EP 1025  I coached someone into a Chief of Staff role. Before his final meeting, we discussed strategy. It made a difference.

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I had a sweet conversation with someone today who I have been coaching for a while and he is starting tomorrow in a role as Chief of Staff to the CEO of a major American corporation. We originally met one another last April via Skype. He was referred to me and I can coaching him since.

I want to assure one story from his search. I want to start by saying he did a great job on his interviews. The final meeting (remember, this is the Chief of Staff role for this major firm), he had been speaking with them (I don't want to indicate gender here because I don't want to suggest to the firm might be), he had had meetings with them previously. This was going to be the final one. He knew he was at least competing with one internal person, but he had a great background for this job.

He was going to be all prepared (I am going to be caricatured here) guns blazing, preparing with all sorts of strategies and approaches to how he is going to do his job. I encouraged him to slow down a little bit. When I encouraged him to do was to spend more time on the relationship with his future boss. That they want to see if he was someone that they can really work with closely. After all, this is Chief of Staff, work with closely, that goes with the territory, right?

For those of you are interviewing for executive positions, at these final meetings, it is clearly the relationship that is pivotal. That's because, think about it for second. Everyone that you are competing with is extraordinary. They have superior skills and great track records of success. And why should they pick you? Why would you think that they should take you? Since all of you are terrific. It is and how everyone can work with one another. How do you fit into the executive team.

I'm not a big believer in "team players," especially in an executive role , but I do believe that the relationship between you, your boss and your counterparts in different parts of the organization is pivotal. Focusing on this, focusing on who you get along with and making sure that he was going to get along with his future boss because they were going to be working so closely with one another was going to be instrumental. That's what I want to remind you about.

Whether it is the CEO, the COO, the CFO, once you are in that letter category you want to make sure that you are connecting with that person.

Take the time to really pay attention to the personality of the future boss, especially once you been going on multiple interviews over a protracted period of time, you're obviously someone that they think and do the job. The mystery question for them is, "why should we pick YOU?" It is so much about who you are and how you will fit in, among other great talents that becomes pivotal.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and life coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1000 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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