Developing Talent in Crisis and Beyond

As many of us look at how businesses can survive during this pandemic-induced business slowdown (or shutdown for many), it should be obvious that leadership is more important than ever. The leadership choices being made today will have profound and long-term impacts not only on the business, but on employee engagement and loyalty. Most leaders will be thinking about the defensive moves that they need to make to protect their businesses. A few will be thinking about opportunities that may provide chances to grow or redirect their market positioning.

The New Normal Is Now

As we enter a middle phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, our clients are rapidly moving from shock and crisis to thinking about a world that will be changed for the foreseeable future. There is a good reason to do so. As much of the industrialized world remains in quarantine, we are all changing the way that we work and live in real time. These changes will lead to new, adaptive, and resilient behavior patterns that are likely to drive profound shifts in economic activity and value.

Leading Through Disruption

Anyone in a leadership position at this point in time is likely feeling a great deal of pressure and personal responsibility to do the right thing without the advantage of a clear and dependable playbook. With these unprecedented and uncertain times, we can utilize wisdom from the past to help leaders be a stabilizing force as we try to make sense of our present environment and prepare for what lies ahead. Demonstrating resilience in these turbulent times is critical to weathering adversity.

Big Decisions Are Looming

Chief executive officers and companies are navigating tremendously difficult decisions in response to COVID-19 with regard to how to keep employees and customers safe while remaining financially solvent. Yet other big decisions loom on the horizon. Namely, what are the unintended consequences of slamming the economy to a halt and asking healthy people to remain home? And how long can we do it? Inarguably, the rapid response of business and local government to shut down and help flatten the curve is the right thing to do, yet another set of hard questions and trade-offs lie in wait.

What It Takes to Succeed in Private Equity

While listed companies have traditionally provided superb training grounds for general managers and future business leaders and are a natural pool of talent for private equity, ultimately a significant number who have thrived in listed companies fail in private equity portfolio firms. Therefore, our assumed models of “what looks good” may not always fit private equity. It is not the same as the joint stock world, legally or culturally. There are certain broad traits that research suggests are important for private equity leaders.

What's the One Characteristic Leaders and Team Members Should Share?

It’s human nature for leaders to compare themselves to others—including those on their team(s) who report to them—to assess how similar or different their own skills, abilities, beliefs, or attitudes are. We wanted to take this line of thinking one step further to uncover how these similarities and differences play out in organizations and impact leadership.

Why Feedback Matters in Top Team Performance

The current business environment is more uncertain, fast-paced, and dynamic than ever before. In this setting, senior teams must think critically about what they can do differently or where they might improve to optimize the performance of their teams and organizations.

An important part of this is having an accurate—and comprehensive—understanding of the team’s top development needs.

What Great Senior Teams Do

Most discussions about executive team effectiveness typically focus on the ideal mix of personal characteristics or “stages” of team development that need to be accomplished before the team can be classied as high performing.

RHR took a different approach. We compared and contrasted high-performing and low-performing executive teams and then looked at what they did, how often they did it, and which indicators of organizational performance were impacted as a result.

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