Arguably, the biggest mistake many job applicants make is focusing on possible advancement, benefits, working conditions, and pay. Obviously, each one plays a role in making a job decision. But taken together, they pale in comparison to scrutinizing the one person perched on the top rung of the ladder, the one called CEO, president, or owner.
No matter how near or far you may wind up from the corner office, the decision maker, the one who calls the shots, affects your destiny.
(Related: Making Sure You Always Have a Job)
This could may like a questionable exercise when millions of workers are unemployed or underemployed. At a time like this, checking out the person at the top may seem absurd when all they need is a job.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the culture fostered by a leader can make a difference when it comes to your future, no matter where you are on the company hierarchy. If you understand the dynamics of the corner office, you’re better prepared to manage your future in the job.
To see where this is going, here are eight CEO scenarios to help get a “reading” on those at the top. There are more but eight makes the point:
1. Rearview Mirror Thinker
Looking to the past as the guide to the future may seem incomprehensible given where life and the economy are today. Yet, there are those who view their role from a rearview mirror, clinging to past successes when challenges were more manageable.
2. Talks One Way, Acts Another
There are those who use all the right words, the ones you want to hear when you’re looking for a job. This makes it easy to be tripped up since the individual’s actions go in another direction, telling a totally different story.
3. Always Suspicious
You are left walking on egg shells, fearful, stressed, and worried you will say or do something that will set off the executive’s paranoia. Such conditions stifle creativity, restrain open and honest discussion, and inhibit a collegial environment.
4. Stubbornly Confident
Organizations, including businesses, are often attracted to a confident leader. But some exude too much confidence. In times of crisis, that doesn’t work. What can keep overconfidence under control, suggests Leon Eisenstaedt in a Financial Poise blog, is repeatedly asking the question, “What do you think?”