Guest Reviewer: Larry Bossidy on The Talent Masters
Larry Bossidy is the retired CEO and chairman of Honeywell International and the co-author of Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
and Confronting Reality
During my years as CEO of Allied Signal and Honeywell, I spent a great deal of time on people issues. In fact, I often surprised CEOs at other companies when I personally called them to check references on a person I was considering for a key position. Quite often they would ask, “Why are you
calling?” My answer was always quite simple: “The success of my business depends on talent more than anything else.”
Just about everyone believes that “people are our most important asset,” but my experience has been that they are not quite sure about how to translate that truism into action. Now, along come Bill Conaty and Ram Charan with the
book on how to make that translation, on how to judge raw human talent, pinpoint a person’s unique combination of traits, and develop that talent so that leaders improve and don’t just mark time.
Anyone who thinks that making judgments about people is totally subjective will quickly change his or her mind after reading The Talent Masters
. Conaty and Charan’s great accomplishment—using in-depth examples from companies that have been talent masters for decades, as well as those that are still “works-in-progress” —is demonstrating that making judgments about how to help people grow in their jobs can be specific, verifiable and right-on-the-button. Moreover, in what may prove to be their most important point, they show why it is absolutely necessary to have the courage
to take the actions the data suggests. They have written the
book about the art and
science of talent. If you are looking for an edge in a brutally competitive marketplace then there is no better place to start than The Talent Masters
From Publishers Weekly
Corporate guru Charan (The Game Changer) and Conaty, a 40-year HR leader at General Electric, reveal how successful companies stay on top by developing leaders at every level of operation. Heading the list is GE under the leadership of Jack Welch. Nicknamed "Neutron Jack" for his ruthless willingness to fire non-performers, Welch created a new culture at GE by transforming the criteria for executive performance so that management had to get to know their workers, which allowed them to choose future leaders to develop in a series of room-to-grow jobs. The authors offer suggestions for adopting Welch's methods for today's global environment, examining not only GE but also Novartis, Hindustan Unilever, and Proctor and Gamble to suggest that today's leaders need to manage multiple brands in one country, shepherd a single brand across the globe, and spend time working abroad. A liberal use of jargon ("He searches for discontinuities in the external landscape") will distance general readers, but business types will find this useful.
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