River Currents

How to Become a Leader? Do Leadership Work.

Posted by Gavin Fenn-Smith on Aug 30, 2016 10:56:35 AM
This is a review of "Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader," by Herminia Ibarra, published by HBR Press.

Contrary to much received wisdom about how to develop your leadership skills; this book exhorts you to spend less time on introspection and self-analysis, and much more time learning to do the work that leaders do. Starting with introspection has the danger of rooting you in your current self-perception, rather than in your potential. And you won’t know your potential until you start doing the work of a leader. Start doing the work of a leader, then reflect on it and on how you handle it, later. 


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Topics: Growing Leaders

Making a Leader...Lessons from the Olympics

Posted by Ana Maria Sencovici on Aug 26, 2016 11:08:06 AM

It’s Olympics season, and performance is top of mind for everyone. It’s also a wonderful time to remember that the amazing athletes we are seeing train all the time, for a long time, to perfect their craft. Further, according to this Scientific American article, the right coach can make or break an athlete.

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Topics: Advising CEOs, Growing Leaders

Don't Leave Learning on the Table with This Simple Trick

Posted by Ana Maria Sencovici on Aug 16, 2016 10:25:48 AM

Learning…it’s the holy grail to maintaining competitive advantage, for individuals and organizations alike. Billions of dollars
(yes, with a “B”) are spent each year by consumers and creators of learning systems, arguably with little to show for it.

Heroic efforts are underway to shift the corporate focus away from formal to informal learning: from programmatic, top-down, scheduled “events” to just-in-time, socially-connected, employee-driven development chunks. The goal of these efforts is to create a learning culture for the organization as a whole. But what does that mean exactly?

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Topics: Growing Leaders

High Energy in the Right Moments Can Inspire

Posted by Gavin Fenn-Smith on Aug 2, 2016 11:28:50 AM

For leaders, energy can be in short supply. Meetings all day. Team members who are energy-sapping. Events that drag on for longer than anticipated. Those leaders who can manage themselves, to maximize their moments of high-energy, will be at a great advantage. 

People seem to be attracted to vivacious people. Those with vigor, vim, zest. People who are enthusiastic, who have a certain dynamism. It’s as if they transmit their energy into you. 


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Topics: Advising CEOs

Achieving the Promise of Transformational M&A Integration

Posted by Peter Thies on Jul 19, 2016 10:46:47 AM

Merger and acquisition deals have slowed a bit lately, yet there are several impending deals in the news; Aetna's acquisition of Humana, Danone and WhiteWave Foods, and Medivation opening its books to potential buyers. 

The goal of any M&A activity is to achieve the strategic and financial promise with sustained results. Yet most mergers fail to achieve their targeted value. 

Here are some reminders about what makes for M&A success—and failure.


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Topics: Transforming Organizations

Brain Implants for our Future Leadership?

Posted by Sally Ann Jones on Jul 5, 2016 12:50:06 PM

Are we seriously suggesting a brain implant for our future leaders to help them get ahead?

Prominent business leaders like Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon agree artifical intelligence will impact decision making within the next 20 years. 

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Topics: Growing Leaders

A Practical Example of Leading HiPos to Victory

Posted by Sally Ann Jones on Jun 21, 2016 1:14:23 PM

When the pressure is off and expectations are managed, underachievers with potential flourish.

Last month we witnessed one of the biggest upsets in global sporting history. 

Claudio Ranieri, a coach with 28 years experience in five different countries, led Leicester, an English football club, to a top division title for the first time in his career and in their history.

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Topics: Growing Leaders

Advice from 75 CEOs on Aligning Leadership

Posted by Michael Franklin on Jun 7, 2016 11:02:22 AM

As a new CEO, within the first six months on the job, you are likely to get a deep appreciation of the extent to which leadership is a team sport. In our interviews with 75 CEOs across the world, The River Group found that what those chief executives loved most about their jobs was the power of creative expression—the ability to express themselves, almost like an artist. Those same CEOs also described having to come to grips with the myth of control—the reality that even though they held the most powerful role in the organization, their ability to control their company was limited. While they know it conceptually at the start of their tenures, there is a point at which it becomes abundantly apparent to new CEOs that they can’t "go it alone." Among other things, they recognize the extent to which they need a critical mass of leaders who share a common vision and who can engage the rest of the organization to realize that vision.

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Topics: Advising CEOs, Developing Leadership Teams

The Surprising Way to Develop Leadership Talent

Posted by Ana Maria Sencovici on May 24, 2016 11:11:39 AM

If you are in charge of developing leadership talent, what could be the highest return on your time and resources?  

Conventional wisdom says that the eldest child in a family is "smartest" because she has the most attention time from parents as an only child. Yet, research shows this is all wrong.

In fact, the eldest child has the greatest opportunity to teach the younger siblings. Because of this "teaching time," she is able to solidify her own learning.

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Topics: Growing Leaders

Advice for Rising to the Challenge of Becoming CEO

Posted by Sandy Lyons on May 12, 2016 4:57:53 PM

The experience of being a CEO for the first time comes with many challenges, the biggest perhaps is adjusting to the role itself. 

Our new study, Exchanges16 "Expect the Unexpected," explores the experiences of rookie CEOs. 

Based on in-depth conversations with 75 CEOs around the world, the findings capture what the CEOs wished they’d known before stepping into the role while also compiling their advice for those who are preparing for, or aspiring to take on, the role.

I invite you to download a copy of the report here.

Download Exchanges16 - Expect the Unexpected


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Topics: Advising CEOs