The Talent Masters
Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers
Publication Date: November 9, 2010
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If talent is the leading indicator of whether a business is up or down, a success or a failure (and it is) . . . do you know how to accurately judge raw human talent? Understand a person's unique combination of traits? Develop that talent? Convert what supposedly are "soft" subjective judgments about people into objective criteria that are as specific, verifiable, and concrete as the contents of a financial statement?
The talent masters do. They put people before numbers for the simple reason that it is talent that delivers the numbers. Success comes from those who are able to extract meaning from events and the forces affecting a business, and are able to look at the world and assess the risks to take and the risks to avoid.
The Talent Masters itself stems from a unique combination of talent: During a forty-year career at General Electric, Bill Conaty worked closely with CEOs Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt to build that company's worldrenowned talent machine. Ram Charan is the legendary advisor to companies around the world. Together they use their unparalleled experience and insight to write the definitive book on talent—a breakthrough in how to take a business to the next level:
• Secrets of the masters. The specifics on how companies regarded as world-class—GE, P&G, Hindustan Unilever (and others)—base their stellar performance decade after decade on their systems for finding and nurturing leadership talent.
• Intimate and systemic. Why deep knowledge and intimacy with your talent and a systemic rhythm of reviews are the foundation for creating a steady, selfrenewing stream of leaders for all levels of an organization—from first-line supervisors to the CEO.
• The competency that lasts. Financial results, market share, brand, and legacy products all have a half-life that seems to grow shorter by the year. Talent is the only competency that endures.
• What to do Monday morning. The Talent Masters tool kit provides the specific guidelines for assessing and improving your company’s talent mastery capabilities.
BILL CONATY, long recognized as a world leader in his field, recently retired as senior vice president for human resources at General Electric, the company consistently ranked as without peer in developing world-class leaders. The management development and training programs that Conaty engineered provided GE with one of the world’s most talent-rich management benches. Conaty has served as chairman of the National Academy of Human Resources and was named as a Distinguised Fellow, the organization’s highest honor. He currently serves as a personal advisor to the CEOs of companies around the world, including P&G, Boeing, Dell, Goodyear, LG Electronics (Korea), and UniCredit (Italy).
RAM CHARAN is a highly sought after business advisor and speaker famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems. For more than thirty-ﬁve years, Dr. Charan has worked behind the scenes with top executives at some of the world’s most successful companies, providing advice that is down-to-earth and relevant and that takes into account the real-world complexities of business. Dr. Charan is also the coauthor of Execution, The Game-Changer, and Confronting Reality and the author of What the CEO Wants You to Know, Know-How, and Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty.
“Enduring principles and powerful practices combine in this must-read human resource manifesto for leaders at every level.”
“…The definitive guide to the art and science of talent development.”
—Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO of Avon Products
“…Practical, readable and very actionable …”
—A.G. Lafley, retired chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble
"Knowing how to spot top talent and where exactly to place it is at the crux of this marvelous book, The Talent Masters. Its pages provide a vivid recounting of many true-to-life leadership dilemmas in contemporary organizations that reveal just how critical it is to make good, sound judgments when choosing from amongst the talent of an organization."
—Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Leader in Me