Talent, where art thou? A tale of two leaders

Some organisations–and leaders–seldom have a problem attracting good talent(and not just huge branded MNCs). If asked, these people would likely say that if you want strong talent, spend time knowing the market–who is where, a lot of effort meeting and interviewing people, hire only on strength, and when ready to get them on board, act decisively, methodically, and in concert…

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Hit them where it hurts

A coffee conversation last week with someone who asked to meet me, almost always an indication they're looking for a job, which is fine by me. Senior professional with nearly 30 years work experience, and in his current role for nearly 4, he was indeed looking to make a move soon, ideally to a similar sort of role. 'What's your…

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All in favour say “Ay”… uh-oh..

When senior management gathers around the meeting room table, the focus is often on decisions to be agreed upon, short-term or long-term, the impact on corporate performance and direction, all fairly standard stuff. A decision is always a choice-usually between not-so-good and potentially good ones, hardly ever between a great and awful choice. No guarantees what will work, but everyone…

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Strike without warning

At lunch last week, a senior exec (regional VP) was telling me about a more senior exec within the organisation (SVP and regional MD) and how his style was confrontational–with everyone. He continued, "At first I couldn't stand him–all he would do was pick pick pick at everyone, me included. And our turning point was over a policy decision I…

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Never outshine the master

My lunch partner last week is a senior business executive. with regional (AP) scope. The conversation was long, engaging, and fun. At one point, it turned to hiring practices. He looked at me and said, "My boss and his boss [at global HQ in the US] just did a telephone interview with someone out here [Asia]. As I'm the main…

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Never assume what your boss thinks

People who spend their time working—and working hard—often make an assumption that their boss knows how hard they work. It is not necessarily true, and speaks of a juvenescence for those who have not learned how to promote themselves. Your boss has a few hundred things to do, and it is not likely he or she is fully aware of…

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A small cross-cultural story

I had a chat last week with a senior regional executive, talking about talent management. She has been with her current company over 10 years, in Asia 3. She mentioned how irritated she was with her senior staff in China for not advising her one their key people had just quit. As she was not told immediately, her boss in…

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Cultural fit

I spend a lot of time assessing people on whether they will fit within a company. The higher up one goes, it is a given that you can do the job-but that is not a strategic hire. The focus is whether the person can communicate at various levels: Know what to say and when to hold off Understand how to…

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