Posts Tagged "project planning software"

Should you hire people into more junior roles than their last role? You can, but here are the potential pitfalls to consider.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Our brains have been wired to think about our careers going up the corporate ladder over time. A manager becomes a director, a director becomes a vice president, a vice president becomes a president, etc.

Obviously, there are a lot fewer job positions the further you go up the ladder. A typical company may have 125 managers, 25 directors, five vice presidents and one president. The odds of moving up the ladder aren’t really in your favor, with 80 percent fewer positions at each next level.

But, people need to make a living. What happens when an employee needs to go back down the ladder to find more open positions? Is that a good idea for you as a hiring manager to consider that candidate?

Let’s find out.

Does the candidate have the right skills?

Let’s talk about the sales department as an example. Most “upper ladder” sales managers have been “lower ladder” salespeople at some point in their past careers. It is highly likely and logical that a sales manager has the knowledge and skills required to succeed as a salesperson again but the job of a sales manager is completely different from a salesperson. The salesperson mantains client relationships and closes sales all day. A sales manager manages and mentors the salespersons all day to make sure they are hitting their agreed upon targets. Making that shift back down the ladder really means taking on a completely different job again. You just have to be sure that candidate truly has the appetite for that change.

Related: Why MOD Pizza Loves Hiring Ex-Cons

Is the candidate willing to do the job required?

Continuing this example, once a sales manager gets used to the tasks of being a sales manager (more in the office, less travel, less repetitive tasks, the prestige that comes with the role) it is, for many, really hard to get back into a quota-hitting sales producer role. But, that is a more of a general guidance. There are exceptions to that rule. Maybe a sales manager got promoted, then realized they don’t like managing people — they actually prefer the “thrill of the hunt.” It is really important you ask the right questions during the interview process to ensure that candidate will actually be happy doing the work required in that “lower ladder” position.  Understanding that many will say whatever is required to get the job, so buyer beware.

Does the candidate have the right compensation expectations?

In addition to the role changing, the compensation is typically lower at lower levels. So, let’s say that vice president was making $150,000 and now they are looking at a director level job that makes $80,000. Once a worker gets used to living off a higher salary, it is really hard for them to make ends meet on a much smaller compensation. The only times that works out is if the role is combined with material other incentives (like an aggressive commission plan or equity upside to make up the difference), or if they are further along in their career and, perhaps, are aware of their need to reset their target role and compensation expectation to have a better chance of getting employed.

Related: 3 Signs You Need to Take a Pay Cut

Should you be worried if someone is willing to take a pay cut?

My off-the-cuff answer is yes — someone willing to take a pay cut should certainly trigger a concern but it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. If other incentives are in place, or there is a logical “story” with this candidate, you may be perfectly fine. Remember, what you gain with an “upper ladder” candidate is all that extra years of experience that comes with that. So, if you can get comfortable with the situation, it is like getting a Porsche for the price of a Toyota. But, buyer beware.

Is the candidate a flight risk just waiting for a better position?

Once somebody gets used to getting paid at a certain level, they are going to try to maintain or exceed those levels in future jobs. If they are taking a job with you at half the compensation, without a matching good “story” or incentives, that opens the door to those candidates continuing to look for new jobs, even after they have accepted yours.

Again, that is a general rule of thumb. That may not be the case in all scenarios, so do your due diligence and make a judgment call. For example, someone looking for their last job before they retire could be perfectly fine and worth the risk.

Related: This Is How to Boost Employee Retention With Lifelong Learning

Do they have the energy for job?

Generally, a person’s energy declines with their age. But, that is not always the case. I have worked with many people in their 60’s whose energy levels exceed that of people in their 20’s. Another way to think about this: older “upper ladder” employees are typically more efficient in how they work. They may lack with energy but offset that with efficiencies they have honed with their prior years of experience.

Can a candidate going down the ladder ever be a good hire?

My colleague Todd Zaugg, CEO at Matrix Achievement, told me “Our company has trained over 40,000 salespeople over the years. I have seen many situations where moving down the corporate ladder has resulted in success and many other situations where it has not. In our experience there is no direct correlation between the previous upper ladder experience and  sales success moving back down into lower ladder positions. It all comes down to the individual and do they or don’t have have the right skill sets, desire and incentives to be successful in that lower ladder role”.

A lot of things have to go right for someone going back down the ladder to result in a good outcome for your business. But, that does not mean you should close the door on that scenario in all cases. You need to assess each candidate on their own merits. What is their “story”? How do they answer your questions? Do you believe they can live on a smaller compensation and have the energy and appetite to be successful in that “lower ladder” job?

This situation is laden with potential pitfalls, but it most certainly can work out for the best. Do your homework!


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You are a smart, talented leader. Unleash your power.


6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Women, it’s time for us to suit up. We need to harness our unique feminine advantages as women to dominate in business. After years of trying to show we are equal to men, we have not made any progress. Why? Women have been playing by the wrong playbook — the male playbook. The rules of that playbook are rigged against us.

Related: How to Address Gender Inequity at Work

We need to start using our own playbook to change things. No more “learning in” or “outmanning the men” or “beating the men at their own game.” It’s time for women to capitalize on our unique advantages as women to succeed and lead in business.

Those unique feminine advantages have nothing to do with our sexuality. Rather, we have a weapon that is far more potent. Research has shown that emotional intelligence is key for being a successful business leader. Of the 12 competencies researchers have developed as key markers of the emotional intelligence required for leadership, women score higher than men in 11 out of the 12. And on the 12th we’re tied with men. We don’t just excel in the warm and fuzzy skills. We come out ahead of men in hard business skills traditionally associated with men like “driving for results” and “taking initiative.” It’s time for us to transform the gender rules by using these superior leadership skills to advance our careers.

Here’s how to move forward:

1. Suit up using your emotional intelligence.

Combining intelligence, empathy and emotions magnifies our capacity for analysis and our comprehension of interpersonal dynamics. We can use these superior leadership skills to read the emotions and motivations of the people we are dealing with, gauge the situation strategically, choose a nuanced course of action and take control.

Related: Shifting the Paradigm to Embrace Gender Differences

2. Stand up with confidence.

Confidence trumps competence every time. How many times in a meeting has a man, who clearly doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about, speak with the utmost certainty and end up drawing praise and respect from his audience? Why? Study after study shows that success in the business world requires more than competence. Our efforts to demonstrate that we deserve promotion, compensation and success based on merit are misguided because business is not a meritocracy. Confidence beats competence.

The good news is that confidence is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be acquired. Step one is to just do it. Act as if you exude self-confidence. Fake it until you become it. Walk the walk and talk the talk.

3. Shut up that internal critical voice.

Stop self-sabotage. Society has been drilling male supremacy into us since we were little girls, and we’ve internalized it and convinced ourselves to buy into the patriarchy by giving away our power. All too often, we are our own worst enemy. This internal voice sews seeds of self-doubt, fear of failure and the fear of being revealed as a fraud. Ruthlessly target those thoughts, consciously shut them down and replace them with self-affirmative, encouraging talk.

4. Speak up.

If you have an idea or disagree with what’s being said, speak up. Shut down mansplaining and manterrupting and stop allowing men to appropriate your ideas as their own. When you are speaking, do not yield, and call out any man who interrupts you. If necessary, bluntly say “Stop interrupting me and let me finish.”

When you talk, make sure to use empowering language that exudes confidence. Never apologize before you speak. The word “sorry” should be banished from your vocabulary. Similarly, never caveat what you are about to say with prefaces such as “I’m not sure but” or “I might be wrong but.” Use direct, forceful language.

Related: Powerful Women Don’t Need the Limelight to Be Influential. Here’s Why.

Male speech patterns are more assertive, direct and succinct. Women’s speech patterns are perceived as weak, unassertive, and tentative. Use short sentences. This makes it harder for people to interrupt you.

Remember that body language matters. Make your physical presence known: Lean forward at the table, point to the person you’ve chosen to acknowledge for a comment, put the flats of your hands on the table to make a point and look that person squarely in the eye or stand up and walk to the front of the room — whatever it takes.

5. Step up.

Opportunities are rarely handed to you on a plate. Remember that if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. How will you ever achieve your goals if you only perform those assignments you are handed? Ask for what you want — plum assignments, leadership roles, salary increases and promotions. Take risks and advocate for yourself. Take the hard job even if it’s a stretch for you. If you don’t, some man will. When you are assigned a major project, dive into it and take charge.

6. Show up.

Reaching a goal is usually a marathon, not a sprint. Demonstrate the tenacity to continuously prove yourself. Seize the next challenge and keep achieving. Push back against those who deny you what you need.

7. Smarten up.

Focus on earning respect, not popularity. As women, we tend to be people-pleasers and hyper-sensitive to nuance. The same emotional sensitivity that gives us our high emotional intelligence also make us wary about displeasing others, risk-averse and bad at dealing with negative feedback. Understand that success is not a popularity contest. Women have to learn to withstand disapproval and criticism and, when necessary, to take hard, contrary positions. The most likable people are not regarded as leaders. Instead, to achieve success be respected, decisive and inspiring.

Let’s get started. Women do not have to put up with male domination any longer. It’s time to stop surrendering control to the men around you, letting them order you around or allowing them to treat you with disrespect as if you are of a lower social status than they are. You are a smart, talented leader. Unleash your power.


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Amazon and Netflix stock prices just keep climbing.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Stock prices soared after encouraging words from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today.

In comments at a luncheon in New York, the Fed Chairman said that the central bank’s benchmark Fed Funds rate — currently at a range of 2.0 percent to 2.25 percent — was now “just below neutral.” Neutral is considered an interest rate level that neither stimulates nor restricts economic growth and is presumably a target rate for the Fed at this point.

That’s a major shift from his comments at the beginning of October, when he said that rates were still “a long way from neutral.” Investors are hoping it means the Fed will either not raise rates as expected next month and/or reduce the number of rate hikes it planned to make next year.

Stock prices spiked shortly after Powell began his speech at noon, with strength across all segments of the market. The Entrepreneur Index™ closed the day up 3.17 percent, with only four of 60 stocks in the red. The Dow Jones Industrials index surged 617 points (2.5 percent), while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes were up 2.3 percent and 2.95 percent respectively.

The technology sector had some of the largest gains of the day, with salesforce.com up 10.24 percent–the biggest jump on the Entrepreneur Index™. Adobe Systems Inc. also rose 7.3 percent. Amazon was up 6.09 percent and Netflix closed the day 6.01 percent higher. Facebook was the weakest of the so-called FANG stocks, rising 1.3 percent.

Retailers Costco Wholesale Corp. (3.29 percent) and Walmart (2.55 percent) and were both up sharply, while discount retailer Dollar Tree Inc. was up 1.83 percent.

Under Armour Inc. was up 5.55 percent — the biggest gain on the index outside the tech sector. The athletic apparel maker reported blow-out earnings at the end of last month and has been on a tear of late. The stock is up 62 percent so far this year. After big gains in the last two days, L Brands was up a more modest 1.78 percent today. Gap Inc. was up 2.53 percent.

Other prominent gains on the index today included NVIDIA Corp. (4.12 percent), Alphabet Inc. (4.0 percent), Boston Scientific Corp. (3.94 percent), Chipotle Mexican Grill (3.61 percent) and Verisign Inc. (3.35 percent).

While most of the market was up smartly, J.M. Smucker Company was clobbered after it reported disappointing financial results this morning. The stock was down 7.24 percent, the biggest decline by far on the Entrepreneur Index™ today. The food-maker missed badly on earnings estimates, was shy of revenue targets, and lowered guidance for its full-year outlook. Fellow food-maker Tyson Foods (-2.31 percent) was also down sharply.

The only other two stocks on the Entrepreneur Index™ that declined today were Ralph Lauren Corp. (-0.07 percent) and Wynn Resorts (-0.03 percent).

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.


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On this episode of The Playbook podcast, Marty Strenczewilk, co-founder and CEO of Splyce, discusses the rapid growth of eSports, and the best ways to make a career in the industry.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


You might not fully understand eSports, but the fast-growing industry is providing a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Marty Strenczewilk, co-founder and CEO of the eSports giant Splyce, talks about the widespread appeal of eSports competitions, as well as how to find a role in the field. 

Related: Find more episodes of The Playbook podcast here.

Listen in as host Dave Meltzer and Strenczewilk talk about the expansion of Splyce and the similarities between traditional sports and eSports. Marty also discusses what qualities are necessary to set yourself apart as an eSports athlete and how parents can support their kids in the pursuit of video game glory. 


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