Re: Hiring Publications Managers

Subject: Re: Hiring Publications Managers
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 11:15:44 -0800

Kelley wrote:

As someone pointed out on SQ2 thread, it's always best to attitribute moves to personal or career reasons. It's not a good idea even to attribute them to the "subject to fate" answer. I think Bruce knew that and that's why he offered his second answer.

Yup. As a matter of fact, I was the one who suggested attributing moves to personal or career reasons.

One thing you don't seem to be taking into account is that there is a world of difference between a discussion on a mailing list and behavior during a job interview. Since you were curious, people were frank with you about their motivations. However, a job interview requires more diplomacy and discretion, and I suspect that anyone who has been working for more than a few years knows that.

If I agree to an interview, regardless of whether the position is full-time or contract, I do so because I want or need the job. So, naturally, I am going tailor my answers to the goal of landing the position. I won't lie, but I will watch how I phrase answers and decide what to emphasize. I seriously doubt that an interviewer is interested in a ten minute discussion of all my motivations for moving on anyway; anything more than a few brief exchanges on the subject would be out of place and brand me as boorish beyond belief.

Almost all the responses from both Bruce and Lisa would read by the CEO as good reasons why he shouldn't hire a contractor. I won't go through them all but the best one was the last. I asked the question as I did because that's exactly what OFBEC thinks: _HE_ laid his financial security on the line. He choose to be an entrepreneur and is well aware of the financial risks. He assumes its the same for you. More importantly, _HE_ believes that he's different from everyone else._HE_ believes that you're going to retire with him and maybe take over the company, especially if he's hiring you to basically run the company. _HE_ is not like all the Big Bad Awful companies you work for. On his view, he will never do all the terrible things those companies did. _HE_ thinks that others, like him, intended the same; those who don't are anomalies. (Which is THE #1 reason why SQ2 is sound advice)

True enough. CEOs and employees have different interests. CEOs want employees to buy in to their dream. Employees want a pay cheque and, ideally, a sense of purpose or of being appreciated. This difference is not surprising. But a CEO who doesn't appreciate it is going to have some unpleasant surprises. In fact, from my upclose experience, I believe that many dot-combs bombed because too many CEOs didn't appreciate the difference.

A case in point: in one company, the CEO referred to people who left as "traitors." Yet he wouldn't do anything to encourage them to stay, even when their absence left an important gap in the company. He seemed to believe that, because he sometimes did things like provide pizza when people were pulling all-nighters (an investment of $20 in exchange for $400 in free labor per employee) that they should be plan lifelong careers with him. In other words, because the company was his life, he thought it should be his employees' lives, too. Big mistake.

A good manager (by which I mean, I suppose, the sort that I try to be) needs to take this differences in goals into account. Often, there's going to be conflicts between them, but making allowances for the employee's motivations at least some of the time is important if the goal is to build a decent team.

(There. I hope that wasn't too patronizing? ;-) )

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"More truth is what I need
Never mind if it makes me bleed."
- OysterBand, "On the Edge"

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Re: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Kelley
Re: Hiring Publications Managers: From: Kelley

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