Dr. Lowell Hellervik – Reddit AMA Questions and Answers – Part 3

By Posted in - Other Topics on May 13th, 2013 0 Comments

On April 24, 2013, Dr. Lowell Hellervik of OMNIview conducted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, where for two hours he held court and answered questions ranging from HR talent management to how best to be recognized for advancement … all the way to who is better, the Gophers or the Badgers! OMNIview will post Dr. Hellervik’s responses in a series of blog posts over the next few weeks, but if you’d like to see the whole conversation, the complete AMA with Lowell Hellervik is available at Reddit.

Questions are in italics. Part one and Part two.

Skills Needed To Being a Successful Executive in Middle to Upper Management

As someone in their 20s, it makes sense to me how people rise to become managers of small (up to 10 people) teams: they had experience working within those teams, are personable/hardworking/smart/etc., can get the best out of people. But what skills does it take to make the jump to being a successful executive in middle to upper management?

This is a good question! And does remind me of earlier projects I worked on where the task was to identify what it meant to be a “general manager.” Basically this is a leap where one must be skilled at managing functions that one does not know intimately, thus the term “general manager.” Typically there is more strategic thinking and stronger reliance on business acumen. One of the favorite competencies that was developed for a large client was “large system savoir faire.” This suggests an appreciation for all of the subsystems of an organization and a skilled dealing and recognition that fooling with one element of an organization likely impacts another element or more. But there also is a huge premium on good judgement about the people reporting to you and the presentations you receive.

Gotcha; that makes sense. How do you prove to a company that you have general manager skills? Do you work on a project that requires cross-team cooperation, make some killer presentations in front of upper management … ?

Those are great suggestions, actually. Give additional thought to the circumstances you have experienced in your life/career that are most similar to the “general manager” capabilities we’ve touched on, always, the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior IN CIRCUMSTANCES AS SIMILAR AS POSSIBLE TO CIRCUMSTANCES YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN THE FUTURE. There are certain places in the career ladder where the jump between levels is more significant than others.

You should think of it as retooling your CV or resume to fit the job you are applying for. And then highlight those prior experiences/behaviors that best fit that distinct job or manager role.

Different Interviewing Processes and Consequences

The Gallup Organization’s interviewing process has an assessment representative call back after one submits a resume, they say it is not a traditional interview. They call and state this is a question/response assessment being recorded, I will ask you a question and want you to respond as quickly as possible, as the answers are timed. Are you okay with this? Guess my intrigue to experience this process propelled me to say yes. It “feels” like you are “PROCESSED,” and not screened for your capabilities.

QUESTIONS: What are your thoughts on companies that seem to be using profiling as shielding themselves from the more interactive means of qualifying candidates. And, how can candidates prepare for these types of interviews?

It’s hard to comment on a single test experience without knowing the validity behind it. It certainly is understandable that a large organization would choose to deploy a very inexpensive tool to screen down to a handful of the best candidates for a given job. However, they need to understand there are sometimes negative consequences to such a cold and impersonal process.

Mia Saldaneri

About Mia Saldaneri

Mia Saldaneri brings the real life view to OMNI.  She has owned her own small transportation company (yikes!), sold children’s dress-up clothing to boutiques and toy stores, worked for Personnel Decisions ...
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