Be a Purple Cow, not a Chameleon

At the FEI Dallas chapter meeting a couple weeks ago, I talked about the difference between Purple Cows and Chameleons. What are you? And, why does it matter? For candidates generally and for Finance Chiefs specifically, it matters greatly!

According to the Harvard Business Review, the executive fail rate hovers between 30% and 40% after just 18 months. Ouch!

While there are undoubtedly many factors that feed into that percentage fail rate, one big factor is culture fit. Culture fit is always the most challenging piece of the hiring process, and the one companies routinely get wrong. It is made even more challenging for both companies and prospects when candidates choose to be chameleons, trying to be all things to all people … rather than purple cows, the right fit in the right company.

It might seem counter-intuitive. It probably even sounds counter-intuitive to make the decision to play in a small space. Particularly in light of the “public job boards” deception which lulls us into thinking if we just put those specific key words from the ad in our resume, THIS TIME the call will actually come through.

And there is a slight chance that a call will come … but … will it be for a position that is a fit with your strengths and your brand? Is it a position that will challenge and grow you? A position that will allow you to grow your record of contributions? Is it a place that is aligned with your values?

The "I-can-be-whoever-you-need-me-to-be" chameleon
The “I-can-be-whoever-you-need-me-to-be” chameleon

If you have to revise your resume to make it appeal to every different posted position to which you apply, perhaps you need to ask yourself whether you are being true to your authentic brand … your particular shade of purple cow … or whether you are morphing into a well-disguised chameleon. And the moment you morph, you compromise your brand, your strength positioning, you’re fit for opportunity, and even … your future contentment within that new position.

Share and enjoy

Leave a Comment