Dr. Nick Molinaro, Ed.D., P.C.
As I have explained in this previous post regarding my work as a licensed psychologist with high-level athletes, awareness and focus are critical. Those same mental skills serve the leadership skills of the exceptionally performing business leaders I work with as well. Let’s drill a little deeper into how the performance abilities of both groups align.
From a psychological viewpoint, there are two types of sports – closed and open – and many top athletes must thrive under both systems. A closed sport is one such as golf, where the participant can use internal focus, as they have the opportunity to spend a little more time analyzing before execution with no opponents attempting to distract them. In open sports such as football, the athlete must contend with the actions of another team. Basketball is the example of a sport that’s open most of the time, but closed when a player makes free throws with no one waving hands in their face.
Business executives are, like basketball players, sometimes in an open “sport” and sometimes a closed “sport”. That is why they must constantly be able to shift awareness as needed. Occasionally they have the time and luxury to write a speech or plan a presentation while at other times they’re confronted by the unexpected actions of a competitor – and the clock is always running.
Some executives need to hone their skills at intentional attention shifting in order to stay on top of all possible threats and opportunities. Here’s a simple drill I give my high-performance business executives and athletes to sharpen that skill:
Focus on a specific point on the wall. What do you see? Maybe it’s a painting or a window or simply a crack in the plaster. Fix that vision in your mind, then, without moving your eyes, shift your visual attention to the left. To the right. Up. Down. Until you consciously shifted your attention you were probably unaware that there was anything to see beyond your original target.
It can be tempting to rivet your focus on that one detail that most needs your immediate attention and to ignore everything else. The drill serves as a reminder that there’s always something going on just off your initial point of reference. For example, while a competitor who comes out of nowhere is aggressively challenging your main product line, your IT system is growing obsolete. It makes a great deal of sense that the immediate threat should occupy most of your attention, but that side issue is also very important.
For instance, consider a quarterback with a laser focus on a downfield receiver. He is so intent on delivering the ball and scoring a touchdown that he doesn’t see that the other team’s safety is gaining ground quickly on his guy. That just-out-of-focus threat might be relatively small right now, but it could be huge in the next couple seconds. This concept can also be applied to a golfer who is so consumed with studying the terrain between her ball and the hole that she doesn’t notice that the wind has subtly picked up or changed directions.
As you develop your intentional shifting of awareness skills, you won’t lose sight of your most immediate concerns, but neither will you ignore tomorrow’s potential risk or opportunity that’s just barely in view.
If you’d like to know more about business leadership development, please contact Shawn Baker, President, Cochran, Cochran & Yale, 585-785-5728, Shbaker@ccy.com.
Rochester, NY: Rochester based executive search firm Cochran, Cochran & Yale has been named by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Recruiting Firms” in Executive Search for 2017. As the only firm located in Upstate New York to be awarded this prestigious title, Cochran, Cochran & Yale is honored to have been selected and share this title with some of the best firms throughout the country.
“With over 35 years in the executive search business, CCY has strived to not only meet, but exceed our clients as well as job seeker’s expectations,” says President Shawn Baker. “Our model focuses around not just finding the top talent, but developing professionals into leaders that are needed for businesses to experience sustainable growth.”
CCY serves organizations in financial services, banking, manufacturing, not for profit, healthcare, life sciences, consumer goods, professional services, technology, and sales and marketing. Through a Plan, Attract, Develop, and Retain model, services are custom-fit to any workforce performance need, capable of supporting both large industry and small start-up employers throughout the entire human capital life cycle.
Featured services include: Executive Recruitment, Management Consulting, HR Consulting, Onboarding & Leadership Development, Career Coaching, Strategic Testing & Assessments, and Career Transition Services.
For media inquiries contact:
Rochester, NY – May 1, 2017: For over 35 years, Cochran, Cochran & Yale has stood the test of time and it is certainly not a coincidence. By understanding the trends in the marketplace and not just talking the talk, but walking the walk as a successful executive recruitment and leadership advisory firm, Cochran, Cochran & Yale has identified what makes organizations “tick.”
Through analysis of economic and workplace trends, Cochran, Cochran & Yale is proud to announce expanded offerings that are helping organizations that were once unable to attract and retain top talent now not only secure, but also develop the professionals needed to experience sustainable growth.
Featured services include: Management Consulting, HR Consulting, Onboarding & Leadership Development, Career Coaching, Strategic Testing & Assessments, and Career Transition Services.
“Any HR professional or recruiter can identify a warm body to fill a position, but what makes CCY’s offerings unique is that we are partnering with our clients to identify not only their hiring needs, but deal with the issues in their workplace that may be holding them back,” says Christina Maley Higley, Director of Leadership Advisory Services.
She continues: “With the face of the workforce changing, including issues pertaining to millennial talent and generational divides for example, businesses are looking for stability and growth through employee satisfaction and retention. Our offerings allow us to partner with our clients to not only identify top talent through our strategic recruitment process, but also provide extensive onboarding and leadership development for every employee. From day one we are strengthening the talent while helping to create harmony among employees of varying backgrounds.”
Cochran, Cochran & Yale has found through their proprietary processes and proactive partnership approach to recruitment and HR, they are able to achieve unmatched results in the industry. Retention rates alone through these proven offerings is exceptional with 93 percent of placements remaining with clients beyond four years from the start of their employment.
“Our clients are seeing with our placements alone a 9x return on investment in our services,” says President Shawn Baker. “We are here to be our client’s trusted partner and they know they can rely on us when it’s crunch time.”
“As a result, our clients are able to focus on the strategies, functions, and priorities that maximize their organization’s success and growth, while we focus on fueling the people that drive their business,” he adds. “They are able to dedicate their valuable time to what they do best, while we do what we do best.”
He continues: “Our clients who experience the most value and impact in our services use CCY proactively and consistently. Through allowing us to do what we do best regularly for them, we are able to help them create highly engaged, extremely productive workforces that boost profitability. It is a win-win for everyone.”
About Cochran, Cochran & Yale: CCY serves organizations in financial services, banking, manufacturing, not for profit, healthcare, life sciences, consumer goods, professional services, technology, and sales and marketing. Through a Plan, Attract, Develop, and Retain model, services are custom-fit to any workforce performance need, capable of supporting both large industry and small start-up employers throughout the entire human capital life cycle.
For more information or media inquiries contact:
With 94% of recruiters searching for job candidates on the largest business and employment-oriented social networking site, this naturally for millions of users also is home to their personal and professional brand. For many years, we referred to our brand as our “reputation” and this reputation was built face-to-face. These days, first impressions are most likely to be formed online and LinkedIn is often the first place people “meet” you. Knowing this, what are some things you can do to make sure your first impression is the best impression on LinkedIn?
In a 2016 LinkedIn survey, it was found that your profile is 21 times more likely to be viewed if you have a LinkedIn photo that is not only visible, but done well. “First impressions are everything,” says President of Cochran, Cochran and Yale Shawn Baker. “When I am seeking candidates on LinkedIn I am more likely to reach out to someone who comes off in their picture as not only professional, but personable.” He adds: “I am more likely to skip over profiles without a picture or those who don’t look put together.” Experts say that if you can afford a professional photo, it may be the best investment you can make for your personal brand and self-confidence. Get rid of cropped photos, poor quality pictures, or those with you hanging out at the beach (that is unless you are a pro surfer).
LinkedIn headlines create first impressions and are the keywords that allow recruiters to find you. It is important when creating a strong headline to be specific about who you are and what you do. It is important to incorporate relevant words and use industry appropriate terminology. If you are unemployed, avoid using that word in your headline. Your headline should help convey your value and what you can bring to an organization, not what you aren’t doing at the moment.
Getting recommendations from your LinkedIn network as well as Featured Skills/Endorsements let others talk highly about you, while allowing you to not seem overly boastful. Ask for recommendations just after completing a project or when you receive an award. Make your request by giving someone a call and thanking them for taking the time to do so.
According to a 2016 LinkedIn study, users who display five or more skills are messaged 31 times more and viewed 17 times more than those who do not. Wow! So as meaningless as endorsements may seem, they do bring more attention to profiles. It is all about credibility. When someone is willing to endorse you for your skills this shows others that you know what you are talking about.
Consider LinkedIn your online portfolio or to show others just how good you are at what you do. LinkedIn makes it so easy to post pictures, videos, or projects under the Experience, Education, or Summary sections. They also allow you to customize a background banner for your profile where you can put an image that represents you or what you do for a living. Showing others what you do hands down is the best way to promote your brand and draw attention to your profile. People will feel engaged and want to start a conversation.
In today’s job market, your resume needs to immediately stand out. With attention spans of hiring managers and recruiters at an all-time low in addition to a bustling market with job seekers facing stiff competition for their dream positions, it is important that not only new grads, but seasoned professionals do these top things to get their resume in shape.
Hiring managers and recruiters are super busy. Making their job easier is key. Doing things like hyperlinking your email address or using active links to your LinkedIn profile makes it that much easier for someone interested in you to learn more or contact you to set up an interview.
Hiring managers and recruiters are not worried about what you are looking for. It’s evident that if you are applying for the job, you must be interested. “Objective statements have truly become obsolete and irrelevant,” says Christina Maley Higley, Director of Leadership Advisory at Cochran, Cochran & Yale and Business Communication Professor at St. John Fisher College. “Employers are looking for information that is going to capture a hiring manager’s attention such as a short professional synopsis that states years of experience, career achievements, and the things you want someone to know immediately about you that differentiates you from the other applicants vying for the position.”
Depending on the industry, you can make your resume stand out by freshening up the design. For example if you are a graphic artist, you certainly have more leeway to make your resume “pop” with a creative format than say an accountant. Using color wisely such as making a section header blue or replacing outdated fonts like Times New Roman with more modern fonts such as Cambria, Calibri, or Georgia are a great way for anyone across the industries to update a resume without going overboard.
The idea that people read from top to bottom, left to right may have been scientifically proven years ago, but the Internet and social media has changed the way people look for important information. With hiring managers or recruiters skimming and looking for different information quicker than ever, it is more about how you structure your resume. Using bolded text and underlining for example, key information will ensure achievements stand out and get the reader’s attention.
You don’t need to necessarily limit your resume to one page. A resume should be as long as it needs to be to convey value. A new college graduate may have one page max, while someone with 30 years of experience may have two or three pages easily. If worried about conserving space use bullet points, active verbs, industry specific acronyms, and don’t waste time stating the obvious.
52% of Millennials surveyed value the opportunity for progress above all else.*
College graduates just looking for any job or a first step on the corporate ladder are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Millennials say they want their work to be meaningful and, even more than money, they want to gain new skills that will move them forward in their career. This is a generation with both ambition and optimism for their future.
Balance has always been important, but the scales are shifting further.
Successful business leaders today should focus their recruitment strategies more and more on non-financial rewards. The only way to engage and attract a majority of current graduates is by balancing compensation with sound corporate values, and opportunities to grow and rise in the organization. Highlighting how your company provides new hires with opportunity to develop will attract more Millennial talent and make them feel more valued than salary alone.
Even great benefits don’t match the draw of a positive work environment.
Even though 73% of Millennials surveyed* are attracted to customizable benefit packages, even they don’t consider benefits until their basic pay and work life conditions have been addressed.
* Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace. PwC 2011
51% of Millennials surveyed say feedback should be frequent or continual.*
As Millennials make up a growing part of modern workforces, companies have to take a fresh look at leadership development practices. Many companies spend the majority of training and development budgets on the highest layers of their organization. Shifting your development strategy to include more continuous learning at all levels of the organization will be more effective going forward. You’ll create more engaged, motivated, and productive employees today and see greater retention over time.
Yes. Some stereotypes are true.
One of the strongest Millennial traits is that they want regular feedback and praise for achievement on the job. Companies can respond simply by making sure to set clear targets and providing timely, useful feedback.
The opportunity for companies is that Millennials expect to keep learning while they work and spend a lot of their work day and personal time trying new things and absorbing new information. It’s not surprising that 35% say they are attracted to employers who offer excellent training and development programs and consider these a top benefit.
Age does matter.
While younger workers may come to work with more computing and social media skills than their coworkers, they often lack an inherent understanding of workplace diplomacy and etiquette. As millennials begin to make up a larger percentage of the work force, companies are responding with additional focus on training in the areas of workplace behavior and culture for all generations. Younger employees may need education in the importance of prioritization and deadlines, while older generations may need education in the expectations of others when using chat, email, and collaboration software.
* Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace. PwC 2011
56% of Millennials surveyed felt they could “rise to the top” with their current employer.*
Millennials are filled with optimism and ambition, but they also have high expectations. Is there a path to the top? What help will I get along the way? How will I be measured? How long will it take to get there? Disappointment and frustration is inevitable, but it can be mitigated. Great leaders already know how to manage expectations, reward achievement and provide a clear path forward through their organization for top talent. The value of all these is amplified given today’s workforce.
A vision of their future is key to Millennials.
According to one survey, one in five Millennials said they were already unhappy with the opportunities for advancement at their current organizations* and according to another, two in three Millennials expect to leave their organization by 2020**. To retain talent, companies must provide a clear path through their organization that employees can easily see and know how to work toward.
Set them free.
One way you can keep Millennials more engaged and committed to your company long term is by giving them opportunities to stretch their skills. Assigning projects that draw on their existing strengths, but require them to reach outside their comfort zone will show you value their development. Allowing them to set their own deadlines and work schedule to get the work done will demonstrate you trust them.
The work environment today is important for retention, too.
A millennial-friendly environment needs to be comfortable and creative. While they work hard, Millennials want to do it in places with engaging and stimulating atmospheres that include room for work and personal life. The good news is that these environments aren’t just good for retaining Millennials, they’re good for everyone — engaged employees are more productive.
* Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace. PwC 2011
** Millennials continue to rise up the ranks peoplehr.com 2016
74% of Millennials surveyed say they are as comfortable working with other generations as their own.*
While most millennials are happy working alongside other generations, they do recognize tensions. 38% feel that older senior management does not easily relate to younger workers and 34% feel their personal drive could be intimidating to other generations.
These findings create two clear challenges for business leaders:
First, as mentioned before, Millennials are very willing to move on quickly when they feel that their needs are not being met. This will be particularly challenging as the older generations stay in the workplace longer.
Second, Millennials who do stay and rise will soon be managing workers older than themselves creating even more of the resentment that Millennials may currently be sensing. Different generations have always required different styles and tactics, but the massive size of the Millennial talent pool combined with the increasingly complex job market is presenting fresh challenges. Some of the first steps to addressing them include providing more feedback and recognition, building transparent management systems, and instituting policies and rewards consistent with the organizations values and objectives. Strong and strategic leadership is more essential than ever in today’s multigenerational workplace.
Some companies handle turbulent times well. Some people handle stress and change well. Here’s a secret. Those companies hired, developed and hold on to those employees. Here are 8 ways you can help build a more resilient team:
Branding isn’t just the latest buzzword. It’s the oldest marketing tactic there is. Creating a feeling or meaning behind a company or product has always been the fastest way to success. In competitive hiring markets, branding is simply being directed towards potential employees at the same time as potential customers. It’s smart business.
Our clients have found that it’s critical to develop high-performance managers who can work in rapidly changing, high-pressure environments. This takes more than identifying individuals’ technical talents, you have to know that employees have the psychological skills to excel.
Shawn Baker, President at Cochran, Cochran and Yale, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about employee retention:
What’s your resolution for talent acquisition, development and retention? Like most things in our lives, when you start with planning, everything else starts to fall into place. It’s a New Year. And aren’t all Resolutions just little Plans
In 2017, you can resolve to take down the wall between HR, marketing and customer service to create better experiences for job candidates and current employees. Marketing to candidates like you do to customers achieves similar goals. It delights them, increases loyalty and grows revenues.
When employees commit to personal and professional change they can grow themselves while becoming more valuable members of the team. Here are a few though starters for the coming year.
It’s hard to say what is driving the increased mobility of the modern worker, but it’s a very real trend. Studies have shown:
Guttman Development Strategies, led by Howard M. Guttman, is a partner of CCY and focused on helping clients become high performance organizations. One of the key strategies to accomplishing this is providing good performance feedback.
You may not need to clear the high jump, land perfectly on the beam, or expertly perform the butterfly stroke, but the same tips Olympians use, can put you out in front at work. Recently, themuse.com published an article of great ones called “10 Olympic Athletes’ Daily Habits You Should Steal (That Don’t Involve the Gym).” Here is the gist:
Ask a veteran salesperson how they can summon the will to put themselves out there every day, and the answer will reassure even the shyest networker. Sales people are confident because they know they doing their prospects a favor. They have solutions to other people’s needs. This is what we all need to remember when networking, especially the shyest of us. Here are a few other tips:
The first eyes on your resume are probably going to be electronic. But final hiring decisions are going to be made by actual people. It’s critical to craft your resume to stop both automated scanning systems and real live managers in their tracks. Here are some key things to consider:
It’s easy to make a list of potential CEO candidates. You can probably even craft a list of skills he or she should have. But here’s how to move from a scratch pad to a successful succession plan.
Sometimes it’s difficult to decide if you just need some help on a project or your team is missing people with critical skills to achieve the success. Here’s a quick list of the pros and cons of hiring contractors and full-time employees to you help you think through your own needs and what will generate the results you need.
Guttman Development Strategies, led by Howard M. Guttman, is a strategic partner of CCY and focused on helping clients become high performance organizations. One of the key strategies to accomplishing this is distributed decision making.
There was a time when a cushy job meant big salary, big bonus and big corner office. Today, employers are finding that it might be unlimited vacation time and a workplace that looks and feels like their living room that really matter to their top workers.
How to plan for, attract, develop and retain great performers
Welcome to the second issue of The Leader Board. This is where you will find important learnings we have gathered while delivering leadership advisory services to our clients.
Rochester Business Journal, August 12, 2016 – Cochran, Cochran & Yale at its core is an executive search firm. But in today’s evolving economy, clients are asking for more than resumes to review. CCY provides clients a proven, data-supported search process that emphasizes culture fit and capabilities.
Welcome to the first issue of The Leader Board. We want to regularly share with you important learnings we’ve gathered as we’ve delivered leadership advisory services to our clients.
Cochran, Cochran & Yale LLC (CCY), who has been offering comprehensive Executive Search and HR/Management Consulting services nationwide since 1979, has opened two new Practice areas.