How good are you at picking winners? If you’re one of the 70 million Americans who filled out a bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, you probably have a sense of how hard it is to predict success.
From Dan: As a way to honor the individuals who have taught me critical life lessons about people and business, I’ve invited several to write guest columns to run in this space over the next few weeks. Today’s voice of experience once again is Robert L. Brady, the founder of Business and Legal Resources (BLR). This week, Bob talks about BLR’s HR manager, Amy Champlin, and what has made her career with the company such a huge success.
by Robert L. Brady
Fifty years ago, NASA asked Dr. George Land to develop a creativity assessment aimed at helping the space agency identify and hire the most creative engineers and scientists. The test proved successful for NASA, and in 1968, Land decided to use his assessment to test the creativity of 1,600 4- and 5-year-olds who were enrolled in a Head Start program.
From Dan Oswald: As a way to honor the individuals who have taught me critical life lessons about people and business, I’ve invited several to write guest columns to run in this space over the next few weeks. Today’s voice of experience is provided by a mentor whose business acumen and people skills have guided me for the past quarter century. John Marozsan is the former president and CEO of publishing giant CCH, Inc., a Wolters Kluwer Company worth nearly $1 billion when he retired in 1999. As John will explain, however, when we met, our circumstances were quite a bit more spartan.
by John Marozsan
The road to the 2016 U.S. presidential election officially begins today with the Iowa caucuses. Having grown up in Iowa, I have experienced the caucus process first-hand. It’s an interesting process that has a real grassroots feel to it, and it can produce some very interesting results that are often difficult to predict.
If you’re like me, you’re having a tough time figuring out the candidates and what they stand for. Maybe it’s because there are so many, at least on the Republican side. I actually had a difficult time recognizing some of the Republican candidates who participated in the “undercard” debate last week. On the other hand, the Democrats have it down to a manageable number, mostly because everyone thought Hillary Clinton was going to run away with the nomination. She might still do that, but she’s had a bit more of a fight than she expected from Bernie Sanders.
It’s undeniable that the caliber of the people in your organization—their integrity, intelligence, experience, and commitment—is critical to your success. Give great people the opportunity to do meaningful work, and there’s no telling what they can achieve.
The other day I heard about a company that provides fake references for job applicants, renters, and others. And from what I understand, the length it goes to in order to “lie” on behalf of its clients is unbelievable—even if the references it provides are believable.
Have you ever wondered why good things happen to bad people? I know I have. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but I must admit that sometimes I scratch my head and wonder how someone with questionable character or who demonstrates unethical behavior seemingly ends up on top.
I often talk about the characteristics of the people with whom I want to work. In their book How Google Works, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg talk about the type of people they had at Google. And the two of them should know—Schmidt is the executive chairman and ex-CEO, and Rosenberg is a former SVP of products. Both came to Google after its founding and had to adapt to an existing culture that was very particular and reflected the principles of the founders.
The cover article in the June issue of Harvard Business Review is titled “The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting.” Since all of us as managers are constantly on the lookout for talent, the title of course grabbed my attention. The author, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at a global executive firm, boldly claims that potential is “the most important predictor of success at all levels.”