Strategies to develop your top talent

Archive for April, 2010

We remember today a speech given 100 years ago in Paris by Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne one year after he left the presidency.  The larger speech was about Citizenship in a Republic, and the most quoted section talked about the man in the arena.  Many people have borrowed the words or echoed the sentiment, perhaps most famously Richard Nixon in his 1974 resignation speech.  The original attribution to Roosevelt seems mostly forgotten except by historians.

But I think it’s important to look at the fuller context of this speech which I’ll show with some select quotations and my own comments as they relate to personal development.  Roosevelt addressed an educated French audience and his topic was about the kind of citizenship that makes a republic strong.

“In the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average women, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional cries which call for heroic virtues.” (more…)

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One of the best writers on leadership is one you’ve never heard of.  If I told you a few of the titles you still wouldn’t recognize who I’m referencing.  Yet Peter Drucker, the Father of Modern Management, liked to tell his students that the reason he never wrote a book on leadership was because the first systematic book on leadership was written by Xenophon and it was still the best.  Who was Xenophon?  More about that in a moment, but the point is the best-kept leadership secrets are out in the open, and they rest in (more…)

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Key truths of leadership

There are plenty of myths about what leadership is.  What can we say is true about real leadership?

We learn some of the truths of leadership by listening to people who are great practitioners of the art of leading people.  

1.  Leadership is not about the leader. (more…)

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Myths and truths of leadership

“In days of yore when giants walked the earth…”  that would be a dead giveaway that we aren’t talking about the real world and what follows is probably mythic, legendary or a parody of some kind.  What’s strange is that so much that is accepted as “truth” or wisdom about leadership is actually not grounded in the real world at all.  It might as well be cast in a fairy tale, because the common view of leadership is all wrong.


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talent-money-gameAbout a year ago we looked at Wall Street’s approach to retaining top talent through outsized compensation packages.  Consider this the latest installment in that saga.  The most recent news is that CEO and C-level executive compensation took a large cut last year, while the traders and money managers received the largest collective payout in history.   The bosses took the bullet (public outcry, congressional hearings, pay czar scrutiny, etc.) in order to keep the restive troops from jumping ship.

CEO pay at 18 financial companies was down 30%.  No surprises there–they are under lots of pressure from the public and the media.  At the same time, 38 financial service firms on Wall Street paid a collective $140 billion in compensation and benefits, a record number, and up from $123 billion in 2008 and the previous high-water mark of $137 billion in 2007.  What does this all tell us? (more…)

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Do you know how hard your online employees are working?  Did you say you don’t have any employees?  If you have a website, blog, Facebook page, eBay store or any other kind of online commercial presence, I suggest you do have online employees, and it would be in your interest to think of them that way.

I was coaching another consultant today who does not have a website but who said she wanted one and knew she needed one.  She’s not super-savvy on web technology, nor does she care to be.  I suggested that she think of building a website/blog as if she were hiring an employee.  Here’s how the logic works… (more…)

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