That Old Saw: What Defines a Leader?

Many of my clients are clear that they are leaders. Their job titles, in fact, begin with a "C," and they have a great deal of vision and responsibility. Plain and simple.

For other clients, however, they're still feeling it out, or they're laying their leadership groundwork, or they're sensitive about calling themselves a leader. Still others say they're a leader, but have little to prove it.

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Overused Words Every Executive Résumé Should Avoid

Ever fallen in love with a word or phrase, only to discover that everyone else is loving it, too? A word we all seem to be loving a bit too much right now is "amplify," so it's only a matter of time before it ranks on one of the interweb's "most overused business phrases" lists. 

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Should You Call Yourself a "Thought Leader" on LinkedIn?

Imagine that Miss USA had a LinkedIn profile. Now imagine that somewhere in that profile she included the phrase, "I’m beautiful." Why? Because she believed it was a keyword or phrase by which others would find a beauty queen.

Now imagine that the late Steve Jobs had a LinkedIn profile, and somewhere in his profile he said, "I'm an innovator." Why? Because he had a hunch that someone might enter “innovator” into LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool to find someone like him.

Do either of the above scenarios sound right? 

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Your Star-shaped Peg Isn't Meant to Fit in that Square-shaped Hole

As infants, we learn that star-shaped pegs fit only in the star-shaped holes. So why do we backslide as adults and start thinking our star-shaped pegs should suddenly fit into square holes?

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Why the Writing Process is a Great Tool for Decision-making

Staking and explaining a position so others will join your vision ... be convinced ... believe in you ... is hard work, and seeing words come back wrong is often the very exercise needed to make corrections so you can get the message right.  

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Overlooking the Obvious After Taking a New Job

Sometime things are so obvious we miss them entirely. 

That's what happened this year when a client's new job was mentioned on Fortune.com. His LinkedIn profile had worked like a charm, and his executive résumé and other materials were there to support his candidacy for the right company.

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I can do that job! Why won't they hire me?

I've come to learn that [a big part is] the amount of risk and [how the ideal candidate's] expertise mitigates that risk. It's a big reason why recruiters usually stick to a sure thing when recruiting a high profile role, and why it's important for someone who's a ways into their career—but not at a level they'd like to be—to have an advocate on the inside. In other words, someone who's willing to stick their neck out and vouch for them.

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Clear Writing is Hard Work

If you struggle with hyperbole, sentence structure, overwriting, lack of clarity, and beyond, you'll find all of the links in this blog post to be helpful resources. And take it from the guy who once relearned how to write who now makes his living writing: it can be done. You just have to realize the problem, and then set your mind to it.

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How a Plate of Nachos Turned Into Jared Redick's Job Description Analysis

The Job Description Analysis was born out of frustration, honestly. In 2009, a client gave me a spate of job descriptions for which he felt qualified, but they didn't hold a cogent through-line when I considered the entirety of his career. In fact, feelings rarely tell the whole story, nor lead to coherent decisions.

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If You're Looking to Brand Yourself or Your Business

If you're considering the development of your own brand, or merely thinking about how to become a better leader, I urge you to invest the 18 minutes and 4 seconds it takes to learn the science behind Simon Sinek's quintessential TedX Talk. 

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Networking: Essential or Overrated?

A major component of networking, as classically defined in the career development world, is realizing that networking is a long-term investment—a concept that Shauna Bryce speaks eloquently about in our joint Eye on the C-suite presentations.

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The Surefire Way to Gamble With a Recruiter's Patience

I sat there with a golden ticket for someone. I had my target list of potential candidates, carefully assembled by our research team. And on that list, I would periodically come to names that I couldn't readily pronounce.

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Giving Up On Writing a Friend's LinkedIn Recommendation? Try These Ideas First!

Let's face it. Writing a LinkedIn recommendation—even a really good one—isn't going to win you any literary awards. In fact, your beautifully crafted copy will these days be cemented to the absolute bottom of your subject's LinkedIn profile. No fame for you today.

So why try to write a great LinkedIn recommendation? Why not just dash off a few lines of well-trodden, risk-free copy used by so many others?

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Graceful, Shrewd & "Deceptively Simple" Hiring Advice from Apple's Angela Ahrednts

Angela's three LinkedIn Pulse posts, as of today's date, reflect a professional who is in possession of her strengths. Her June 23, 2014 "Starting Anew" post is particularly reflective, as she offers insights into the first 30-90 days of her own new job at Apple. 

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Are CEOs Born or Molded?

As an executive résumé writer and career coach who has long-worked with Fortune 50 executives, I've also long-noticed that CEOs—somewhere in their early careers—either founded a company and drove it to success, or in some other way faced a wall of professional accountability that might have crushed their peers. 

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Are You Half Extrovert, Half Introvert? You Might Be an Ambivert!

I first learned about the new "ambivert" designation over lunch this week from a fellow apparent ambivert. Janet and I concurred that we've never felt right about identifying exclusively as introverts or extroverts, although both concepts have been attached to both of us, individually, depending on the environment.

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