Cultural Unity Comes From Common Ideals

More than anytime in recent history, there is great cultural division, and paradoxically, it creates a great desire for cultural unity.  Whether it’s within a corporate culture or societal culture, most people are repelled by divisiveness and conflict. It’s destructive to relationships. It stifles healthy progress. An insistent focus on things that divide people… naturally leads to more division. Common (to all) goals, ideals, and values lead to unity.  In a company… those commonalities and rallying points might be to [...]

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High Performance Leadership Requires Intolerance & Transcendence

Intolerance: I am uncomfortable with the way in which the media shapes our perception of ideas and words. For example, the idea of being intolerant is a label with which the media vilifies people, but here is the truth; I am intolerant, you are intolerant, everyone is intolerant…and everyone is right.  Do you tolerate murder, rape, theft? Of course not. That said, we can and should tolerate many things, but we should never tolerate injustice. It is precisely why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice [...]

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Tragedy, Quarantines, and Your Personal and Professional Relationships

A close friend and his wife are burying their 16-month-old son this afternoon (Tuesday, April 14, 2020). He succumbed, after a 7-month battle through multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, and a multitude of other treatments, to a rare form of brain cancer. It’s a tragedy that is never supposed to happen. A young child dying long before their parents. And yet… In the heartbreak of this tragedy, there has been an amazing bright light throughout the journey. People stepped-up, and other people [...]

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Covid 19 and Thinking Beyond Digital Disruption

Over the last several years I have heard the term “disruption” crescendo like the climax of a great symphony. It seems all organizations are striving to be a disruptor of their respective industry. Ironically, everyone is seeking it in the same place – through technology (only). I am not discounting technology; it has great promise to advance the lives of all humans and “disruption” of our world through technology needs to be pursued.  However, could there be another disruption not intimately connected to technology? [...]

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Don’t let your employee brand disappoint new hires

My job for the last 20+ years has been to help companies identify, attract, evaluate, hire and retain professionals. The retention part of my role is less obvious - I will discuss this later in the article. For now, I would like to talk about the “attracting candidates” part of my job. Everyone understands there is tremendous pressure on the labor market for the right type of talent. Organizations have worked hard to create strategies in response to this great [...]

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The Nuance of Hiring Great – 10 important questions and the nuances that help answer them

My goal in writing this article is to draw you into nuance, specifically the nuance of recruiting leaders (VP to C-Suite) for your organization. I think this is vital because I see very little nuance around this process in organizations. And let’s face it, the difference between Olympic Gold and finishing dead last lies simply in the nuance. For clarity purposes I will ask a series of questions to contrast what I see organizations doing and the nuanced moves they [...]

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Why most companies get at least half of their interview process wrong; and how to make it right

It may sound absurd to claim most companies get at least 50% of their interview process wrong, but please allow me to explain. My main premise is the idea that details matter more when great pressure is applied to a situation. Think of playing in the Boston Symphony. It is the peak of instrumental performance – the place where the pressure to perform is at its highest; the place where the greatest amount of detail is necessary in order to [...]

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Does Your Diversity & Inclusion Program Produce The Wrong Kind Of Diversity?

Virtually every business leader today is pressed to consider Diversity & Inclusion in their organizations. How that’s defined will dramatically inform how it’s implemented and will either enhance or detract from an organization’s culture. There is a great value for leaders, teams, organizations, and for employees to have significant diversity in the workplace. Diversity of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and of ways of thinking can improve outcomes. And it’s generally true that diversity of race, gender, etc. does bring varying perspectives… [...]

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You keep talking but I don’t trust what you are saying

I have worked closely with dozens if not 100 organizations and have also interviewed well over 1,000 people through the course of my career. This experience has provided a fascinating view of human behavior. The behavior of which I wish to discuss today revolves around the discovery of truth. People have a very interesting relationship with truth and all its ramifications, including me. I would like to focus this article on what organizations and candidates alike do with regards to discovery and how it [...]

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Cultural and Relational Fit On Your Executive Team

There’s a lot written about corporate culture when it comes to retaining top talent, and that is an important factor. However, retention is more a result of great relationships than a great culture. Culture and Relationship are sometimes confused; however, they are distinctly different factors. A great culture can flow from great relationships, and a toxic culture can result from poor relationships. The two are not exclusive of each other, however, they are not interchangeable either. Our firm emphasizes relational [...]

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The Corporate Community in a Divided World

We live in a world split apart, and the divides are getting wider and the chasms deeper. The exasperation of everything makes the challenge seem overwhelming and unsolvable. It is here that organizations of all sizes have a unique opportunity. Recently I stumbled across a blog post by Chip Gaines of the popular TV show Fixer Upper. In the post Chip promotes the idea of kindness in the world. I think this is a good instinct and his post is a good place to start [...]

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Great Leadership Teams Are Built On A Foundation Of Trust

Our firm always emphasizes that the primary way to move the needle from the 60% industry average 18-month retention rate of new executive hires, to the 97% that our process produces, is to take relationship formation seriously. To potential corporate clients we talk to, however, “relationship formation” often sounds squishy, and difficult to measure. People inherently ARE difficult to measure. As I’ve written before, human beings cannot be reduced to a pile of data that makes all their behavior calculable. [...]

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Authenticity and Data When Making Key Hiring Decisions

If your executive hiring is becoming more and more of an objective, scientific, data-driven process, I have one question … how’s that been working for you? The reality is, the more personality assessments, skill assessments, task exercises, and data accumulating processes become available and utilized, the average tenure of senior executives continues to decline. While assessment data can add some insight… If you’re hoping to hire a sentient human being, they are not simply defined by data! Often, organizations want [...]

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Do your interview techniques REVEAL & ATTRACT the best candidates? Part II

Last month I shared an article about evaluating and attracting candidates through a simple interviewing technique. You can see that article here. This month I am turning the tables from seeking the story of the candidate to telling your (corporate) story. Again, if this is done well, it attracts and reveals the best candidates. I have often commented that interviewing is a relationship-formation process – one which involves mutuality. Both parties sharing who they are and exploring the other.  In other words, an authentic getting to know each other. There are some [...]

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