Leadership in a Complex World

At RHR International, we have the privilege of talking to people every day about topics related to leadership. One of RHR’s core values is that leadership is a noble endeavor and, when done well, is a force for good in the world. With that in mind, we engaged our clients and contacts on the question of the challenges of leading in a complex environment. More specifically, we asked them:

What is the one trait or one quality that you think is most important to demonstrate as a leader in an environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), and why? 

New Year, New Me; New Year, Improved Company

As we ring in the new year, we may feel as though we’re given a free pass to absolve ourselves from what we didn’t accomplish last year, and to resolve to make this year better than ever before. But sticking to those resolutions is hard work, and just as maintaining personal resolutions takes concerted focus and effort to form new habits, the same can be said for making resolutions stick in your organization.

Quick Start Instructions for the First-Time CEO

Assuming the top leadership role in an organization is a life-changing experience filled with emotions ranging from exhilaration to a feeling of isolation. Whether you are a founder who just launched your own company, a Fortune 100 CEO, or somewhere in between, this can be a daunting experience. Here are some quick tips as you embark on this journey.

Invest heavily in your team

Good Luck with Those Development Plans

While I have your attention, let’s (not) talk about what makes a good development plan.

After years of working with executives, the question of what goes into a good development plan frequently comes up and can be a frustrating one for two reasons: the first is that there are as many options for good development plans as there are leaders; second, and most important, is that it’s the wrong question to be asking.

Want Measurable Change? Think Operating Culture

Many senior leaders consider ways they can define and transform their organization’s culture. However, there are so many definitions of and frameworks for organizational culture that it can be difficult to align on the best way to truly effect measurable change. For example, some define organizational culture as the shared values and beliefs that contribute to a company's norms for what behavior is acceptable; others describe it as the customs and written and unwritten rules that have developed over time.

Succession Planning for 21st Century Talent: Part 1

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is predicting and developing 21st century talent. As always, should you or any of your team fail, the C-suite will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This article will self-destruct in two minutes.

So, you take on the mission. Driving this course is not going to be easy. It will involve making turns at speed, accelerating fast, and at times stopping dead in your tracks. All without the wheels falling off.

Succession planning is a fluid and dynamic state

Humility and Leadership

Years ago, I shared an early draft of a competency model with a Japanese colleague. He responded, “Where is humility on this model? f you have humility, you include customer service, quality, etc.” I replied that customer service and quality were already represented on the model, but that when you norm a model on American executives, humility doesn’t necessarily jump to the top of the list. This remains too true today.


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