Bob Swan is the former CEO of Intel, and he calls Talent: The Market Cap Multiplier a book that should be the cornerstone of every organization’s growth strategy. Ram Charan is the co-author of this book which is essentially General Atlantic’s private equity playbook for finding, obtaining, and facilitating senior leadership talent. In this conversation, Ram discusses talent banks, leadership scorecards, and the initial one-to-one meetings with CEOs and their teams.
I initially wanted to interview Ram on his best-selling books Execution and What the CEO Wants You to Know, titles that have combined sales of more than five million copies worldwide. I quickly changed my mind after reading his new book, it was that good.
The book culls key concepts from the private equity playbook of the firm, General Atlantic (GA) which was started in 1980. It’s a series of both positive and negative case studies of how GA finds, obtains, and develops its leadership talent.
Anish Batlaw, the other co-author is a managing director at GA, and he gives us a front-row seat into how his firm determines if it has the right talent to grow its investments. The book is anything but an academic, ivory-tower tome on what could otherwise be a dull topic to study. I was engaged from the first chapter until the end.
Think Getting Talent Right at the Outset Isn’t Critical?
GA’s success with its portfolio companies is getting the right talent securely in place quickly. Their rationale is based on the following evidence the authors cite in the book:
- The average IRR drops about 82 percent compared to when they got the CEO change right the first time.
- When a CEO change was made in the first year of an investment, the IRR was 6x greater than if the change was made after the first year.
- The importance of the talent bank and its applicability with smaller businesses
- The requisite organization and visionary leadership
- ghSmart and leadership scorecards – build your own
- Cutting bait vs waiting at Hemnet
- A shoutout to all CHROs and the chapter about Argus Media
- The big idea in What the CEO Wants You to Know
- Return = Margin * Velocity
- Ram’s two favorite books
The Producer’s Picks
Looking for another episode about leadership and talent? Here are our picks:
- Alan Mulally is an American Icon with Bryce Harper
- The Tools and Frameworks Behind a Massive Cultural Turnaround with Judy Johnson
- LIz Wiseman on Rookie Smarts