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Claudio Fernández-Aráoz is a senior advisor at Egon Zehnder and was a member of the firm’s global executive committee for more than 10 years. He founded the Executive Assessment & Development Practice and served as global leader of its professional development, people processes, and intellectual capital development.

I love meeting extraordinary people, learning from them, and touching leaders’ lives in a meaningful way. If top leaders in large organizations were to master the discipline of making great people decisions, our world would be a much better place.

Claudio is also an Executive Fellow for Executive Education at Harvard Business School, where he frequently lectures on leadership. Bloomberg has called him one of the most influential executive-search consultants in the world and Thinkers50 dubbed him a leading thinker on talent. He frequently gives keynote addresses at business gatherings in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and many progressive governments and CEOs of major global companies have sought Claudio’s personal advice. His latest book, It’s Not the How or the What but the Who, won the Axiom Gold Award for best HR book in English.

He is also the author of Great People Decisions and has published several widely cited articles on leadership and talent for the Harvard Business Review, including, “Hiring Without Firing,” “The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad,” “How to Hang on to Your High Potentials,” “Leadership Lessons From Great Family Businesses,” the June 2014 cover story, “21st Century Talent Spotting,” and the November/December 2017 cover story, “From Potential to Success: The Missing Link in Leadership Development.” Before joining Egon Zehnder, Claudio worked at McKinsey & Company in Europe.

Claudio earned a Master of Science in industrial engineering from the Argentine Catholic University with the highest GPA in the school’s history and an MBA from Stanford University, where he also graduated with honors as an Arjay Miller Scholar. Claudio is passionate about teaching, writing, reading, and learning. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, swimming, and spending time with his wife and three children.

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Content by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz

Harvard Business Review — From Curious to Competent

Harvard Business Review — From Curious to Competent

For 30 years, Egon Zehnder has been in the business of assessing leaders along two broad dimensions: potential and competence. One key conclusion? You can’t have either without curiosity. Although we have found that high potentials also need insight, engagement, and determination, curiosity—defined as a penchant for seeking new experiences, knowledge, and feedback and an openness to change—is perhaps most important.

Harvard Business Review – How to Apply for a New Job After You’ve Been Fired

Harvard Business Review – How to Apply for a New Job After You’ve Been Fired

After you’ve been fired, getting back into the job market can be difficult. Egon Zehnder Senior Advisor Claudio Fernández-Aráoz offered his expertise on how best to approach this situation in Harvard Business Review.

Harvard Business Review IdeaCast – Why More CEOs Should Be Hired from Within

Harvard Business Review IdeaCast – Why More CEOs Should Be Hired from Within

For the Harvard Business Review IdeaCast, Egon Zehnder Senior Advisor Claudio Fernández-Aráoz sat down with Senior Editor Sarah Green Carmichael to discuss how more companies can make good decisions by developing and hiring insiders. According to Fernández-Aráoz, there is emerging research that shows that organizations, particularly at the very high levels, are hiring from the outside excessively, perhaps five times two often.

Harvard Business Review – How to Apply for a Job You're Overqualified For

Harvard Business Review – How to Apply for a Job You're Overqualified For

There are many reasons why candidates apply for jobs that don’t match their level of experience. These include switching industries, trying to get into a particular company, relocating to a new city, or looking to maximize personal flexibility. But even an impressive résumé doesn’t guarantee an offer.

Turning Potential into Success – The Missing Link in Leadership Development

Turning Potential into Success – The Missing Link in Leadership Development

Corporate leadership development programs aren’t working. Less than a quarter of executives at the organizations that have them think they’re effective. Evaluations of managers at thousands of corporations suggest that 72% have what it takes to grow into C-suite roles. How can we bridge the gap between this raw talent and executive success?

Money talks, passion sings

Money talks, passion sings

Designing fair management reward systems — by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz and Michael Rosmarin, Egon Zehnder International.

Continental drift

Continental drift

New paradigms in the global competition for talent.

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

In a recent study, Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International interviewed executives at 50 of the world’s top family firms - mostly in the third or fourth generation - to discover how they unlock great leadership.

Lasting Greatness

Lasting Greatness

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz discovers astonishingly modern views on developing leadership potential in the works of Ignatius of Loyola.

A Team of 4,000: The Keys to Effective Presidential Appointments

A Team of 4,000: The Keys to Effective Presidential Appointments

A Team of 4,000: The Keys to Effective Presidential Appointments. Exceptional times require exceptional leadership teams. Now that the presidential election is over, the key to making America greater is a strategic series of presidential appointments.

Harvard Business Review – Keep Employees from Leaving by Emphasizing Teamwork

Harvard Business Review – Keep Employees from Leaving by Emphasizing Teamwork

An entrepreneurial society is one in which innovation and new business creation are, as Peter Drucker put it, “an integral, life-sustaining activity” across organizations and the economy.

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz – Harvard Business Review – Confront Leaders with Complexity

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz – Harvard Business Review – Confront Leaders with Complexity

Top leaders realise their potential by learning, growing and challenging themselves over the course of their entire career, writes Egon Zehnder’s Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in the Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review – Top Family Businesses Focus on Value-Based Succession

Harvard Business Review – Top Family Businesses Focus on Value-Based Succession

Family-run businesses are often highly successful initially, but flounder after two or three generations. How can they improve their sustainability? In a video interview with the Harvard Business Review, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz senior adviser to Egon Zehnder, reports on the key findings of the firm’s recent survey of leading, longstanding family firms. The

Harvard Business Review – Purpose-Driven Travel and the Power of Personal Experience

Harvard Business Review – Purpose-Driven Travel and the Power of Personal Experience

Why do we travel? In the age of teleconferences, Facebook, and Skype, can’t executives cut out travel altogether, asks Egon Zehnder senior adviser Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in a blog for the Harvard Business Review? His answer is a clear “No”.

Maeil News – How To Fine-Tune People Decisions

Maeil News – How To Fine-Tune People Decisions

Recruiting top talent may give companies a competitive edge, but how can firms fine-tune their people decisions? In an interview with the South Korean business daily Maeil News, Egon Zehnder senior adviser Claudio Fernández-Aráoz identifies common recruitment pitfalls and key trends in talent management today.

Harvard Business Review – How to Hang onto Top Talent

Harvard Business Review – How to Hang onto Top Talent

With the war for talent intensifying, how can firms hang onto their top guns, asks Harvard Business Review blogger Rebecca Knight?

South China Morning Post – Putting Leadership First

South China Morning Post – Putting Leadership First

Seeking, promoting and writing about great leaders have been the focus of Claudio Fernández-Aráoz’s career for almost 30 years. The senior adviser to Egon Zehnder International Egon Zehnder and bestselling author has devoted his professional life to helping organisations choose senior executives who inspire others.

Harvard Business Review – Leadership Excellence: Building a Bridge to Job Growth

Harvard Business Review – Leadership Excellence: Building a Bridge to Job Growth

With technological advances increasingly making human labor redundant, how can today’s leaders drive job growth? One highly effective strategy is to invest in leadership excellence, writes Egon Zehnder Senior Adviser Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in the Harvard Business Review.

Harvard Business Review – Getting the A-Team to Succeed Together

Harvard Business Review – Getting the A-Team to Succeed Together

How can companies help their A-team shine together instead of as individuals? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, senior adviser to Egon Zehnder, writes that a Team Effectiveness Review or TER is key.

US Voters Should Look for Future Presidents with Potential

US Voters Should Look for Future Presidents with Potential

As candidates start to emerge for the 2016 US presidential election, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a Senior Adviser to Egon Zehnder is worried. How will voters value certain leadership qualities – like experience – over traits like motivation, competence, and potential when they go to the voting booth, he asks in Harvard Business Review blog entry?

Boards Need To Brush Up Their Talent Hiring Skills

Boards Need To Brush Up Their Talent Hiring Skills

The economic costs of getting C-suite decisions wrong can be huge, writes Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, senior adviser to Egon Zehnder International, in the Harvard Business Review. A recent PwC study pegs the costs for companies at well over 100 billion US dollars.

How to Gauge Emotional Intelligence

How to Gauge Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EI), a concept first outlined by Daniel Goleman, is now widely acknowledged as the key differentiator between outstanding leaders and average ones. But how do companies measure EI in their executive talent pool, asks Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder, in an article for the Harvard Business Review?

Article by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz a Runner-Up for Warren Bennis Prize

Article by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz a Runner-Up for Warren Bennis Prize

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz was among the authors honored in the inaugural Warren Bennis Prize, awarded by Harvard Business Review and the USC Marshall School of Business to recognize the best articles on leadership each year in HBR.

Asian Family Businesses: Time to Face Up to Succession

Asian Family Businesses: Time to Face Up to Succession

Family businesses account for over 50 percent of large corporations in the Asia-Pacific region and many will soon be facing leadership successions for the first time. Managing these transitions effectively constitutes a major challenge, write Sonny Iqbal and Jörg Ritter, co-leaders of Egon Zehnder’s global family-business advisory, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder, in a blog entry for the Harvard Business Review.

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

"Family gravity" and structured CEO succession are crucial to the long-term success of top family firms, write Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Joerg Ritter and Sonny Iqbal in an article for the April 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review. The article entitled “Leadership Lessons From Great Family Businesses”, spotlights global research based on interviews with 50 family-owned firms conducted by Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International that reveals how family firms unlock value over the long term.

BNN – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz on hiring the best of the best

BNN – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz on hiring the best of the best

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, senior advisor at Egon Zehnder, joins BNN's "The Business News" (02/25/2015) in Toronto for a live interview to discuss Egon Zehnder's potential model for evaluating executive leadership and his book "It's Not the How or the What but the Who — Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best."

Leadership: Emotional Intelligence Is Essential

Leadership: Emotional Intelligence Is Essential

In his contribution to the recent debate between academic heavyweights Wharton Professor Adam Grant and bestelling author Daniel Goleman, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz stresses the importance of EI-based competencies for success in leadership roles.

Egon Zehnder Sets Goal of 25 Female CEOs in UK FTSE100 by 2025

Egon Zehnder Sets Goal of 25 Female CEOs in UK FTSE100 by 2025

Egon Zehnder, the leading privately-owned global executive search and advisory firm ranked top for board and leadership work in the UK*, is committing to a target of 25 female chief executives of FTSE 100 companies by 2025 – a five-fold increase on the number today.

Give leaders complex jobs, not big ones

Give leaders complex jobs, not big ones

Why do leaders typically pursue silo-based career paths, asks Cynthia D. McCauley in her review of Claudio Fernández-Aráoz's latest book It’s Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best?

MSNBC Morning Joe – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz on how to surround yourself with the best

MSNBC Morning Joe – Claudio Fernández-Aráoz on how to surround yourself with the best

Introducing his new book “It’s Not the How or the What but the Who – Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best” at MSNBC Morning Joe (07/01/2014), Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, senior advisor at Egon Zehnder, explains the importance of focusing on potential rather than just competencies when making hiring or promotion decisions.

The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting

The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting

In the cover article of the June 2014 Harvard Business Review, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz argues that potential—even more than skill and experience—must be the deciding factor as companies recruit and promote executives in a fast-changing, talent-scarce world.

Fernández-Aráoz in HBR: for 21st century leaders, potential trumps experience

Fernández-Aráoz in HBR: for 21st century leaders, potential trumps experience

As companies recruit and promote executives in a fast-changing, talent-scarce world, the deciding factor should be potential—even more than skill and experience. This is the radical proposition at the heart of an article in the latest Harvard Business Review by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Senior Adviser at Egon Zehnder.

Troubled companies need top exec team, not just new CEO

Troubled companies need top exec team, not just new CEO

What kind of CEO does a company in trouble need, asks Dan Goleman in a blog for The Huffington Post?

Talent retention: help high potentials to excel

Talent retention: help high potentials to excel

How can you keep people motivated without resorting purely to money, asks the "Dubai Eye" in a podcast interview with author and Egon Zehnder Senior Advisor Claudio Fernández-Aráoz?

Picking a New Pope (HBR Blog Network)

Picking a New Pope (HBR Blog Network)

When electing the next pope, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a Senior Adviser at Egon Zehnder, advises the Catholic Church’s cardinals to look for four key leadership assets: curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination.

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz gives WOBI Talk on young tigers

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz gives WOBI Talk on young tigers

Two unprecedented phenomena are currently impacting the global talent picture: demographics and globalization, notes Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a Senior Adviser at Egon Zehnder International, in a podcast for World of Business Ideas.

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz addresses World Business Forum

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz addresses World Business Forum

In a recent keynote speech at the World Business Forum in New York, Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Senior Consultant at Egon Zehnder International, demonstrated the importance of emotional intelligence in Executive Search.

Egon Zehnder International hosts discussion for Italy’s top female leaders

Egon Zehnder International hosts discussion for Italy’s top female leaders

Tapping top female talent was the focus of a special event recently held by Egon Zehnder International in its Milan office, Italy.

Great People Decisions in the Public Sector

Great People Decisions in the Public Sector

In most developed economies around the world, public sector intervention is becoming more widespread. This not only includes new and stricter regulations, but even the state actively going back into business, as illustrated on the cover of an issue of The Economist, “Leviathan Inc.” The big problem is that unless people decisions in the public sector are drastically reviewed, economic and social progress will be seriously at risk.

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