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It's Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

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Teaching a Turkey to Climb a Tree

My friend Lyle Spencer, a world authority on talent selection and development, has a favorite saying: “You can train a turkey to climb a tree. But I’d rather hire a squirrel.” Generally, I agree with him. After all, I’ve made my living helping companies find their squirrels—that is, executives whose experience, knowledge, and skills make them perfectly suited to our clients’ needs. But I never discount the turkeys that show potential. With the right support, some can indeed learn to climb as far and as fast.

For a full decade, in parallel with my executive search activity, I led the internal professional development efforts at Egon Zehnder, creating and implementing all sorts of leadership training, education, ...

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