‘Fitting in’ as a startup CEO

In business, a CEO's habits and traits are often viewed as the major indicators of his or her success. There's a lot to take in when going about this task of assessing a person's strengths, however, and a recent Entrepreneur article suggests that a person with the right attitudes for a startup CEO might display them in ways that appear to be negative.

Although there's no telling for sure what this means in regards to a specific person's behavior, this article does make an interesting point when it comes to the way we think about typically "negative" traits.

Particularly, it focuses on the types of behavior that might be connected with a "rebellious" streak: in some instances this might seem counterproductive to getting work done and furthering the mission of an organization.

But for the drive that leads to a healthy startup, a leader who seems "easily bored" might simply have stifled creativity and misplaced energy, as Grant Cardone, the article's author, points out.  And since being a startup CEO could mean sticking with a bold vision until it is successfully concluded, being an outcast or "not fitting the norm" could be seen as an early sign of that.

An executive recruitment firm is best for noticing when anti-social or eccentric tendencies are a sign of something deeper. While some executives simply won't be able to find a place at your company, there might be something in a candidate that could mean big gains and a dynamic vision if you approach the situation the right way.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Perspectives about CEO compensation changing

When it comes to the way that the chief executive of your company is paid and what benefits they receive, differing opinions may exist within your company and among investors and shareholders. Bloomberg has reported that Oracle Corporation is struggling with this very issue as members decide what the proper compensation rates should be.

Disagreement seems to have emerged between an investment group that is arguing that the software management company should support a smaller salary and pay package for its CEO, who made more than $78 million in the previous year.

The company itself, on the other hand, seem to support CEO Larry Ellison's current rate of pay. This brings up the issue of which entities have the right to influence the decision on how this matter is handled within the business itself. CEO tenure can enter into the amount that a business values a certain performer and what they think the person deserves to receive.

It's a problem that can be made more pressing by other external factors, and many corporations large and small will have to ask themselves what their chief executive has or hasn't done to be worthy of a certain payment plan.

Through it all, the CEO does not have to remain passive, and can make sacrifices that say a lot about their approach to a situation. Jason Goldberg of Fab has said that he will ditch his salary entirely for the coming year, according to AllThingsD, in response to the drop in personnel the company is seeing.

In either case, the perspective of the CEO in question is important, and that can be determined by your business using the help of an executive recruitment firm early on like YES Partners.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Head of Twitter flippant in response to outside criticism

While being a CEO that is responsive, frank and active on social media can have some definite benefits, it also raises the stakes should something be miss-said or misinterpreted. Though there's no hint yet that it's become a full-blown scandal or reason for outrage among commenters online, the recent reaction of Twitter's CEO, Dick Costolo, could bring this issue into focus.

According to the New York Times, Costolo has responded to accusations that his company is sexist for not including any women on its Board of Directors. After Professor Vivek Wadhwa made some comments disparaging this company for its gender inequality, Costolo made his opinion known. But rather than issue an official statement, the preliminary response seems to have been an ad hominem joke targeted at the man himself.

"Vivek Wadhwa is the Carrot Top of academic sources," the CEO tweeted on October 5. While not entirely clear in meaning, the joke also brings up issues of professionalism: is it right for even someone with extensive executive experience to be this personal in their responses?

This did at least lead to an extended back-and-forth conversation in tweets, with Costolo engaging more fully and thoughtfully with critics, including Wadhwa. But by "throwing the gauntlet" with such a direct comment, the tone could have been misconstrued, especially if the CEO only intermittently responds.

However, exchanges like this can demonstrate how these CEOs act in certain arguments, and may be a sign to recruiters of how seriously committed a candidate is to a certain cause. YES Partners can help pinpoint the person with the maturity, finesse, and know-how to communicate important points to the masses.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Communicating the real factors behind retirement

In a perfect world, the reason for your CEO's departure wouldn't have any impact on the new one coming in. Additionally, the change would allow the public and all investors to approach the CEO tenure of the new one as a blank slate. 

However, this factor does make a difference, and the reasons given are memorable. There's nothing you can really do about this, but you should note that business succession planning can and should begin far before the departure announcement is even made.

Look at the way that one CEO is making his exit. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dave Yost of AmerisourceBergen is really retiring to fulfill the old cliche of "spending time with the wife and kids."

For Yost, those words mean something sincere, and while it can be hard to make this look like something other than a surrender, that's not the impression one gets at all in his words with the Journal.

"You get a bit hamstrung by your own success. Maybe you don't take risks. It's hard to admit, but it's time for the next set of guys," Yost said. "CEOs who stick around stifle upward mobility."

How long a period "sticking around" refers to may be debated, but there's little arguing that Yost's point will carry some weight among others. With an executive recruitment firm, you can minimize the period between when a CEO realizes he or she is ready to go and when the new recruit will step in to take his or her place.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

A CEO’s strong personality doesn’t always mean the same as success

Some elements of executive experience simply don't come across on a resume and can't be deciphered without a strong reading from an executive recruiter with a keen eye for talent. To get the most out of the vetting process of an executive candidate, a good recruiter will be looking for everything that might play into successful performance with a new company and make shareholders proud.

While physical presence can communicate certain aspects of executive candidates' values and how they see themselves, they can also be extrapolated into larger behaviors that could be seen in the business realm later on. An article recently published in Forbes examined the ways that this can eventually mean different specific results for their companies, depending on how they perform.

Crucially, the piece focuses more on the ways different types of characteristics can be seen as indicators of performance. For example, it uses John Akers, onetime leader of IBM, as a demonstration of how a memorable and assertive physical presence doesn't always lead to a solid CEO tenure.

It also cited a current fixture of the talk involving CEOs—exiting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer—as someone with memorable physical features (in this case, his loud voice) that nevertheless still comes up short in the long run.

Some elements of posture can convey confidence and good things that your business will want to capitalize on, but it's important not to be misled. With an executive recruiter like YES Partners onboard to distinguish these worthwhile qualities, your company can feel more confident about the person it's choosing for their CEO.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Making the CEOs parting moments grand

This blog has talked before about the different types of ways that a parting executive can sum up their CEO tenure and leave on a high note. For most of the outside world, this will be condensed into a statement or blog post that features the statements of the former CEO in question.

Usually, these moments are carefully composed and feature a sense that the person on their way out, though sincere, is making a formulated attempt to express themselves. But isn't there something to be said for letting the emotion of the situation take over? 

Although we've seen what can happen to some extent when CEOs lose their better judgment, it can be worth it to watch the head of a company say goodbye in a way that is uniquely "them." Andrew Mason's farewell letter contained some slightly snarky language, but it also had the general sense of humor that he will be remembered for. In a similar fashion, we can look at Steve Ballmer's official goodbye, which can only be described as a performance, even though it seems to come from a very real place.

As one can see in the video taken at the event, Ballmer didn't just send out a memo or hold a special meeting: he took the stage in the Key Arena in Seattle, telling the thousands of Microsoft employees how grateful he was for the time he'd spent working for that company, encouraging them to feel good about working there as well and "soak it in."

But after all that, surrounded by co-workers and fans who reacted positively to his admissions, Ballmer announced that he wanted to end with a song that encapsulated how he felt about his service for Microsoft. That song turned out to be "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," made famous by the 1980's film "Dirty Dancing," which Ballmer admitted to being one of his favorite movies.

If he hadn't meant it, it's likely the audience would have known. One thing that executive experience can't make up for is the strength of character and transparency to be honest about yourself and display your "true colors" (an 80s song that Ballmer did not play).

It wasn't just the fact that Ballmer chose this particular song and said those soaring words about his time in his former job, then. What made the moment work is that it clearly came from a real place, and that Ballmer put his soul into it, as he ran around the arena, high-fiving other attendees and obviously overcome with emotion. Rather than seeming egotistical, it got the crowd on Ballmer's side for good.

Enthusiasm and Honesty

When something like this happens, it can be a media firecracker, drawing attention from all sorts of outlets. Even if some want to be critical, there's no denying who the person in charge of such a display is and what they've done to cement their mark. And while it could seem so easy to make fun of someone for being this earnest, if the sentiment is there, others will support them.

However, making a big gesture at the end isn't a guarantee, and if a less-enthusiastic person attempts to pretend they're someone like Richard Branson, the results could damage their CEO tenure instead of celebrate it. And even though the person is leaving, there could also be some residual embarrassment to their former employer left behind.

Style is such a tricky thing, and the unprepared and inexperienced might miss it during the interview process. YES Partners can help your business pick up on the sort of person who really means what they say, and can be both productive and sincerely emotional in the right moments. 

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Keeping the best performers onboard

It continues to be a time of high turnover in the business world, and even if your company has tried everything in its power to keep the organization fresh, perhaps by rearranging the structure of the company's board or some other executive position, the way forward may seem confusing. An executive recruitment firm can serve the important role of allowing you to see through the temporary problems and chart a more meaningful course.

In this environment, it may seem difficult to find and retain those industry professionals who may mean the most to you in the long run. A release from Challenger, Gray and Christmas records that more than 110 CEOs took their leave through "planned departures" in this August alone. The year-over-year departure figures climbed from 104 to 113, which also exceeds the average monthly departure rate of 105 CEOs.

Businesses are feeling the need for high-functioning employees on all levels, not just their executives, as an article from Ad Weekly points out. The piece noted that budgetary problems may make finding talent a problem, and interviewed the CEO of the Barbarian Group, who said that "we have to stay ahead from a talent perspective."

A trusted executive recruiter can find a leader for your business without forcing you to relinquish too much money or time. With the right recruitment team in place, it shouldn't be too difficult to find the talent you need, executive or otherwise, that's both available and right for your company.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

What good CEO placement planning says about your company

The public (and other industry competitors) aren't just going to judge you based on the person you have in the role of CEO at your company: the process by which you find this replacement can itself say a lot about how your company runs itself and what its future might be like.

Forbes recently published a piece on the importance of good business succession planning, and uses the recent changes that have come to Microsoft as a chance to examine the importance of this process for modern companies in ways that might go under-noticed.

"It's a bad idea to announce someone's retirement and not name a replacement," author Anne Maria Squeo writes. "It's equally bad when companies announce a new CEO and then delay the effective date for months."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is scheduled to depart, and the opportunity has brought outsiders to predictably speculate on the company, with some sources, such as the Globe and Mail, saying that this could also be seen as an opportunity for founder Bill Gates to leave as well.

Ideas like this are likely to surface at moments when the CEO tenure of an executive suddenly ends. The speed and efficiency at which this process runs will be indicative of the way that your company thinks of its workings and its values.

While some companies may be ready to perform this operation internally, those that are inexperienced in this area can save the possible embarrassment of looking unprepared by contacting an executive recruitment service to help. YES Partners considers itself of the finest quality in this area, and we can make sure the executive recruitment process speaks well about your business. 

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

What the best retained executive recruitment firm can offer you

We're aware that there are numerous ways to determine if someone is right for a job position, but YES Partners believes that a global executive search firm is key to getting the most of its potential. What does that mean, and why is it important to make the distinction between different approaches? A recent article on Forbes can be used as a way to learn some of the differences if your company has never dealt with this issue before.

The writer of the article, Ken Sundheim, specifically discusses why one would pick a retained recruitment firm (that is kept exclusive and paid upfront) as opposed to other "contingency" options that may give a company slightly more freedom.

"When you work with a retained recruiter, you do have to pay an upfront guaranteed fee and there is more risk associated with that account," Sundheim writes. He goes on to say that the advantage is that this retained firm will be more loyal to you and, theoretically anyway, devote more time to your case.

That's a virtue that any recruitment firm should attempt to embody: there's no reason not to make your customer feel like they're at the top of your list, in any business. YES Partners proudly offers the determination and resources of a retained service alongside the more affordable kinds of rates you might expect from a contingent recruiter. And since we don't charge retainer fees with our no-risk model, companies searching for executives can think of what we provide as a pleasing blend of these two schools of thought.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

Finding positive passions in your future CEO

Passion, as has certainly been noted many times before, can be a double-edged sword, and it can be difficult for companies who only expect an 100 percent flawless candidate to begin his or her CEO tenure. Along with a fiery determination to get things done comes the possibility that a manager will be brash, aggressive, or, as a recent Wired article puts it, "obsessive."

But there's a difference between a leader who applies scrutiny that isn't helpful and one who is merely driven to succeed, which could have positive repercussions as well. Executive recruitment services can be that deciding factor that helps less experienced boards and organizations figure this process out.

That article's subject is one particular "obsessive" who also created a very important invention: Melvil Dewey, who created the Dewey Decimal System, a major step forward for libraries. Writer Joshua Kendall compares the man to famous tech CEOs we know today and spells out the lesson we should take from Dewey in one paragraph rather neatly.

"Dewey's story illustrates how obsessiveness often powers achievements and how obsessive innovators solve problems for the world," he said. "But it is partly a cautionary tale, because his character disorder also led to his downfall."

While it's true that no one is perfect, as YES Partners has pointed out several times, there can be such a thing as a perfect fit. Every candidate will have their pros and cons, but with an executive recruitment firm working hand in hand with your company, you can try to limit the amount of negative qualities that you have to contend with.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people – for all company functions, across many industries and globally.

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