Lessons from a CEO's Journal by Kim E. Ruyle

Lessons from a CEO's Journal

Leading Talent and Innovation
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Talented people are the engines that power companies forward, argues human resources consultant Ruyle (FYI for Insight, 2010, etc.).
While Ruyle’s ideas on talent management aren’t new, he conveys them in a novel way: The book takes the form of a fictionalized journal written by “Jack,” an engineer-turned-businessman who just reaped a $70 million windfall from selling his stake in a composite parts manufacturing firm. Jack finds himself a reluctant passenger on a Caribbean cruise, so he uses the time to reflect on lessons he’s learned during his career. With an irreverent wit and no-nonsense practicality, Jack outlines the approach his company used to get the most from his employees. The journal presents a complete, interconnected system of talent management, from recruiting new employees to strategically deploying deep experts. Much-debated subjects such as “onboarding” and “succession-planning” are broken down into easy-to-follow lists, offering managers a template that can be tailored to their organizations. Sprinkled throughout the text are insights into the psychology behind human performance. Here, the book shines because these factors are often overlooked. Jack contends that “learning agility”—the willingness and ability to apply what is learned in one situation to another—is the “single most powerful predictor of success” for aspiring managers. Jack is really a composite of several executives whom Ruyle has encountered, so he has an enviable—some might say impossible—amount of leadership acumen. More could have been included about the onerous side of management, such as motivating and disciplining underperforming employees. While it can be classified under the heading of “Human Resources,” the book also says much about the role of a leader. Jack argues it’s the job of the CEO to spur innovation by creating an environment where employees can thrive. Talent is a source of competitive advantage too important to ignore.

Best practices shared via a catchy narrative, making for an indispensable guide for leaders who want to play the game and win.
Pub Date: July 17th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0692223758
Page count: 206pp
Publisher: Inventive Talent Consulting
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2014


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