It's Not the How or the What but the Who

Book description

Succeed by mastering the art of the who

Why surround yourself with the best? Because it matters—in all aspects of life.

In fact, in professional environments, getting people right—what global leadership authority Claudio Fernández-Aráoz calls “the art of great ‘who’ decisions”—marks the difference between success and failure. To thrive, you need to identify those with the highest potential, get them in your corner and on your team, and help them grow. Yet surprisingly very few of us are able to meet that challenge.

This series of short and engaging essays outlines the obstacles to great “who” decisions and offers solutions to address them in a systematic way. Drawing from several decades of experience in global executive search and talent development, as well as the latest management and psychology research, Fernández-Aráoz offers wisdom and practical advice to improve the choices we make about employees and mentors, business partners and friends, top corporate leaders and even elected officials.

The personal stories and cutting-edge studies described in the book will help you understand both your own failings and the external forces commonly at play in staffing decisions. The author shares concrete recommendations on how to select the best people, bring out their strengths, foster collective greatness in the groups you’ve assembled, and create not only better organizations but also a better society.

Starting with the cases of Amazon pioneer Jeff Bezos and Brazilian tycoon Roger Agnelli and continuing with individual and corporate examples from around the world, Fernández-Aráoz paints a vivid picture of what great “who” decisions look like and presents a fresh and commanding argument about why they matter more than ever today.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Part One: The Enemy Within
    1. 1 Prehistoric Hardware; Victorian Software
    2. 2 So Sure, but So Wrong
    3. 3 Inertia
    4. 4 Known Devils
    5. 5 The Heat of the Moment
    6. 6 Decision Fatigue
  8. Part Two: Outside Obstacles and Opportunities
    1. 7 The Other GDP
    2. 8 The Best and the Rest
    3. 9 Blissfully Unaware
    4. 10 Bad Candidate, Great Reference
    5. 11 The Odds Are Against You
    6. 12 The Problem with Democracy
    7. 13 Hiring Batting Average
    8. 14 Perverse Incentives
  9. Part Three: The Right People
    1. 15 The Magic Number
    2. 16 The Checklist Manifesto, Revisited
    3. 17 Nature versus Nurture
    4. 18 From Survivor to CEO
    5. 19 Marshmallow Kids
    6. 20 Fat Calves and Falling Stars
    7. 21 Why I Like People with Unconventional Résumés
    8. 22 Lightbulbs and CEOs
    9. 23 Reading People around the World
  10. Part Four: The Bright Future
    1. 24 Accelerated Integration
    2. 25 Sophie’s Choice
    3. 26 Teaching a Turkey to Climb a Tree
    4. 27 Growth from Complexity
    5. 28 Finding Alignment
    6. 29 Capuchin Monkeys and Equal Pay
    7. 30 Second Chances
  11. Part Five: Teams That Thrive
    1. 31 Bringing Stars Together
    2. 32 Fit for a Purpose
    3. 33 From Counting People to Making People Count
    4. 34 The Female Opportunity
    5. 35 A Culture of Unconditional Love
    6. 36 Lone Wolves Starving
    7. 37 It’s All in the Family
  12. Part Six: A Better Society
    1. 38 Russian Roulette at the Top
    2. 39 True Leading Boards
    3. 40 Thriving on Crises
    4. 41 Sustainability—the Virtuous Circle
    5. 42 Electing Country Presidents
    6. 43 Singapore and Jamaica
    7. 44 The Pope
  13. Conclusion
  14. Notes
  15. Acknowledgments
  16. About the Author

Product information

  • Title: It's Not the How or the What but the Who
  • Author(s): Claudio Fernández-Aráoz
  • Release date: May 2014
  • Publisher(s): Harvard Business Review Press
  • ISBN: 9781625271532