My 2 cents on…

“We need to recruit a new CXO. Can you search our competitors to see who is the best candidate?”

“We need to recruit a new CXO. Can you search our competitors to see who is the best candidate?”
This is the PROBLEM with some senior level searches today.

Companies are looking for more of the same. They want to hire the best from their competitors. And whilst in theory that is ok, that may not always be wisest.

Not in today’s context. Where the market is changing so fast. Where disruption is most likely coming from outside your industry.


Best is to think out of the box. Take some risk on some positions but with potential for high reward.

One client of ours from the pharma industry specifically asked us to find them a regional board member from FMCG. To help them adapt, be faster and learn to listen to the market more.

Another logistics client hired a CIO from the gaming industry. To help them digitalise the company, bring newest technology and do the change management.

One heavy asset based client hired a great candidate from an investment banking background to rethink their strategy around how they utilize their resources.

Does this involve a degree of risk?

For sure.

But the biggest risk is not changing. Or not changing fast enough.


What do you think? Comment below.

Hire people who DON’T GIVE a DAMN about their CAREER!

Hire people who DON’T GIVE a DAMN about their CAREER!
They will teach you the most. And bring your business forward.

What do I mean by that?

Too many people in MNCs are political animals. Care too much about how the boss sees them. How their peers see them. How they look like when they do something.

If an organisation wants to move forward, it needs people who can speak up.

Challenge the norm.
Beg to differ.
Speak up.

Who stand up firstly for the right thing for the company.
For the clients.
NOT for what they think is best for their career!

And so few organisation have these people. And encourage these people.

But they are priceless! And in my experience, very few in today’s multinationals.

Agree or disagree? Comment below. | #hardtruth #realitycheck

Most companies DO NOT KNOW how to TELL THEIR STORIES!

Top problem in employer branding today: most companies DO NOT KNOW how to TELL THEIR STORIES!

We do a lot of work in supply chain and logistics. The above applies too well. Apart from maybe 2-3 companies, I challenge anyone to find good examples of good story telling.

And that sucks!

Because potential employees want that! Need that! Especially young people nowadays.

They don’t join companies anymore. They join stories. That connect to their values.

So if your company is not doing it. You are missing out. If your CEO is not doing it, your company is missing out. For he or she is the face of the company.

And I do believe most companies actually have a story.

In supply chain, it can be around helping international trade. Helping people get stuff from all over the world, etc
Whatever is the unique one that matches also the company values.

There is hope – more and more from ecommerce front. (Charles Brewer giving you full credit!)

But we should make this point lounder!

COMMENT and SHARE below if you saw any great company story telling recently! | #hardtruth #realitycheck


In Asia (and anywhere else in the world), it is ALL about RELATIONSHIPS.
The whole Chinese world revolves around “Guanxi”, personal connection. And yet, incredible (and frustrating!) how few sales people understand this!

A lot of my clients are bombarded by sales pitches online and offline. On Linkedin there are so many people spamming their products and services around.

But the fundamental issue is that they go for volume. Not quality.
They go mass. Not depth.

Instead of trying to find some sort of personal connection. Something in common with the person to start the conversation.
They go directly for the “KILL”:
“This is my product … bla bla bla… would you want to meet?”

And then send it to hundreds of people

Damn! That approach is soooooooooo dead.

You are better off trying to approach 10 people. But really put thought into it.

Make sure you can really add value. And write a personal approach.

And then look long term. Build a relationship!
Sales will come!

Would you agree? Comment below! | | #hardtruth #realitycheck

Tens and hundreds of people saying “Thank YOU!”


Just had lunch with the CEO of a multinational company. After a couple of decades with the company, he decided to step down.
Having announced his departure, what happened last couple of months shocked him!

Tens and hundreds of people messaged him to say “Thank YOU”. Tens of people cried when they heard the news. One colleague he had not spoken in 15 years called him to tell him how much he had impacted his career and life.

In a word, he was positively shocked!!

I asked him why. His response:

“I was only doing my job! And in our company, people are not encouraged to give praise much. So I NEVER knew what impact I had!”

And this was shocking to me!

And made me want to share this. We should not wait until somebody leaves to tell them how much they helped us. May it be the CEO, an important mentor, a colleague, etc . We should do it all along!

So comment and tag somebody that helped you in your career. Or thank them in person! Let’s spread the word!

Leaving after a few months…

One of my friends, a senior level executive, recently decided to leave the company he had joined less than 6 months ago. The environment was bad. Scope of role changed 2nd week after joining. Initial commitments were not honored. In short, horror story!

That being said, that left him with the issue that he now has a “stain” on the CV. And of course needs to look for another role.

So what to do next?

Probably the best thing is try to move on as quickly as possible.

Always hard to do as this is a painful experience! But such times are most of the times a “blessing in disguise”. And the ideal use of this situation is to go all out and explore many other different avenues and roles that may come up.

The reality is that staying with that employer was not an option. A company that can’t respect their commitments to a top level executive is a bad idea long term!

And most prospect future employers would understand the situation. It does happen! But honesty is gold when sharing the reason for early departure! Being transparent whilst keeping to the facts. No need to judge the previous company or bad mouth it. But facts need to be shared.

And most often than not, something better comes up and another good role emerges.

Has anybody been in a similar situation? | #hardtruth

Monday Blues – only if you choose so…

“- How are you today?
– Oh, Monday Blues! How good can you feel on a Monday!”

Have you heard something like this?

To me, it happens every Monday. That at least one person I ask gives that answer. Or something close to that.

And it is sad! Really!
And especially if the candidate is a senior executive. In the “Monday Blues” mood, how can you possibly inspire and lead anyone?!?

And if anything, we should feel excited to go to work. It is where we spend the most time.
And I may be idealistic, but we do live in a world where there are plenty of opportunities.

If we don’t like what we do, we always have three choices:
1. Stay and accept
2. Stay and try to change the situation
3. Leave

But complaining is not an option. It just doesn’t help anyone!

So let’s all choose to respond:
“It is a Monday. I look forward to an awesome week ahead!”

Comment below if you agree or not.

HR should act like MARKETEERS!

HR should act like MARKETEERS!

In today’s world where we get so much of our information online, from social media and channels, it is crucial for companies to have a strong online employer brand.
And HR needs to act like MK!!

Candidates look at your LinkedIn page. At your Glassdoor reviews. At your Youtube. etc

What is shocking – quite a few HR departments don’t understand this!
Won’t name anybody, but big organisations don’t get this. Mind boggling!

That being said, there are a few HR professionals that do get it. That do broadcast their companies and make sure the values are out there. And attract talent. And of course, those companies shine!

Curious to ask have you seen any good hiring campaign?
Which company and what did they do?
Let’s share some good case studies!

How to Screw up a TEAM

How to Screw up a TEAM:
Show zero empathy! Don’t listen to your team! Only care about your interest!

One of my close friends, a senior executive in a Fortune 50 MNC shared with me how his boss understands to do performance reviews.
He asked him what his plan was for the next year. Then did absolutely nothing to help him in his future plans.

Why? Because the boss needs him too much. And cannot take the short term pain of losing him from his team.
But long term, this is not a good! It will send an example to the team he doesn’t listen. That he doesn’t care to develop them. he only cares about his interest.
And then the team of course will get disengaged.
And some of the them, the better ones first!, will leave!

I come across such practices everyday.
But let’s focus on the positive – and if you had a great manager. Who did the opposite and listened to you. Please tag him in comment below!

Recruiters are JERKS! Dishonest! Lack ethics!

Recruiters are JERKS! Dishonest! Lack ethics!
This is the feedback from a good friend of mine about recruiters. It shook me!

But to be fair, I can understand her point of view. There are plenty of recruiters who don’t care past their personal objective of making money. They are not into long term! Don’t care so much about their candidates. And just push CVs around!

And whilst I do get that these individuals have created a bad reputation to the industry. That is NOT what recruitment is about.

A good recruiter is a partner to the client. An extension of the client’s HR department. Knows the industry and can make suggestions on how the company can develop. Hence becoming a strategic advisor.

A good recruiter is somebody with excellent relationship skills. Who cares about candidates and wants to share relevant advice, regardless on whether he will place them or not. Somebody who builds relationships long term.

And good recruiter has ethics and understands confidentiality is critical. And that he is impacting people’s lives, their careers and livelihoods.

And i do know there are also plenty of amazing recruiters out there who have changed people’s lives to the better.

Do please feel free to tag a great recruiter in the comments below! | #hardtruth #realitycheck