ID and Channel your multi-threat value just like the big time CEo's
Become the Triple-Threat CEO (no matter what level job you want to target)
Last Wednesday I got a call from a Managing Director of a mid-sized Private Equity firm. He asked me for a “triple-threat CEO”. Now, you know that I am not a headhunter but Venture Capital (VC), Private Equity (PE) and Investment Banks are. They are the new headhunters. About every other week I get a call asking if I know of someone for a project, interim or permanent C-Suite role. I have heard the term “triple threat” related to C-Suite talent before. I work with a lot of double and triple-threat talent, helping them amplify into better or larger roles. But, this query was different. After the MD (Managing Director) offered the details of the acquisition (a $300M industrial products company with a high-tech focus) I offered what I thought he wanted.
I asked him if he wanted an Engineer, JD, MBA? The MD said, that he wasn’t looking for education. That threw me. When asked for a triple threat in the past I attached that concept to degrees/certifications.
He was direct…I listened…and it made complete sense for mid-level to executive-level talent.
No, we need an international sales leader with heavy product leadership experience that believes in servant leadership, he said. In my 15 years of working with PE’s I have never heard a request for servant leadership. I believe in the management ethos but never equated it with the heavy weight, in and out, world of PE’s. I pushed back with questions about the servant leadership part and he explained that the company has a heavy concentration of engineers and they perform best with this ethos coming from the C-Suite. I was baffled and delighted. I know product guys. I know international sales guys. I even know international sales guys that are also product guys. But, I don’t know the triple threat CEO candidate.
That was the end of the call. The rest of the week I was asking the people I work with what they believed their triple threat was. The idea of using a group of high-level talents formed into a unique offering simply works. And, it works for mid-level and executive-level talent, not just C-suite talent. My take away from the chat with the MD was that I have been working with this idea for a long time but didn’t solidify it into a framework. I talk about unique value, need, messaging. I don’t talk about your specialty and the enigmatic quality of a double or triple threat. Some really interesting conversations developed from the development and validation (this part is key) of a multi-threat talent proposition. It led to one of the shortest engagements I have ever had. I worked with a Sales Leader in a niche industry and we engaged right before a final interview for a job he really wanted. I was literally talking to this guy at a Starbucks a couple blocks from and 45 minutes before the critical interview. We honed in on his triple threat and strategies to control the interview. Three hours later he called me to tell me that he got the job.
What we did in that 30 minutes was a validation play where we looked at current company news, messaging/coverage on their CFO on MarketWatch.com and some business intelligence gathered from LinkedIn profiles and Youtube video of business conference coverage.
This quick and powerful research, coupled with some simple messaging techniques won the job, he said. This stuff is easy but not intuitive. Maybe you know your multi-threat value. Perhaps, you just need help getting the word out and converting. This can be easily fixed with a little research and actionable strategy.
Let’s get you hired.