Talent

  • R&R for CEOs: How to Take a Thinking Break

    Like many middle market CEOs, Tomas Gorny is passionate about his job as head of Unitedweb, the parent company of Nextiva, a middle market company specializing in business cloud communication. When it comes to thinking about his business, "I never turn it off," he says, "but I have nothing to turn off because I love what I do. I'm very intense." But working all the time can lead to burnout and lack of perspective. That's why he builds R&R into his schedule, and his strategies may inspire even the most workaholic CEOs to take a break this summer.

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  • Summer Reading List for Midmarket CEOs

    With summer's longer days and relaxed pace, it's time to create a summer reading list. Catching up on your reading is also a great way to develop new perspectives and gain fresh insights about your middle market business. Your summer reading can either be pure entertainment, filled with thrillers and celebrity biographies, or perhaps more highbrow, with instructive tomes on finance or global market trends.

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  • A Thorough Self-Assessment Will Make You a Stronger Leader

    A commitment to self-assessment is a trait that an effective middle market CEO should possess. You often play a more central and complex role than CEOs in larger companies, which usually have bigger, more-defined leadership teams. As such, self-assessment may be the last thing on your to-do list because other priorities crowd your busy agenda. Taking the time to pull back on day-to-day work and reflect upon whether your efforts are truly aligned with your company's long-term vision is an essential component of leadership.

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  • How to Turn a Negative Employee Review into Positive Growth

    No one likes to receive a negative employee review. "Critical feedback can bring our worst fears and anxieties about ourselves into focus," says Monique Valcour, a management professor at the EDHEC Business School in France. "For most employees, work is a source of identity. This is especially the case for people who are strongly career-oriented. So when you get feedback that you're not being effective . . . it can make you feel that you're failing to be the person you want to be."

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  • Is Your Company's Corporate Structure Ready for the Future?

    How hierarchical should your company be? In the past, corporate structure was rarely discussed; it didn't need to be, because the answer — very — was obvious. Leaders would give directives to their subordinates, who would pass them along down the chain of command. But the rise of the Internet and globalization has upended those expectations and led some companies to experiment with "flatter," less hierarchical arrangements.

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  • Should You Bring In an Efficiency Expert?

    Of course your company could be more efficient — we all can be. But is it a good idea to bring in an efficiency expert to help you make improvements? Recent research by the National Center for the Middle Market reveals that you can't simply hand over a check and assume that an efficiency expert will solve your problems. It turns out that in order for your company to truly benefit, you have to build employee buy-in and instill the kind of corporate culture that will welcome any recommendations. Here are three questions you should ask to ensure that, when you bring in an efficiency expert, your money will be well spent.

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  • Hiring Older Employees: How Middle Market Firms Can Benefit

    By Rob Carey

    Given the encouraging economic environment that's emerged in the US recently, it is rather confounding that so many people with valuable experience are still unemployed. As companies reduced costs during the turbulence of the past five years, it's not surprising that there wasn't a high demand for hiring older employees during that time. But today, nearly forty percent of unemployed workers are over the age of forty-five, which is thirty percent higher compared to the 1980s, according to the Urban Institute.

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  • Using the STAR Method: Six Tips for Hiring the Right Talent

    By Rob Carey

    For critical positions that need to be filled, a middle market firm does not have much room for error. Any hire that doesn't work out, even if that person is on the job for just a few months, sets the firm back considerably, both in terms of wasted compensation and wasted opportunity. Furthermore, it indicates that there are deficiencies in the firm's hiring process.

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  • Professional Business Coaching: Understanding the Pros and Cons

    We all know that you can't keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results. One of the best ways to shake up your management habits and move to the next level is through professional business coaching. Other forms of professional development are helpful, but they're often skills-based (teaching about new regulations, for example, or how to negotiate better). Coaching offers something different: "Coaching is a method of helping clients find their own answers," says New York City-based executive coach Michael Melcher. He provides the lowdown on what you need to know about the pros and cons of professional business coaching.

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  • 10 Great Situational Interview Questions to Identify the Best Job Candidate

    Shakespeare once wrote, "What's past is prologue," and situational interview questions are based on the same idea: the way job candidates behaved in the past is the single best predictor of the way they'll behave in the future. A situational question allows interviewers to get their subjects away from canned generalities and prepackaged answers, forcing job candidates to offer specific examples of how they used job-related skills to solve real-life problems in the past. They offer the interviewer a fuller picture of the candidate's capabilities and experience far beyond the sweeping abstractions of a typical résumé.

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  • 7 Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Your Talent

    A recent survey from consulting firm Watson Wyatt showed that more than half of all companies have no employee retention strategy. With the economy improving and the job market heating up, especially for middle market companies, you may find that employee retention, especially of your top performers, has become increasingly difficult. Losing your best people not only damages your productivity, disrupts current and potential leadership, and reduces company morale, it also helps your competitors. Having to match a competitor's job offer in order to retain your top performers is NOT a retention strategy — it only incentivizes employees to seek outside job offers and ask you to match them.

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  • Four Strategies to Create a Business Culture of Success

    How can you develop a business culture that supports ongoing growth, even through the worst economic crises? That's what the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) set out to identify in its recent comprehensive study. It turns out that fewer than one percent of firms are what the NCMM terms "Sustained Growers" – those that grew even during the recession and then doubled sales post-recession. How did they do it?

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  • Staff Development: Develop an Approach That Works for You

    Staff development is a critical issue for middle market companies. A growing so-called middle skills jobs gap leaves companies in all industries at a strategic disadvantage as they scramble to find talent that is not readily available. Finding people with the proper leadership skills for the future is also difficult and leaves businesses in danger of not obtaining the management they need to grow and thrive. Companies also have the need to develop in-house talent for additional responsibilities and to help support a succession plan.

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