The Talent Masters: Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
“Enduring principles and powerful practices combine in this must-read human resource manifesto for leaders at every level.”
—Jack Welch

“…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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307460264
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 314,594
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    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 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.

    I 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.

    All the Best,
    Nathan Ives
    StrategyDriven Principal

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