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The importance of developing a vision for an executive role


If you’re going for a senior leadership role, your interview preparation should include

developing the vision for the position.


What does the company or the division look like under your leadership in 2-5 years’ time?

What’s been achieved? What is the company turning over?


Importantly, how has the company culture changed and how do staff and customers feel

under your leadership?


Having a vision for the executive role and being able to articulate it clearly is extremely

important. It’s something that’s bound to come up as part of the hiring process.


“At the end of the day, you’re hired as an executive to make a difference to the organisation

you’re working with,” says Executive Interview Coaching founder Richard Elstone.


How the vision differs from the strategy


The vision is the big picture of what you want to achieve in the role, the strategy is how you

plan to do it. Once you have a vision, you can plan the strategy accordingly.


“Strategy is a bit one-dimensional,” says Richard. “Giving some thought as to how the

organisation looks and feels, and what’s been achieved, is really important in the interview

preparation.”


“It’s about painting the picture of what the company feels like in a few years’ time,” says

Richard. “You’ll likely have to do some sort of presentation or maybe a meeting with the

board and if you’ve thought about all of this ahead of time, it’s going to be a lot easier for you to pull together the presentation.”


Tips for perfecting your vision


Make your goals achievable


Say you want to double-size the company in five years’ time. You need to be realistic about

your vision and how you’re going to get there.


What customers do you need? What markets will you have to break into? What investments

do you need to make now in order to reach your goal?


“A private equity firm typically knows what the end game is going to be before they make a

purchase of an asset,” says Richard. “They have a vision straight away of what the exit plan

is going to be in five years’ time. I’m trying to get the executive to almost think like a private

equity firm about what difference they’re going to make to the business if they get hired in

this role.”


Do your research


In order to create a vision that will resonate with the hiring team, you need to show that

you’ve done your homework. Get to know the company inside and out and find out what their

biggest challenges are, then think about how you can solve them.


The easiest way to do this is to do a company-based SWOT analysis, followed by a personal

SWOT analysis. Check out our recent blog with tips on this technique.


The job description can also provide clues for some of the solutions the company may be

looking to solve. Reading through the position criteria may help you hone your vision.


Work backwards


If you think about what your long-term vision and how the company looks in five years’ time,

you can work backwards from there.


What do you need to achieve at year 4? Year 3? Year 2? And so forth.


“That way, you’ll have a plan for the five years,” says Richard.


Working backwards like this is also a good approach when it comes to creating the crucial

90-day plan. How will you make an impact in the executive role in your first 90 days?


How Executive Interview Coaching can help


As part of our interview preparation offering, our coaches spend a lot of time talking through

our executive clients’ vision for their next role.


By acting as a sounding board, we can help you finetune your vision into one that makes a

powerful impact in the interview room.


To get started, get in touch today!

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