The Big Why Question

The phone rings at 2 a.m., and shaking both fear and fog out of my head, I am surprised by the calm voice: It’s a caller “from the Capitol in Washington, DC.” Apparently, there is some concern about the nominating process for the next president of the United States. Peppering me with questions, the voice inquires if Korn Ferry could help. “You have the largest executive database in the world, right? You have done global research on the key attributes, competencies, and characteristics of the best, world-class leaders? You could develop a comprehensive, valid leadership model for president, locate the best talent, assess them, and develop them as necessary, correct?”

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Living on Purpose

Written by Jim Hoar, Senior Consultant for Leadership Development at Target Corporation, on his blog.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Kevin Cashman, who is a Senior Partner at Korn Ferry International. Kevin is a passionate executive coach, teacher, and developer of senior leaders. We were privileged to have Kevin teaching a workshop to a group of Target senior leaders.

A passion of Kevin’s is encouraging others to pause and reflect on one’s purpose as a leader. The call to action is simple but profound: Get clear about your purpose so you do not confuse it with performance. Purpose should always drive performance. If you let performance become your purpose, the results are not sustainable and you (and your organization) become lost.

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Korn Ferry Executive Survey: Where There’s Purpose, There’s Profit

In a global survey released today by Korn Ferry, the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, the vast majority of executive respondents indicated that a focus on both personal and organizational purpose is key to productivity and financial success.

More than two-thirds of respondents (70 percent) agreed to a great extent that there is a long-term financial benefit to companies that make strong commitments to purpose-driven leadership.
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Executives Indicate Purpose Is Important But Most Stand Pat

Article by Dan Pontefract via

Since 2012, I have been studying, researching and writing about the concept of purpose. Purpose in one’s life, purpose in one’s role at work … and purpose in the organization itself.

There is something fundamentally wrong in our society.

People yearn for a sense of purpose in their lives. Life is short. It matters to many of us–if not all of us–that we make the best of our short time on this planet. But many of us have to work in an organization to help fuel that sense of purpose. It takes money (our paychecks) in which to help achieve some of those purpose-driven, personal goals of ours.

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Introducing What’s Working: Purpose + Profit

By Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post Media Group.

The shift in the way an increasing number of businesses see their role in the world has been one of the most exciting, promising and desperately needed developments of the past few years. More and more companies are moving beyond the obsession with quarterly earnings and short-term gain toward a very different vision. As Unilever CEO Paul Polman has said, “Business must make a bigger difference to global challenges by leveraging its scale, influence, expertise and resources to drive transformational change at a systemic level.” A sense of purpose has come to be seen, rightly, as a value that not only has a place in business but is essential to long-term success.

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Doing Well By Doing Good: An Interview with Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever

A recent report stated 62 percent of surveyed millennials “only want to work for an organization that delivers social and environmental impacts.” In an interview with the Guardian, you mentioned millennials “…don’t want to work for banks.” Can you tell us more about the importance of purpose in the corporate world?

Increasingly millennials want to work for companies where they can make a difference, positively influence others and ultimately leave this world in a better place than they found it. That’s a life with purpose.

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What makes sales teams sizzle? Better leaders.

In their rush to find leaders to manage their sales forces, too many companies reflexively focus on top sales performers. It may make sense on paper, but it’s a fundamental talent error that undercuts salespeople’s effectiveness.

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Companies with a purpose beyond profit tend to make more money

Article by Simon Caulkin.

One of the paradoxes of business is that the most profitable companies are not those that are most profit-focused.

In a survey titled “The Business Case for Purpose”, a team from Harvard Business Review Analytics and professional services firm EY’s Beacon institute declares “a new leading edge: those companies able to harness the power of purpose to drive performance and profitability enjoy a distinct competitive advantage”. This is a reprise of the findings of Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, who in 1994’s Built to Last found that between 1926 and 1990 a group of “visionary” companies — those guided by a purpose beyond making money — returned six times more to shareholders than explicitly profit-driven rivals.

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Kevin Cashman on Leadership – The Real Deal

Robert Hargrove did a recent interview with Kevin Cashman for a book he is working on called Letter to a Young Leader.

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Korn Ferry Hay Group Program Recognized with Leadership Excellence Award

Executive to Leader Institute Awarded with Best Global/International Leadership Program Honor

LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2016 – The Hay Group division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm, has announced that one of its flagship programs is the recipient of the prestigious Leadership Excellence Awards, which acknowledge the best leadership programs and executives in the United States. Produced by, the awards salute the top 10 percent of applicants across 34 categories.

The “Best Global/International Leadership Program” award honor was given to Korn Ferry Hay Group’s Executive to Leader Institute.

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