This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.
Last month I was able to attend the ASU GSV Summit. While I was there, I had dozens of meetings and was able to attend a few sessions and the closing dinner. The overall Summit was productive, informative, and a great way for me to keep abreast of innovations in education and meet or see leaders of all types present their visions, organizations, and product and services.
Though I do know a lot about the education space, and I have and am currently working with many private equity firms investing in education companies, and directly with leaders within education companies and institutions, my core strengths are with recruiting and executive search. So, when I attended the closing dinner, I couldn’t help but think that of all events during the Summit that was the excellent opportunity for any company leader to represent an organization and attract top-notch talent.
For company leaders invited to speak to a large captive audience of your peers, potential investors and partners, and experienced attendees who may be looking for a job change, here’s some advice:
- If you are the leader of an organization you are also part of its brand, and you are not only trying to sell something or have a service adopted, you are recruiting. You are also competing for talent and investment against every other leader an audience is presented.
- You want your audience to be compelled to want to think they would want to work for you.
- You want every person in the room to go home and think, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.”
- If you meet someone on the elevator, and you have a chance to introduce yourself and speak about what you do, you want that person to walk away thinking, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.”
- You want everyone to meet to leave the presentation and to go look up more information about your organization and your personal work experience.
- You want everyone you meet to leave the encounter and sign into LinkedIn and ask to connect with you.
This advice applies whether you’re on a 50-minute panel, and three minutes to accept an award and present your achievements, or the 15 seconds it takes going from the lobby to the 20th floor. You do what you do because you love it, you have a vision for it, so share it with others in a way that will make them walk away and think, “That’s someone I’d want to work with.” Because as CEO, you are always recruiting.
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