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It’s Time for Mentoring Internships

Companies:

One reason for the “Great Resignation” is that people, especially “emerging adults” discovered that their jobs did not provide career/life fulfillment. You can help students and adults of all ages make better first, second and later career decisions, by giving them a chance to explore opportunities before they invest in a career. Only with experience can they discover if they have the skills, interests and acumen needed.

At the least, your employees get extra help on projects. At best, if you’re recruiting workers, you can determine if it’s a “culture fit”. In all cases, you enhance your company’s social reputation.

Interns:

Reach out to the companies and departments, locally and/or remotely that have a growth-learning culture. Reach put to appropriate Human resource and/or Department heads. Let them know what you’re interested in learning and show them that in exchange for them taking extra time to mentor you, not just as you to do tasks, they’ll get a learner who is a great potential worker – ready, willing and able.


Good luck to both of you.

Jerry Cahn, Ph.D., J.D.

Executive Director & CLO

With Mentoring Internships, Everyone Wins!

jcahn@MentoringInternships.com

Can the “Great Resignation” Become the “Great Elevation”? It’s Up to You.

The data is clear: one of the consequences of the Pandemic is that people are leaving their jobs. From my perch, the patterns are clear. I see it when I work with CEOs who lead multi-million dollar companies and share their thoughts and feelings with other Vistage members in order to be more effective leaders for themselves, their employees and companies and communities with which they work. I see it when I work with the Age Brilliantly community where adults share their questions and potential solutions on our interactional platform with peers, experts and service providers, who share our common mission: to lead long, fulfilling lives (to 100+).

It’s happening across almost all demographic groups for a simple reason: staying in a job that doesn’t meet some of their essential needs for a fulfilling life doesn’t make sense. The Pandemic which disrupted so many aspects of life, destroyed our allegiance to inertia: the reluctance to change. It moved workers from offices to home; it forced people to restructure how and when the use time to do jobs and reallocate it to relationships, passion and purpose. 

It challenged workers’ beliefs that they had to sacrifice some aspects of life for others. We learned that we no longer have to commute an hour a day to do your daily job, nor spend a day traveling back and forth for a meeting that could be done via Zoom. We learned that we have 12-18 hours during which we can work and spend time with our children and parents -often with more positive results for everyone. With a far more fulfilling life, why return to the old way of sacrificing “self” for the “job”. 

As humans continue to evolve, we’re motivated less by fears driven by our reptilian brains and more by the positive outlook of opportunities by our “sage” (frontal neocortex) brains. (See  Positive Psychology and Positive Intelligence to learn more.)  For emerging and young adults, the discovery happens early in their careers; for middle and later stage adults who are questioning what a potential 80 year adult life really means, this is the opportunity to stop living the “default” life and start leading an intentional life.

If they work for a company, this is the time to reflect on what they really want to do for the rest of their life. Resignations allow some to focus on GROWTHH time (i.e., Goal Re-orientation with Time for Health and Happiness) and launch their Future Selves. Young people can start careers that are more challenging and lucrative, and uses their time well. Middle and later stage adults can change careers, start businesses, and serve as SharExers (Sharing Experience and Expertise) to advise companies, mentor younger people, etc.) CEOs who resisted retirement because the company produces many values (e.g., identity, income, relationships), can identify inertia’s opportunity costs, and focus on life’s wonders, gifts and opportunities that they are missing

Since the beginning of the pandemic, McKinsey and others noted that it accelerated trends already in place. Experts have been sharing with us the impact of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the job market: we’re going to lose between 25-40+% of jobs manual and routine jobs that Robots (physical machines) and Bots (software robots). At the same time, it creates new job and industries. Remember, digital transformation, telehealth, RPA (robotic process automation), etc. are all in their infancy. 

Thus, rather than lament the labor shortages that the “great resignation” has produced, we should focus on the opportunities it creates. Let the “robots and bots” free people from jobs that are routine and boring; and let’s enable those people who want to support companies’ vision and mission to increase their contribution! Let people acquire the soft- and hard-skills necessary to take on elevated work with interesting teams of other people who share that vision. 

One of the Vistage member CEOs with whom I work leads a unique firm. While many of the larger RPA firms develop tools that they help customers adopt, Simple Fractal focuses on diagnosis of client’s needs to develop customized bots (cRPA). As part of tits needs assessment process, it not only identifies where its bots can generate more revenue, more profit, better customer experiences, more efficiency, etc., but also challenges the client to think about how to use the enormous ROI that cRPA can produce to look at its future workforce and “elevate human capital”.

As individuals make better decisions concerning the jobs they want to own during the next decade while they also lead a more fulfilling lifestyle, they need to elevate their capabilities to take on these jobs. At the same time, companies and schools need to increase their commitment to helping people upskill their talents and capabilities to take on more interesting careers during next few decades.

Together, as individuals, schools, and companies, we can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Elevation.  Are you up to the challenge? Let’s get started, now!

For more information, contact: Jerry.Cahn@VistageChair.com or JCahn@AgeBrilliantly.org 

Think Like a BUYER to Design and Deliver Winning Sales Presentations

Do you want to sell your company (or an important product or service) for maximum value and quickly? Then, you need to think like the BUYER before you design the presentation.

This message has been reinforced recently, as several CEOs who are selling their companies share with me how they are struggling with sales presentations designed for them by investment banking and related firms. Why are they’re struggling? While the banker-types do a decent job collecting the information that needs to be presented, they turn the design job to junior analysts who “fit” the data into an evergreen sales template. This process generates several problems:

  • The templates often are not designed from the perspective of a BUYER but rather reflect the “data-dump” of the data collected to make the sake. A BUYER presentation focuses on:
  • What the BUYER needs to know (and what should be deleted),
  • How the facts and data should be presented to be compelling, 
  • How to structure the entire presentation to guide the BUYER to reach the conclusion: “I really want this!”
  • The potential BUYER is part of an extended team that has to pull the trigger on buying.  This includes people in the company, investors and advisors. Therefore, a key goal of the presentation is to enable the person to share the information with others!  Like the game of telephone, as it gets communicated from one person to another, pieces get lost and confused. Therefore, the presentation must make crystal clear at the end WHY this is an incredible deal and do it in a way that the BUYER can share it completely with others!
  • Most analysts shouldn’t be expected truly understand the BUYER context.  He/she only recently graduated a (often top) college which taught how to do financial modeling and make presentations. These are key technical skills. But, as Google’s research demonstrated, the soft-skills often count more today than the hard skills. That the template may not include the right facts in the right offer and therefore eliminate the right flow to persuade a BUYER is something not yet experienced. As a mentor once shared with me, don’t expect someone who drives used cars to be a powerful new luxury car sales person.
  • All too often the person who presents to potential buyers is given the mandate to present this less-than-ideal-templated presentation” to potential buyers by going from over-stuffed- slide-to-slide. Instead, the seller should be presenting his/her persuasive, memorable STORY, filled with passion, purpose and vision and supported by informative and engaging slides within a powerful, flowing presentation. Only then can a deal proceed at full value and at full value. (The gap between reading the slides and presenting a powerful story is the largest reason that potential deals don’t advance.)

For over thirty years, my teams at Presentation Excellence and its predecessor Brilliant Image, have been telling our over 5000 customers to follow a simple formula that almost always enable them to win: ADAP – Audience-Driven, Authentic Presentations. Understanding the buyer context is KEY. One of my clients once raised $100M Opportunity fund with a 20 minute stand-up presentation at tall tables in bars. Another CEO had trouble selling a company which sold at retail dressy dresses ; once we realized that the Buyer-Reps were all men – who often bought tuxedos that they wore over and over again, we realized changing the mindset immediately was key to revealing Company’s real value. Finally, I wrote this blog in response to a third CEO who told to present their hot-off-the-press presentation the next day (for the first time) while he was uncomfortable with the flow and style, but was willing to go along with the (expensive) experts.

So, if you’re one of the millions of owners and managers who have critical sales planned for 2022, THINK LIKE THE BUYER, before you design and deliver the presentation!  

(For more information, call JerryCahn@PresentationExcellence.com or 800 493 1334

that can only be worn once is not the same as selling Tuxedos which may be work countless times.

 Think Like the Buyer, BEFORE You Design the Presentation

Are You Ready for “Mission-Critical?

For over three decades, I’ve been helping leaders design, produce and deliver winning “mission-critical” presentations. It’s not easy to influence someone to win over the heart and mind of other people to make a decision you want. Yet, that’s the job of most leaders.

You need to appreciate your audience’s starting position and figure out what kinds of logical and emotional information/experiences may produce change. Then you need to understand the degree of receptivity to change based on the person’s existing perspectives and biases. The setting – place and time for the communication – also has an impact. Only then can you craft a message that’s powerful and persuasive. And when you deliver it your authenticity, humility, trust, and executive presence all play a role in whether the other party will take the desired action.

I organized all these elements into a simple framework called ADAP: Audience-Driven, Authentic Presentations. I’ve had the privilege of coaching and mentoring leaders to produce winning presentations worth $100s of millions in business, advancing careers, and improving people’s lives.  

Over the past decade, I’ve learned that the most effective leaders succeed, in part, because they’re open to receiving input and feedback from others – and by doing so sharpen their ability to see the many perspectives that can impact on a situation. I invite you to polish these skills.

As a Board Chairman for Vistage Worldwide, which services 23,000 global CEOs, I’ve seen how relationships with other CEOs on their personal Peer Advisory Board, as well as interactions with others through the MyVistage online platform reinforces their ability to widen their perspectives and sharpen their decision-making. They introduce a significant challenge they face, and seek critiques and advice for a tentative course of action they are ready to take. Then, they hear from others different perspectives on the challenge and new complications; but they also get fresh ideas on how to solve the problem, and referrals to resources that can help them. The outcomes: better decisions, better results and closer relationships.

McKinsey & Co. uses its management consulting expertise to help leaders of Fortune 500, government agencies and NGOs handle mission-critical issues. As part of its effort to help them handle short-term and long-term consequences of the pandemic, they recommended that leaders “harness the real power of peer networks”.  In “The CEO Moment: Leadership for a New Era”, they note that “CEOs are communicating more, and expanding their networks, in part because only another CEO confronting the pandemic can fully identify with today’s leadership challenges.”  As one CEO put it, “I find talking to other CEOs about how they’re handling the crisis extremely helpful – this shared experience connects us and gives me added perspectives.” Another said: “From an external perspective, I’ve been a beneficiary of amazing calls with other CEOs who have been willing to share their knowledge. This has been such a growing experience”.
As we all try to resolve how to handle the pandemic, in leadership meetings and business presentations, all of us are making mission-critical decisions affecting many stakeholders. Are you harnessing the collective smarts of leaders with integrity and hunger for growth to help you make better business presentations and decisions?  If not, why not? Your competitors are!  Contact me at jerrycahn@presentationexcellence.com or jerry.cahn@vistage.com.

Decisiveness: Rise to the Leadership Challenge

When confronted with the same general problem, leaders can take different approaches. The challenge for people who need to make similar decisions in the future is: how do you decide what’s most effective?

When I attended law school, a colleague and I decided to use our evaluation and computer skills to test the idea that you could evaluate the effectiveness of laws by analyzing comparable data. Noting that each state in the US had its own laws to control access and use of alcoholic beverages, we chose that topic. (We discovered that only a few key components of the complex laws each state had significantly made any difference on the desired impacts.)

Today, I work with a group of 23,000 smart, ambitious CEOs who are hungry for more success and therefore join Vistage Worldwide. To support my mentoring and facilitation on behalf of over two dozen of them in the New York area, I’m constantly learning from my own observations as well as leadership experts (e.g., Jim Collins’ comparisons in Good to Great) as well to meta-studies that do the same (e.g., What Really Works: The 4+2 formula.)  


After the coronavirus pandemic is over, analysts will study the different actions taken by different states and countries to learn how best to handle future pandemics. Over the weekend, I heard an analysis of why some countries (e.g., Sweden, Germany, Taiwan) were more successful in preventing major outbreaks and deaths, than other countries (e.g., US, England, Russia and Brazil). They found that leaders in the countries which prevented major outbreak had more decisive leaders: they immediately identified the potential problem, focused on taking action, and executed the plan.

Interestingly, decisiveness by leaders is also the focus of an article in Forbes. Ms. Kasowski notes that people gravitate to leaders who are more decisive – leading to greater impact.    She provides three basic actions leaders should take to be more decisive:

  • Reflect and understand where your hesitation comes from
  • Visualize your outcome 
  • Trust yourself and your outcome.

There are an enormous number of uncertainties that the post-pandemic world presents. As leaders, our job is to rise to the challenge of making wise decisions on behalf of our stakeholders. By doing so, decisively, you are likely to both generate better outcomes and attract the support you need from your stakeholders to achieve them.  That’s why I share this information with my Vistage member CEOs whom I am privileged to serve. Are you ready to rise to the challenge?

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