Friday, August 25, 2006

Art of Executive-Presence - Are you in tune with todays job market? Do you have Executive-Presence? You will need it!

Art of Executive-Presence - Are you in tune with todays job market? Do you have Executive-Presence? You will need it!

Art of Executive-Presence - Are you in tune with todays job market? Do you have Executive-Presence? You will need it!

(PRWEB) April 7, 2004

The Art of “Executive-Presence”

If you've just been recommended by an executive recruiter for a top corporate position, the reasons may surprise you. Instead of being chosen for your stellar credentials, it's likely that you possess hiring "intangibles" that every recruiter learns to look for.

Of course, you need a history of steady accomplishments to make the list of finalists in the first place. But after that, it's those little-known qualities that determine why certain well-qualified candidates are recommended and others aren't.

Obviously, if you want to make a job change, it's to your advantage to know what recruiters are seeking. Demand for executives has been running strong for several years now. In fact, a study of 1,880 executives by C. U. and R& B shows that the typical job executive receives more than six queries a year about working at other companies, and at least one job offer.

World-Class Leaders

But moving past the interview to an offer requires more than a first-class resume. As one hiring manager says, "They all look good on paper." It's your "chemistry" and presence that shows whether you have what it takes to be a world-class leader. While recruiters would never tell you this face-to-face, here's what they actually look for during interviews, and what they'll be saying to clients later:

The first quality, Executive-Presence, is hard to define, but like art, recruiters "know it when they see it" and won't recommend you without it. When taking this measurement, their first impressions are key. For instance, a manager with Executive-Presence doesn't speak with a noticeable regional accent. In conversation, he or she uses strategic silences to appear thoughtful.

Grooming and looks are important aspects of Executive-Presence. A male candidate would be manicured and wear a dark, expensive suit, white shirt with French cuffs and Hermes-type tie to an interview. Although exceptions occur, most corporate leaders are tall (six feet or taller for men, 5 feet 6 inches or taller for women) and lean. They have good posture. Facial hair and jewelry (watch, wedding ring and cufflinks excepted) are no-nos, unless you're in the entertainment, retailing or computer industries.

The top candidate for a chief operating officer's role at a division of a Fortune 1000 manufacturing company didn't understand these unspoken rules. On paper, he had it all -- industry expertise, management skills, intellect, Ivy League M. B.A. and overseas management experience. He also was well-spoken and dynamic on the phone. But the door closed when he arrived for an interview wearing a polyester suit and carrying a briefcase. Despite his accomplishments, it was clear he wouldn't fit. The executive who got the job had the background and looked the part.

Looking the part also takes stature, or social poise. Executives who have it are always on stage but never seem pretentious. They arrive on time and move gracefully but decisively. They initiate a handshake (strong, two shakes) and can easily lead the 30 to 45 seconds of small talk (weather, football, travel schedule) at the start of an interview. They use first names periodically when making points, but not so often that they sound like salespeople. And they never seem flustered or "out of control." They don't interrupt, dig around for writing implements, business cards or plane tickets or call their offices constantly. If they drop something, they pick it up gracefully. They give the impression that someone less senior -- a secretary or assistant -- is handling the details of their life.

The ability to focus is another key characteristic recruiters look for. Top executives must balance multiple issues, projects, personalities and outcomes. However, they give each item 100% of their attention. When others speak, they lean forward slightly -- a mark of attentiveness -- and listen carefully.

While searching for a CFO for a major consumer products company, we eliminated a candidate who had the right experience and presence because he interrupted the 45-minute interview three times to answer his mobile phone. Two of the calls concerned home-plumbing repairs.

How you speak is often more important than what you say. Executives who are articulate, another desired quality, don't simply speak clearly. They respond with a framework rather than giving a direct answer. For instance, to a recruiter's query, "How would your boss rate your performance?" an articulate candidate wouldn't say, "Very good." Instead, he or she would say, "My boss would rate my performance on three criteria: profits, market share and sales growth. Here's how I accomplished results on each of them."

Articulate executives speak in bullet points and don't lard their conversations with jargon. "The ability to explain a complex issue in simple language is something we always look for in personal interviews," says M. G., CEO of HT, a health-care service company.

Charisma refers mainly to an executive's ability to appear interested, caring and concerned. C. B., chairman of O & M, a New York advertising agency, defines it as "wit, humor and the ability to express joy." A good memory for names, cordiality and empathy are all important. Charismatic executives like to have people around them and mention others in conversation. They walk the halls of their companies, chatting with employees at all levels. They say "we" more than "I" and use phrases such as "I understand..." "I feel"... or "I sense..." during discussions.

While it's difficult to assess charisma during an interview, recruiters look for such signs as giving credit to team members or subordinates. Optimism is also a strong indicator. When one top candidate complained about her current boss and company's misguided strategy for most of her interview, she fell to the bottom of the list.

Many employers seek change agents who can make improvements by thinking outside the box. This usually means that these companies want the benefits of change without the discomfort of the change process. If you can show that you turned things around in your current company -- without threatening the chairman -- you'll likely be recommended for a change-agent position.

Original thinking is a key management attribute for companies such as xFree, an Atlanta-based electronic commerce firm. "The whole premise of this organization is out-of-the-box thinking," says P K, CEO. After a search, "the executive we hired challenged the way we were handling a problem and proposed another approach," he says.

Traditional managers, on the other hand, have more rigid attitudes. They've typically spent their careers in a manufacturing company, where they've progressed up the corporate ladder, gaining more support staff with each move. While they're likely to have mobile phones, they shun computers because they "don't know how to type." Or, if they have a computer, a secretary prints their e-mail. Other tip offs to recruiters: saying "my people" or "I'll have someone take care of that" or blaming a company mistake on incompetent subordinates.

Recruiters look for good culture fits, meaning executives who share values, operational behaviors and attitudes about change with those of their prospective employer. As Ms. B. says, "People who aren't in sync with our approach will be very uncomfortable here." While traditional managers might like the up-or-out culture of a typical manufacturing organization, they wouldn't fit the team-oriented, decentralized climate of a software company.

One way to change a culture is by hiring someone "new and different" from the outside, but putting a shark in a goldfish pond is always dangerous. Culture fit with the hiring manager is also key. Executives hire people in their own image and are more likely to offer a job to someone with similar experience, education and lifestyle -- not to mention from their fraternity or sorority.

Hands-on executives can do the job they're directing others to do. Thriving in a team-oriented environment, they avoid excessive delegation. To be close to the action, they meet with customers, use computers, place their own phone calls and fly coach. While it can be difficult to find a hands-on executive who has EXECUTIVE PRESENCE, it's not impossible.

In some corporate cultures, it pays to be street-smart. Such managers often come from nontraditional (e. g., working class) backgrounds, and battle their way to the top with brains, ambition and chutzpah. What they lack in social grace, they compensate for in enthusiasm, optimism and excellent relationships with clients and highly placed mentors within the company. Some street-smart executives have "sell and repent" management styles: They risk reprimands or worse to step over the line to accomplish their goals, but don't let rough encounters shake them. They're masters at circumventing corporate policies and procedures to get things done.

Excellent professional accomplishments will help you get your foot in the door at a new company, but top executive recruiters won't dwell on them. Instead, they'll quickly move on to judge your intangibles. These qualities form the real you that they'll present to their clients.

Getting a T-Rex Onto A Truck Isn't All That Easy (But It Sure Is Fun)

Getting a T-Rex Onto A Truck Isn't All That Easy (But It Sure Is Fun)

The Borden Agency helps celebrate the DVD release of "Night At The Museum" by bringing the "T-Rex Trek" across America.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) April 9, 2007

Your eyes aren't deceiving you - that really is a T-Rex driving down the highway. And yes, he really is chasing a bone.

This eye-popping spectacle is the brainchild of Twentieth Century Fox (http://www. foxmovies. com) and Fox Home Entertainment (http://www. foxhome. com) as they celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray disc release of Night at the Museum (http://www. nightatthemuseum. com). And responsible for bringing REXY (the movie's lovable T-rex) around the country is The Borden Agency, (http://www. thebordenagency. com) one of the nation's leading event and mobile marketing agencies.

"Figuring out how to mount a 20-foot long dinosaur to a flatbed trailer and then planning the extensive cross-country, 11-city drive has been an exciting challenge," remarked The Borden Agency CEO Larry Borden, "but my team is handling the task flawlessly."

REXY will embark on a whirlwind eight-day journey that will take him from New York to Los Angeles, just in time to celebrate Fox Home Entertainment's April 24th DVD and Blu-ray Disc release of Night at the Museum. After departing New York with a gala sendoff, REXY will make scheduled stops in Philadelphia, Washington D. C., Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. And while traveling to these stops, he'll be forever chasing his beloved bone, which is carried by a yellow HUMMER H2. All in all, the two-ton, 13 foot tall and 21 foot long REXY will travel over 7,000 miles on his trek across the country.

REXY is certain to have plenty of company during this fun-filled journey. According to Borden, "a film crew, PR staff, tour manager, team drivers, lighting technician and maintenance personnel will live on a branded tour bus for the duration of the tour."

In addition to the main national tour, The Borden Agency is also spearheading a second tour that features another dinosaur in a custom built glass truck. This second tour will be stopping at Walmart stores nationwide.

"Planning for both tours has been a continuous effort since February," said Borden. "Every minute of every day for each tour has to be accounted for, from driving and refueling to the events themselves. Also, local media outlets will broadcast live in each market. We've left no stone unturned, and we will even have local traffic helicopters involved."

Fans can follow REXY's trek via Yahoo! Maps, and it will be featured on Yahoo! Movies with event footage from the daily stops and exclusives from the upcoming DVD, allowing Night At The Museum fans around the world a glimpse into life on the road with REXY.

About The Borden Agency

The Borden Agency, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA is the only Event and Mobile Marketing agency that's also a consultancy. Through a disciplined four step approach: Learn It, Plan It, Do It and Evolve It, The Borden Agency provides expertise in mobile marketing strategy, concept development, budget creation, brand integration, custom vehicle procurement, event selection and routing, D. O.T. laws, safety, contract negotiations, staffing, daily management, and, most importantly, achieving solid measurable results. Partial client list includes Avon Products, Dunkin Donuts, GE, Charming Shoppes, Graco Baby Products, Sunny Delight, Warnaco, Twentieth Century Fox, Mountain Dew, DeBeers and others. Additional information about The Borden Agency may be accessed at the company's website, www. thebordenagency. com.


The Night At The Museum Rexy Tour will make stops at the following locations, creating a Rexy frenzy in celebration of the upcoming DVD launch.

New York, NY - American Museum of Natural History / Broadway - April 17th
Philadelphia, PA - Academy of Natural Sciences - April 18th
Washington D. C. - Robert Brent Elementary Museum Magnet School - April 18th
Detroit, MI - The Henry Ford Museum - April 19th
Chicago, IL - The Field Museum - April 19th
St. Louis, MO - Missouri History Museum - April 20th
Kansas City, KS - Science City at Union Station - April 20
Denver, CO - Starfest Sci-Fi Convention - April 21st
Las Vegas, NV - Las Vegas Natural History Museum / Las Vegas Strip - April 22nd
San Francisco, CA - April 23rd
Los Angeles, CA - Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - April 24th