When time disappears and the mind focuses on the task at hand, you’re in your zone. You feel the flow. You’re “unconscious,” as they say in sports. When you feel this way, you’ve found your sweet spot, that magical coalescence of effort and interest. When prospective interim executives reflect on their past accomplishments, they can stand out by considering the times in their careers when they’ve found their zone. Then, it becomes easy for them to explain how their work in this “sweet spot” leads to achievement. From there, they can clearly present their value to interviewers in refreshing, memorable ways.
Interim Executives on the Rise
Everyone knows that companies survive and thrive by constantly seeking ways to continue growth and improve market positions. In doing so, they try to attract and retain top talent. However, in the current market, “human capital flight”—also known as brain drain—poses the greatest challenge to companies who make it a top priority to bring in and keep their best prospects.
During the economic recession many companies were forced to jettison top-tier talent on expensive payroll. They sought to ride out the tough time, sometimes casting off much of their best talent. The problem was that this often left behind crews that could keep the ship on course but who didn’t necessarily have the vision to steer into uncharted waters. Now, such companies find themselves in a hyper-competitive market. As this happens, they struggle to harness existing talent so that they can elevate their numbers and achieve their aims.
Meanwhile, times have changed. As the recession left many talented people unemployed, a new trend has emerged. At the moment, the market is seeing an unprecedented generation gap. A new gig-economy-minded group has entered the workforce, while the experienced group still seeks to apply their skills in leadership positions. Senior Management Worldwide (SMW) sees the space between as an opportunity for both groups to contribute. In many cases, interim executives can be the well-placed, well-applied solution in a variety of situations where companies want to grow.
Interim Executives: Harness Your Talents
In the midst of changes to industry needs and hiring practices, one constant still remains. Recruiting agencies have always, and still do, serve their paying clients first and foremost. This means that interim executives who can articulate their skills and capabilities in the clearest ways will be the ones who rise to the top. Recruiters look less for what people want to do than what they can do.
One way to stand out is to reflect on the times when you have been in the zone, in the sweet spot, in flow. When you are in this state of mind, you are likely doing your best work. When you do your best work, you are achieving at high levels. Once you are able to identify these moments and tie them directly to your accomplishments, you will be able to speak passionately about your skills in a way that CEO’s will want you to be the one doing the job.
One way to start this process is by listing ten accomplishments you are most proud of in your work history. Figure out which ones were most fulfilling, when you were truly enjoying the process. This information is not necessarily for your resume or CV. Rather, it is a way to get at the essence of what makes you successful and, thus, a desirable candidate.
Find Your Sweet Spot
Remember that simply listing accomplishments will not score points in an interview. Instead, describe accomplishments as outcomes that happen when you are in your career sweet spot. Interim executives are uniquely positioned to leverage this type of self-knowledge.
Oftentimes, interim executives enter situations that demand a quick introduction into the working flow of a company. They are able to assess problems efficiently and apply their knowledge with insightful and responsive feedback they can immediately put into practice. Expectations are that they will find that sweet spot rapidly and bring the company to the next level. That space is out there waiting to be filled. Make it your zone.