Playing the Numbers

By Jonathan Dahl; originally published by Korn Ferry in Briefings Magazine.  

If you type the number 2022 into a search engine, you may discover that those who follow meaning in numbers see good things ahead—success among them. Given that we’re toward the end of the pandemic, that’s not a bad outlook to have as another new year approaches.

I think most of us are looking forward to the coming year. How could we not? We’re at the tail end, hopefully, of a horrific pandemic and a string of one lockdown after another. The latest predictions I’ve seen have economic growth a tad slower from 2021, which might actually be helpful from a supply-chain and staffing standpoint, given the headaches firms have been feeling trying to keep goods flowing and find enough hires to keep up with pent-up consumer demand. Most firms, I figure, will also work out their in-office/remote/hybrid work dance as the year progresses, increasing both productivity and morale.

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Whiplash Leadership

By Russell Pearlman; originally published in Briefings magazine.

For most organizations, it began in mid-March 2020.  Not just the pandemic and the slew of business lockdowns, of course, but the round after round of decision making.

The first wave of decisions had many leaders choosing to send millions of employees home rather than shutting down operations altogether. This was going to be for two weeks only, many said, just long enough for COVID-19 to extinguish itself. Other corporations, meanwhile, soon decided to forge on, asking key workers back into the office with health screenings and glass partitions. That move was reversed when a handful of workers caught the virus.

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The Business of Giving Podcast: Korn Ferry on the 5 Mindsets Enterprise Leaders Need to Have

The following is a conversation between Kevin Cashman, Global Leader of CEO & Executive Development at Korn Ferry, and Denver Frederick, the Host of The Business of Giving.  Released June 23, 2021 on

Has leadership ever been more important to the overall health of a nation, of a company, or a nonprofit organization than it has over the past year? There certainly is a case to be made that the difference between those who have thrived and those who have struggled, or in some cases failed to make it all together, was indeed due to the quality of leadership. To fully understand the role that leaders play and will need to play in the future, it’d be hard to find a better authority than my next guest. He is Kevin Cashman, Global Leader of  CEO & Executive Development at Korn Ferry, and author of six books, including Leadership From the Inside OutAwakening the Leader Withinand The Pause Principle

Podcast and transcript available here.  

A World Transformed: Reimagining the Future Podcast

Originally posted to

In this interview, Paul Laudicina talks with CEO advisor Kevin Cashman about how executives are emerging from the pandemic and what new skills and mindsets they’ll need in our rapidly changing reality. He focuses on the new paradox of simultaneously performing and transforming a business.

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The Story Principle: The Inspiring Language of Leadership

By Kevin Cashman; originally posted on his Forbes blog:  Pause Point on June 23, 2021. 

Stories are the language of leadership that can move both heads and hearts to go beyond what people thought was possible.

A personal story. My phone rang at 2:00 am – rarely a good sign. Startled, I wondered who it was and what bad news awaited me. Sitting up in bed, I reached for the phone. Putting it up to my ear, I heard my mother’s shaken voice saying, “There’s been a terrible accident. Your father is unconscious. He’s in intensive care. Kevin, you have to go to the hospital.”

I reacted, “No way. I’m not going.” I’m not proud of my response, but it was honest. It represented the reactive way I felt. I knew that my mother couldn’t handle going either. She and my dad had been separated for some years.

She insisted. “This is your father, Kevin. You have to go.” Grudgingly, I pulled on my clothes and drove to North Memorial Hospital. The entire drive I held onto my resentment, resisting what awaited me. When I walked into intensive care and saw him – bruised, bloody, unconscious, vulnerable, and attached to a web of cords and devices – unexpectedly, I felt something different. Resentment, at least partially, fell away. My mind said, “No,” but my heart was surprisingly saying, “Yes.” In this conflicted state, I moved forward and held his much too cold hand. As I did so, I remembered his familiar smell and our common DNA. While he was not a great father, I understood that he was my father. His story and mine were intertwined.

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Consulting Unplugged Podcast with Andrew Pek

Kevin was recently featured on the Consulting Unplugged podcast and shared a valuable conversation with Andrew Pek on the power of purpose and other lessons from years of advising CEOs globally.

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The Great Resignation…by Remote Workers

Originally posted to on June 17, 2021. 

The Great Resignation. It’s been the headline of the day and the topic that looms large at any company trying to snap back to business quickly. The question is, which group is bolting the fastest?

According to many business leaders and human resources pros, the largest pool of employees quitting is those doing remote work. That comes as a surprise to some who were hoping that allowing workers to stay at home this past year and a half would increase people’s satisfaction in their roles when the time came to return. Instead, many are apparently preferring to test the job market even when they are not asked to return to the office.

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The Human Touch

Originally posted to Korn Ferry’s Briefings magazine, issue 49 on June 10, 2021.  

Almost 100 years after Mayo and Roethlisberger began the conversation about human relations, a new iteration is taking form. Some call it “radical humanity.” Others use the term “humanocracy.” The essence remains. It is about purpose powering performance, rather than performance being the purpose. It’s a plea for businesses to put people and planet before, or at least alongside, profit. For leaders to have the courage to challenge old ways of thinking and to take on the big issues. It’s a yearning to use our creative faculties in collaboration with one another. A demand for empathy. For decades, workers have divided their identities into work and personal. Radically human workplaces, say the idealists, create the potential to harness the full expression of self for a purpose bigger than self. “It’s about a higher quality of existence,” says Jaime Maxwell-Grant, a Korn Ferry senior client partner.

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Transformational Leadership Podcast with Kevin Cashman – Growth Agility: Preparing CEO’s to Navigate the Unknown

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The Great Unmasking

By David Brooks.  Originally posted to the New York Times on May 27, 2021.  

For millions of Americans, the next six months are going to be great.  The power Covid had over our lives is shrinking, and the power we have over our own lives is growing.  The image that comes to mind is recess.  We’ve been stuck emotionally indoors for over a year.  Now we get to sprint down the hallway and burst into the playground of life.

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