What the top 10 percenters do differently – Executives Head Hunters view

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colorful green background with arrows and electric shockAfter 20 years of Executive Search placing hundreds of senior candidates, I have seen patterns form separating the achievers and non-achievers

Let’s start with frame of mind:

1. Top 10 percenters have the right attitude. When looking at opportunities either within their current organisation or external, they don’t put barriers up. They don’t blame the organisation, the systems, the culture, the economy, you name it for their losses. They just get on with it. Fix what needs to be fixed and take accountability. Instead of looking at what they don’t have they focus on what they do have.

2. The 10 percenters are confident - not arrogant. They don’t feel the need to overstate their achievements (because they have them). They hire people who they consider smarter than they are and are not intimidated. They don't differentiate levels - they treat everyone with the same respect.

3. They are leaders. They help their teams and get to know them. If they go to another organisation they don’t take their old team with them; they assess the talent in the new organisation first and conduct a fair process for any new roles. They make quick decisions if there are performance issues and address with respect.

4. They know how to build their brand. It is all well and good for your division to know who you are but if you don’t get out of your division you will be invisible to the rest of the organisation and the industry. Top 10 percenters know how too effectively stakeholder manage. They take time to identify who they should be meeting and make the effort to reach out.

5. 10 percenters deliver what they promise and on time. If there is a hiccup in the process they inform others well before the deadline, so there are no surprises. They make sure their employees work in a structure of responsibility and accountability.

6. They know how to delegate effectively and don’t take the world on their shoulder. They give staff the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.

7. They have a healthy work balance. If you are working 12 hour days, you need to look at why - not enough resources, not delegating, taking the world on your shoulders. To be your best, your mind needs to be clear. There needs to be down time. Whatever your home life is, you need to make time for it.

The sad part about the above list is that most people in senior level roles will thinkthey are a top 10 percenter. However, many fall short in some areas needed to reach top 10 percenter status.

Over the next few weeks I will detail each one of these points in an effort to help you improve your percentage rating.


About Judith Beck

Judith Beck has placed hundreds of executives over 20 years and is Managing Director of Financial Recruitment Group, Founder of Financial Executive Women and Chairman of Eon Mentis. Judith is a key note speaker on various subjects, such as How To Be A T10p, Stakeholder Management, Building your internal and External Brand to name a few.

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