Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Man's Opinion

One of the things that has made being a part of ExecuNet so satisfying and rewarding over the years is meeting and getting to know our members be it in person, on the phone, or online.

In the case of Rick Hubbard it was first via email and then by phone.

His self-description is that of a "Technologist, Author & Professional Services Executive" and now having spent a fair amount of time with Rick, I would say that was a very apt description but doesn't really convey the depth of the talents he has. For that you need to get deeper into his profile.

Among other things, Rick is an active (read very) of a networking group in the bay area called PSVillage a 1500 member community of technology, professional services and consulting leaders.

Combining both personal interests with his broadcast and interviewing skill sets, for the past several months, Rick has been busy producing a series of podcasts for this group covering the subject of job search at the executive level.

As part of that effort he contacted me to see if I would be willing to spend some time with him and share my take on a number of questions that were subjects of interest to those who were listening to his special series. With his high energy level and enthusiasm to go with it, there was no way that I was going to say no.

As I suspected, it turned out to be a great experience for a number of reasons, not the least of which was his easy going style and the fact that we actually a reasonable amount of time to discuss the issues (it runs around 39 minutes) and it gave me the chance to not only express my opinion on a number of questions that frequently come up, but it also gave me the chance to explain why I felt as I did, and in this age of "sound bites" it was a welcome change.

So, if you are an executive and trying to wade through the jungle of the marketplace these days, you might want to check it out.

I also should mention since Rick is also an author as well as an accomplished broadcaster, he has just released a book on planning (a word frequently that raises the hairs on a lot of necks) called simply How to Plan. In fact, he tells me he is actually giving away some complimentary copies - for just how long I am not sure, but if you're interested in checking out the book, the site is here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mekong Blue

So I am driving to work and listening to NPR as I do on most days. On Morning Edition I hear this story about Mekong Blue and immediately said to myself this would be a good thing to share for those who may not yet know about this project.

Since I just recently returned from a trip to SE Asia, this might have had something to do with my wanting to help get the word out on a project like this, although Cambodia was not on my itinerary so maybe not.

Actually I think it is more likely that I was motivated by having seen first-hand how truly high quality silk is created and woven. For those who have seen this process I would guess that would agree that it is impressive to say the least.

In any event, while it is probably too late for any last minute Christmas shopping, given the beauty and quality of the products produced by this group of Cambodian women, it is a site you might want to put on a favorite list when you are looking for a gift for any special occasion.

If you would like to get full story the NPR clip is here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Happenstance Theory of Career Planning

I guess I should start this post with a tip of the hat to longer vacations. I, like many Americans, rarely use all of the vacation time allotted, but this year I made an exception and invested three weeks to explore Bali, Burma and Thailand.

Once I got over the guilt's (that took about a week) by the time we returned, I didn't even know what day of the week it was.

Of course, some of that might have been the result of the 30+ hours of travel time, but I would rather believe that it was due to the chance to observe and participate in the unique cultures and beauty of SE Asia.

And, if you have checked out the picture here, I can tell you that the answer to the question of whether or not I ever thought I would have the chance to spend quality time with a live, 20 month old, 300 pound tiger, the answer is no, but it is something I will not soon forget.

In any case, what does all this have to do with careers and how they evolve? The answer is probably not much other than the fact had I not had the experience of losing my job some 20+ years ago, and as the result of that migrate into an experience which became ExecuNet, I am sure I would still be only fanaticizing about the chance to actually spend time with a tiger.

That said, over the years, many people have said to me that somewhere in my DNA there must have been a fair number of entrepreneurial genes in order for ExecuNet to be starting year 22 in 2010. My answer has always been that if that was true, I was certainly not aware of it, but rather it came about based on my own experience in career transition and that I just felt there had to be a better way to make the process of career management at the executive level more win-win, and ExecuNet turned out to be the answer for me.

It wasn't until I returned from vacation and was wading through my email that I noticed one from Pedro Ramirez, and Greg Skidmore who team up to do a podcast in which they interview entrepreneurs from around the area. Not sure how Pedro found me, but he did and some weeks ago I sat down with them to talk about how ExecuNet came to be and what do we do as well as the why and how of what we do.

Once I listened to the podcast, I actually thought it came out fairly well and more importantly as we got into a deeper discussion around senior level career management that there were some key learnings that might be of help to others trying to fight the current career battles.

If you want to listen, you can just click here. It runs about 30 minutes.