Courage….Do you have it? Does your company have it?
Yesterday, I received an unsolicited phone call from an individual currently looking for a job, but he wasn’t asking me for one. I had never heard of this individual nor did I even have a vague connection with him on Social Media. He had an upcoming interview with a past employer of mine and had decided that he had to differentiate himself from the rest of the herd. After contemplating his strategy, he determined that his best course of action was to do a bit of market research. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a scientific study, but it could give him some significant insights into the company, its officers and culture, which could be the definitive intelligence to put him over the top.
His first tactic in his plan was to search LinkedIn for the company he was applying to. After that he searched for current and past employees, read their profiles and identified which ones he thought would be best to speak with. After identifying me as a potential candidate, he reviewed my profile, recommendations and work history. He then Googled marketing agencies, found my phone number and called me. I have to say…..that takes a lot of courage to do. He and I chatted for ten minutes or so and I gave him as much insight as I could into the company, its CEO and expectations. I was very complimentary in his approach and encouraged him to do more. (The one tactic I think job seekers should all look into is a personal website. This could increase their web presence significantly while enhancing their credibility. Since we all turn to the Internet more and more for our own research, establishing and cementing one’s personal brand will only create a long-term asset.)
After this phone call, I started thinking what a great lesson there is in this. This one individual set a goal, established a strategy and executed it despite his reservations, fear and potential rejection. In our professional lives, I believe most of us would not have enough courage to implement this type of plan. We get caught up in everyday responsibilities and when a new project presents itself, we don’t think about how to make it successful, we think of how we can get it off our desk as quickly as possible to move on to the additional fires we need to put out. The courage of this job seeker is something we all can learn from, especially in regards to our professional responsibilities. This is a lesson that the courage to realize unexploited, novel strategies is a significant factor between success and failure.
This extends from the individual to companies themselves, as well. Companies are so cautious to attempt new creative concepts, marketing services and advertising campaigns for fear of alienating current clients, contradicting corporate identity, communicating inconsistent messaging or just offending the public, which are very understandable concerns. However, maintaining the status quo by following outdated, antiquated and archaic strategies will only lead to a company’s decline. Courage will get you to the top. There is no reward without risk.
—Adam O’Leary, President