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10 Oct. 2012 | Comments (0)
In this INSEAD blog post, professor Gianpiero Petriglieri reveals that employees who are tapped by their bosses to be “future leaders” often feel as if they’re wearing “a diamond-studded leash.” They feel conflicted. Should they devote their time learning and conforming to the corporate ethos? Or should they spend it developing their own passion, their own plan of attack? But Petriglieri says it’s really not a choice: great leadership mixes both conformity and individuality.
Too many organizations, he says, pick one philosophy and stick to it. They either help their high-potential employees align their values to the company’s or they help them pursue their own path. But if an organization really wants to support its future leaders, it must help them do both. It “must help them uncover and navigate the psychological and social forces that make (or break) leaders. It must help people grasp how their personal histories and aspirations, and the dynamics of groups and social systems, will affect how they are embraced or resisted as leaders.”
Prudential has implemented a new recruiting program that takes some of the risk out of the hiring process. For candidates looking for jobs as financial advisers or insurance reps — both high-turnover positions — the company allows them to stay at their current jobs with other employers while paying for their training and certification to become Prudential employees. The process has slashed turnover by about 40%. Why? “As candidates go through the training," says Prudential’s Caroline Feeney, “you can see very clearly who's committed and motivated... It tells you volumes more than any job interview can."
Cicero and his cohort knew how to win over a crowd with the art of rhetoric, says Sam Leith. Indeed the tactics of the great Roman orator should inspire any of us looking to enhance our powers of persuasion. The most interesting nugget of wisdom, at least for this writer, is that it takes more than an idea to win over an audience. You need to pull two other levers as well. You must sway the emotions of the audience and you must sell yourself. Keep this in mind when preparing your next presentation or proposal: “Any sentence you write should be pulling one or more of those levers; the best will do all three.”
This blog first appeared on Harvard Business Review on 09/14/2012.
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