While the Covid-19 pandemic hits and reshapes companies, industries, national economies, and our society in previously unthinkable ways, business leaders need to think beyond survival to the opportunities this crisis might create, not only for their own organizations but the greater good.
As the country’s unemployment rate approaches record lows at about 3.8% and Americans place an ever greater value on their job security, corporations are finding it more challenging to fill their executive vacancies with a qualified, diverse set of individuals willing to switch jobs. And yet the difficulties associated with matching competent candidates with high-level corporate positions are a chronic test spanning decades.
Economist, politician and corporate lawyer Christine Lagarde’s extensive resume indicates a fitting suit in the role of running the European Central Bank— regardless of critics who note her lack of experience in academic training and monetary policy.
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.
Most CEOs are grappling with one particular challenge, irrespective of industry or geography: getting the right leadership talent. Governments face this challenge too. The Indian government has responded to this challenge by taking the initiative to invite executives from beyond the ranks of the civil service to apply for certain Joint Secretary posts.
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