It’s Who Knows You That
It seems as though many young executives are
relying on speaking engagements and publishing articles
to boost their careers.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal, public
exposure has helped Robert Gerber, a 37-year-old chief
strategy officer at Commtouch Inc., get ahead in the
technology field. His contact with conference organizers
exposed him to a whole new world of influential people.
Gerber claims that he rarely updates his resume and
headhunters find him when attractive job opportunities
Gerber feels he doesn’t need a piece of
paper to list his achievements when so many people
understand who he is, what he has done, and that he is
capable of achieving goals. While this sort of exposure
may help individuals personally, executive recruiters
caution that certain achievements, such as being an
‘expert’, could get overblown.
“You have to find that delicate balance
between self-promoting and team promoting,” he
Battle of the
Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, and
nowhere may that be more apparent than in how they view
Wetfeet.com recruitment studies recently surveyed
more than 1,600 students and found that males and females
have dramatically different views on employment, work
environment and compensation.
Although salary was valued equally (85 percent) by
both genders, men appeared more interested in financial
incentives while women were more concerned with job
The study shows 51 percent of men and 27 percent
of women expected to receive a signing bonus. In
addition, men anticipated an average of $13,300 as a
year-end bonus as opposed to $8,400 by women.
According to Steve Pollock, president of
Wetfeet.com, “Anyone hoping to attract and retain
top job seekers needs to understand and respond to the
different preferences of males and females while also
making sure they provide an equal playing
Scientists have mapped out a human genetic code,
raising the hope that someday genetically linked
illnesses will be banished for good.
This may open up a new, healthier world for the
majority of us, but many benefit managers will soon
embark on a multi-decade, controversial battle in the
Business Insurance recently announced that Congress has
already begun considering potential disasters, and
“genetic discrimination” bills have already
been presented to the House and the Senate.
New questions have surfaced concerning employee
benefits, privacy and business ethics and employee
practices liability. For example, how does an employer or
an insurance company respond to a job applicant’s
genetic make-up if it is predisposed to a fatal disease?
Who should have access to this information and who is
liable for it?
The answers to these questions will not come
anytime in the near future, but the issue is not likely
Failure Be Your Inspiration
Telling an employee they are failing on the job
without crushing their motivation and confidence is
becoming an art form, according to a recent Wall Street
Journal. Managers realize criticism is essential to
employees’ success, yet they constantly struggle
with giving them honest feedback.
It is difficult to tell people things they
don’t want to hear, but a manager has the added
challenge of turning that failure into inspiration. How
do you tell someone they haven’t adequately handled
an assignment, or that their sloppy appearance is holding
Steve Kerr, vice president of leadership
development at General Electric Co., feels that feedback
should be presented in a nonthreatening way. At GE,
employees are encouraged to tell their bosses if they
feel they are doing something wrong, which helps build a
Some managers treat each employee differently
depending on that person’s personality. Jenet
Noriega Schwind, vice president and chief people officer
of Zantaz.com, likes to preface her conversations with,
“I want to explore something logical with
you.” Or start out by asking them, “how are
you feeling about this situation,” if they tend to
be more emotional. She feels that careful formation of
your statement is essential to getting the
employee’s attention and acceptance.
September 2000 NFC