Author Archives: Dr. Leo Flanagan

Your Expertise Can Be Your Enemy

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman has spent a life time understanding the biases that lead to bad decisions. These biases are especially powerful when we are in a chaotic, fast-paced environment. For example, when we are under pressure our mind works to create coherent stories from mere scraps of data. Once such a story is created it drives decisions. This has tremendous and far ranging implications. CEOs and members of the C-suite may not consider all the available facts and trends that signal a need for more »

Your Best And Brightest May Be Burned Out

30% of your employees are burned out according to the latest research from the Mayo Clinic. Unless you are in a high stress field where it can sky rocket to 63%. What does that mean? That up to two-thirds of your people are emotionally exhausted, treat clients and colleagues with cynicism and feel like their work is meaningless. The good news is that if you focus on hiring for and developing people’s resilience you reverse the growing epidemic of burn out and build a workforce more »

What Do Senior Leaders And Santa Have In Common?

The holidays are the most exhausting time of the year for both. With end of year bonuses to be set, performance appraisals to be completed, the final revenue dollars for the year to be chased, and the new fiscal year looming many leaders find scant time to enjoy – much less find time for rejuvenation – during the holidays. While the rest of the world seems filled with joy, Santa can’t wait to get home to take his boots off and leaders often arrive at more »

The Strategy Of Selecting Leaders For Resilience

In today’s world the relentlessly increasing pace of change and the “digital deluge” of 24/7 connectivity often make strategies and plans obsolete before we can begin to execute them. At the same time, you have to give your strategy adequate time to see if it is working. You have to “let the cake bake”. Some large financial institutions have gotten in the trap of abandoning strategies prematurely, seemingly changing strategies every six months. The trick is to find the right balance. Our leaders must keep more »

Hiring Resilient Leaders Drives Success: The New Data

Here are some recent results confirming the value of assessing the resilience of candidates for senior roles: A company was experiencing 30% turnover in the senior manager to C-suite ranks After assessing candidates for resilience – and hiring only the resilient – turnover/derailments dropped to less than 5% 54% of the candidates rated as non-resilient would have been hired using other assessments Each time a “miss hire” was avoided the company saved $800k [conservatively] The company calculated that assessing candidate resilience for senior roles has more »

Promote Growth by Rewiring Commercial Risk-Taking

Recently UBS Group’s AG Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti told 300 of the Bank’s leaders that they should foster a degree of tolerance for honest mistakes so that fear doesn’t paralyze business. His concern is that employees may be avoiding commercial opportunities due to “a culture of caution that has spread through banking since the financial crisis”. Mr. Ermotti’s concerns are consistent with what we observe working with both large and modest institutions across the industry. In fact, our experiences point to most financial professionals more »

You Are An Infectious Leader: Do You Drive Success Or Failure?

Infectious: likely to spread or influence others in a rapid manner. Every leader, like it or not is infectious in spreading their perspectives and values to their employees. Do you seek challenge with confidence? So will your people. Do you try to avoid situations that expose you to risk – even at the loss of opportunities for greatness? So will your people. This is no longer just common sense or folk wisdom. It is proven science. A team of scientists led by Harvard researcher and more »

Talent Management: Driving The Intersection Of Risk And Commercial Performance

In a recent article, Henry Engler, Thomson Reuters’ regulatory intelligence editor for North America reported that regulators want more from banks than just additional compliance programs. They want banks to look at individuals and how their behaviors predict risk taking. They want Talent Management to create a risk mindset and a better culture. Specifically, they want leaders and material risk takers to be assessed, developed and rewarded to have a risk-mindset even when faced with a perfect storm. Leveraging Talent Management to respond to the more »

Robert Benmosche – Embodiment Of A Resilient Leader

This past Friday saw the passing of Robert [Bob] Benmosche the leader who saw AIG from near ruin to a return to its role as an integral part of the global financial system. Under his leadership AIG not only paid back the $182 billion government bailout– it provided the federal government with a $20 billion profit. That may be his most – among many – notable career accomplishment. What gets this writer’s attention is not what he accomplished as a business leader. What gets my more »

What Is A “Risk Mindset”?

Financial professionals and firms report, with frustration, that regulators are demanding they develop a “risk mindset”. The frustration stems from lack of an operational definition of “risk mindset” as well as a road map to create one. In our view a “risk mindset” goes beyond compliance with the myriad laws and regulations that govern the behavior of financial professionals and institutions. With a risk mindset, financial professionals should seamlessly integrate ethical principles with sound commercial decision-making. A major point of integration — giving the best more »