Recommended Resource – The Talent Masters: Why smart leaders put people before numbers

The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers
by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan

About the Reference

The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers by Bill Conaty and Ram Charan provides unprecedented insight to the people development programs of several legendary organizations including General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, and Novartis. Conaty and Charan illustrate in great detail the specific programs these organizations use to develop talent and plan for and execute on succession plans; including the behind-the-scenes consideration of organizational, cultural, and operational impacts such changes incur. They also share their experience-based insights on the critical personal traits and organizational supports needed for succeeding leaders to excel in their new positions.

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like The Talent Masters because of its in-depth, behind-the-scenes insights to the talent management practices of globally recognized ‘leadership factories.’ Many case studies highlight the mechanics of these organizations’ programs but Conaty and Charan present the intimate executive discussions and thought processes on personnel development and succession that only insiders possess. This book captures the nuance of thought that makes these processes work so well at creating some of the world’s most sought after leaders.

The in-depth real-world business experience of leading companies presented in The Talent Masters makes this book on personnel development a StrategyDriven recommended read.

The Big Picture of Business – Setting, Meeting, and Benefiting from Goals

Businesses should review their Strategic Plan annually. New year projections are the best time to benchmark progress and adjust sights for the coming term.

Additionally, corporate executives must have personal goals written, in conjunction with a professional business coach or mentor. Goals require measurable objectives, with realistic dates and percentages for successful accomplishment.

Goals should also focus upon balance between corporate ideals and a healthy personal life for executives.

Reasons for Goal Setting:

  1. Human beings live to attract goals.
  2. Organizations get people caught in activity traps… unless managers periodically pull back and reassess in terms of goals.
  3. Managers lose sight of their employees’ goals. Employees work hard, rather than productively. Mutually agreed-upon goals are vital.
  4. People caught in activity traps shrink, rather than grow, as human beings. Hard work that produces failures yields apathy, inertia and loss of self-esteem. People become demeaned or diminished as human beings when their work proves meaningless. Realistic goals can curb this from happening.
  5. Failure can stem from either non-achievement of goals or never knowing what they were. The tragedy is both economic and humanistic. Unclear objectives produce more failures than incompetence, bad work, bad luck or misdirected work.
  6. When people know and have helped set their goals, their performance improves. The best motivator is knowing what is expected and analyzing one’s one performance relative to mutually agreed-upon criteria.
  7. Goal attainment leads to ethical behavior. The more that an organization is worth, the more worthy it becomes.
  8. Most management subsystems succeed or fail according to the clarity of goals of the overall organization.

How to Find Goals:

  1. Examine problems.
  2. Study the organization’s core business.
  3. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
  4. Portfolio analysis.
  5. Cost containment.
  6. Human resources development.
  7. Motivation and commitment.

Make Goal Setting a Reality:

  1. Start at the top.
  2. Adopt a policy of strategic planning.
  3. Strategic goals and objectives must filter downward throughout all the organization.
  4. Training is vital.
  5. Continual follow-up, refinement and new goal setting must ensue.
  6. Programs must be competent, effective and benchmarked.
  7. A corporate culture must foster all goal setting, policies, practices and procedures.


  1. Focus on important goals.
  2. Make goals realistic, simple and attainable.
  3. Reward risk takers.
  4. Recognize that trade-offs must be made.
  5. Goals release energy.
  6. Information leads to dissemination, leading to teaching-training, leading to insight, leading to understanding, leading to knowledge, leading to wisdom.
  7. View goals as long-term, rather than short-term.

Rules for Budgeting-Planning:

  1. Use indicators and indices wherever they can be used.
  2. Use common indicators where categories are similar, and use special indicators for special jobs.
  3. Let your people participate in devising the indicators.
  4. Make all indicators meaningful, and retest them periodically.
  5. Use past results as only one indicator for the future.
  6. Have a reason for setting all indicators in place.
  7. Indicators are not ends in themselves… only a means of getting where the organization needs to go. Indicators must promote action. Discard those that stifle action.

Developmental Discipline:

  1. Discipline at work is accepted, for the most part, voluntarily. If not voluntarily accepted, it is not legitimate.
  2. Discipline is a shaper of behavior, not a punishment.
  3. The past provides useful insights into behavior, but it is not the only criteria to be used.

Applying Developmental Discipline:

  1. Rules and regulations must be known by all employees.
  2. Disciplinary action should occur as close to the time of violation as possible.
  3. The accused person must be presented with the facts and the source of the facts.
  4. The specific rule that was broken must be stated.
  5. The reason for the rule being enacted should be stated.
  6. The accused person must be asked if he-she agrees with the facts, as stated. If the reply is affirmative, he-she should justify the behavior.
  7. Corrective action should be discussed in positive and pro-active terms.

Ways in Which Goals Improve Effectiveness:

  1. Defines effectiveness as the increase in value of people and their activities as resources.
  2. Recognizes that humans are achievement and success creatures.
  3. Goals infuse meaning into work and work into other aspects of life. Life is fully lived when it has meaning.
  4. One cannot succeed without definitions of success. One must expect something to achieve success.
  5. Failure is inevitable and is the best learning curve for success.
  6. One’s goals start from within, not from work situations. The goal-oriented person adapts to the work environments.
  7. Collaborations with other people create success. One cannot be successful alone or working in a vacuum.
  8. One is always dependent upon other people, and other people are dependent upon you.
  9. Commitments must be made to other people.
  10. One must view the future and change as affirmative, in order to succeed.
  11. Knowledge of results is a powerful force in growing and learning.
  12. Without goals, one cannot operate under self-control.
  13. Objectives under one’s own responsibility helps one to identify with the objectives of the larger organization of which he-she is a part. Sense of belonging is enhanced.
  14. Achieving goals which one set and to which one commits enhances a person’s sense of adequacy.
  15. People who set and are striving to achieve goals together have a sense of belonging, a major motivator for humanity.
  16. Because standards are spelled out, one knows what is expected. The main reason why people do not perform is that they do not know what is expected of them.
  17. Through goal setting and achievement, one becomes actualized.
  18. Goal setting creates a power of one’s life…especially the part that relates to work.
  19. With goals, one can be a winner. Without goals, one never really succeeds… he or she merely averts-survives the latest crisis.

About the Author

Hank Moore has advised 5,000+ client organizations worldwide (including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations). He has advised two U.S. Presidents and spoke at five Economic Summits. He guides companies through growth strategies, visioning, strategic planning, executive leadership development, Futurism and Big Picture issues which profoundly affect the business climate. He conducts company evaluations, creates the big ideas and anchors the enterprise to its next tier. The Business Tree™ is his trademarked approach to growing, strengthening and evolving business, while mastering change. To read Hank’s complete biography, click here.

The TKO Interview: Five Ways to Fire Before You Hire… and Find the Right Person for the Job

Hasty hiring brings eventual firing. These wise words should be the mantra for every organization hiring from today’s overcrowded job market. Especially if your company’s current hiring process consists of putting out a job posting, sifting through résumés, and hiring the first person who doesn’t throw up a major red flag during an interview, it’s time to consider a renewed approach. One that will save you time and money and help you hire the best of the best.

Making poor hiring decisions will cost both your company coffers and your company culture dearly. It’s much better to be temporarily short-staffed than to lower your standards. Learn to use the interview process to knock out the candidates who aren’t the right fit for you, and you’ll end up with a new team member who will be an asset to your brand, your morale, your momentum, and your productivity for a long time to come.

The purpose of a knockout interview is to eliminate candidates from consideration using smart, rigorous, values-shaped standards, and to do it without wasting time. Knockout interviews help upgrade hiring from an inclusive process to an elimination process, thus saving your most valuable resource – time. To that end, knockout interviews are invaluable.

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About the Author

Dave Anderson, author of How to Lead by THE BOOK: Proverbs, Parables, and Principles to Tackle Your Toughest Business Challenges, is president of Learn to Lead, and has given over 1,000 leadership presentations in thirteen countries. He is also the author of How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK: A Biblical Blueprint to Bless Your Business; If You Don’t Make Waves, You’ll Drown; Up Your Business!; How to Deal with Difficult Customers; and the TKO business series. He and his wife, Rhonda, are cofounders of The Matthew 25:35 Foundation, which helps feed, educate, and house under-resourced people throughout the world. To read Dave complete biography, click here.

Talent Management Best Practice 1 – Ensure Employability

Decades ago, an individual typically had the opportunity to work for their entire career within one company. Times have changed. Process automation and streamlining as a form of cost reduction has driven corporate rightsizing; eliminating the lifelong job security of times past and heightening employment risk. Combined with evolving employee tastes and a need to increase productivity, talent development takes on new importance.

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Additional Information

StrategyDriven recommends a number of programs and resources to help further develop executives, managers, and employees. These are included in our:

  • Practices for Professionals: tried and true actions that enhance personal performance effectiveness and efficiency
  • Tools for Professionals: products and services that help professionals become more organized, connected, and efficient
  • Recommended Resources: print, audio, video, webcast, and seminar resources that have significantly contributed to the successful business planning and execution activities of StrategyDriven Contributors and for which we believe the benefits outweigh the required time and financial investment

Recruitment Strategy

Many companies do not understand how to approach developing a recruitment strategy. The Human Resource Department is pulled in many directions and formal recruitment strategy development can be pushed back until it’s too late. Then the decision is made to ‘do the same thing we did last year.’ This is a very costly way of recruiting because recruitment is a very fluid dynamic.

In addition to cost, why is developing an effective recruiting strategy important?

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About the Author

Bill Humbert is an expert Recruitment Consultant with 30 years’ experience in the field. In his consulting business he focuses on one company at a time and charges a flat monthly fee for recruitment process improvement, recruitment marketing improvement, interview training, and recruitment. RecruiterGuy’s Guide to Finding a Job is his book that helps job seekers learn how to better understand the sales process known as a job search – and to be more effective than their competition. To read Bill Humbert’s complete biography, click here.