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Scott W. Phillips

Questions & Answers

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Answers to sample questions....

Q.  What are your key strengths and weaknesses?
 
A.  My strengths are rooted in relationships; I work well with people in team environments and am also very customer-centric and have the ability to develop strong, long-term client relationships.  I also have a strong technical aptitude which allows me to absorb complex material and distill it down to salient points that can be effectively communicated to target audiences.  I also have a good business sense, which allows me to stay focused on the big picture objectives and quickly determine the impact of positive and negative forces and react approriately.  My weaknesses include balancing work and personal life as well as bordering on a perfectionist and taking on too much responsibility when I should be delegating.

Q.  Describe your management style:

A.  I would categorize my management style as "Success Through Empowerment". I believe that if you give team members the tools, structure and guidane to effectively complete an assignment and meet deadlines, your projects are more likely to succeed. One of the more important aspects of project management is the ability to drive and motivate the team while enabling them to shine. Projects succeed through qualified team members and strong yet versatile management.

Q.  How can you help our company be more profitable?
 
A.  Profitability depends on the company or product line situation.  For example; if the company or product line has high SG&A expenses, a majority of which are fixed costs, then an option would be to increase the top-line revenue via increased sales through existing channels or addressing serviceable markets previously untouched.  On the other hand; if costs are highly varable with little economies-of-scale, then options might include segmenting the product line to address a higher-margin portion of the market and/or look for bottom-line cost reductions including reduced customer acquisition costs through salesforce automation and lower cost guerilla and partner marketing strategies.

Q.  Describe your ability to solve problems in the workplace:
 
A.  I consider myself a very good problem-solver because I stay focused on the objectives and look for creative ways to solve even the most complex problems.  It is important to stay focused on the desired result and look for win/win solutions and provide actionable recommendations rather than focusing on blame or causes (plenty of time for that after a solution is found).

Q.  Every job produces different levels of stress. What was the most stressful aspect of your last/current position and how did you react to this?

 

A.  The most stressful aspect of my current position is the need to manage multiple tactical product opportunities, across multiple geographies, often with little or no lead-time in terms of responding to issues and requests.  All of this while also maintaining a higher-level strategic focus on things like industry trends, competitive analysis, demand generation, etc.  To cope and succeed, I must consistently adhere to plan and evaluate issues/requests in light of strategic objectives.  This often means prioritizing issues and sometimes declining customer requests.  It is also important to keep things as simple as possible in terms of processes and communications and to take decisive action and to demonstrate consistent leadership by constantly reinforcing the objectives.  I also delegate frequently and encourage team members to take initiative and make decisions rather than constantly seeking approval.  This formula allows me to balance strategic and tactical responsibilities, while minimizing stress levels.

Q.  How would you define "leadership" and how would you rate yourself as a leader?
 
A.  I define leadership as the ability to share vision and motivate people toward a common goal, while fostering an environment for people to reach their full potential.  I consider myself a good leader (not great yet but good) because, like a good coach, I am able to bring out the best in people and motivate them to work as a team to fulfill a common objective.

Q.  Where do you see yourself in five years? In ten years?
 
A.  Within five years, I see myself as a senior marketing professional managing a world-class marketing department for a global product line.  Within ten years, I see myself as senior business executive (VP, GM) managing total business operations for a global product line.

Q.  What do you like to do when you are not at work?
 
A.  I like to spend time with family mostly.  I also like to do home improvements and gardening and am a do-it-yourselfer.  I also like to travel whenever I have the opportunity/resources.

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