The international conference of the Association of Executive Search Consultants – The Global Association for Retained Executive Search and Leadership Consulting Firms (AESC), happens annually in March. Dasein Executive Search, an AESC member search firm, is the only search firm headquartered in Minas Gerais, Brazil to be part of this important global institution present in more than 75 countries. The central theme of the Conference this year was “AESC 2012 Americas Conference – Navigating through Uncertainty: The Changing World of Executive Search.”
AESC Americas Conference 2012
[Adriana Prates and David Braga of Dasein Executive Search pictured center, with Ximena Rodriguez of Sommer Group (left) and Krista Walochik of Norman Broadbent (right)]

The search for knowledge, partnerships, good opportunities and exchanges of experience are all inherent in human nature. All of this is an opportunity to consistently improve our business—an opportunity we are proud of, and one of which we can share with our clients—the highest standards and cutting edge practices in executive search today. We know that knowledge generates planned and assertive action. This opportunity allows us to improve upon the quality of our services—to contemplate new ideas, be open to and anticipate the expectations of our clients and to those with whom we have relationships.

If what is certain is the uncertain, then how do we prepare ourselves for it?

According to AESC President Peter Felix, we should always be alert to new situations that may arise, and at the same time, we cannot lose sight of what brought us to the position we currently occupy. As an example, Felix mentioned the shortage of executive talent around the world. As search professionals, we know where to look to find this executive talent. The increased mobility of the executive allows for an extended search for the best executives globally, thus opening new doors to the search profession. Furthermore, we must look into the emerging markets. Felix went on to mention that in times of increased competition, demand has driven new opportunities in areas previously unimagined.

In other words, we know how to provide answers to the market.

Barry Libert, President of OpenMatters, LLC, brought his visionary marketing perspective to conference participants, emphasizing how the social, mobile, and virtual revolution has impacted basic requirements to build high performance executive teams that are capable of understanding, identifying, and providing value to customers. Acting with an “owner” spirit, these teams become a catalyst for sharing information, which propels everyone in the organization with the same momentum.

According to Libert, we need to help our clients ask the right questions regarding four basic factors:

Proposal: Do they have the right strategy?

People: Do they hire the most prepared professionals to be part of the board?

Processes: Are they segmented in the right niche?

Potential: Do they know how far they can go?

These questions reinforce our role as strategic conduits of knowledge to our clients. Rather than seeking the right people, our responsibility as search professionals is to help clients make the best choices based on our consistent research and with the guidelines of the AESC, always guided by the highest code of ethics and equipped with the latest research and real-time information about the markets.

Thus, we can anticipate and prepare ourselves to handle the unpredictable in the most natural and prepared way by answering these questions before they arise.

Finally, at the conference, there was much contribution from the AESC staff, including lectures and conversations with colleagues. Although, as an industry we face global uncertainties just like any other industry in today’s economic climate, we are convinced that the excellence and precision of our work distinguishes us to our customers. We are committed to our clients and partners in the journey so that we may sail together toward prosperity and in search of a better world.

Clara Widdison This article was written by Adriana Prates, founder and President of Brazil-based Dasein Executive Search, a member of the AESC - Association of Executive Search Consultants. Dasein along with 300 other AESC member executive search firms worldwide have exclusive and confidential access to - the career management service for global senior executives. Join BlueSteps to find out about executive opportunities in Brazil and globally. Also gain access to the International Search Firm Directory to connect with executive search consultants worldwide.

About The Association of Executive Search Consultants
The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search consulting, broadens public understanding of the executive search process, and serves as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to download the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, please visit

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