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Greetings from 
Carlson Group!

Spring greetings to you! As I write this, we are in the midst of an early spring, March Madness has ended, the baseball season has started, and golf courses had record early openings here in the Midwest. It's a great time of year!
Several of our key clients are coming off of a great 2016 and are well on their way to another terrific year. Of course, we'd like to think that much of their success is about leadership--their ability to recruit and develop their executive teams to bring their companies forward. In this issue, we feature an update on the search industry, which is participating in the steady, if not spectacular, growth of our economy. One of the key findings is that search firms are increasingly growing their practice by expanding into broader leadership consulting services.
Some of you might recall that it's been 5 years since Gary Walljasper joined Carlson Group with the intent to lead our charge into leadership consulting. Back then, we never could have envisioned the level of success that we would achieve in this new business. Based on this success, 2016 was our best year ever, and we anticipate that 2017 will raise the bar even further. In addition, we are pleased to announce the addition of a new team member, Kirk Trow, who will be broadening our consulting efforts. Welcome aboard, Kirk!
This issue wraps up with a review of Patrick Lencioni's new book, The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues, a quick, yet highly useful read. We hope you'll enjoy this issue as you head into second quarter. If we can be a resource for you in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out: gcarlson@carlsongroupllc.com. I'd love to hear from you!

Gregg Carlson
Managing Partner
What's Next in Executive Search?
Companies Pursue Closer Partnerships, Broader Resources, from Search Consultants

As we head into second quarter, what does the forecast look like for the executive search profession? In a special edition report by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), President and CEO Karen Greenbaum offers the following key highlights:
  • Member executive search firms reported positive outlooks and their intent to expand their trusted executive search relationships to include leadership consulting services. 
  • The market for executive search remains strong, and clients recognize the value that executive search firms provide in terms of confidential searches. 
  • Clients are seeking executive search consultants as partners and are using executive search in cases where the executive position is strategic and high impact-positions where trust can make the difference between attracting the right talent and missing out.        
  • Clients are open to broadening the way they work with their current executive search firm to take advantage of leadership advisory services such as succession planning and internal talent assessment.
  • Member firms surveyed also singled out succession planning and internal talent assessment as the areas beyond executive search for the most growth. In each area of leadership advisory services identified, members expected demand from clients to increase over the next 5 years, indicating that there is a clear alignment between client needs and the expansion of the service offerings of AESC members.
Greenbaum concluded, "The biggest takeaway for me is that executive search is a strong profession that is valued by clients around the world and that our clients value our expertise and trust us to help them with their most critical executive talent challenges."
Some of the trends identified in this report are why Carlson Group has evolved over the last few years to offer our clients a broader resource. Back in 2012, it became clear to us that our client base was very interested in the leadership consulting services we had created for them. This decision has worked out even better than we had anticipated. 
The AESC report indicates that about 5% of the revenue generated by member firms comes from leadership consulting--a small but growing number. At Carlson Group, the gap between executive search and leadership consulting revenue is not nearly as pronounced, as our clients today truly are equally utilizing both sides of our business. Clients continue to take advantage of all of the consulting services we offer, and their feedback has been incredibly positive and helpful as we move further into 2017. We've been able to create more strategic relationships with them, and we couldn't be happier about where this is headed.
While we have many large clients, we especially see small and mid-sized companies using both sides of the business, demonstrating a growing interest in utilizing a broad leadership consulting capability to develop and implement a robust talent strategy. These companies are finding that working with a firm that is able to handle the full scope of their talent needs yields a more efficient process and better results for their company. In short, the breadth of the partnership between the client and the consulting firm directly impacts that company's bench strength. Managing the talent pipeline is a multi-faceted process. When the consulting firm is equipped to work with you to handle each of those facets, the result is a company with greater alignment between talent and strategy, a stronger talent pool, and a healthier company culture.
As you assess both your current state and the challenges and opportunities on the horizon, don't hesitate to reach out and start a conversation: Gregg Carlson, Executive Search, gcarlson@carlsongroupllc.com , or Gary Walljasper, Leadership Consulting, gwalljasper@carlsongroupllc.com , or visit our website at www.carlsongroupllc.com/testimonials  to hear what our clients have to say. We look forward to hearing from you!
Executive Talent, Volume 7 , AESC, "What's Next for Executive Search and Leadership Consulting?" 

Introducing Kirk Trow

We are excited to have Kirk Trow on board as a Senior Consultant, focusing his expertise on individual and organizational  performance management as well as organizational planning and tracking. His career spans more than 25 years of human resource, training, and operational roles. His resume includes training and curriculum design work in a wide variety of industries, building and leading human resource departments, operational leadership roles, and management of strategy and planning. His most recent roles prior to joining Carlson Group included Vice President of Operations at AIB College of Business and Director of Human Resources at ARAG North America, Inc.
Primary areas of focus throughout Kirk's career have been organizational and employee performance, curriculum development and facilitation, strategy and execution, and operational effectiveness. In addition to his work in the private sector, Kirk has held head coaching positions at both the high school and college levels and brings some best practices from the athletic coaching world to his work with Carlson Group.

Recommended Reading
The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues
Patrick Lencioni
Often, in the leadership genre especially, authors promise to revolutionize company culture or effect great change through some groundbreaking new tenet that leaders simply can't live without. In this book, Patrick Lencioni presents a simple but compelling message that is effective precisely because of its honest simplicity. No bells, whistles, big formulas, complicated charts, or diagrams. Just three indispensable virtues essential to maintaining a culture of teamwork.
Lencioni shares a fable about a leader who is suddenly faced with an insurmountable challenge which is further complicated by a lack of teamwork among top positions within the company.  Together with only two trusted advisors in key positions, they brainstorm and discover both the root of and the solution to the problem.
The author uses this fable, a quick yet captivating read, to demonstrate the importance of what he believes are the three key virtues. In short, a team player must be humble, hungry, and smart. Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player, according to the author. Hunger has to do with being self-motivated and diligent, always thinking about the next step and the next opportunity. And smart refers to a person's common sense about people--the ability to be interpersonally appropriate and aware. "What makes humble, hungry, and smart powerful and unique is not the individual attributes themselves, but rather the required combination of all three," Lencioni explains, viewing all three as "critical hiring and development criteria for any organization that wants teamwork to be central to its operations."
Next, Lencioni takes a look at categories of people, from those who lack all of the virtues, to those who possess one or two of them, to ideal team players who possess all three, identifying what happens when each individual virtue is present or lacking.  He covers specific applications for hiring, offering clear guidelines for the interview process itself, actual interview questions to help identify each virtue, and suggestions for making the most of candidate references. 
When it comes to assessing current employees, Lencioni covers both manager assessment and employee self-assessment, offering clear steps for developing employees who are lacking in one or more of the virtues and taking the time to explain how to develop each individual virtue. Next, he shares how to go about embedding the model into an organization's culture. Finally, he connects the ideal team player model with his classic best-selling book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The ideal team player is all about the makeup of individual team members and the virtues that make him or her more likely to overcome the dysfunctions that derail teams, while the five dysfunctions are about the dynamics of teams getting things done.
In Carlson Group's work with our own clients, we've seen the impact of "humble, hungry, and smart" team players, and we've also witnessed the high cost of not getting this right. "The ability to work effectively with others, to add value within the dynamics of a group endeavor, is more critical in today's fluid world than it has ever been. Few people succeed at work, in the family, or in any social context without it," Lencioni explains. And we agree; this book is a must read for leaders striving to create a culture of teamwork, for human resources professionals looking to hire real team players, and for anyone who desires to become a truly valuable team player.