The Purpose Of Purpose

purpose

Here at Y Scouts, we employ purpose as a leading factor in everything we do. Even our podcast is titled “Built On Purpose” — and we interview leaders, CEOs, and other high-level folks who share engaging stories of embracing a purpose-driven life. In this article, we spoke to a variety of business leaders who do the same — and their industries range from a coding bootcamp to an Uber for lawn mowing.

Question: What’s power of purpose at your organization? How does purpose drive what you do and how does it also play into your company culture?

The Purpose Of Purpose

Walking With Meaning

VEERAH is a women-led company crafting luxury footwear that is made responsibly with cruelty-free materials and mindfully designed for the modern woman. This purpose — basing our goals based on positive impacts on society, community and the environment — is the entire driving force behind our company. That’s why we are proud to also be a Benefit Corporation.

– Melinda Richardson, VEERAH

Infusing Purpose Into Multiple Businesses

Purpose becomes more of a factor in my business all the time. That’s been somewhat true since I started my business in 1981, but in the past two decades or so, it’s become central. And not by coincidence, with each leap toward higher purpose and domination by purpose, my business gets stronger.

These days, I’m a profitability consultant for green and social entrepreneurship businesses — and author of 10 books (endorsed by Seth Godin and others). I show businesses how they can go beyond mere “sustainability” (keeping things the same) to develop and market profitable products and services that turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance.

This has been a gradual evolution, starting as a term paper typing service, then moving into marketing for individuals (resumes), marketing for small business/nonprofits/book authors, marketing for green businesses, and now working with businesses attempting to achieve sweeping social change.

– Shel Horowitz, Green/Transformative Business Profitability Expert

Promoting The Purpose In Family

My husband and I own a company called Homegrown Traditions. We share inspiring family tradition ideas and tips on how to create a happy as well as functional home.

Research has shown that strong family connections lead to increased health, less mental illness, lower stress, a happier life, and good habits, among other things.

I owned a women’s swimwear business for seven years, but my husband and I were looking to start a business related to something we could both be passionate about. The idea arose to use our biggest passion, promoting families, as a starting point. We’ve since launched holiday pillowcases for kids, birthday plates, birthday shirts, and chore charts on our website. We also offer a lot of free content, like parent-child date cards, birthday and thank you cards, etc. Although we do need to make money to support our business, or primary driving force in all our decisions is to make sure we’re promoting the importance of families and enforcing the idea that they are the most important thing in life.

– Brittney Hanks, Homegrown Traditions

Empowering Women

Hey There Beautiful Inc. is a New York-based 501(c)(3) not for profit organization whose mission is to empower women and young girls to live their dream through education, motivation, self-awareness and self-development.

The power of purpose of our organization design drives the passion behind Board of Directors.  The power of our purpose allows others to believe deeply in the mission which drives the mindset to do whatever it takes to make things happen. We are all philanthropists at heart.  Giving back to our communities gives us a sense of purpose and in turn then motivates us with power to give back tremendously.

Being able to change lives for young girls, women, mothers, fathers and the world motivates us every day. This creates a culture of empathy, love and support that allows us to thrive in out daily lives. Personally, I like to see the Board of Directors flourish and live their own dreams. We have created a system together to support, build and grow both personally and professional. This creates the teamwork attitude and “I will never give up on you” stance we have for each other.

It is about ensuring that your company is empowered and inspired so much so that they in turn can naturally affect others in a seamless way that is part of their everyday life.

Like my father who recently passed once said, “When you do everything with love and from a place of love, everything will fall into place.”

– Dailisha Eve Rodriguez, President & Founder of Hey There Beautiful, Inc.

A Mission In The Sports Arena

Sport Graphics, the firm behind the décor and experience at many of the country’s largest sporting events, works hard to ensure that each of our 120+ employees feel a sense of purpose. No, we aren’t solving world hunger, eradicating homelessness or bringing about world peace, but we are serving a mission. Like most, it’s easy to lose sight of the objective and then focus solely on the deliverable (some really incredible graphics, a killer design package or the installation of the world’s largest tournament bracket).

We take on the mindset that we’re part of the client’s organization. We aim to feel what they feel, see what they see (and more) as well as challenge ourselves to deliver something worthy of their reputation. At the same time, our staff — at every level – has a sense of intrinsic pride in the quality of work we put out. Our gut check: Would you show your parents, friends and professional peers what you just created? The answer has to be ‘yes.’

In order for purpose to become part of our culture, we each had to commit to being driven by it. We also had to challenging one another to do the same.

“Work with purpose” isn’t something scrawled on the wall. Rather, it’s something we re-commit to and bring with us each time we step through the door.

– Trena Roudebush, Marketing Director of Sport Graphics

Coding Bootcamp Gives People Purpose

I work at Wyncode Academy, a coding bootcamp in Miami. In a community with high unemployment, particularly for the large number of discriminated-against groups and minorities in our city, teaching adults to code is entirely purpose-driven.

Coding proves one of the most in-demand and highest paid skills in the job market. We have helped hundreds of individuals gain this skill. We also pay special attention to women and minorities through targeted scholarships. These groups typically end up left out of this lucrative career. This is especially fulfilling as most of our students choose to attend in order to leave lackluster careers that were not setting them up for a bright future. We have helped these individuals, anywhere from age 18-55, turn their life around to create better opportunities for themselves.

Our co-founder actually attended a coding bootcamp himself in Toronto, and then saw the world of opportunities that was opened up to him professionally and personally by learning this skill. It prompted him to start Wyncode. This purpose drives our company culture because it creates a community where making space to learn is key, and people are super supportive of those around them, even when they are in direct competition.

– Jocelyn Caster, Coordinator at Wyncode Academy

Purpose: The Daily Roadmap For Employees

GPS Trackit is a telematics provider supported by a dedicated community of employees. We’ve been in business for over 17 years.

People are the lifeblood of any organization. Thus, without a strongly communicated and perpetually reinforced company purpose, those people are left without direction and a sense of fulfillment with the work they produce. This can lead to work produced without passion and dedication — something no customer will stick around for.

Basically, a company’s purpose should act as a daily roadmap for all employees, driving everything they do throughout the workday. This fosters a community of devoted, satisfied employees who feel confident in both their work and their employer.

– Hannah Steffensen, Media Relations Manager at GPS Trackit

Helping Veterans Pursuing Entrepreneurship

I retired as a consultant from the Chicago office of the McGladrey accounting firm in 2006. Then, I started my own firm in Chicago, which helps veterans who want to start their own business. I bootstrapped this business from my own savings. I am also a former U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lieutenant, who fought in the Vietnam War. I created the concept for an incubator for veterans who want to start their own businesses, now called Bunker Labs.

Later, I worked with an organization to start a support program for aspiring veteran entrepreneurs in North Carolina, VetStart.

I was raised and educated to be of service to others. Now, I have channeled that effort into helping veterans who want to start their own businesses. While my business didn’t start out with that in mind, I found that helping veterans was my true calling.

– Paul Dillon, Bunker Labs

Immigrant Employees Delivering Meaning

GreenPal is best described as Uber for lawn mowing.

I’ve been in the landscaping industry for 15 years. I started cutting grass in high school. Over the 15 years I grew that business to over 100 people and sold that company last year.

What has worked for me and my best advice to leaders on building a strong team of loyalists is to rally everyone around the central “Why.”

Why does our company exist?

When I was running an organization of that size proved it was daunting, however, creating something bigger than myself was a fulfilling experience. Our company created prosperity for our people and that’s why we did what we did. Much of our operating core was comprised of Guatemalan immigrants and these were the finest people I have ever known. Typically, they would come to the United States for several consecutive lawn mowing seasons. They would save as much money as they could to improve the lives of their families back home by building homes, ranches, and setting up farms stocked with cattle.

This became our company’s purpose, our Why. In weekly meetings, we would get progress reports from our men on how projects “back home” were coming along. In the halls of our office and in the shop we displayed picture collages of all the homes, farms, and business that had been established by our people in Guatemala. Celebrating these victories gave us fuel to get through the tough times, particularly when economic recession that began in 2009.

– Bryan Clayton, CEO & Co-Founder of GreenPal

Doing Well Through Doing Good

GoodWorks Insurance, an independent insurance agency founded in 2006, uniquely gives half of its profits to local nonprofits throughout the Northeast. It’s the firm’s recipe for success, driving everything it does.

“We do well because we do good,” says CEO Chad Yonker. “Deserving local charities get much-needed funds. We reap goodwill that helps drive our growth.”

“We believe in a purpose beyond profit. Communities profit as our business grows. Our socially responsible business model and commitment to community truly distance us from the competition. We give at least 50% of our operating profits each year to nonprofits supporting local education, health, and safety programs.”

GoodWorks Community Grants go to nonprofits that support education, healthcare, public safety as well as community development in the places GoodWorks does business.

– Chad Yonker, CEO of GoodWorks Insurance

So, what’s your purpose? We’re curious — let us know!


Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

How Long Does It Take To Find A CEO?

How Long Does It Take To Find A CEO

So, how long does it take to find a CEO, taking into consideration the research process, the interviews, the candidate lineup, and so forth? In short, you must “go slow to go fast.”

Let’s first expand on the “go slow to go fast” component of hiring an executive.

Thoughtfulness in Hiring

The notion of going slow to go fast is a belief Y Scouts holds. The most common and traditional metric that organizations use to measure the effectiveness of their talent acquisition system usually falls under one of the following two categories: Speed to fill, and cost per hire.

So, how fast do we fill and how cheaply do we fill? Both of those metrics assume that quicker and cheaper is better.

Our argument at Y Scouts is, neither is really true. If they were true, would we be in a situation where 70% of the workforce in the United States is fairly disengaged with their work? We found them really fast, and we hired them really cheap—but everybody’s unhappy. Of course, those two may not be directly correlated. But an argument can be made that if we were a bit more deliberate and thoughtful about our hiring decisions, and candidates were a bit more thoughtful about where they choose to work, we’d probably be in a better spot.

how long does it take to hire a ceo

Thus, the notion of “going slow to go fast” means if you have a hiring need at your company, don’t allow speed to fill the role to be your only driving force, or your primary driving force. Instead of looking at hiring as a task to check off the list (“I have to fill this job”), take a step back and ask yourself, “If I could add anybody to this role, who would it be and what would he or she bring to the table? What kind of success would this person deliver?” Then, use it as an opportunity.

In addition, ask yourself: “Who are the other people greatly affected by this role in their company?” Then, gain their perspective as to what they think success in that position looks like—whether it’s the CEO or VP of Marketing.

Time

Next, how long does it take to find a CEO for your company? On average, probably between four and seven months. This is the person who’s about to be the face, the leader, and the ambassador of the organization. That’s an important role to get right. So, hiring quickly won’t line up as the best strategy, and it may require more damage control down the road.

There are plenty of examples of bad CEO choices. Ron Johnson was hired away from Apple Retail (he was the Senior VP of Retail there), and was brought on as the CEO of J.C. Penney. Within about 18 months of him taking over as CEO of J.C. Penney, he got fired. Keep in mind—it’s not because he wasn’t a good CEO; he was the wrong CEO for the company.

how long does it take to find a ceo

J.C. Penney failed to truly define success in that role. It adds up logically; if J.C. Penney is struggling as a business and sees Apple retail lighting the world on fire—sure, go get Apple’s Chief Retail Officer and make him the J.C. Penney CEO. It’s retail. Retail equals retail. The way Apple approaches retail is incredibly different from the way J.C. Penney does. Therefore, there was a complete misalignment in leadership philosophy, culture, and overall strategy. Those things could have been easily vetted for on the front end, but they probably just got excited about, “Hey, I think we can hire the Senior VP of Retail from Apple to be our CEO, and he’s going to save the day.” That’s not what happened. It was a giant disaster. 

Creating A Roadmap For Success

When hiring a CEO, whether for a major corporation or a small nonprofit, you need a search committee. Before even starting your search, don’t go looking for anyone until you know what you are seeking.

how long does it take to find a ceo

It’s equivalent to saying, “Hey, let’s go on a trip! Where do you want to go? Well, let’s actually just get in the car and start driving.” Hiring is much the same. Map out a strategy. Don’t just jump in the car and start driving and figure it out as you go. That’s how a lot of companies hire, unfortunately—but Y Scouts is changing that landscape.

Do you have any other questions about how long does it take to find a CEO? Let us know!


Y Scouts, a leadership search firm, finds purpose-aligned and performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.

Quotes About Abraham Lincoln: A Lesson In Leadership

Quotes about Abraham Lincoln

Blogs, tweets, vines, snaps, texts – the noise for a leader is amplified these days. One wrong move can set off a string of critical remarks.

It’s easy for a leader to be considered “weak” or “ineffective” with all the quick to judge media content being shared today. That’s why the string of quotes about Abraham Lincoln are so powerful. All the quotes were made before or during the first year of Abraham Lincoln taking office – and all of the quotes are from the North:

Quotes about Abraham Lincoln:

“he is no more capable of becoming a statesman, nay, even a moderate one, than the braying ass can become a noble lion” — The Springfield (Mass.) Republican

quotes about abraham lincoln

“His weak, wishy-washy, namby-pamby efforts, imbecile in matter, disgusting in manner, have made us the laughing stock of the whole world” – The Salem (Illinois) Advocate.

He “indulges in simple twaddle which would disgrace a well bred school boy.” — Vanity Fair Magazine (New York)

a ‘simple Susan.’ — The Springfield (Mass.) Republican

“He is evidently a person of very inferior cast of character” — Senator Edward Everett (Mass.)

His speeches have fallen like a wet blanket here. They put to flight all notions of greatness” — Rep. Charles Francis Adams (Mass.)

“a weak and imbecile man; the weakest man that I ever knew in a high place; for I have seen him and conversed with him, and I say here, in my place in the Senate of the United States, that I never did see or converse with so weak and imbecile a man ” – Senator Saulsbury (Delaware)

“an idiot” – Gen George McLellan (New Jersey)

“timid, vacillating, and inefficient” – Senator Chandler (Michigan)

“weak as water” – Rep Fessenden (Maine)

It goes to show that a leader may be considered weak, but in the end they’ve actually achieved so much that they are now considered great and powerful leaders in the history. I guess history has shown that the ones who made these comments were describing themselves far more than Abe.

What does that say about today’s commentary about leaders?

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that unites exceptional organizations with exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. Or, to be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

Employment Reference Checks: 7 Screening Questions To Ask

Employment Reference Checks Screening Questions

You’ve done most of the legwork. You’ve developed a pool of candidates, held an initial discovery call, assessed the candidate’s application and invested time in interviewing them face to face. Now, it’s time to perform your employment reference checks.

Employment reference checks are the often glazed over part of the recruitment process. Resist the temptation to skip over this step – especially when recruiting leaders at the senior level. Asking yourself and previous employers employment reference questions during your checks can help determine whether the candidate is the best fit for your role.

Here are 7 employment screening questions to ask yourself and references during employment reference checks:

1. Verify Functional Expertise
The most simple of your employment screening questions, is the candidate capable of doing the work that will be asked of them? To find your answer, ask references to verify the skills and accomplishments your candidate has provided to you.

2. Values
Your interviewing and assessment process should have already ensured that everyone you’re doing reference checks for will fit your organizational culture. In other words, does the true nature, motivations and purpose of the candidate align with the values of your organization? Asking behavioral questions about the values of the candidate to references can reveal some incredible insight. Do the candidate’s energy and persistence go beyond reasons like money or status? Will the candidate be driven, goal-oriented, optimistic, and committed to the organization if hired?

3. Verify Exceptional Leadership Behaviors
Exceptional Leadership is rare. It is a unique combination of purpose & values alignment, modern functional expertise, and a proven track record of the 3 most in-demand leadership behaviors; 1.) Driving Results, 2.) Developing Others, and 3.) Learning Relentlessly. Your employment reference checks should include the verification that your candidate can drive results, develop others, and learns relentlessly.

4. Strengths
It’s time to verify what the candidate is really good at. Ask your references about the candidate’s biggest strengths. If your reference provides you with similar strengths to what the candidate provided, dig deeper to find out how that strength could be applied at your organization. If the reference doesn’t mention the strengths provided by the candidate, candidly ask the reference about the specific strength the candidate mentioned. If the reference balks at the strength, you may not have a self-aware candidate that has differing views from others.

5. Weaknesses
Self-aware leaders are confident and candid. They can realistically assess and talk about their weaknesses, often with a self-deprecating sense of humor. In your candidate assessment you should have already discussed and identified the weaknesses of the candidate. Now it’s time to discover any additional weaknesses of the candidate by asking references, “What are the weaknesses of the candidate?” If the reference provides the same weaknesses as the candidate provided, you have a self-aware candidate that is conscious about where they need the most help.

6. Ranking
After asking employment reference questions around Functional Expertise, Values, Behaviors, Strengths and Weaknesses, it’s time to develop a ranking for each candidate. Where are their gaps when compared to the opportunity? How does their personality fit with your organization? Are the purpose, values and functional expertise of the candidate consistent with your organizational DNA? Spend some time after conducting the employment reference checks to rank the candidate in each area before moving on to conduct another reference check.

7. Best Fit
Is the candidate a finalist? That’s what you’re ultimately determining after employment reference checks. You’ve done all you can – from assessing the candidate on paper to in person to their references – and your job now is to believe that the candidate is the absolute best fit for the role. If you can’t believe in the candidate, then you should pass. If you believe you’ve found your best candidate, make sure to pair your best fit with other candidates who are a “best fit” and have a candid discussion with all internal stakeholders who will be affected by the hire. Ask the internal stakeholders how they feel about the candidate to get a full 360 degree view on your hiring decision.

What screening questions do you ask during employment reference checks? Contact us to let us know how you differentiate your recruiting process to find the best candidates.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

Top 5 Misconceptions About Executive Search

Executive Search Misconceptions

When an executive recruiter contacts a potential candidate, often times the candidate has a few executive search misconceptions that need to be overcome.

When an executive search firm begins to try and understand the candidate’s situation and requests information, candidates begin to wonder what’s behind the surface of the call.

In particular, executive candidates naturally become curious about the employer who is hiring, the job they’re being recruited for, as well as the potential benefit of continuing the conversation.

Here are 5 executive search misconceptions we typically come across on an initial outreach call to candidates:

Compensation
If an executive recruiter asks about compensation, we’re just trying to gauge whether the position we’re trying to fill is right for you. If we’re conducting a search for a CEO and the client has allocated $250,000 salary to the position, we want to find out if this number is in your ballpark. If you’re making $450,000 – we want to know because a $200,000 annual drop in salary probably isn’t worth it to you to continue a conversation. If you’re making $125,000, maybe the scope and scale of the position we’re trying to fill is beyond your expertise.

We respect candidates who avoid answering the question. Sometimes it’s awkward to share personal financial information with a stranger over the phone who you’ve never met. But, it only makes an executive recruiter’s job more difficult. At the end of the day, we aren’t curious about what you make for the sake of our curiosity. Executive search firms just use this question as an initial discovery.

Concealing The Company
The first question we often get when contacting an initial candidate is, “Who is the company?”

Executive recruiters don’t like to share this information not because we’re sneaky. It’s because we believe that if the candidate knows the company or job title that we’re recruiting for, then the answers we receive to questions will naturally become clouded and inauthentic. It’s not because we’re worried a candidate will go directly to the employer to apply for the job, and therefore cutting us out of our own compensation. It’s because if we tell you our client is a nonprofit, then a candidate is likely going to talk about their nonprofit experiences.

Executive recruiters have reached out to you for a reason. Trust their judgement that you may be a great fit, and answer questions honestly to help aid their judgement.

Experience
Clients don’t pay executive search firms to evaluate resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Companies can do that on their own. Some executive search firms place the highest priority on work experience. For Y Scouts, we prioritize purpose, values and behaviors before experience. Candidates sometimes believe they didn’t get the job because they were overqualified or underqualified. Most of the time, it’s because the candidate wasn’t a great cultural or behavioral fit.

Having a great resume and being able to speak about your accomplishments is key. But, our process puts experience at the back burner by the time we pick up the phone to call you.

Polishing The Past
Our clients care more about leaders that are focused on creating the future instead of polishing the past. Executive search firms are in the same boat, while candidates are usually the opposite. Most executive candidates have no problem speaking about experience. The truly great candidates are ones that can articulate where they want to take their future.

Job Postings
Companies who post jobs on job boards to find executive level leaders may have the biggest executive search misconceptions. Executive search firms are not just looking for people who are in the job market – which is what job boards do. Executive search firms seek out the best leaders available for the role. Most of the candidates we identify are not looking to make a career change and may not even have a LinkedIn profile. These candidates are busy, successful, and well-paid. Executive search firms can spend several days and even weeks trying to get in front of these candidates for a few minutes of their time – just to confirm whether they are the right person for the role. Posting executive jobs to job boards will not produce the best possible recruiting outcome. Instead, it will deliver you a pool of people who match all of the executive search misconceptions we’ve already mentioned.

What other executive search misconceptions do you have? Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

5 Tools Every Executive Should Be Using In Their Job Search

Executive Job Search Tools

There are executive job search tools every leader should be using – ranging from LinkedIn to an executive search firm – that can assist with your job search.

Nonprofits, social enterprises and innovative for-profit companies need exceptional leaders to make an impact at their organizations. In order to find the right opportunity, leaders can be successful by conducting a well-planned, proactive career search. Targeting the right companies who value their skills, behaviors and experiences is just the start to an executive job search.

Here are five tools every executive should be using in their job search.

LinkedIn
Besides being a job board site, LinkedIn is a place to network and showcase your expertise. Grow your network by connecting with colleagues, previous co-workers, and the people who you have professional relationships with. Fill out your profile completely because executive recruiters use LinkedIn profiles to research and identify candidates for leadership roles. Putting a good foot forward on LinkedIn greatly improves the success rate of your job search.

Executive Search Firms
Most executive search firms make their money by placing candidates at companies, and do not charge candidates to work with them. Take advantage of this by selecting an executive search firm to work with on your job search. By getting on an executive recruiter’s radar, and by getting into an executive search firm’s database, you are developing a referral network for potential leadership opportunities.

Your Resume
Like it or not, your resume is still a valuable part of a job search. Make sure you take the time to update your resume to accurately reflect the value you can bring to an organization. List your achievements and button everything up to put your best foot forward.

Niche Sites
If you have expertise in a particular area, find a niche site that can assist you in your job search. For example, if you have worked at nonprofits for several years, find a nonprofit executive search firm that works with nonprofits and social enterprises. Or, if you are interested in local leadership opportunities, use locally based sites that are specific to your local area. The more focused you are in your job search, the better results you’ll see.

Associations
Networking with associations can give you the scoop about which organizations are looking for leaders. Look for opportunities to network with the economic development council and other professional associations that are consistently talking with organizations.

What other executive job search tools are you using to find leadership opportunities? Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

7 Things Strong Leaders Never Say To Employees

Things Strong Leaders Never Say

The difference between weak and strong leaders often has to do with their choice of words. There are some things strong leaders never say to employees, while other leaders have a habit of saying these same things.

What are things a strong leader should never say to an employee, and why? Here are seven things leaders never say to employees.

“This person does it better than you.”
Do you want your team to be in a rivalry instead of a relationship? Compare an employee to another to quickly turn team members against each other.

Remember, you’re all on the same team. Competition internally should be healthy. A strong leader should focus on how the employee can do things more effectively instead of suggesting another employee is better than the other. Acknowledge accomplishments, provide feedback on pitfalls, and treat individuals individually.

“Why? Because I’m Your Boss
.”
Toxic leaders use their job title to gain respect and demand employees to do their job. Strong leaders encourage employees to ask “why” and challenge them to find a way to do things better.

“Maybe….”
Parents say maybe when they don’t want to say “no.” So do weak leaders. Strong leaders are direct and are not afraid of telling you something you don’t want to hear. They are also not afraid to recognize a strong idea, learn more about it, and fight for it. Instead of saying “Maybe….” and doing nothing, strong leaders take action.

“Let me do it.”
Strong leaders know that in order to get things done, they must trust their team and employees. They recognize that if they step in and do it themselves, the same mistakes will continue to be made by employees. Leaders teach with patience, instead of tackling everything they can.

“What were you thinking?”

Strong Leaders never punish mistakes, but rather embrace them. When people are punished for their mistakes, a person becomes timid and keeps them from being bold, fearless, and taking action on future ideas. By not encouraging bold action, a leader is prohibiting employees to go to a place where value is created for their organization.

“Yes or No.”
Leaders avoid close ended responses, and instead seek to gain an understanding and perspective of the issues at hand. They ask questions, and start out sentences with words like, “What” and “How.”

“Because that is the way we have always done it…”
Strong leaders never dismiss employee suggestions by sticking with traditional thinking. Saying, “because that is the way we have always done it” is a close minded way to dismiss an employee idea. Instead, leaders should take the time to explain why an employee suggestion is no good, and help the employee reach the same conclusion.

What do you think are some things leaders never say? Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

Where Did Fortune 500 CEOs Go To College?

Where did Fortune 500 CEOs go to college? Here are the top 38 colleges with the most alumni in Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Where Did Fortune 500 CEOs Go To College Infographic

1. Harvard University – Cambridge, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 25
Number of Degrees: 31
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $1,548.3

(Harvard has 4x the number of Fortune 500 CEO’s compared to Yale.) Click to tweet this.

2. Stanford University – Palo Alto, CA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 11
Number of Degrees: 13
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $492.5

University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 8
Number of Degrees: 9
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $405.4

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 7
Number of Degrees: 8
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $428.5

5. Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 6
Number of Degrees: 8
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $375.3

6. University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 6
Number of Degrees: 7
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $489.9

7. Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 6
Number of Degrees: 7
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $323.7

8. Columbia University – New York, NY
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 6
Number of Degrees: 6
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $545.7

9. Yale University – New Haven, CT
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 6
Number of Degrees: 6
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $330.5

10. Southern Methodist University – Dallas, TX
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 4
Number of Degrees: 5
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $575.3

11. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, CA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 4
Number of Degrees: 4
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $704

12. New York University – New York, NY
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 4
Number of Degrees: 4
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $327.1

13. Texas A&M University – College Station, TX
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $237.8

14. Princeton University – Princeton, NJ
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $218.7

15. University of Notre Dame – South Bend, IN
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $177.8

16. San Diego State University – San Diego, CA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $161.6

17. Pennsylvania State University – State College, PA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $160.4

18. Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $135.4

19. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 3
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $113.3

20. University of Kansas – Lawrence, KS
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $231.1

21. Georgetown University – Washington, D.C.
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $162.2

22. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 3
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $89.6

23. Babson College – Babson Park, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $335

24. Duke University – Durham, NC
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $218.2

25. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $213.7

26. Brown University – Providence, RI
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $207.7

27. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $188.3

28. Clark University – Worcester, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $174.5

29. University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $173

30. Tufts University – Medford, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $147.7

31. University of San Diego – San Diego, CA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $142.2

32. University of Virginia – Charlottesville, VA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $119.1

33. University of North Carolina at Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $112.2

34. University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $98.3

35. University of Colorado Boulder – Boulder, CO
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $96

36. Wayne State University – Detroit, MI
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $67.4

37. Boston College – Boston, MA
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $66.6

38. University of Houston – Houston, TX
Number of Fortune 500 CEOs: 2
Number of Degrees: 2
Combined Gross Annual Revenue (in billions): $63.4

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

The Best Way To Find A CTO

Find A CTO

In order to be fundable, your startup team needs to have a technical expert. A good chief technology officer will have the skills to help your company navigate the technical side of your business, which is absolutely crucial to growth in today’s marketplace. However, it can be a tad difficult to find the right candidate for the position. The key is to first know what you are seeking, and then use methods that help you compare a candidate’s purpose to your company’s goals.

Determine What You Are Seeking

You want to start off with a complete job description. This description needs to include both skills and personality attributes. This not only ensures that someone will have the right technical and professional skills to move your company forward, but it also helps narrow down the types of personalities that your candidates will have.

To start off, some of the skills you will need are the following:

  • Broad technical background
  • Strategic thinking skills
  • Business sense
  • Communication/interpersonal skills
  • Zeal for learning

From there, you will need to outline the kind of personality you need. This is, of course, necessary for an effective CTO, but it will also help you match someone to your company’s culture. For example, your job description might state that you are seeking a purpose-driven individual with broad technical experience who is interested in building innovative cloud-storage solutions, with an added note that a healthy sense of humor is a plus.

Matching Your Purpose

Often the best way to find a CTO for your startup is by networking. This allows you to develop relationships and personally differentiate between candidates. To network effectively, you can pull from your own personal network, contact people who regularly publish articles connected to your company, and attend networking events hosted by technical organizations.

Another great way to find CTO candidates is through recruitment services. However, beware that not all services are the same. It is key to find one that will work with you to make sure that you not only have a good skills match, but also a strong match for personality, purpose, and culture. This requires a purpose-based approach to recruiting.

Ultimately, the key is to make sure you can develop a pool of candidates who have potential to fit in with your company’s purpose, business goals, and space in the market. This means that you either have to personally meet each potential candidate or utilize recruitment methods that narrow candidates down to those who will fit best with your company.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

What Makes A Fundable Seed Stage Startup Team

Fundable Seed Stage Startup Team

Your company is just starting off, your idea is taking form, and you are getting a seed stage team together. In order to get your startup company funded, you not only need a great idea, but you also need a team that can get that idea the traction it needs to be profitable. This requires highly skilled and committed team members with plenty of potential for longevity.

Skillsets

In order to thrive, your seed stage startup team needs the right combination of skills. These can be divided into three categories: business skills, design skills, and technical skills. A breakdown of each of these skillsets follows below.

  • Business skillset: The business expert in your team might take a role similar to that of a chief business development officer. This requires the ability to build revenue and grow the company through sales and strategic planning. Also, the business leader will need to be a good mentor in order to guide future personnel and management teams in best business practices.
  • Design skillset: The designer is in charge of putting together your product/service. He or she is in charge of the functionality and appearance of the product, which requires sound design expertise, problem-solving skills, and innovative thinking. Designing the overall aesthetic of your product will also require branding and marketing know-how.
  • Technical skillset: The tech expert, which will likely be a CTO, will be on top of the technical side of your business. This means he or she must be aware of technical trends in your area of the market while developing a technical strategy for your company. Strategic planning, technical expertise, and evangelism are all key parts of your tech expert’s job description.

Longevity

In addition to having the right individual skillsets, all members of your team should be committed to your company. This means that time commitments should be roughly even. This not only makes dividing shares much simpler, but it also helps ensure unity of purpose among all members. If one or more members is contributing only part-time to your company, then your company may have a harder time staying on its feet in the long term, and it could be harder to get venture funding.

Each team member should also have potential to grow with the company. As your startup grows larger, it will present your team with new roles to fulfill, such as personnel development and management, project management, various sales and marketing demands, and so on. Your seed-stage team should be able to work with these new roles as they come. Above all, they should be optimistic and forward-thinking individuals who have the determination needed to carry the company onward and upward.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

Find An Exceptional Leader

Looking to hire an exceptional leader? Searching for the ideal candidate? Contact our team.

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