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The Next Wave of Talent? The High-Potential Boss

Claudio Fernández-Aráoz at the 2013 World Business Forum in New York
Claudio Fernández-Aráoz at the 2013 World Business Forum in New YorkPhotograph by Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Few people know more about global leadership than Claudio Fernández-Aráoz. The Buenos Aires-based senior adviser at search firm Egon Zehnder is a favorite of CEOs and business schools around the world for his sharp instincts.

He’s spoken about Great People Decisions, his first book, to audiences at Harvard, Amazon, and the World Business Forum. In his new one, called It’s Not the How or the What but the Who (Harvard Business Review Press), Fernández-Aráoz focuses on “potential” as the next wave of talent-spotting. Companies, he says, need to focus less on people’s competencies when filling a job and more on the qualities that will let them pivot with the times. That’s especially critical when picking someone for a CEO role, he argues. The world is simply too fickle and fast-moving these days to know what any job will require. “You have to start with the right mindset,” says Fernández-Aráoz. “The skills that make you successful today might not be so important tomorrow.”