Links to Leadership

By cwaterfall | Curated articles on middle market private equity,  executive hiring, executive compensation & leadership

How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings

The board of directors of a public company has a long list of oversight responsibilities, but it is not always the case that directors receive the information they need to make fully informed decisions on key matters, such as strategy, succession, and performance monitoring. We recently studied a …

Management

Why Great Employees Leave “Great Cultures”

“We have a great culture.” We have all heard it. We have all said it. But what does that mean?<p>Ping-Pong tables, free meals, and beer on tap? No.<p>Yoga, CrossFit classes, and massage chairs? I so need that, but no.<p>The promise of being part of a hip, equity-incentivized, fast growing team? Closer, but …

Employee Engagement

A board interview guide for prospective CEOs

Working through these questions as they prepare to take the top job can help executives clarify their thinking.<p>Over the years, we’ve spoken with many …

Is a greater focus on talent needed in the private equity industry?

As professional management takes hold in private markets, there’s renewed interest in talent issues.<p><b>Private equity saw a strong year in 2017.</b> But as …

Linking talent to value

Getting the best people into the most important roles does not happen by chance; it requires a disciplined look at where the organization really …

Management

What’s on Your Mind? Bosses Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Find Out

AI tools give companies instant insights from employee surveys that once took months to process<p>Human-resource departments are becoming a bit less human as companies turn to artificial intelligence for help with hiring and firing—and to learn how employees really feel about their bosses.<p>Every year …

Artificial Intelligence

An agenda for the talent-first CEO

In tumultuous times, a company’s talent is its most valuable and reliable asset. What does it take to lead an organization that truly unleashes its …

Management

PEI Media

More good news for PE this week: investor appetite just keeps on growing.<p>A full 95 percent of investors surveyed by advisor and placement agent Rede …

How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation

Partner & Managing Director<p>Munich<p>Nicole Voigt<p>Partner & Managing Director<p>Düsseldorf<p>Senior Partner & Managing Director, Chief Marketing …

How to Be a Good Board Chair

Most board chairs are experienced leaders. Half the chairs of the S&P 500 double as their companies’ chief executives, and the vast majority of the rest are former CEOs. But the close association of the two positions creates problems. It’s difficult for a board led by the CEO to serve as a check on …

The US middle market is full of potential

Why You Really Got That Raise

Managerial pay may be influenced by social connections as much as performance.<p>A manager in one division of a conglomerate receives a pay raise, owing …

Improve Your Executive Presence

Stanford GSB lecturer and coach Allison Kluger teaches nascent entrepreneurs how to communicate like a leader.<p>Allison Kluger recalls one of her …

Is Your CEO Irreplaceable?

A new survey highlights a tough CEO talent pool and which business leaders would be nearly impossible to replace.<p>CEO salaries are higher than ever. …

How Trash-Talking Affects Performance

Trash-talking: It’s not just for athletes anymore. From social media to C-suites to, yes, the White House, it seems everyone is ready to hurl an …

Private Equity Analysis Before a Leveraged Buyout

Professor Bilge Yilmaz on the science and subtle art of how PE values a company before it’s acquired<p><i>By Louis Greenstein</i><p>1. Long-Term Value2. Parallel …

What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?

We assessed the early moves of CEOs with outstanding track records; some valuable lessons for leadership transitions emerged.<p><b>New CEOs face</b> enormous …

Why More CEOs Should Be Hired from Within

<b>Claudio Fernández-Aráoz,</b> a senior adviser at the global executive search firm Egon Zehnder, makes the case for finding a company’s next CEO inside the firm. But to find the best contenders, organizations have to learn what to look for, how to find it, and how to nurture it. Fernández-Aráoz is the …

How a Fast-Growing Startup Built Its Sales Team for Long-Term Success

It’s common for leaders of sales teams to focus almost exclusively on short-term tactics and current operations while failing to think and act in a way that supports the longer-term needs of their businesses — and it’s hard to fault them. Sales teams must meet the immediate needs of their …

Stop Hiring for Culture Fit

I really dislike the term “A player.” It implies a grading system that can determine who will be best for a position. HR people always ask how Netflix, where I served as chief talent officer from 1998 to 2012, managed to hire only A players. I say, “There’s an island populated exclusively by A …

Four Lessons for New CEOs

Stanford GSB faculty and industry leaders help young executives of search fund companies navigate their new roles.<p>Years ago, Kevin Taweel, chief …

10 Most-Read Stories of 2017

Readers keyed into humor’s workplace value, the secret to improving communication skills, and advice from Sheryl Sandberg and Marc Andreessen.<p>What …

The experience CEOs want to see in every new hire

If you ask a group of high-flying CEOs about the most important qualities they look for in job candidates, you might expect to hear things like experience, decisiveness, or creativity.<p>But this wasn’t what CEOs told Quartz.<p>They want people who have failed. Big, pain-inducing failures.<p>“I ask the …

CEOs

High levels of intelligence make you worse at being a leader, study finds

Being too intelligent can make you a less effective leader, new research shows.<p>According to a study by the University of Lausanne published in the …

A visual recap of global PE activity in 3Q 2017 [datagraphic]

With the third quarter of 2017 in the books, we used the PitchBook Platform to break down PE fundraising data, dealmaking activity and more.

How to Tell If a Company’s Culture Is Right for You

Congratulations, you got the job! Now you have to decide whether to take it. You’ve done your research and know the ins and outs of the company’s public profile, but how can you assess cultural fit — and if you’d actually be happy working there? Should you reach out to former employees? Or ask to …

How the Most Successful Teams Bridge the Strategy-Execution Gap

The strategy-to-execution gap is an enduring problem with no easy solution. As the Japanese proverb goes, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” In their seminal HBR piece, Paul Leinwand, Cesare Mainardi, and Art Kleiner outlined what senior leaders must do to …