Talent Leadership

A Proven Method for Identifying and Developing High-Potential Employees

 Talent Leadership

Author: John Mattone
Pub Date: October 2012
Print Edition: $34.95
Print ISBN: 9780814432396
Page Count: 304
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814432402

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In today’s challenging economy, leaders at all levels are facing enormous challenges when it comes to achieving and sustaining breakthrough operating results. Globalization, economic change, more stringent regulation, and tougher governance make realizing shareholder value increasingly difficult. But there is another challenge: In a breakthrough executive trends global research study I conducted with my colleague, Bonnie Hagemann, which was published by Pearson in 2011, we clearly confirmed that identifying and developing high-potential and emerging leaders is and will continue to be one of the top business issues facing CEOs; 40 to 70 percent of all executives in most organizations will become eligible for retirement in the next five years.


In our increasingly knowledge-driven world economy, organizations are right to fear this imminent brain drain, suspecting that, when executives leave the firm, business may follow. Yet high-potentials and emerging leaders—those most likely to rise to fill those highest positions—account for less than 8 to 10 percent of the talent pool. That’s in the United States. In other countries, like Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, and China, and in just about every country except India and various countries in Africa and South America, this issue is as pronounced as it is in the United States, if not more so. Therefore, identifying, developing, and retaining such rare talent truly is a mission-critical global challenge for CEOs, senior executives, managers, and HR directors.


Talent Leadership: A Proven Method for Assessing and Developing High-Potential Employees is written for leaders of HR, talent management, OD/MD professionals, and the vast population of operating managers who are charged with identifying, managing, and developing high-potential and emerging leaders. Talent Leadership is a research- and empirically based book that uses my Stealth Fighter Model as the foundation for explaining the predictive relationships that exist between an organization’s leadership assessment and development practices and their achieving ultimate operating success.


As you read this book, you will learn about organizations that excel in:


1. Using assessments to benchmark current and future executive talent.

2. Leveraging accurate assessment data in the form of targeted development

through the use of coaching and other means.

3. Understanding the difference between performance and potential, accurately

differentiating talent on both, and achieving significantly greater

operating results as measured by EBITDA, net profit, and other critical

operating metrics.

This book contains the best of what I have learned in my 30 years as a human capital and leadership consultant, executive coach, and industrial psychologist. I have included a number of best practices, case study examples, authoritative research, practical assessments, as well as a variety of practical tools and models to equip you, the reader, with the knowledge, skills, and passion to become superior HR leaders who are acknowledged and respected by their operating peers as critical drivers of operating excellence.


The Essence of Talent Leadership


Organizations that excel in leadership assessment and development create a culture in which current and future leaders continuously develop:


* Capability: The competencies and skills to execute—the can-do

* Commitment: The passion, drive, and motivation to execute—the will-do

* Alignment: The degree of “connectedness” a leader has to the strategic mission

and vision of the organization—the must-do


Great leaders, by virtue of their Capability, create, in turn, a culture for their employees and teams in which they become more Capable, Committed, and Aligned.  These three magical elements are called Leading Indicators: They predict operating results. Therefore, it is vital that organizations measure, calibrate, and recalibrate their current and future leaders on these Leading Indicators and leverage this calibrated data and information using executive coaching and development.


In reading this book, you will learn to:


● Understand and articulate the numerous internal and external talent management

challenges your organization encounters.

● Understand and articulate the relationship between the relative strength of

your leadership assessment and development practices and your ability to

successfully combat any internal or external challenge.

● Understand and articulate the predictive relationships that exist between

leadership assessment and development systems and practices; key leadership

Leading Indicators; individual and team performance; and ultimate

operating metrics.

● Establish a common language, vocabulary, and set of principles for establishing

a powerful talent management mindset and culture in your own organization.

● Understand and apply the skills and techniques that will enable each HR

and operations leader to excel in the execution of superior leadership assessment,

coaching and development practices, and systems.

● Understand and apply the skills that will enable each HR and operations

leader to better calibrate leadership performance and potential.

● Understand and apply the Psychodynamic Model of Executive Maturity (the

Enneagram) as an important foundation step for identifying a leader’s predominant

leadership style and level of executive maturity (the key to engaging in powerful

coaching conversations).

● Understand and apply the principles of assessment data integration—

connecting the dots and aggregating compelling assessment data.

● Understand and apply the principle of coaching from the inside out, that

is, coaching leaders to understand their inner core values, references, selfconcept,

and essential “character” as a foundation for driving empowering

thoughts, behavior, and winning results.

● Develop and commit to a personal action plan designed to increase each

HR and operations leader’s success as a Talent Leader.


This book originated from four sources:

1. Experiences from traveling all over the globe for the last 30 years

2. Research I have conducted and continue to conduct on Trends in Talent

Management & Executive Development

3. Consulting with over 250 organizations

4. Coaching over 200 executives


My speaking, consulting, and executive coaching work has put me in contact with many types of organizations and people all over the world. I listened, observed, and gave assistance when and where needed. This book reflects the essence of what I learned about how organizations can strengthen their leadership assessment  and development practices and realize impressive operating results. As an industrial psychologist, I have long respected assessment and measurement. From a pure measurement standpoint, I have learned that strong predictive relationships exist between the strength of an organization’s leadership assessment and coaching practices and such operating metrics like EBITDA and net income. As an executive coach and consultant, I also have enormous respect for the qualitative aspects of helping leaders and organizations achieve breakthrough performance. I have learned that many organizations are neither prepared nor equipped to leverage calibrated assessment data to drive better development and succession decisions. Unfortunately, the proliferation of coach training and certification programs out there oft en fail to meet either the organizations’ or the coaches’ expectations.


Based on my experience, here are some of the reasons why this occurs:


1. They don’t emphasize the proper use of a variety of diagnostic assessments to

calibrate performance, potential, and readiness.

2. They don’t provide sufficient depth regarding the proper interpretation of

individual assessments.

3. They don’t emphasize the critical “art and science” of properly integrating

and interpreting perception and objective assessments.

4. They don’t teach the how-to’s of integrating assessment results into a simple,

practical Individual Development Plan.

5. Most importantly, they don’t teach how leaders and coaches can literally

“unlock and unleash” executives’ potential by assessing and developing both

their inner-core attributes and outer-core leadership competencies (more

on this in Chapters 4 and 11).


Given these reasons, my objective in writing this book is to help you become a stronger HR representative in the boardroom, a stronger assessment guru, and a stronger executive coach. I want you to practice as a professional in this arena with a healthy respect for the predictive nature of what we do and the pure quantitative value we can bring to organizations. But also, I want you to practice with a healthy respect for the qualitative, “softer” nature of what we do and the value we can bring through personal touch, respect for others, and character. For the operational leaders who read this book, my objective is to equip you with sound ideas and practical tools that enable you to accurately identify and develop your current and emerging leaders. As a CEO or any operating leader, you can have no more noble or worthy a pursuit, given the operational and demographic challenges you encounter, than deploying the strategy of identifying and developing your current and emerging leaders as a means to mitigating your operating risk now and in the future.

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