Executives: Here is how to compete with other executives to land that ideal career…

An interview with a CEO and a board member on why they chose one executive vs. another

In the past year, 3 of my good friends become the final candidates for 2 senior executive roles. Shortly after they were appointed, I received a lead generation marketing project from each of them and while waking in their hallways, I was curious as to why did friend A get the job and friend B didn’t?

So I asked if I could have coffee with the CEO and/or the board members and if I could ask my question.

Both of my friends (and clients) agreed to setup the meeting and in exchange for the appointment, I would have to share my insights with them.

So here are my notes and I thought you would like to read them as well…

“Had imagination and talk about it. Specifically showed us that he could create new capabilities because he was thinking differently.”

When she came into the interview, her conversations were based on “sharing herself”. I could see she was co-creating something with me. That created trust and openness vs ego & accomplishments which was refreshing.

“He made the invisible, visible”.

She had a very different approach to culture change. Instead of doing change management, or hiring outside consultants, her focus in her past careers was on the quality of relationships and quality of conversations between staff members with different expertise. In my interview with her, I realized we needed someone who had the experience in understanding what causes people to open up.

He used your approach to take away the boardroom tables and replaced it with round tables. The roundtables structure created a “we” atmosphere and that caused an environment of trust.

Our company needs to be lean. He talked about how to fire management and hire leadership instead.

In large technical projects, she had deconstructed a number of conversations so that she could reconstruct it back together. Later they discovered she was designing the company of the future.

One great question she had from me was “What does shared success look like”?.

In a book called “Conversational Intelligence”, the author (Judith Glaser) suggests you and I at anytime participate in the following domains of conversations: (1) Resistor, (2) Skeptical, (3) Waits to See, (4) Experience and (5) Co-Creator

She claims when a person consistently creates an environment for constant conversation, it causes people to change their relationship from transactional to positional to transformational.

And in this case, I could see the friends of mine that got the job, started their interview with people who were a resister or skeptical or wait to see and managed to bring them into a “co-creator” conversation.

As the holidays approaches and I take time off for myself to reflect back on the year, I have some new questions to ask myself and I thought by sharing them with you, you would get some value from it:

  • Do I have an imagination and am I sharing about it?
  • Am I really thinking differently?
  • Am I able to see the invisible and am I making is visible? If so, for who am I making it visible for and why
  • Am I creating quality conversations between my network?

I would love to get your thoughts on my experience and my notes at the following link:…

Sincerely, Taimour Zaman.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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