Things I Learned this Year

By Julie A. Choi
CEO of Choi & Burns
Chair of US, Nurole

The foundation of my role as an advisor is to listen. To clients, to industry leaders and experts, to top talent in every generation. I learn something new in every call, meeting, and exchange.

I have met with business leaders from all industries to discuss leadership and nominations and had the privilege to meet industry leading talent to discuss their motivations, their frustrations, their successes and their insights. Looking back over the past year, a few key takeaways stayed with me… some have crystallized over time and some came as a total surprise. All are true and important enough that I think they are worth sharing, whether you are in the talent business or not.

These are the topics that are challenging companies and talent, this year and into the future:

  • The war for talent is fiercer than ever. Companies have to earn mindshare with talent.
  • Engage with talent before you need it. It’s too late by the time you are hunting.
  • Lead with relationship-building, not recruiting: taking the long view always pays off in relationships.
  • Business leaders will fail to make good hires if they aren’t willing to challenge the status quo of their current teams and culture.
  • Culture drives talent; talent drives the bottom line.
  • Every team has its own culture; define it and project it.
  • Companies are too prescriptive in assessing talent. Lead with where you want the company to go, and don’t assume you know the perfect profile of who can take you there.
  • Shareholders know that diversity – by all metrics — impacts business performance. Diversification of boards should be a business ultimatum.
  • No matter what people say, there is supply of quality board-ready women who are not getting calls.
  • Great talent wants to be discovered.