On Strategic Planning for Career Development

David S. Haffner, CEO & President of Leggett & Platt, Inc., delivered a talk to a small group of MBA students at the University of Missouri. This talk took place on September 8th, 2011. Here are my notes from his discussion.

Interview Tips
– Research your target. Then confirm your research.
– That being said, do not overwhelm your interviewer with details.

– Compensation will be a large factor in your decision-making process.
– What about equity options? What is available with the company? Can you, as an employee, acquire equity at a discount? (discounted stock purchase plan)
– Does the company stock pay dividends?

The Career Progression of a Well-Qualified Entrant
(show graphic)

“Think at least one move ahead – preferably two”

Slow and steady? No – take on opportunity, but not too much at once

Be humble about your assets, be proud of your achievements

– “One of the things that I did …”

– Adding precision where we don’t know it in conversation can make things sound more convincing

What do you do after you get hired?
– Act with character and integrity
– Maintain your cool
– Keep work and play separated — remember that people are watching
– Seek feedback – play off the strengths, but don’t give up on weaknesses