Talent Search in a Digital Age

About six years ago when I started my post-doc program at Harvard Business School and contacted several top executive search firms, the majority of them told me that social media does not affect their work at all. I was surprised and a little bit disappointed, because my goal was to study how online networking platforms influence talent search activities. However, the rules of the game have…

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The No. 1 Way To Spot Weak Leadership

You can spot a weak leader a mile off by simply looking at the types of decisions they make. Not surprisingly, weak leaders pander to public opinion, they manage the routine rather than the extraordinary, and they worry more about being right than achieving the right outcome. Weak leaders seek a safe decision rather than a courageous decision. News Flash: safe decisions rarely are. Great leaders…

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The No. 1 Thing Successful Companies Scale

I’ve often said, “if leadership doesn’t scale neither will your organization.” Experience has led me to conclude there is no greater contribution a leader can make to the enterprise than developing a true culture of leadership. Here’s the thing – a culture of leadership can only exist when leaders understand their primary obligation is to develop other leaders. If leadership is sought after,…

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Idle Gossip – No Such Thing

I’ve always recommended avoiding small minds, thinking about small things, in small ways. There is no better example of this type of behavior than those who spread or participate in gossip. At its core, gossip is the highest form of disloyalty, and it is far from innocent or idle. Nothing can claim more tainted reputations, destroyed friendships, and polluted corporate cultures than gossip. Let…

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My Picks For The Top 10 CHROs, And Why They Matter

Before I get to my picks for the Top 10 CHROs, I want to give some background on why this list is important, and how you should use it to shape your enterprise moving forward. While every member of the executive team plays a critical role in successful organizations, aside from the CEO, a strong case can be made that the chief human resources officer (CHRO) is the real game-changer. “HR” has…

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Flip Your Organization Chart

Do you know what everyone in your organization does? To find out, you might want to change your perspective. Years ago I learned to draw reading Betty Edwards’ book, “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” The effort sharpened my perspective of just about everything. To draw, I learned to see differently and I walked away with a clearer, fuller appreciation of the things around me. This new…

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Potential – Why It’s Over-Hyped

My premise is simple; one of the worst things an organization can do is reward potential. Identifying and recognizing potential is important, but rewarding it can be lethal. Rewarding potential has placed many gifted people in way over their heads and set them up for failure. Rather than rewarding potential, companies must learn to properly cultivate it - there is a difference. Here’s the thing –…

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If I Were 22 – Advice For New Graduates

Graduation is a joyous time full of accolades and recognitions, serious reflection, and great anticipation. By all means, enjoy graduation – you worked hard to reach this point. That said, my advice is don’t get too caught up in the pomp and circumstance – real life is about to hit you in the face. In the text that follows I’ll share 10 tips for jump starting your future as you enter the…

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How To Find The Perfect Job

For some, getting a job (much less the right job) has never been more difficult. They struggle with knowing how to navigate in a complicated, noisy world where the global job market is messy and very competitive. For others, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in the job market, because finding the perfect position never seems to present a challenge. The latter group knows a few secrets the former…

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The Five Obsessions of Winning Teams

March Madness resumes tonight and in a pressure-packed weekend of excitement, the Sweet Sixteen will shrink to the Final Four.  Only the strongest teams will survive and while their defensive pressure, explosive running game, or deep shooting might define their style, their success rests on five obsessions. These obsessions are common to champions and may very well help your team in your…

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Clear Counsel – How Sweet the Sound

When you want to know how your leadership is working--ask.  Years ago, I learned this lesson when I received some unsolicited advice that challenged my professionalism, served as a wakeup call, and changed the arc of my career.  The counsel came from a subordinate as I was leaving an important leadership position but it would have come earlier if I had only asked. I was very interested in my…

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8 Ways To Spot Great Leadership

If you ever wonder why we’re in a crisis of leadership all you have to do is to watch and listen to those in positions of leadership. While there are clearly many aspects of leadership that must work together in harmony in order for leaders to be effective, everything breaks down when leaders don’t understand how to engage effectively. The saying "success leaves clues" couldn't be more true for…

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The Silent CEO Addiction Killing Productivity and Talent Development

Corporate America’s dependency on consulting firms is nothing short of substance abuse in the purest form. The fact is most CEOs suffer from this very dangerous addiction and they don’t even know it – they are clearly in need of an intervention. Addicts don’t often admit they have a problem. They tend to rationalize and justify their behavior as normal. Here’s the thing – normally doesn’t always…

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The Secret To Making Better Hires

Why do so many companies struggle when it comes to making great hires? They overlook the obvious. In other words, the people doing the hiring fail to understand, look for, and qualify the one characteristic that indicates the certainty of a good hire. While companies screen for many things, they often miss the gold standard litmus test – they play a game of chance when it’s simply not necessary.…

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15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders

It’s important to realize that just because someone holds a leadership position doesn’t necessarily mean they should. Put another way; not all leaders are created equal. Many organizations are suffering from a recognition problem – they can’t seem to recognize good leaders from bad ones. In today's column, I’ll address identifying bad leaders by pointing out a few things that should be obvious…

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The #1 Reason Companies Make Bad Hires

Do you ever find yourself wondering how so many good companies can make so many bad hires? The fact is, all the rigorous and sophisticated hiring processes employed by the best companies in the world don’t prevent this issue. The good news is, addressing one single factor can easily prevent bad hires. The #1 reason companies make bad hires is they compromise, they settle, they don’t hire the best…

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