Guest Post: “Talent Due Diligence” with Dr. Stacy Feiner

promo_03A real treat today … here’s an excerpt from Talent Mindset:  The Business Owner’s Guide to Building Bench Strength by Dr. Stacy Feiner, which launches this week.  Dr. Feiner aims at those who own, manage, and work in organizations below the “Mega” level, an underserved market in my opinion

But don’t just take my word for it:

“If your organization lacks a viable talent pipeline, it’s simply not equipped to compete in today’s economy. Feiner gives you an entire platform that will change the way you assess your talent inventory, determine what’s missing, and fill those spaces with top performers.”

~ Marshall Goldsmith, Bestselling author of “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”

Now, here’s a few choice thoughts from Stacy::

Talent Due Diligence
You know that talent acquisition is critical to your company’s success and sustainability. Business growth is dependent on positioning people into roles where they will succeed. Right talent, Right role. Going beyond that, you want the people you hire to exceed the expectations you set for them.

For example, talent you hire to fulfill a vice president of operations position should seek to surpass the job description required of that role. This should show up in the Performance Management phase, so he or she can be mobilized for succession planning, with the intention of building your organization’s bench strength.

Ultimately, talent acquisition is three-pronged (Recruiting, Selection, Onboarding), beginning with Recruiting, which is to fill a pool of qualified candidates and screen them with unexpected and authentic exercises or surveys. In the Talent Mindset chapter on Recruiting, I illustrate how a fresh approach to recruiting will attract a stronger, more qualified pool of talent.

But once you have that pool, then what? How do you dig deeper and unearth authentic responses of an engaged set of individuals who could be your next high performer? How do you make an informed hiring decision?

The Selection process is your due diligence. Selection involves all of the touch points:

• Initial screening and in-depth, structured interviews to gain insight into a person’s business acumen

• Deep-dive interviews, during which conversations focus on leadership, problem solving, self-confidence and emotional intelligence

• Selection tools that assess a candidate’s personality and preferences, while gauging aptitude and potential

The Selection phase is a series of touch points that progress from Preliminary to Scripted to Interactive. Each one of these touch points helps you to know and understand the candidate, and helps the candidate to know and understand you, the position and the company.

Selection is critical to a company’s ability to grow and prosper. It’s an intense, important process of gathering intelligence before you make the serious investment in a person. Selection is tied to the financial success of a company because we need people who elevate our organization, who help grow it. People power your businesses, from both a financial and organizational perspective.

This is an excerpt from Talent Mindset (available on Amazon), and what you just read is merely the tip of the iceberg. I would love for you to visit me at or connect on Twitter @stacyfeiner so that we can continue this conversation.

John again: Here’s a link to my own review of Stacy’s new book:  “Three Troubles With Talent Mindset ...”


promo_01Dr. Stacy Feiner is an executive coach for the middle market. Stacy brings psychological strategies to business owners helping them improve their performance, advance their organizations, and achieve the success they want and deserve.

Stacy addresses complex dynamics within owner-operated companies, family businesses, management teams and boards. Her methodology solves people problems, clearing the way for driving strategy, growing profitability, and eventually transitioning to the next generation.

Dr. Feiner earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Illinois School for Professional Psychology, MS from Northeastern University, and BA from Hobart & William Smith Colleges. Stacy is a licensed psychologist, executive coach, author and national speaker.


A Few More Words About “Leaders Open Doors” by Bill Treasurer

Leaders Open Doors_MECH.indd

Additional comments about a book I really like, if you missed all the hoopla last week:

“Leaders are most effective when they elevate people to a higher standard of performance by opening many doors of opportunity.

Adopting an opportunity focus means viewing challenges as things to be expected, valued, and embraced.

Moving others toward opportunity, however, also mean purposefully nudging them out of comfort zones.

Opportunities are uncomfortable things, and open-door leaders help people and organizations grow to the extent that they inspire them to do the uncomfortable.” 

The above quote is just one of many that I have pulled out of Leaders Open Doors by Bill Treasurer, since it first appeared on my radar just about a year ago. He writes clearly and effectively about leadership from a distinctly open, human, and ultimately very collaborative viewpoint, which jives nicely with my thinking.

The updated version now available includes a new foreword and some stories at the end from people who have found value in this book. The stories are real and they illustrate the power of this little volume.

Two things really stand out and make me happy to suggest this book to anyone who wants to improve their ability to lead others through serving them.

First Bill really gets leadership on a very personal level.

His examples come from real life and he includes both some triumphs and some “fall on your face” failures from his own leadership journey. Read this book and you will learn some things about how to be a leader who is there for others.

No lofty discussions of strategy or corporate structure here, just a simple formula that involves being aware of the needs of those with whom you work and creating a culture where you fill those needs. Everyone wins.

… and he does all this in a highly positive manner … the guy emanates energy.

Second, Bill is one of the “Good Guys”.

The proceeds from his book sale go to help children with special needs. This is a cause near and dear to his heart and to mine. A group of us have adopted a BHAG (that’s “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” for those of you who are not fluent in bizspeak): $50, 000 raised through sales of this book in the next year. 

This is a very good thing to do and I like to support doing good things, but we need your help to make this a reality.

Frankly, I cannot think of a better combination:

Become a more effective servant leader and help children with special needs at the same time.

Buy and read this book, use this book to improve your leadership abilities, and share this book with those in your circle of influence – you will be a better person for doing so.

Continuing to enjoy the value in Leaders Open Doors in the Heartland ….



Leaders Open DoorsBill Treasurer is chief encouragement officer (CEO) of Giant Leap Consulting and the author of Courage Goes to Work, an international best-seller that introduced the new management practice of courage-building.

For over two decades Treasurer has designed leadership and succession programs for clients such as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, UBS Bank, CNN, Hugo Boss, the CDC, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the U.S. Veterans Administration. Prior to Giant Leap, Treasurer was an executive Accenture, a $29 billion management consulting firm. He became Accenture’s first full-time executive coach.

Treasurer is a former captain of the US High Diving Team, a cancer survivor, and the father of three children. He is a champion for the rights of people with disabilities, which includes his daughter.



Updated Disclaimer: Yes, I received a copy of this book for review.  As always, my comments represent my honest and unbiased assessment of the book’s value for others.   I continue to recommend and gift this book to those interested in becoming better leaders.

Guest Post: “Contented Workers” by Chris Edmonds

Today’s guest post is by S. Chris Edmonds, whose new book The Culture Engine:  A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace is available beginning this week.  Originally published on April 7, 2014 at

Contented Workers

How happy are your company’s employees?   The Gallup organization recently revealed the results of their research on the US communities with the most contented workers.

The Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index measures respondents’ perceptions in six areas:


· Life Evaluation: Present life situation and anticipated life situation

· Emotional Health: Daily feelings and mental state

· Work Environment: Job satisfaction and workplace interactions

· Physical Health: Physical ability to live a full life

· Healthy Behavior: Engaging in behaviors that affect physical health

· Basic Access: Feeling safe, satisfied, and optimistic within a community


Gallup and Healthways survey 500 Americans each day. They’ve conducted the Well Being Index since January 2008. The Well-Being Index is being updated in 2014 to assess respondents’ perceptions in five areas that analysis showed would be better measures of well-being. We’ll see these new focus areas in results issued next year.

The community with the most contented workers was Provo-Orem, Utah, with an overall well-being score of 71.4 on a 100-point scale. Rounding out the top three communities are Boulder, CO (with a score of 71.3) and Ft. Collins-Loveland, CO (71.1).

The three communities with the least contented workers are Huntington-Ashland, KY/WV/OH (this metropolitan area spans portions of three states) with a score of 59.5, Charleston, WV (60.0), and Redding, CA (62.0).

Numerous studies of well being and employee engagement prove that employees with high engagement and well being produce more, innovate more, and serve customers better.

What can leaders do to boost employee well being in these six areas?

Company leaders can influence communities to enact policies that inspire residents to engage in healthy activities. Getting communities to enact policies might take awhile.

Company and team leaders can certainly work to ensure job satisfaction and healthy workplace interactions. Check out my free Change This manifesto to learn how.

Team leaders don’t need a formal mandate. They can enact informal approaches that inspire team members to embrace healthy activities. Arranging lunchtime or mid-afternoon walks with interested team members can inspire physical activity. Enrolling a team in a charity walk can inspire bonding, service, and physical health.

Bringing in a yoga teacher and providing space for interested team members to do a class before or after work is increasing in popularity.

Learning new and interesting things can be as simple as bringing in outside experts for lunchtime presentations. A nutrition expert can demonstrate simple, healthy meal preparation or inform about the season’s freshest produce.

Team leaders are only limited by their own assumed constraints. If they think healthy living is something team members must do on their own, they won’t try some of these approaches. If they believe that everyone (including themselves) can benefit from exposure to healthier practices, they’ll be creative with some of these approaches.

You want to create a variety of healthy approaches for team members. Don’t mandate these activities – simply make them available, easy, and interesting.

By arranging participation in these and similar activities, your own well being – and that of team members – will grow, right before your eyes.

What do you think? How contented are you? How contented are your work peers, today? How can leaders inspire healthier opportunities daily to boost well being and engagement?




clip_image002Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies.

Chris has delivered over 100 keynote speeches to audiences as large as 5,000, and guided his clients to consistently boost customer satisfaction and employee engagement by 40+% and profits by 30+%.

He is the author or co-author of six books, including “Leading At A Higher Level” with Ken Blanchard.

His next book, “The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace” will be published by John Wiley & Sons in September 2014.


The Job Skills Gap You Haven’t Considered | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

MorgueFile tabletThis morning’s inbox includes a well-written article via Fast Company, which reinforces something I have noted before about the difference between being familiar with an environment and understanding the strategic realities of that environment.

Digital natives may know how to do something easily and quickly online, but that does not mean they are doing the right thing.  

For some painfully instructive examples, just watch the flow of Facebook posts or Twitter streams from young professionals who ought to know better how to add value. 

Leaders who do not understand this will continue to wonder why they are not getting full value from the social media arena.

This all speaks to two things near and dear to my heart:

1)  The growing awareness in business that older professionals may have much to offer in a strategic sense in our current business environment.  

For example, we may not know how to create and publish a six-second Vine, but we may just understand how to influence customers positively through online interactions.

The tools and environments may change, but the ability to think strategically and create workable actions to execute that strategy tends to stay a constant.

2)  Social media is not just a toy or a way to kill time, and not work or study.  Rather, social media is becoming HOW we work and study.  

Whether you enjoy spending time in social online environments is simply not the point anymore and those who insist on treating social media like hula hoops or other short-lived fads may be very sad going into the future.

Yes, I am talking to my peers who continue to perpetuate the myths around the inability to use of social media and other technology by anyone older than a certain age.  If you look around, you will see people of all ages accomplishing impressive things, while living and working fully in today’s environments.

Read more about all this here:  The Job Skills Gap You Haven’t Considered | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

I will continue to sip my coffee and enjoy the shrinking awareness gap in the Heartland ….



The most impressive students I had over my 30 years of teaching were…

The most impressive students I had over my 30 years of teaching were….

via David Kanigan. who consistently shares interesting and thought-provoking observations by himself and others, as well as a nifty collection of Caleb the Camel pics:)

I will have more to say on this in a bit …