Danny came out of the interview room after attending a long meeting. For Danny, it was an altogether different experience, an experience that has virtually changed his perception about an interview process, an experience to know and understand how successful leader operates, an experience to understand why some people become highly successful as a leader and most importantly why successful leaders does the things differently, not the different things.
In his last ten years of complex industry experience, Danny has attended several job interview with top class MNC’s/fortune five hundred companies for senior and top management positions. However he has never developed such an unique experience as he has developed today.
In fact Danny has applied for the position of Vice President-Corporate Planning in this company few weeks back through a headhunter. Because of the same he has received an interview call and he appeared for the same today. This company is happened to be a 8 Billion dollar cash rich fortune five hundred business conglomerate having significant presence in the international market. The ownership of the company is primarily a family managed, though the new 34 year young CEO having Chartered Accountancy background is making a serious attempt to inject top class young professional into the system. Since he took over the company as CEO, quite a few new young faces joined this company in the middle and top management cadre. The new CEO strongly believes that to sustain, the steady growth in the fast changing marketplace, management will have to change its philosophy from a family managed company to a professionally managed one. Young highly qualified professional will have to be given responsibility of the company very soon. Therefore during the next few years, this company will definitely undergo massive transformation.
As per the schedule, Danny came for the interview at 9.45 a.m. morning. Exactly at 10.00 a.m. he was called for the meeting. There were three executives available in the meeting room, the CEO of the group, Executive Director and the Group Director-Human Resources. to start the interview process, the CEO of the company switched off his mobile phone, arranged few glasses of drinking water and instructed his secretary not to allow anybody or any interruption into the room till this meeting is over. As next step, the CEO involved Danny in few minutes of casual conversation to make him psychologically comfortable with the new group. Once he found that, Danny is comfortable enough with the environment, CEO started the real interview. However it was completely an unconventional approach. CEO started asking questions related to Danny’s childhood, his primary education, life outside school curriculum and similar other memories. He was primarily interested to know Danny’s childhood life beyond schooling.
Subsequently, Danny was asked questions related to his secondary education experience, kind of support Danny has received from his family, his friend circle in and out of school, good and bad experience with them and similar other memories. Similar process CEO has carried out to know Danny’s experience during Post Graduate studies, early stages of employment and life beyond corporate environment. Initially Danny became quite surprised to see the way interview was conducted, though he was enjoying the process a lot. But very soon Danny realized that it was a conscious attempt to know how his individual value system developed and matured over the period of time, what is the professional ethics and moral value systems Danny appreciates as an individual and why? What are the different dimensions of Danny’s character? What are his Passion? What are the thing excites Danny as an individual and why? What is the purpose of his life? What is his definition of achievement, success and excellence? What are that factor drives Danny moving beyond his day-to-day life? etc. This interview continued for two hours 45 minutes. During this period, Danny spent hardly 10-15 minutes answering questions related to his Job content. Rest of the period he spent in discussing his personality factor as an individual. Therefore the focus of the meeting was completely on understanding the person as an individual.
Danny has also noticed that the CEO has gone through each details of his profile in advance, well prepared and highly disciplined. He conducted the entire meeting in a highly systematic and sequential approach. Moreover instant impressions were not at all developed on any issue about Danny. The CEO went into the depth of each issue thoroughly, collected sufficient data and evidence and most importantly he physically documented all the vital information gave by Danny in a well structured notebook instantly, which is a rare observation Danny made in the today’s fast changing corporate sector. His approach was extremely passionate on learning about people, anxious to know the person as an individual rather than grilling or evaluating the candidate. At the end of the meeting Danny is extremely confident that he has never shared as much information about him to anyone in his past that he has shared here today. He has learned so many things from this interaction, which he could not learn even from his past ten years of professional career.
In his past, Danny has seen many corporate executives talking about best practices, but today he met with a person who has demonstrated best practices at the operational level. Danny is fully persuaded that irrespective of his selection into the company, this CEO has passionately converted him into a lives long ambassador for his company. From now onwards wherever Danny goes, he will admire and appreciate this company and its leadership to the external world for their un-compromised passion for perfection. This is an amazing experience Danny would love to remember for rest of his life.
In his past, Danny has seen many corporate leaders and top executives giving presentation on leadership, on people etc in national and international forums. But today he met a CEO who never spelt that people are the most important asset to him, but he has demonstrated the same through his passion, through his action and commitment. Danny finds that in today’s highly competitive marketplace, all leading companies are investing heavily on building employer brand in the job market. But an experience developed by Danny during the interview today remains a classic example of building an ideal employer brand in the highly competitive fast moving job market. Danny believes that if companies can develop many more such ambassador through their everyday action, a very good image and employer brand can be developed in the job market. But for this to happen, right leadership is a must. A leadership that has the courage of conviction, an un-compromised passion for best practices, an ability to lead by example, and most importantly an ability to redefine the rule of best practices and Danny is proud to say that he has met such a leader today.