Point/Counterpoint

By Tavis, Anna | Human Resource Planning, December 2007 | Go to article overview

Point/Counterpoint


Tavis, Anna, Human Resource Planning


Executive Editor's Note: With this issue of the journal we introduce the new "Point/ Counterpoint" section. We chose and "pre-published" a short article from a thought leader and invited up to 750-word responses to it from our Editorial Review Board. Responses may be in radical agreement or disagreement, or have a story to symbolize and support it or to refute it. Some may add a global or cross-cultural perspective. Some are informally conversational and humorous, whereas others are more formal and serious. We believe this approach will advance the debate on key topics. If our members find this valuable we would like to make this a regular feature of the journal and open the Counterpoint debate to our membership. We see it as one more way of bringing forward the best thinking related to people and strategy.

The first article chosen for Point/ Counterpoint was written by an old friend of HRPS (and for many years in the '80s my dotted line boss at PepsiCo), Dr. Bob Eichinger, whom we know to have both innovative and at times controversial fact-based opinions! Many thanks to Bob for being willing to try this. We hope you enjoy the article and the many well thought out responses to it. We were pleased with the quality and quantity of the responses.

Our new Perspectives editor, Dr. Anna Tavis (anna.tavis@aig.com), will own this section and manage this process. We would like to hear from you. Please also consider this an open invitation to offer up a short article that could be used to generate Counterpoints!

Richard Vosburgh

Executive Editor

POINT Is "Build On Your Strengths" The Best Advice?

So I Was Thinking ...

Bob Eichinger

CEO, Lominger International

A Korn/Ferry Company

We are all getting ready for the second world war for talent. We all know the script. Demographics. Oldies are retiring and the youngish are taking over. Global. Everything is getting more complicated. Speed. Everything is getting faster. CEOs are under pressure to deliver Growth. Jobs are getting bigger, more complex, and more global, and the pool of senior talent is dwindling. As if that were not bad enough, CEOs are stumbling at a greater pace. Freshly minted GMs are failing in their first assignments. Derailment is mostly fueled by a lack of "EQ" (emotional intelligence) and adaptability (learning agility). CFOs are leaving because of the new regulatory environment. So what to do?

That set me to thinking. Two big things are rummaging around the competency space. One is the finding that most successful managers and executives have somewhere between five and seven strengths around which they build a highly successful career. Specifically, they have five to seven of the most mission critical skills for the jobs they have, have no noise (that is, they are at least average) in the rest of the mission critical skills, and have no glaring detailers. That means, as it always has, that no one is expected to have all of the competencies listed on the executive success profile. Success is not cloning. They need five to seven of the nine to 15 that comprise a typical success profile. The other buzz in the competency world is the so-called "strengths movement." This movement tells you to find your strengths. Build your strengths. Use your unique strengths to build your career. Find a place and a role that fits your unique strengths. There is no need to address your weaknesses.

So I was thinking ... What should I tell my two newly minted college graduate children about how to plan for their careers? What should I tell the youngish up and comers about how to prepare for their future careers?

How many people have enough (e.g., five, just to pick a number) strengths?

That sort of depends upon how you define a strength.

Simply stated, a strength might be what you personally are best at. If you need five strengths to succeed, they are your five best skills. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Point/Counterpoint
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.