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Filed Under: Talent Management

Published on: Friday, November 01, 2013

How Well Do You Master Distraction?

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No matter how much we have achieved in our careers and in life, there is always more to learn, more to share and more to experience. Being unable to manage multiple demands on time has been many an executive's downfall; we're involved with so much, personally and professionally. Sifting through the distractions and focusing on what's important is what challenges us no matter what road we're walking.

Curious how an objective observer would say I do in this area, I took Peter Bregman's quiz on How Well Do You Master Distraction? I hate to admit it, but I scored a 51 out of possible 100! I guess I am still a work in progress! I hope you will do better.


Published on: Friday, December 16, 2011

Fixing the Game: What Capitalism Can Learn From the NFL

Posted By: Joseph Daniel McCool
Filed Under: talent management
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So long as CEO and executive pay is based on stock compensation and market expectations for a stock's performance and not real performance, shareholders and employees will continue to lose out.

So argued Roger L. Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and author of Fixing the Game: What Capitalism Can Learn from the NFL.


Published on: Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Road to Employee Engagement is a Journey, Not a Destination

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Given the economic and organizational pressures of today, many human resource leaders are talking about employee engagement, engagement surveys and getting their people back on track.

But it's especially important to recognize that arriving at some improved, future condition of employee engagement is a journey, not a destination.


That's how Jeff Kortes, author of No Nonsense Retention: Painless Strategies to Retain Your Best People, frames the issue of sustaining organizational performance by getting the most out of top performers and acting on bad hires before they drain productivity and morale. If your organization isn't already thinking about how to keep its best people, time is of the essence.


There are a lot of hardworking yet highly unsatisfied management executives walking the halls of corporate America these days.

Just don't expect them to tell you so, or anyone else, for that matter, unless you're an executive recruiter. After all, they're not working long hours and occasional nights and weekends with limited resources in search of the casual opportunity just to tell their existing employers and colleagues that they're already lining up their options for a new job elsewhere.

Employers and colleagues will find out just as soon as he or she accepts an offer of employment from another company — and then, in typical fashion, they'll scramble to pick up the pieces and search for a replacement whom, if recruited from the outside, may not be found for six to 12 months.


Every recruiter has them. Many recruiters like to share them. Still others relish the disbelieving responses to war stories about the most incredible candidate interview gaffes.

We've all learned that sometimes fact is stranger than fiction and that even highly qualified candidates can be lousy interviewees. Sometimes, the candidate just doesn't understand that a first impression is a lasting impression. Other times, it's a lack of effort, a lack of focus or outright incompetency that does them in.


Most private business owners wear two hats. One is the "Owner" hat. The other is the "CEO" hat. And Chuck Richards, CEO of Chairman's View, a business valuation consultancy, says the key to effectively passing any private, often small business from one leader to the next requires a strict ownership focus on building the transferable value of the enterprise.

First, Richards advises business owners, you must think like an owner, and to reach your goals for the eventual transition of the business, you must:
  1. Define success

  2. Assess the transferable value of the business asset

  3. Take measurable action

  4. Create better options


Published on: Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The HP Succession Debacle

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If the issues at stake for Hewlett-Packard weren't so serious for shareholders and employees alike, one might find some humor in the disastrous, but highly avoidable, set of circumstances that have unfolded since the surprise resignation of Mark Hurd and his appointment as co-president at Oracle.

In the interest of time, let's set aside the reasons for Hurd's abrupt and rather embarrassing exit from his former employer. Instead, let's consider that one man was sitting with the titles of HP chairman, CEO and president and credited with leading a successful turnaround of the company. And let's acknowledge that public company directors almost universally cite CEO succession planning as one of their top three responsibilities, if not their primary responsibility.


For years, public company directors have told me their single most critical responsibility is to ensure a smooth and effective process for CEO transition. And I've heard Bill Conaty, the former longtime head of human resources at General Electric, say great leaders help develop their own successors and succession plans; lousy leaders are intimidated by them.

So how, then, to reconcile the data from a joint survey by Heidrick & Struggles and Stanford University's Rock Center for Corporate Governance that more than half of the business executives they polled cannot immediately name a successor to their current CEO should the need arise.


Lots of very smart people talk about the critical nature of organizational culture as an indicator of future business performance. An equal number of business leaders talk about the importance of recruiting and developing superior executive talent to gain a competitive edge.

Yet the challenge of filtering the wrong people out of an organization when they poison the cultural well, so to speak, and keeping them out of your company in the first place, is so often overlooked.


Published on: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Get In, Get Out

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Interest in interim executive positions has risen in the last few years; most recently, 7-in-10 senior-level leaders surveyed by ExecuNet were considering or may consider part-time roles in their career planning — up from 57 percent in 2006. ExecuNet contributing editor Marji McClure explored the advantages of interim opportunities for our member publication, CareerSmart Advisor, and found that while still more prominent in Europe, interim posts are increasingly gaining traction in the US with both organizations and executives for a variety of reasons.


Published on: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Follow the Leader: Marshall Goldsmith

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"Mojo" is not among the words executives and recruiters use when we survey them about the specific attributes of leadership, yet executive coach and management expert Dr. Marshall Goldmsith claimed it for his latest book, MOJO: How to Get It, How to Keep It and How to Get It Back When You Lose It.

Goldsmith defines Mojo as "that positive spirit — toward what you are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside," and he associates identity, achievement, reputation and acceptance as the four key factors that impact personal and professional Mojo.


Published on: Monday, July 12, 2010

LeBron’s Leaving

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By the time anyone sees this, it will likely be buried in the millions of posts that have something to say about the LeBron move to Miami. It will be interesting to see the results of the many polls that will inevitably be taken on how people (sports fans or not, basketball fanatics or not) feel about what transpired. Not so much around the marketing and PR hype that led up to the ESPN circus, but how they feel about the message his decision delivered on a number of levels.

Clearly strong arguments can and have been made on both sides: It speaks to the few of us left who actually think loyalty should mean something and those who feel that loyalty has nothing to do with it. He has the right to do what he wants; he put in seven years in Cleveland, worked hard both on and off the court, etc. All true.


As US business leaders try to make sense of what, at times, seems a confusing mix of economic reports and forecasts, there is a huge economy that's booming right now, and it's also focused squarely on talent and executive management and sustaining growth.

That country is Brazil, or for observers of our increasingly multi-polar world, the country that puts the "B" in the so-called "BRIC" economies.


A recent survey by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) finds that one-quarter of employer-identified, high-potential leaders plan to leave their company within the year. But employers need not see that statistic — and the flight of top talent — as a foregone conclusion.

The same survey finds that an additional 21 percent of employees today identify themselves as "highly disengaged," a figure which has risen nearly three-fold since 2007. The CEB finds that companies can apply the following tactics to identify, re-engage and more effectively manage high-potential employees:


Published on: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns on What it Takes to Drive Innovation

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Xerox CEO Ursula Burns on What it Takes to Drive InnovationWhen the very name of your company is expressed as a verb, there are lofty expectations to meet and a requirement to continually innovate. For Ursula M Burns, CEO of Xerox, the nearly $17 billion company that is issued an average of 10 new patents per day, innovation is essential for business growth and meeting the ever-increasing demands of customers.

Burns, who shared her thoughts on innovating during the World Innovation Forum, says the global economic crisis forced Xerox to cut $1 billion out of its expense base to maintain its competitive edge and reposition.


Published on: Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Talent Gaps Seen as Potential Growth and Performance Inhibitors

Posted By: Joseph Daniel McCool
Filed Under: joseph daniel mccool, talent management
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A Harvard Business Review article cites a lack of talent on a company's management bench as one of the four primary causes of business growth stalls, with one of the root causes found in management development programs that focus only on replicating current leaders' skills.

More recently, a study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board reveals that 25 percent of employer-identified, high-potential employees plan to leave their current companies within the year, compared to only 10 percent in 2006.


Published on: Friday, June 04, 2010

ExecuNet, Gallup Data Confirms More Companies are Hiring, Fewer are Firing

Posted By: Joseph Daniel McCool
Filed Under: joseph daniel mccool, talent management
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Just days after ExecuNet research confirmed that US employers were poised to add more executive management jobs than they planned to eliminate in May, a Gallup survey finds that more of the 16,395 US workers it polled are themselves building their teams versus reducing headcount across all levels of the workforce.

In May, ExecuNet research reveals, the number of companies adding new executive roles and "trading up" with new hires for existing management jobs was 28 points higher than the number actively thinning out their management teams.


Finding new ways to do business is always a challenge, but for success in an ever-changing world, business leaders today must be willing to try new things and remain extremely flexible. Read what some of the world's greatest innovators had to say in this ExecuNet exclusive.

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