I was in Chicago several years ago and had the great pleasure of having breakfast with Brad Hughes, one of our “Founding Great Grandfathers.”
According to legend (and I can say that since The FENG is over 25 years old), Brad was one of the very few folks who ALWAYS brought job leads to pass around at our meeting at the Westport library. We were a grand total of about 15 people on a good day back then, but everyone followed Brad’s fine example and made an effort to find and share job leads.
Again, according to legend, there was one job at a leather goods manufacturer that ALL of us interviewed for and there were several others that at least half of us interviewed for.
For most of our members, it has been a very long time since I sent you your formal welcome letter. So, let me refresh your memory:
“The basic purpose of our group is to give individuals who have been Chief Financial Officers, Controllers, and Vice Presidents of Finance, Treasury, Tax, or Mergers & Acquisition, an opportunity to network and share job leads with their fellow financial executives. We make every attempt to provide leads that are useful by inviting members of our network to participate in leads in which we are ACTIVE candidates.
While at first blush this approach may appear counterintuitive, the value of any lead is in its freshness. Time is the enemy. Keep in mind that you are never the only candidate. If a recruiter is going to submit other names, they may as well be friends of yours.
We operate on the theory that in today’s world, by the time one is no longer a candidate for a position it is effectively dead on arrival. The sharing of only old leads is a disservice to all involved. I believe that our bond of friendship and trust makes the sharing of active searches possible. I will not in any way police or monitor your performance on this issue. You will need to make up your own mind regarding the value to you of your FULL participation.”
Our newsletter back in the “good old days” approached 125 pages on many Sunday evenings. We are now lucky to have 25 pages.
We have almost 38,000 members on distribution for our evening newsletter. If you want to receive, you also have to give.
I do hope this message will not fall on deaf ears. In addition to the sharing of job leads being one of our core values, it is also plain smart.