It’s Shangri-la and you are the legend at its centre 

“ Where everyone of us has the chance to make a mark and shape the future. Where senior managers are a catalyst for this change. Energising the people who can make it happen. At the centre of everything you will inspire passion. You instil courage. You bring the heart of a leader. “

It’s an advert for the organisation’s top post. It’s an advert that tells you what type of leader they want and the type of organisation they aspire to be. It invites you to join people who share your values and beliefs and offers you the opportunity of pursuing a career driven by those values. An opportunity not just to make a difference but make a difference where it matters. 

Colleagues from the USA would call this ,” Parenthood and Apple pie “. That is statements that everyone would agree are a good thing. Does this Shangri-la exist already or would the new leader be expected to creat it? Are senior managers already catalysts of change or would an early task for the successful candidate be to turn them into ones? 


This advert with implied JD does not read like something drawn up by the board. You know that old saying a camel is a horse designed by a committee well your average board members would not produce something so short and poetic. Which makes me suspect that it was written by a recruitment consultant, may be with a marketing background. You know the sort, ”we are not selling shoes , we are selling beautiful feet”. 

How much realism should be in an advert? Some go for brutal honest. “ Our problems are well documented” they say before going on to talk of their determination to turn the organisation into a world beater and give the right person an opportunity to become a legend. Alternatively an advert is not just about attracting candidates it’s about promoting the organisation , showing it in the best possible light. 

What’s important is your job advert stands out, it gets read and generates interest , reality is in the small print in the online information pack, and in what isn’t said in the informal chat with the current post holder. 


Blair Mcpherson former Director , author and blogger 


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