The Importance of Understanding Global Leadership

Globalization has arrived. The work of individuals, teams, business units, and companies span geographic boundaries, markets, cultures, and languages. Organizations have operations around the globe, and the major economies of the world are tightly interconnected.

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There is no “I” in TALENT?

A virtual debate in the business blogosphere has been growing more and more heated over the past several weeks and months.  It appears the debate began with a May 17th New York Times article that quoted Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s illustrious CEO, as saying, “Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. They are 100 times better.”  Although difficult to follow at first, Zuckerberg’s argument is that a brilliant individual is 100 times more valuable than a mediocre team.  His statement reflects a new strategy in the War on Talent that many have also begun to adopt.  According to the Times article, many of the giants in Silicon Valley are so desperate for fresh talent they have resorted to purchasing entire companies simply to acquire the gifted entrepreneurs, engineers, and programmers that created and comprise them.  This new practice has been dubbed “acqhiring,” and is becoming more common in industries where the competition for talent is fierce and requires more benefits, dazzling incentives, and creative ways to attract the best and brightest.

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We Hired You To Drive Change…Now Conform

An acquaintance of mine was recently sharing her on boarding experiences for a job she just started. She was hired her based on her experiences with dynamic talent management projects and they assigned her the mission of driving progressive change in the organization’s candidate selection and leadership development programs. An early indication of the obstacles standing in her way became clear when a colleague said, “Before we brainwash you into doing business as usual around here, tell me your ideas.” At least they were self-aware of their problem!

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Too Rude to Fly?

Last week, I was lucky enough to travel to Paris for a short vacation. I’ve traveled to Paris before, and I’m familiar with what to expect on the 10+ hour flight. With three DVDs, two books, and snacks in tow, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. Unfortunately, I failed to prepare for one thing… poor customer service at 30,000 feet.

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Goodbye Michael Scott, Hello New Office Culture

After seven seasons playing the wacky, yet lovable Michael Scott on NBC’s hit series, “The Office,” Steve Carell left the show this spring to focus on his film career. With his crazy antics and hilarious one-liners, Carell’s character enticed more than 7 million viewers to “The Office” every Thursday night. From off-the-wall impersonations to “that’s what she said” jokes, Michael Scott was a staple (no pun intended) of Dunder Mifflin, and his resignation will certainly lead to changes for the fictional company.

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Last month, Hogan celebrated its annual Hogan Game Day competition, a team-based version of the popular game show “Minute to Win It” that is a much-anticipated event at our Tulsa office.

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X-Factors of Executive Success

It was only a month ago that President Obama announced the death of America’s biggest villain and proudly proclaimed victory in the name of justice.For most, the events that unfolded and the success of the mission were symbols of American power. But to those of us who have a passion for leadership, the more subtle story revolved around President Obama and the potential impact this success would have on perceptions of his effectiveness as a leader.April 24, just days before he announced Bin Laden’s death, Real Clear Politics, a site that averages political polls, showed President Obama’s job approval ratings at just 45%, with 50% disapproving. Experts owed those negative poll numbers to public dissatisfaction with the economy – high gas prices, debt, and signs of inflation. Less than a month later, those perceptions had changed for the better.The ultimate measure of senior executive selection and succession planning is how well we can identify future high performers. Even with decades of research and industry leading tools, the best we can predict is somewhere around 30% to 40% of leadership potential, and this is better than most of our competitors. So what's going on with the other 60% to 70%? The following factors are just some of the complexities of executive performance:Success often relies on a few key decisions.The base rate of those critical decisions is low, making them difficult to reliably measure. How many times does a leader have the opportunity to take out Public Enemy No.1 and change his/her foreign policy reputation overnight? If you are Google, is it a good choice to buy You Tube? Skype if you are Microsoft? How much do you invest in your new product, the iPod? It only takes one decision to make or break a reputation, or a company's value.Real impact is only visible in the long-term. It can take years before the value of some executive decisions can be measured. Experts argue decisions made more than 40 years ago to provide covert assistance to Afghan rebels’ fight against the USSR – hailed as a US victory in the Cold War – lead to the creation of modern-day Al-Qaeda. Short-term brilliance can actually have very bad effects, and, likewise, your "dud" of a leader may just have a long-term plan in mind.Success often means having good timing. The US economy recently took a plunge unlike anything we could have expected. Sure, there were some leaders who were responsible for the decline (yes, I'm looking at you, Wall Street), and there were policy decisions in Washington that were equally critical (Barney Frank). There were also executives who had no control over the market’s movement. If you would have measured executive performance using a “snapshot” method during that time, you would have seen some ugly metrics: sinking revenue, poor profits, negative stock value, and low employee engagement. Now, as companies rebound, those in power reap the benefits of economic recovery without necessarily doing anything.Success sometimes comes down to luck.Social scientists are trained early and often on the importance of statistical significance – identifying relationships that are not due to chance alone. And whatever you call it – luck, chance, or good fortune – there is an element to executive performance which is not entirely within a leader's control. President Bush took a big hit to his reputation as an effective leader due to his response to Hurricane Katrina, even though so much of what happened – an intense hurricane hitting exactly where it did – was beyond his control.Politics makes leadership a visible sport, but it is easy to forget some of the lessons it teaches us about measuring executive performance. You may be able to identify who has the right stuff, but judging whether someone will be truly successful is no easy task.Finally, ask yourself about your own leaders: Do they really make good decisions? Or are they riding the coat tails of someone else's decisions, reaping the benefits of good timing, and enjoying a little luck? 

Is your blogging personality affecting your reputation?

Blogging is another means of communication that reflects a person’s attitudes, ideas, interests, and values. Many of these characteristics gel with a few others to ultimately make up an individual’s personality or as we refer to it here at Hogan – “reputation.”

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First Class Leadership: #35

It can be hard to remember all the great moments of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season when sports announcers and writers have been more focused this week on the Thunder’s “collapse” after losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference. Although many fans faced disappointment after Games 4 and 5 (especially those of us in Oklahoma), the Thunder’s hard fought third season should not go overlooked. At the forefront of the adolescent Thunder team is Kevin Durant, who sums up the season nicely in a tweet he released last night: “It's been a fun ride for us. We had 15 guys on this team and a whole city behind us. Everybody was great. We'll keep working hard." Read More »