Great People Decisions Why They Matter So Much, Why They Are So Hard, and How You Can Master Them

Fern?ndez-Ar?oz, Claudio

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
ISBN 10: 0470037261 / ISBN 13: 9780470037263
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Synopsis:

Great organizations are made up of great people. And for leaders at all levels within those organizations, the ability to find, hire, integrate, and retain great people is an absolutely critical skill—critical to their organization's success, and critical to their own success.

But for most people, making great appointments is difficult, time-consuming, and even scary. Few have received any formal training in it, and there are very few resources available to make up for that lack of training. This book fills that gap. It provides the conceptual background and the practical, everyday tools needed to make consistently successful hiring decisions. Great People Decisions is a comprehensive resource for managers who want to improve their personal competence at hiring and promoting people, and also for students interested in the field. Yes, hiring is difficult, but it isn't a mystery. It's a discipline that you can master—to help your organization, and to help yourself.

Author Claudio Fernández-Aráoz has been in the business of finding and growing great people for two decades. Now, in Great People Decisions, he provides simple but sophisticated guidelines covering the entire range of issues inherent in the hiring, promotion, and delegation of significant responsibilities to high achievers.

Great People Decisions meets the needs of leaders at every level in complex organizations. Are you a member of a team that is looking to build its skills in a particular direction? A member of a board that's looking for the next CEO? A manager who needs to fill a critical slot in the middle ranks of your division? Great People Decisions is for you. It tells you how to know when a change is needed, what to look for, where to look—inside and outside your own ranks—how to appraise people, and how to persuade them to join and stay with your organization.

Anyone can fill a position. The real trick is getting the right person in the right job. Filled with invaluable insight and practical guidance on getting it right, Great People Decisions is the ultimate reference for any manager concerned with personal development and organizational achievement.

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Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with Author Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

Q: Can you define great people decisions?
A: Great people decisions are great appointments, whether promoting someone from within or hiring someone from outside. Great people decisions produce extraordinary job performance, great personal development, and strong organizational morale.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: After more than 20 years of global practice as an executive search consultant I became convinced that nothing is more important for our career success than making great people decisions, because everything we achieve as managers will depend on the people we’ve chosen. In addition, having traveled many times around the world as a consultant and a speaker, meeting thousands of CEOs, senior executives, middle managers, and young professionals, I realized two things: First, the most successful leaders are incredibly focused on people decisions. Second, most of us find these decisions extremely hard, and are quite clueless about the best practices.

Q: Why are these decisions so hard?
A: Great people decisions are very hard because we have the wrong brain and the wrong education. When making people decisions, we fall pray into a series of unconscious psychological biases, such as surrounding ourselves with similar people with whom we feel naturally comfortable. Many of these biases were very effective for our primitive ancestors, but they are no longer useful for building great teams which require complementary and highly sophisticated skills. On top of this, most of us have not studied how to make great appointments, despite their crucial importance.

Q: But can you actually learn how to make great people decisions?
A: Of course you can! In spite of what most people think, making great appointments is not an art or the result of an intuition or a gut feeling. It is a craft, and a discipline, that can be learned and should be learned for our career success.

Q: How can you measure the impact of great people decisions?
A: For knowledge-intensive jobs, the difference between the productivity of an average worker and a top performer can be in the range of 1,000% or more. That is the value of making great people decisions! At the organizational level, they are the foundational condition for building lasting greatness, and the most important controllable factor for company value.

Q: What would be your three recommendations to master these decisions?
A: They are about awareness, knowledge, and discipline. My advice would be to:

1) Avoid the usual traps – These include, among others, postponing difficult decisions, overrating capability, making snap judgments, branding, saving face, sticking with the familiar, and going with the crowd.

2) Learn the best practices – The good news is that there is a proven, step-by-step process, to master these decisions. The best practices are rigorous, yet simple and accessible. They cover the whole spectrum from deciding when a people change is needed, what to look for in a candidate, where and how to find the best candidates, how to assess them, how to attract and motivate the best, and how to successfully integrate them in the new job.

3) Invest enough time – As one CEO has put it, we spend 3% of our time recruiting, and then we need to spend 75% of the time managing our recruiting mistakes! It is hard to think about any other activity where the combination of awareness, knowledge, and discipline would have a higher return in terms of personal and organizational success.

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Title: Great People Decisions Why They Matter So ...
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
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