Dealing with Ambiguity in Opportunity

 byLorraine Bolger.
 Published: 24/09/2015

I recently read one of Sheryl Sandberg’s quotes on opportunity which goes: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat.”

I thought it particularly relevant and interesting for the world of executive search.

Like with most things in life – there is often no such thing as the “perfect role”. When it comes down to it, particularly at Executive level there may be compromises to make in order to join that “Rocket Ship” organisation. One key trait of the candidates that I have matched with clients successfully has been their ability to excel in environments that are ambiguous or in change – in other words – being open to moving seats on the “Rocket Ship”. In particular today, businesses have to be agile to continue to compete and gain market share – their senior teams need to be equally strong at embracing and driving continuous improvement.

Having said that, the more senior the role, the higher the risk involved for both our candidate and our client. The stakes are high. Part of our role at Accreate is to mentor candidates through the selection process and to give our very best guidance as to whether the opportunity on offer is the right move for that individual.

Best advice:

  1. Use your executive consultant to give you their best insight into their client, including what challenges they are facing and what they are trying to achieve with this key hire
  2. Research, research, research – it’s that simple. Find out as much as you can about the organisation’s strategy, vision and financial stability
  3. Tap into your Network – work your own network to gain feedback of the type of organisation you may be joining
  4. Observe – throughout the interview process you will meet the executive team and even board members. The insights you gain here will be key and use the time well to probe on strategy, vision as well as the particular role. But, don’t forget to ask the receptionist or the future colleague in the lift how they like working at the organisation – this feedback always speaks volumes
  5. Once you have completed your research and the interview process, it’s decision time, and it’s our task here at Accreate to guide you through the decision-making process.