BSG From the Boardroom

A curated selection of executive opportunities, industry highlights, and unique insights in executive search.

    Links to Leadership - January 2016

    2015-04-11 - Links to Leadership, finalized - 392x101

    Links to Recent Articles On Executive Leadership For Builder Leaders & their Investors
    JANUARY 2016

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    BSG Team Ventures is dedicated to thought leadership on topics of interest and relevance to executives who are building their companies, and the investors who invest in them. We call these executives Builder Leaders - and this is the talent in which we specialize on behalf of our clients.

    There is a tremendous amount of research being published on leadership, and our goal is to curate that material and share it within our community. For ease of browsing, we have provided a list of sources, and we have categorized the articles.

    Feel free to forward this to other leadership peers, executives in portfolio companies, or investors who may have interest in staying current on the latest thinking in these areas.

    Curated Articles
    Syndicated Publications Business School Research Independent Publications
    • Business Insider
    • Entrepreneur
    • Forbes
    • Harvard Business Review
    • McKinsey Quarterly
    • talent management
    • US News
    • Harvard Business School
    • Stanford Graduate School of Business
    • Wharton School of Management at UPenn
    • BSG Team Ventures
    For CEOs For PE Investors For Entrepreneurs

    CEOs Can’t Give Feedback Only to Their Direct Reports

    Imagine trying to win the Iditarod with a dogsled team where 3 of the 8 dogs were slacking off. They wouldn't get very far, would they? Yet, that is the state of affairs at the Campbell Soup Company 15 years ago, where a survey by Gallup ranked level of employee engagement among the worst they'd ever seen in the Fortune 500. During one of the toughest moments in the company's history, their Global Leadership Team (350 people, worldwide) had an engagement ratio of 5:3. This Harvard Business Review article discusses a management change implemented by former CEO Douglas Conant called "One-Over-One" that both stimulated engagement and deepened the talent bench.

    Read more »

    Why one CEO schedules only 2 meetings a day for optimal productivity

    On average, 11 million meetings are held in US workplaces each day — and employees on average attend 62 meetings each month. The higher you are on the corporate ladder, the bigger that number gets. More importantly, the more meetings you're in, the more you're forced into what CEO Kris Duggan calls "checklist mode", where the default mental state becomes day-to-day survival instead of future planning. This Business Insider article highlights productivity hacks that are especially effective for small business owners and CEOs.

    Read more »

    Is Economic El Niño the Forecast for 2016? What to expect in running private equity-backed companies in the New Year

    As 2015 drew to a close with record temperatures in much of the U.S., private equity-backed CEOs and their investors stared into their crystal balls in an effort to build their business strategies for 2016. Over the last several years our firm has called upon noted macro-economist Dr. Allen Sinai of Decision Economics to weigh in with his forecast for the short and medium-term business climate. This article, written by our own Clark Waterfall, summarizes Dr. Sinai's prognostications for the new year.

    Read more »

    Changing the nature of board engagement

    “Ask me for anything,” Napoleon Bonaparte once remarked, “but time.” Board members today also don’t have that luxury. McKinsey research suggests that the most effective directors are meeting these challenges by spending twice as many days a year on board activities as other directors do -- but they're bumping into limits. This McKinsey Quarterly article details five modes of attack for boosting the effectiveness of boards by focusing on the nature of engagement.

    Read more »

    How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea

    Coming up with creative ideas is easy; selling them to strangers is hard. All too often, entrepreneurs, sales executives, and marketing managers go to great lengths to show how their new business plans or creative concepts are practical and high margin—only to be rejected by corporate decision makers who don’t seem to understand the real value of the ideas. Why does this happen? This Harvard Business Review article identifies three types of successful pitchmen -- the showrunner, the artist, and the neophyte -- as well as how to test the sustainability of pitches delivered by these pitchmen.

    Read more »

    12 Leadership Traits of the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

    Whenever individuals like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Richard Branson speak, we have a tendency to listen because we want to learn from how their achieved that level of success. This article from Entrepreneur elucidates the traits shared by successful entrepreneurs by pointing to specific stories from Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, and others.

    Read more »

    On Leadership BSG at a Glance
    We've Recruited... We're Recruiting...

    Preparing the Team Before the Project

    "Be proactive and forward thinking!" is common project management advice and, like much advice, that can be easier said than done. Through a story shared by Jay Trussell of Shell Energy, this article breaks down the ways one can manage for the inevitable hiccups, reverses, mistakes and unexpected opportunities and, better yet, engrain good habits for tackling initiatives.

    Read more »

    The Five Characteristics Of Fear-Based Leaders

    So many articles emphasize ways to grow positive aspects of leadership ... but it's just as important to learn what behaviors to curb or work on. This Forbes article specifically addresses common indicators for managers who operate out of a place of fear. Have a sit-down and mull over your own personal management style, and the style of those you answer to. It's never too late to make a change!

    Read more »

    • Scott August as CFO for Achieve3000, a SaaS leader in differentiated literacy instruction. More »


    • Tom Racca CFO for RAMP, a video solutions provider for Global 2000 companies. More »


    • Michael Smith as Senior VP of Global Operations for PRISYM ID, a market leader in worldclass label lifecycle management. More »


    • Greg Jackson as CEO for WIN-911, the most widely used alarm notification software for the automation industry. More »


    • Chief Marketing Officer for one of the top PE firms in the education sector, Quad Partners. More »


    • SVP Product Management for transformative CRM developer and provider. More »


    • Head of Sales & Business Development, Chief Commercial Officer for innovator in laser devices and sensor technology in the automotive industry, TriLumina. More »


    • VP, Learning Products for Human Capital Institute, the leading global source for cutting-edge insight on talent management. More »
    Executive Compensation On Talent Assessment & Acquisition For Candidates

    Executive compensation highlights--VP e-commerce, B2C e-tailer

    As executive recruiters, we are often asked about executive compensation.

    When we complete an assignment, we aggregate the compensation data we have collected across the search, and share it with the executive talent community from which it came. In this case, in Q1, 2015 we finished a President search for a ~$200M e-tailer client located in the South Central region of the US.

    Check out our blog article for a snapshot of compensation highlights from our search.

    Read more »

    CFOs are closing the wage gap with CEOs

    We'll cut straight to the chase. The BDO 600 CEO and CFO Pay Study analyzed companies with annual revenues ranging from $25 million to $1 billion in eight different industries to determine how CEO and CFO pay have changed year-over-year. From data extracted from proxy statements filed between May 2013 and May 2014, BDO drew trends bettween company size, compensation, equity, and more.

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    We Like Leaders Who Underrate Themselves

    Much of the research literature on emotional intelligence published in the last two decades reinforces the importance of self-awareness. For instance, academic researchers have found that people are happier and more well adjusted when their view of themselves accords with others’ views of them. But is self-awareness always a good thing? And how many managers really have it? Just as importantly, how does a manager's self-awareness correlate with how well they are ranked by others? This Harvard Business Review article summarizes findings derived from 360-degree surveys conducted at hundreds of companies

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    Here's what Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and 22 other successful people ask job candidates during interviews

    Exactly what it says on the tin: favorite go-to interview questions from 24 savvy execs, courtesy of Business Insider. Some of the questions are a little oddball -- (yes, there's one about zombies) -- but overall, there's a diverse mix of questions that query self-awareness, achievements, and goals.

    Read more »


    Rebuilding Your Career After a Move to Quit

    Can you quit and then decide to stay?
    Returning to work with bosses and colleagues you nearly abandoned can be a minefield -- especially when the things inducing you to stay don't materialize. This Wall Street Journal article explores the various types of career fallout after retracting a decision to resign, and what you should consider before deciding to quit.

    Read more »

    Why Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset

    It's not covered in any of the manuals, but knowing how to leave a company is just as critical as knowing how to join a company. In this Knowledge@Wharton article, seasoned executive Beth Kaplan (Rent the Runway, Bath & Body Works, Rite Aid) uses examples from personal experience to illustrate the importance of leaving gracefully and meeting potential "press-release problems" head-on.

    Read more »

    Books Et Alia Et Alia

    Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader

    Today’s breakneck pace of change has an immense impact on leaders – and as a result, on the organizations they run. All too often, people remain stuck in outdated mindsets and modes of operating, even after others recognize the need for change. High quality global journalism requires investment. Happily, INSEAD Professor Ibarra’s excellent, concise and practical guide offers many ways for leaders to climb out of “the competency trap” and devote more time to four important responsibilities: building bridges between their team and others outside it; crafting and explaining their vision of the future; engaging people in change; and “embodying the change”. Her pragmatic approach is sensitive to the reality of the daily existence of harassed leaders, many of whom she has studied and interviewed for her research. Definitely a 2015 must-read.

    Buy the book »

    Read the review »



    Robb Willer: The Powerlessness Paradox

    What differentiates people who stand up to The Man from similarly disadvantaged people who iinstead legitimize or justify the system? A recent paper by Stanford GSB professor Robb Willer and a team of other social scientists finds that the likelihood that people will oppose these forces depends on their feelings of personal empowerment. What does this mean for the business manager? Read more to find out!

    Read more »



    How to Handle Audience Skepticism

    People are inherently risk-averse. This evolutionary advantage means that people will go to great lengths to avoid potential negative outcomes -- much greater lengths than they will go to attain potential negative outcomes. So when you're pitching an idea, how do you go about fighting millions of years of instinct? This Stanford GSB article offers a few key tips for handling objections, challenging questions, and skepticism with aplomb.

    Read more »



    -by Megan Popkin on Feb 8, 2016 10:57:17 AM


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