Linwood Bailey November 3 Interview on the Sherry Shone Talk Radio Show

You can take 2 approaches to managing your career.

  1. You can hope.
  2. You can take control

You can hope that others will act in your self-interests and manage your career for you. When you rely on others, you place your fate in their hands and trust that they will make you their top priority, their #1 interest. You hope that events and circumstances will advance your career, get you promoted, increase your compensation, and keep you employed.

Taking control of our life is like playing chess, plotting your moves to win, versus being a pawn—being moved at the whims and wishes of others.

WORK IS A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED. We are promoted or hired because we can solve problems for our employers. Do you know what problems you can solve?

Businesses are created, thrive, and survive based on how well their products solve problems for their customers. Businesses have a process for developing their products. That process is the Product Development Process. You can apply this process to develop a product called YOU, the solutions you can offer to solve problems for your current or potential customers. Those customers are your employers.

Why would anyone want to hire or promote you? What do you sell?

Whether you work in a traditional office environment, in the field, or from home, you work each day to solve a problem or satisfy a need for your “customer”. That customer is your employer. WORK IS A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED.

Solving problems is the reason why we are employed.

What you sold during your job interview and what you deliver each day is your “personal product”. Your personal product is your skills, capabilities, and strengths.

Businesses are created, thrive, and survive based on how well their products solve problems for their customers. Businesses have a process for developing their products. You can apply this process to develop YOU, your personal product.

Getting What You Want from Your Career: The Business of Me Career Management Process

Your career is your most important economic asset. What you get from your career will determine the homes you will own, the cars you will drive, the education you will provide for your children, and the financial security you will experience during your working and retirement years.

The Business of Me Career Management Process uses the age-old and proven process that companies use to create value from their assets. That process is the Business Management Process.

Career Nuggets are weekly career management tips provided by Linwood Bailey, career coach and author of “The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value.”

Unless you are wealthy, inherited a lot of money, or have won the lottery, your career is your most important economic asset.

Linwood invites you to visit to learn more about how you can get more value from your career.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could gain the knowledgeLinwood Bailey and experience we need to address our career and employment challenges, needs, and issues from our dreams. During our dreams, we could try different courses of action and “experience” the benefits or “suffer” the consequences. We could wake up in the morning saying “I learned a lot last night. I’m glad that was a dream”. It would be even better if we could “schedule” our dreams to focus on whatever we are experiencing. It would be like having dreams on demand. Now, let’s talk reality.

Let’s focus on a way that we can venture beyond the limits of our experience to gain the knowledge that can help us manage our careers. There is a model for going beyond the limits. The model to which I am referring is the Corporate Board of Directors. Board members are experienced individuals and experts who bring knowledge, ideas, and perspectives that expand the limits of a company’s knowledge to address its challenges and issues.

If the largest corporations in the world endowed with very intelligent officers and employees have boards of directors, why can’t you?

Why rely on “trial and error” to make career decisions? Why not tap into the knowledge and experience of individuals who have taken the journey you are about to take? Why deal with the unknown when you can access the known?

I recommend the following steps for establishing a personal board of directors.

  1. Identify and describe the challenges and issues you need to address.
  2. Prioritize the challenges and issues.
  3. Define the type of assistance you need.
  4. Establish profiles for recruiting members of your board.
  5. Recruit your board members.

Two things I would thing I would like you to consider as you recruit your board members. First, people like to help other people. It is a human trait. Asking a member of the management or executive team of your company taps into this human trait. By asking these individuals to be a member of your personal board, you are also inviting them to be a partner in the management of your career. People tend to support endeavors in which they are involved. A personal board member can become a personal supporter and advocate. That’s not too shabby.

Do you have a personal board of directors?

What has been your experience with your board?

Was there a time in your career that you wish you had a board to advise you?

What traits would you seek in a member of your board?

Who is the one person you would like to have on your board?





Linwood BaileyThere are individuals in your organization who decide who gets hired, promoted, or assigned or who influence the decision makers. I call these individuals career brokers. How do the career brokers in your organization view you?

Career brokers can include:

  • Your boss
  • Your boss’s boss
  • Executives in your organization
  • Peers of your boss
  • The human resources manager or representative who supports your organization
  • Other people of influence in your company

I refer to interactions with career brokers as touchpoints. Touchpoints include:

  • How you conduct meetings
  • Your participation in meetings
  • Your communications (oral, electronic, written)
  • Your job performance
  • How well you manage your career

Following are questions that I suggest that ask yourself, a trusted colleague or peer, or even your boss to determine how well you are managing your touchpoints.

  • Are you dressing for the position to which you are aspiring or for the position you have today? (Are you giving others the opportunity to see you in a bigger role or position with greater responsibilities?)
  • Do you greet or interact with individuals in a manner that reflects how you want to be viewed?
  • Do your work habits reflect the image you want to present?
  • Do you respond or react to challenging situations or issues?
  • Do you perform and deliver results that meet or exceed the expectations of your manager and individuals or departments that depend on your performance to accomplish their objectives?
  • What images do you present or value to the organization you reflect when you participate in meetings?
  • Are you clear and concise when you speak?
  • Are your e-mail messages clear and concise, portraying your grasp of topic of the topic at hand?
  • Do attendees at your meetings compliment you on the way you conduct meetings or do they avoid eye contact and conversations with you when the meetings end?
  • Do you present an image that you are in control of your career, know where you want to go, and are taking actions to get you to where you want to be?

Somebody who matters is watching you. It is not what you intend to be seen, it is what others see that matters. Perception is reality.

Do you know who the career brokers are in your organization?

Are you managing your touchpoints?

Are you wondering why you are not being promoted or selected for great assignments?

Do you feel that you are not being noticed for what you have done or can do?

Would you like to share your experiences and perspectives?




Linwood BaileyInterviewing for a job is like dancing.

As I have watched contestants perform on the television show “Dancing with the Stars”, I see two things that place the exceptional performers above the rest of the contestants. Exceptional partners:

  • Understand the movements of one another.
  • Have a solid relationship with one another.



Interviews are successful (we get the job offer) when the interviewer is convinced that the prospective employee:

  • Can solve the needs of the organization (potential partner) has the ability and understands the needs or movements of the organization.
  • Will work effectively with the interviewer and other members of the organization (will build solid relationships).

Following are tips that could help you perform exceptionally at your interview dances.

  • Research the company and position thoroughly before the interview.
  • Seek first to understand rather than be understood.
  • Ask questions that “put you in the position” as a significant contributor or exceptional performer.
  • Ask questions that will lead the interviewer to believe that you will build effective relationships with key people in the organization and the interviewer if you are hired.
  • Determine if the interview is a how or who interview and respond accordingly.

You can conduct your pre-interview research by reading recent articles about the company and/or articles written or comments by the interviewer or the head of the organization or function. Tap your network to gain information on the situation, needs, and challenges the company or interviewer is facing. Utilize your network for connections to individuals who work in the organization, know the decision maker, or serve the organization (consultants, vendors, salespersons, etc.).

Your research will provide indications of the needs of the interviewer or company. Ask questions during the interview to confirm the needs. Think about the last time a salesperson convinced you to make a significant purchase (car, appliance, etc.). Your visit to the showroom or store indicated your need. The salesperson asked you questions to confirm your needs before communicating how the product could satisfy your needs. Individuals will tune you out if you communicate information that they do not want or need. Again, seek first to understand rather than being understood.

Visions can be a powerful tool for you, especially when you create the vision. One of my favorite questions for placing yourself in a position is “If you hire me, what would I have to accomplish in the first 3-6 months to make a significant impact on the organization?”.

Series of questions that indicate you will build effective relationships if you are hired include:

  • What are the most significant challenges and issues I will have to address if you hire me?
  • Who are the key individuals with whom I will work or should consult to help me address the challenges and issues?
  • What are the expectations of the key individuals of me if I am hired?

“Pepper” your exchanges with the interviewer with your accomplishments that relate to the challenges. For example, what did you accomplish when you faced:

  • Working with limited resources?
  • Convincing skeptical business partners to support an important initiative or project?
  • Motivating staff or team members who were experiencing low morale?

Your statements of your accomplishments should be concise and brief. State the results, the benefits the organization realized, and the measures you took.

How interviews focus primarily on whether you have the skills and capabilities to satisfy the potential employer’s needs. Who interviews focus on your ability to fit into the organization. In how interviews, interviewers tend to probe information on your resume, especially your qualifications and experience. Fitting into the organization is your personal chemistry versus the chemistry or culture of the organization. Who interviews focus on factors such as your management or work style, your approach to getting things done, and even personal information such as your interests. One indication of a who interview is when the interviewer sits next to you rather than having a table or other physical separation between the interviewer and you. Watch for the clues. You will lose the interest of the interviewer if you keep dwelling on your professional qualifications when the interviewer wants to know “Will I be able to work with this person?” If the interview music is calling for who steps, don’t get out of sync with the partner by taking how steps.

What “aha” moments did you experience while reading The Interview Dance?

What ideas, suggestions, and interviewing experiences would you like to share?

What will you do differently the next time you interview for a position?

What additional information on interviewing would you like to receive?




It is estimated that 60-80% of positions are filled through referrals. Many of these positions are not listed on job sites or assigned to search firms. Given the 60-80%, networking has become the cornerstone for many individuals who are searching for a job. One of the rituals of networking encounters is providing a resume to get referrals. Is there a better way?

Quite often, resumes have a very short life in holding the interest of a contact and his/her efforts to assist a job seeker. Why? Resumes contain a lot of information that contacts do not need to help the job seeker. And, there are so many individuals networking to connect to job opportunities. Contacts can be swamped with requests for assistance from job seekers. Even the most cooperative and willing contact can find it difficult to help job seekers who approach them. They have other demands on their time, especially performing their job responsibilities to ensure that they do not become job seekers.

So, you want a contact to help you and the contact needs information that will enable him/her to assist you with your job search. How can you provide enough, but not too much information? How can you make it easy for someone to help you?

I recommend that job seekers develop a Personal Summary to provide information that is essential for contacts to assist them. The Personal Summary is a one-page document that serves as a personal selling aid for job seekers. When you are searching for a job, you are engaged in a very significant sales campaign, selling you.

A personal summary includes the following components:

  • Career Summary
  • Career Highlights
  • Opportunities You Are Seeking
  • Assistance You Need
  • Your Contact Information

Career Summary states the value you offer, the problems you can solve or the needs you can satisfy for an employer. It also states what makes you unique, what distinguishes you from others seeking similiar opportunities.

Career Highlights are 3-5 of your signature career accomplishments, accomplishments that quickly come to your mind or people with whom you have worked when your name is mentioned. Accomplishments should express what you did, the benefits the organization or company realized, and actions you took to generate the benefits.

Think like a defense attorney. Your Career Summary is the opening statement. (My client is innocent.) Career Highlights are the evidence. (These are the facts that prove my client’s innocence.)

Opportunities You Are Seeking are situations that call for what you can do, the value you stated in your Career Summary. Think of opportunities as triggers – events, developments, or courses of action that can create the need for you.

Assistance You Need should express how the contact can help you. Consider 3 targets or paths to situations you are seeking. Individuals who:

  • Are experiencing the problem or need.
  • Are knowledgeable of the problem or are connected to individuals who are experiencing the problem.
  • Serve or support individuals who are experiencing the problem. This could include consultants, vendors, service providers, and salespersons.

Contact Information should include your email address, telephone numbers (land and mobile), and home address.

It is a human tendency for people to want to help others. Using a Personal Summary makes it easy to help you. It can place you at the top of the list of people who have approached a contact for assistance, above others who are providing resumes.

How successful is your networking in terms of generating referrals to opportunities or to others who may be able to assist you?

How many resumes have you given to individuals and received no response or evidence that the person is assisting you?

How many contacts have referred you to opportunities for which you are not interested or qualified?

How many times have you followed up with a contact and the contact cannot remember what types of opportunities or referrals you are seeking?

Are you frustrated with networking and have decided to focus your job search on using search firms and responding to job postings (20-40% of positions that are filled as opposed to 60-80% through referrals)?





Why would anyone want to hire you? This is a question I pose to individuals seeking my assistance when they have lost their jobs. Most of the time my question is followed by a long moment of silence. When you conduct a job search, you embark on one of the most challenging initiatives of your life, selling YOU. I once asked a successful salesman to share the secret of his success. He responded, “pots and pans”. My response was, “John, you sell adhesives. What do pots and pans have to do with your success?” His response was:

My concept for success is looking for people who want to cook. My approach to them is I have your pots and pans. You have my money. Let’s make the exchange.

At the core of a successful sale (a sales pitch that results in a purchase) lies the Product. Prospects purchase when the product solves a problem or satisfies a need. Successful salespersons:

    • Know the problems their product can solve or the needs it can satisfy.
    • Identify who may need their product.
    • Connect to potential customers who may need their product.

If you are conducting or considering conducting a job search, keep in mind that:

Right Capabilities + Right Situation = Hiring

    • Know your personal product, your capabilities and what problems you can solve or needs you could satisfy for an employer.
    • Know what factors, conditions, or circumstances trigger a need for your product.
    • Develop a plan for connecting to organizations, companies, or individuals whose success (and maybe survival) depends on solving the problems your product can solve.

Do you know your product?

What problems can your product solve?

Who needs your product?

What job search challenges have your experienced?