people.
Therefore, when I during my career, acquired experience, and knowledge I felt could benefit the business world, I, in return too, want to share what I know. That said, this is not at all so “grand” as it might sound to someone. To avoid any misunderstanding, I do not pretend to “know better or more” than anyone else. I am just presenting my views and perspective and considering my background, something I feel worth sharing. So I wrote a book about everything I had learned. Now people at least have an opportunity to read my book, should they want to do so. Remember, if you share, others will share with you, and as a result, the business world will become so much more interesting, I promise. It is a good bargain.
Listening and observing – Not doing this may lead to missed opportunities.
I also believe in a pro-active, curious and open mind. I believe in having “big ears”, and in keeping them wide open, so you can listen to and hear what other people say. I believe in having “big eyes” so you can observe and learn from what others do well, and perhaps also not so well, so you can avoid making the same mistakes all over again.
It is always worth checking what, e.g. top professionals are saying and doing, people you know are good in their work. You can look at the person, the whole company or just a particular function, e.g., the HR or Marketing function in a company or the Research function in a Search Firm, depending on what it is you want to check. There are no downsides in doing this, only potential benefits and opportunities.
I was an Executive Search Research Manager for most of my career, and I was very good in my job. So, if I now could get into the minds of the top ten best Research Managers in the world, and check their thinking, what would I expect to find? A person “always knowing what’s best” would probably not find much. But that’s not me. As said, I believe in a pro-active, curious and open mind, and in listening to and observing others. With this mindset, you see a different world.
I would probably find many thinking much like me about Executive Search. But I would also find things I could learn from. New ways of thinking, interesting thinking, imaginative thinking, out of the box thinking, old concepts re-invented into a new, better form. I would find new methods and processes, other ways of doing things, other CRM and business development techniques. I most likely would find many interesting ideas which I could take “back home” with me, and which would help me become better in my work.
I call this benchmarking. Have you ever wondered why some person or company is always so much higher (or lower) on the ranking list than you, or has a very good reputation? Maybe you should try to find out. Do some benchmarking and compare. Without benchmarking you seldom know.
When people share – keep an open mind – otherwise, you might miss the point
When e.g. anyone has had such a long career as I and write a book, someone is bound to say: “Yes, you had a good career, but times have changed. What you say in your book is now “old fashioned”. Nowadays, we do things differently.” Times do change, and of course, people always have different opinions, disagree about things, organize, manage, and carry out things differently. There are, e.g., no two identical Executive Search Firm offices on this planet. Calling the information I share old-fashioned is missing the point. Furthermore, the subjects in my book, as presented, are completely timeless – not old-fashioned.
To make my point, below just some examples of the subjects I share in my book:
- I emphasize the importance of “Always giving things your best thought and then your best try, and of having a never give in attitude”, a Best Practice mind-set.
- I talk about customer promise and customer experience. In my mind, the only customer promise must be to deliver, simultaneously creating a good customer experience for both the Client and the Candidates all through the Search Process.
- The business focus must be to always act in the best interests of both the Client and the Candidate.
- I emphasize that the goal of any Executive Search Firms must be to deliver high-quality service, highly qualified Candidates, and it should strive to develop long-term relationships built on trust.
- I emphasize the importance of ethical values and standards in Executive Search like, e.g. honesty, trustworthiness, confidentiality, objectivity, compliance, respect and integrity, and that the Search Firm must understand the impact of and have responsibility for their actions.
Have all the above become old-fashioned? I don’t think so.
Always try to see “the forest from the trees” when people share. Don’t let your prejudices be your guide. This applies to any information out there.
Please have a pro-active, curious and open mind. The world looks very different if you have.
Don’t forget to share! It is an investment with very good returns.
Don’t forget to also network. It means more resources, knowledge, experience, and perspective. This can only be of benefit to those involved.