As an executive recruiter, I think about career trajectories a lot. When it comes to pursuing an advanced degree, most professionals wonder-will the output of time and energy be worth it? It’s a big commitment, especially for established professionals who usually have plenty to balance already. Inviting more work can seem daunting.    
 
I’ve experienced this firsthand. I’m proud to say that at age 53, I recently earned my graduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. My return on this investment has been excellent, both in terms of the refreshed sense of content related to my profession as well as the increase in self-confidence. Working hard and absorbing new material as an adult learner is challenging but also deeply satisfying. I continue to feed off the emotional and intellectual payoffs.
 

** As published on AESC Bluesteps

Serving on a non-profit board is a full body exercise in governance. Board members contribute far more than just their votes. They fill a vital leadership role that engages both their subject matter expertise and their leadership skills.

A board member’s role is to advance their organization’s mission and vision. They do so by understanding and championing the needs and values of all stakeholders who interplay with the organization. To serve their institution well, board members must be good listeners, versatile professionals, and big-picture thinkers.

It’s a thrill and a challenge to steer an organization as a member of a leadership team. Each board member has to deftly strategize as it relates to his or her particular area of expertise but also play the larger game of governance, acting as the generalist the organization needs.

If you’re considering serving on a non-profit board, here’s what you need to know as you pursue that ambition.

Just as CEOs lead companies, we each assumed the chief executive role for our own careers the minute we stepped out into the working world. In that capacity, we have to protect and nurture our interests and prospects, just like the big guys do.

This is no small task. We enact this work in a landscape of constant, fast-paced change. To remain engaged and relevant players, companies have to be hip to the evolutionary pulse that drives growth in their industries.

**As published on AESC BlueSteps

Looking out across a construction site with dozens of workers scurrying from place to place, a construction leader once said, we can’t see dramatic cost reductions and quality improvements without innovations. Thankfully, across the industry organizations from general contractors to subcontractors and suppliers are rapidly taking advantage of the influx of new technologies that are poised to bring the construction industry into the 21st century, which is a good thing since according to the McKinsey’s 2015 Global Institute Industry Digitization Index, construction as an industry is at the bottom of the stack of industries for digitization.

**As Published on AESC BlueSteps

An ideal interview is like a tennis match: Interviewer serves. He speaks. Candidate returns. She speaks. Both exhibit poise, talent and knowledge of the game. Both sides learn. Both earn benefits that are independent of the outcome.

The evolution of executive search over the last 30 years has been remarkable. As part of that evolution, TRANSEARCH’s Chicago office has doubled down on its focus to identify the leader that best fits the needs and culture of the organization, and how that leader can contribute to the culture of the company. In the fall of 2017, TRANSEARCH hosted several events in Chicago with its Leadership Advisor, Dr. John O. Burdett. As an executive and as a consultant, John Burdett has worked in over 40 countries for businesses that are household names.

** As published on AESC Bluesteps

Business leaders have always been scrutinized for their decision making. In 1914, Henry Ford was both denounced as a fool and praised for doubling wages of factory employees from $2.34 to $5 per day. In 1987, Merck & Company decided to give away a cure for river blindness for free, an unfathomable choice for most pharmaceuticals, because they recognized the cost of the drug would be too high for impoverished international markets.

** As published on AESC Bluesteps

In 2017, it seems like everything is being measured and quantified. Over time, this trend has spread to people-centric industries like executive search. Like it or not, the use of personality assessments – and other pre-employment testing – is alive and well as companies are hiring employees from the entry level to the executive level. I’m often asked by clients and candidates alike, “what role should personality testing play in the hiring process?” My response usually begins with the words “be careful…”