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Look to the journey ahead

Case Study: Candidate Clutter

Running a major investment bank client account across Europe for a Tier 1 consulting house, Jo's job carried big responsibility:

  1. Client delight – as measured by independent audit
  2. Revenue - $45m maintain / grown
  3. Profitability – Better than 22% on managed P&L model
  4. Team – Motivated and loyal

Jo enjoyed her job and liked the people she worked with. She absolutely got who her real stakeholders in the Bank were and she made it her incessant mission to know them intimately – their lives melded with hers.

When talking about herself, she was happy to do so provided she was allowed to deliver it from the perspective of the other people in her life.

Happy therefore to talk about herself by association.

It is funny how often we encounter this in our candidate consultations. It is quite natural that when perceiving ourselves, we do so through the eyes of those whom we work closest with. Unfortunately this can lead to a deal of distortion since we tend to attach the observers personal perspectives to their view of us and rarely arrive at a frank and honest personal reflection.

‘How do you look to you through your own eyes?'

When we managed to get the real Jo in some sort of focus, it became clear to her and to us that this habit she had of cluttering up her focus was a real issue and spread beyond simply her reflection of herself. We were concerned that if some of her clutter spilled into the senior interviews, she might not present as well as she could and win the opportunity she deserved. So, in preparation for her interviews we did a little work together on de-cluttering her mind to keep her focussed entirely on simple, clear objectives.

After much practice, Jo secured a successful new role for herself. One of the interesting revelations for her is just how cluttered everyone else she encounters in business actually is. Like a reformed nicotine addict detecting a hint of smoke, she catches the whiff of clutter all about her.

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