The Rewards of CEO Reflection

By Roselinde Torres, Martin Reeves, Peter Tollman, and Christian Veith.  Originally posted by the Boston Consulting Group  on June 29, 2017. 

CEOs live on a nonstop treadmill. They are under constant pressure to perform, live in a 24-7 spotlight of social-media attention, and swim in a deep pool of information. One CEO told us that she had received some 1,000 pieces of advice during her early days as the chief executive.

Corporate organizations are more complex than ever before. BCG’s “index of complicatedness” of major companies has been rising by nearly 7% per year for the past 50 years.

Deep thought and reflection are casualties of this high-pressure and high-stakes environment as CEOs rush from event to event and decision to decision. Downtime is often regarded as wasted time.

CEOs who do make time to reflect, however, say that it is time well spent, and our research on CEO success validates that view. Reflection leads to better insights into innovation, strategy, and execution. Reflection gives rise to better outcomes and higher credibility with corporate boards, leadership teams, workforces, and other stakeholders.

The most famous and successful practitioner of reflection is, perhaps, Warren Buffett, who says that he spends about six hours a day reading. “He has a lot of time to think,” says his partner Charlie Munger. “You look at his schedule sometimes, and there’s a haircut. Tuesday: haircut day.” Tuesday, in other words, is a thinking day.

Most CEOs do not have the luxury of limiting their daily calendar to a single act of reflection, but many of them could spend more time reflecting. It takes discipline, practice, and structure, but by routinely setting aside time in their calendars, CEOs can reap the rewards of reflection.

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Leadership From The Inside Out – New 3rd Edition Announcement


Thoughts on Leadership with Kevin Cashman

Originally published in Executive Talent Magazine, the e-magazine of AESC (Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants).  

In January of 2017, AESC spoke with Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner at Korn Ferry specializing in CEO & Executive Development.  Below are excerpts from our discussion about evolving organizational trends and the implications for leaders and leadership.

AESC:  The world has changed: does that mean the traits and qualities of an effective leader are different than they were years ago?
Cashman:  I think there’s a big debate going on in leadership, politics and cultures around the world and it’s really a debate around openness and closedness; should we be inclusive of the world and cultures and leadership approaches, or should we be exclusive and careful?
All of our research would say that the world is going to belong to the most inclusive and the most open.  It’s where all innovations and all breakthroughs come from — the synthesis of multiple points of view.  The world belongs to the most learning agile.
We’ve said the world belongs to the most learning agile and we have that broken down in a research basis to four key characteristics:  how open and self aware are we to our own strengths and our developmental areas; how open are we to colleagues and team members to collaborate; how open are we to innovate; and how open are we to engaging the world to create value.

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Here’s the No. 1 Reason Workers Are Seeking New Jobs In 2017


By Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media, originally posted on on February 6, 2017. 

You might hate your boss or think you’re not paid enough, but if you lack a challenge in your professional life that’s the likely trigger to start you on the path to working someplace else. Here’s why.

The primary reason professionals are seeking new jobs in 2017 is to find a more challenging position. The quest for greater compensation comes in almost dead last as a reason to leave, according to a new global survey by Korn Ferry.

In the survey of nearly 2,000 professionals, nearly three quarters (73 percent) said that if they plan on being in the job market this year, it’s because they’re looking for a challenge. Trailing far behind, nine percent said they are looking because they either don’t like their company or their efforts aren’t being recognized, while five percent said their compensation is too low, and four percent said they don’t like their boss.

“These results mirror study after study Korn Ferry has done that show money is not the key motivator for employees,” said Kevin Cashman, senior partner at Korn Ferry. “Professionals who have progressed in their careers have done so for another reason. They’re passionate about what they do and need to feel that they are being pushed professionally and continually learning new skills.”

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Exploring the Power of Pause – New Podcast with Kevin Cashman and Innovation Ecosystem


Link to Podcast

“Managers assert drive and control to get things done; leaders pause to discover new ways of being and achieving.”

~ Kevin Cashman, The Pause Principle

Let’s pause… take a breath… reflect on the day, on the week, on the month. Let’s create space for our minds to process, our moods to level and our thoughts to mingle.

This episode’s guest wrote a book on this phenomenon based on his extensive experience coaching, advising and researching leaders in some of the world’s largest companies. Kevin Cashman is a best-selling author, top-ten thought leader, keynote speaker, global CEO coach and pioneer of the ‘grow the whole person to grow the whole leader’ approach to transformative leadership. He is the founder of LeaderSource Ltd and the Chief Executive Institute™, recognized as one of the top three leadership development programs globally. In 2006, LeaderSource joined Korn Ferry, where Kevin is now Senior Partner, CEO & Executive Development.

As a thought-leader on topics of personal, team and organisational transformation, he has written six outstanding books on these topics including Awakening the Leader Within, and Leadership from the Inside Out, which was named the #1 business book of 2000 by CEO-READ and is now used at over 100 universities globally. He has written numerous articles for the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fast Company, Strategy & Leadership, and Directors & Boards Magazine among others. His latest book, The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward, is the culmination of many years researching and working with some of the world’s most successful executives and CEOs: it explores how leaders, and indeed all of us, must deal with the complexities of the highly globalised and digitised world in which we live by stepping back and taking time to reflect, observe and, essentially, “smell the roses”. The book provides a practical process that individuals, teams and organisations can apply to inspire personal growth, developing others and providing space for innovation.

In today’s episode, Kevin and Mark discuss the rationale and research behind The Pause Principle which aligns strongly with the notion of “creating space” explored by previous guests like David Allen, Lisa Bodell and Heiko Fischer, among others; about Kevin’s new interest in the concept of “story mastery”; and finally some fresh insights into the qualities of a great versus a good leader. article for December 10, 2013

The 5 Principles of No-Regrets Leading and Living

This article outlines the ways leaders can live their lives without regret.


Follow this link to article for August 21, 2013

7 Ways Leaders Can Foster Innovation

 In this article outlines the ways corporate leaders can lead their companies to greatness.


Follow this link to

100 Wise Women Presentation

Below is a PDF version of Kevin’s presentation at the 100 Wise Women presentation on May 3rd, 2013, sponsored by Deloitte.


100 Wise Women Deloitte 5.3.13

Directors & Boards Magazine Excerpt

The Pause Principle cited on list of best books for board reading

An excerpt from The Pause Principle appears in the Fourth Quarter 2012 edition of Directors & Boards as one of the best books for board reading.

Pp Board Directors Article