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Executives Need to Prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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In this interview, we talked to Steven B. McKinney, from McKinney Consulting Inc., about the results of the 2016 BlueSteps Executive Job Outlook report and his advice for candidates. Download the full report here.
 

Many executives expect the number of executive jobs to increase in 2016. Is now the time to make a move?

The proper timing of when to make a job move can be challenging. When an opportunity arises, and there should be in general more opportunities in 2016, then leaders should carefully measure and consider such opportunities. Great job opportunities do not come around every day or even every year. One should seriously consider the merits of the new position, fit, opportunity for growth and long term vision of the hiring organization; but also the impact making the move would have on their family and other the stakeholders in their life. If one can confidently and in a positive manner address those issues then they should seriously consider making the leap.
 

stephen_mckinney_executive_job_outlookWhat global economic trends do you see having the most impact on executive jobs in the coming year?

The increased number of free trade agreements is opening up opportunities that did not exist in the past. These opportunities vary from country to country and are worth looking into. Asia, in particular, is projected to be a growth region for years to come as several of these markets mature and become more competitive. South Korea, although a small market, is in the Trillion Dollar Club in trade and has the most FTAs in effect of any other Asian country.
 

How can an executive best present him/herself to get noticed by executive search consultants in today’s marketplace?

Developing a reputation for being the best at what you do has to be your number one mission for career advancement and survival. Facts don’t lie. If you are the best, it should not be hard to prove it. Getting to know and developing a relationship with an executive search consultant can be helpful. Have your professional information on social media sites up-to-date and your professionally-constructed CV/resume prepared before you ever need to use it. Relationship building is far more effective today than traditional networking. One great relationship can be more important to you and your career than being known by 100 people. Relationship maintenance can be more effective and less expensive than relationship repair.
 

What would you rank as the major challenges for executives at the moment, and what executive skills are in high demand considering those current challenges?

With advances in technology the pace of change is coming fast. The ranking of skills will change in parallel with these technological advances. Greater emphasis on creativity and emotional intelligence will be required. Those leaders in sales and manufacturing will need to develop new skills to become more technologically literate. Leaders will also need to proactivity train, retrain and increase the skills of their workforce.
 

Why do you think most executives valued executive coaching and digital/social media training over other forms of additional training/education? Do you agree that this is the best way for executives to stay relevant in the job market, other than on the job experience?

Senior executives today are under tremendous pressure to perform often with limited support or guidance. Executive coaching is one of the best mechanisms available for executives to reflect, learn and improve upon their behavior in a way that’s customized and specific to their needs. The adaption of digital/social media training for busy executives is necessary to keep up with the rapid advances and changes in the work place that are occurring.
 

If you could offer one key piece of advice to today’s senior leaders, what would that be?

Hire and develop talent that possesses high emotional intelligence, creative thinking skills and technical literacy, capable of learning new technologies in preparation for the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution.


For more one-on-one interviews and commentary from leading executive search consultants, download the full report here.

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