Self Perspective

A twice weekly podcast focusing on career management and recruitment with executive recruiter John G. Self, Managing Partner of a Dallas-based search firm.
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Jul 26, 2018

Here is today’s rundown for the podcast:

First up, we revisit last week’s weekly video blog on an early trend in healthcare that I believe has real merit for personal career brand management and to help in finding your next better job.   That tool has been around for a while but many candidates avoid it like the plague - video - specifically a video resume or professional overview.

Next, we will focus on the common phrase “Bigger is Not Better.”  As the transformation of healthcare continues apace with changes that will alter our current business model, some health systems are eying mergers, apparently believing that bigger is better.  Bigger is just bigger and less nimble.

Jul 19, 2018

Job Interviews are probably the most important aspect of the employment process and yet this is where many candidates struggle. 

Today on SelfPerspective we are going to talk about how to integrate your life’s stories into your answers to questions from prospective employers.

If you want to improve your interview performance, this is a must listen-to podcast.  John Self is a masterful story teller and understands how to use stories to fashion a compelling message in a job interview. 

Jul 12, 2018

To be successful in today’s business climate, you not only have to perform, to execute your business strategy and exceed your performance objectives, you must also have well-honed career management skills, including a deep understanding of personal branding, which is to say that you may, or may not,  be a CEO of a business but everyone is the CEO of their own companies, their skills, their record of accomplishment and their reputation. 

If you are not familiar with this concept, it is time to stop, take a breath and become proficient, or you may find yourself prematurely on the sideline, unable to find a new position and wondering what you will do next in your career.  

It is a concept author and consultant Tom Peters first wrote about in Fast Company magazine in August of 1997. In the 21 years since the article first appeared, it is has become more relevant.  

Jun 28, 2018

Today we focus on the prickly question of how you should change jobs — what to say to your current employer and when you should say it.

This is a question that comes up frequently  when I am advising clients on career matters and in the courses I teach on interviewing.  The most common reason I am asked this question centers on how the current employer will respond, and for good reason.  There are far too many bosses  who can be extremely vindictive to employees who become  job seekers.  They view it as a loyalty issue — by accepting another position, even for a nice promotion with much better salary and benefits, you have betrayed them.  These “Its all about me” bosses can react inappropriately, sometimes even illegally, so looking for another job can be a dicey proposition.  

 Given that a growing  number of management and young executives — Millennials — are changing jobs three times faster than other  age cohorts in the workforce, this topic is very relevant. 

Jun 13, 2018

We have all had a failure or two in life —  those that were serious and many that, in hindsight seem less so — we botched a test, we were turned down by the person of our dreams for a date to the high school prom, or we did not get what thought would be THE ideal job.  

Novelists, poets and those who write for a living have an intimate relationship with rejection or failure as have entrepreneurs. 

Failing to snag that IDEAL job is one thing, but risking and losing your life’s savings or, worse, your parent’s life savings in a failed business that you so strongly believed in is quite something else.  It is a gut-wrenching, confidence killing experience that some people never get over.

Now here is the thing, we view starting our own business, being an entrepreneur, in the most romantic and exciting terms. Rarely does the idea, the realistic possibility of failure, cloud our  thinking.   We hold on to the stories of those famous entrepreneurs who started a company in a small garage somewhere only to hit it big and reap the enormous financial rewards of taking the gamble.

The money, the fame are powerful distorters of the reality that most entrepreneurs fail.

For those of us who have experienced that kind of failure — thankfully mine did not involve my parents retirement plan — but when my partnership deteriorated over misaligned values and goals — it was emotionally devastating. I had to walk away from a company I had founded after 16 years.  I never thought I would be starting over when I was 60 years old.   But it happened.  I was one phone call away from losing a great deal more than just money.  Fortunately one of my God installed signature  strengths is that of resilience.  I persevered and survived.  I have tried not to look back except for those important and strangely wonderful lessons that I learned from the experience.

The most important lesson I learned, and those who have shared a similar experiences, all say the same thing:  If you cannot take the pain, the sense of loss and get back up and go again, then perhaps entrepreneurship, and this includes buying a franchised business, is not the best strategy for your career.

In America, we value certain human qualities — honesty, determination, fairness which is to say playing by the rules, and resilience. But none more than redemption.  We are drawn to those stories about people who have failed terribly only to rise again and achieve great success. 

Jun 6, 2018

Leaders who cannot communicate are toast.  We are revisiting a blog post from earlier this year that really resonated with me today as I was planning this broadcast.

“Do you understand what I just said?”

That was one of my mother’s questions that always got my attention.

I can recall dozens of times my mother asking that question, usually when I was but one small step from incurring serious discipline. It was a question loaded with a serious warning. 

Conversely, as a recruiter, there are times when I have wanted to ask a candidate: Do you understand what you just said?

May 30, 2018

There is emerging momentum to the idea that affiliating with a larger health system will not guarantee independent community hospitals or smaller  health systems the market security or financial sustainability to serve their communities. Market dynamics for safer, lower cost of care delivered in an environment that patients really like seems to fly in the face of the mega systems.

Community hospital boards and their CEOs say lack of agility or the ability to deliver care for less while engendering patient loyalty, is major weakness of many of the larger health systems. 

May 16, 2018

Here is today’s big idea:  Health systems and hospitals, facing cost structures that are not sustainable, are looking at outsourcing departments and operations that have never before been subject to scrutiny, according to Black Book’s Q2 outsourcing survey.  

The survey’s authors said that by 2022, four short years from today, average hospital costs must be reduced by 24 percent in order to break even.  

This could have an impact on your career so now is the time to pay attention to this important trend.

May 9, 2018

There is a career transition myth that the size of a job applicant’s network or absent his own, the size of his outplacement consultant’s network, is critical in the process of finding a new job. It is simply not true. 

Candidates win or lose jobs based on their performance in the interviews and most candidates struggle mightily with this aspect of their job search.

May 2, 2018

The biggest threat Chief Executive Officers face when joining a new organization is the existing culture. Today’s big idea focuses on job transition and how to avoid this common cause for CEO failure.

Culture is an incredibly complex subject. It is the amalgamation of a multiple of things, from values, leadership examples, behaviors and habits. CEOs that ignore the existing culture at a new organization do so at their own peril.

Today's podcast offers three steps to mitigate this risks. 

Apr 25, 2018

Managing Your Career through a crisis — it is rarely as bad as most executives in this situation think it is but there are important caveats to that rule.

Short of murder, rape, embezzlement or pedophilia most career missteps are not as devastating as one may want to believe. 

Most career threats are not insurmountable but executives with big egos or a reluctance to admit they made a mistake may need to take a drink of humility before re-entering the job market.

Apr 18, 2018

Many job candidates are eliminated at two critical choke points in the executive search process:  the resume review and the face-to-face interview.  We will zero on the latter in today's podcast.

Here is the problem.  Most candidates tend to talk and talk about what they do, and how they do it.  But they fall short in emphasizing the WHY.  Why they do what they do. Herein is where the passion and the memorable part of the interview lives.  


Apr 11, 2018

Today’s Big idea focuses on when a job applicant should tell the truth about an issue in his or her background.  It is not as straight forward as you would think.

Reputations get dinged, people get bruised along the way.  Some of the dings and bruises are more serious than others.  Some can affect your career.  The tough question is what and when information on the more serious career issues should be disclosed to a recruiter or the prospective employer.  The answer is… there is no sure answer.

Apr 4, 2018

The Big Idea:  In a competitive job market, where there is intense competition for the best jobs, candidates must find a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Today I will share with you three steps to improve your performance in an interview.



Mar 28, 2018

Today, from Chicago, we will examine the idea of how a senior executive’s ego can be a make or break issue when it comes to having a stellar career, professionally and financially.  Recruiter and career counselor John Self will outline steps to avoid this career setback.

Mar 21, 2018

Did you know that getting laid off can be as bad for your health as it is for your pocketbook? Research shows that the trauma of losing one’s job can create some adverse health risks. In this podcast I will cover how not to deny your emotions, but also not let them take control. 

Mar 14, 2018

Most executive candidates rarely differentiate themselves from their competition. They use the same predictable resumes and bland performance in interviews.   

Today’s Big Idea:  Telling Your Story more effectively in the job interview.

Storytelling is a special art form.  This is especially true for the job interview.  It is a powerful tool but you must understand its limitations.  There are some questions that are not storytelling qualified, they beg for a straight forward, fact-based response. There are other important questions that are ideally suited to answer in a story format.

Mar 7, 2018

Today’s big idea  is about stories and the people who tell them and the power they have.

Story telling is not the exclusive purview of novelists or  writers of children’s books. 

Preachers tell stories from the Bible to exhort their followers to lead a better life.

Teachers tell stories to engage their students in important subjects like history and civics. 

Even corporations and their advertising agencies rely on stories to sell ideas or products. 

And there is a reason story telling is such an important and powerful tool. Research tells us that a good story connects the story teller and the listener in a dramatic way.  The listeners are more likely to remember the message when it is wrapped in a story well told.


Feb 28, 2018

Today’s Big Idea on SelfPerspective: one of the most important tools in your job search that will accelerate your quest for success. 

When someone loses their job, regardless of how competent they are in doing the work, it unleashes a rush of emotions, from the anxiety that comes with feeling overwhelmed and a sense of loss, to even crippling insecurity or depression.  Our job is our sense of identity and when we lose that anchor, well it is, to say the least, unsettling.  When you add all of these feelings to the likelihood that an applicant for an executive position is going to have four or five rejections before they get a  “yes”, it is easy to understand why looking for your next job can be an emotional merry-go-round.


Feb 21, 2018

Today, our big idea is the need for inspirational communication in a day and age in which the political and social challenges can very easily take you to the dark side.   As a leader you must be prepared to talk about some very uncomfortable truths but the reality is people want and need to be inspired. Inspiration is the salve that helps us deal with all that makes us uncomfortable. It moves us to a belief that we can overcome.

Feb 21, 2018

Today, our big idea is the need for inspirational communication in a day and age in which the political and social challenges can very easily take you to the dark side.   As a leader you must be prepared to talk about some very uncomfortable truths but the reality is people want and need to be inspired. Inspiration is the salve that helps us deal with all that makes us uncomfortable. It moves us to a belief that we can overcome.

Feb 14, 2018

Today’s Big Idea focuses on the frustrations and pain experienced by executives looking for work, battling an increasingly automated job applicant processing system.  I will offer some suggestions on what you can do to beat the system. 

Feb 7, 2018

“It is not the strongest species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”    Charles Darwin

Today’s big idea focuses on change and how recent news accounts regarding the big three business coalition may be a tipping point to the long awaited transformational reform of healthcare.  We will look at those issues and four healthcare career paths that I believe will provide talented and skilled executives with career and financial growth opportunities.


Jan 31, 2018

In today's podcast we look at two big career management topics:  
First, we will look at the deterioration in the soft skills that candidates bring to the table.  One in three recruiters say there is a measurable decline in the quality of the soft skills.

Second, we will look at how research and advanced preparation for 15 common questions can help you improve your performance.  


Jan 24, 2018

In this week's podcast – If willpower, reason and executive functioning skills seem like a recipe for success, why have so many already given up on their New Year’s Resolutions? We will also discuss how you can reframe a point of view to end an argument in the spirit of finding common ground.  

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