Finding the Best and the Brightest: A Guide to Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Effective Leaders

Finding the Best and the Brightest: A Guide to Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Effective Leaders

Finding the Best and the Brightest: A Guide to Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Effective Leaders

Finding the Best and the Brightest: A Guide to Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Effective Leaders

Synopsis

Finding the Best and Brightest proposes an approach to choosing leaders based on a set of criteria designed to align individual qualities with organizational or institutional goals. Peg Thoms challenges the popular trend in theory and practice toward "transformational" or "visionary" leadership, arguing instead that leadership must be developed in context; many organizations, for example, don't need visionaries as much as they need "operational" leaders, who get things done by focusing on present-day tasks, such as designing superior products and delivering exceptional customer service. This book provides guidance for how to recruit, select, and retain the right people for leadership positions at any level of the organization. Drawing from research conducted in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, Thoms features powerful examples of effective and ineffective leadership in a variety of situations, and sheds light on the complex relationships between leaders and those who follow them.

Excerpt

We all choose our leaders. Each and every one of us is involved in the selection of leaders, either directly or indirectly, in all aspects of our lives. We hire them. We accept jobs under them. We vote for them. We follow them. Many of us make decisions about whom to hire for leadership positions in our organizations. We conduct interviews with candidates, observe them during the selection process, and provide input on which applicant to select. Any time we accept a job, we are choosing a leader. We have been interviewed, have had the opportunity to gather information about the leader and the organization, and have decided which leader we want to work for. We listen to political candidates' speeches, read and listen to expert commentary about them, and cast ballots for the leaders we choose. Or we do not vote and allow others to choose leaders for us. Either way, we choose. Leaders are only leaders if someone follows them. By taking direction, going to bat or war, following orders, marching behind, listening, and agreeing, we are choosing to allow another individual to lead us.

Effective leaders matter. Strong leaders make a significant difference to the people that they lead. Choosing the right person to lead a department, division, company, or country can have many consequences, which may result in improved profitability, repeat customers, happier and healthier employees or members, and even world peace, depending on the level of leadership and the type of organization or group. Choosing the wrong person to lead a department, division, company, or country . . .

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