Heads: Business Lessons from an Executive Search Pioneer

Get an inside look at the world of executive search through the eyes of one of its leading innovators.

Let’s face it: the unemployment rate is staggeringly high, and obtaining the right job in the right location with the right salary is very tough to come by.  Heads: Business Lessons from an Executive Search Pioneer, (McGraw-Hill Professional; June, 2012; HC, $28.00), written by Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., and published by McGraw-Hill, offers a unique insider’s view of the evolution and behind-the-scenes dynamics of the executive search profession.

Book Heads by Russell S. Reynolds, Jr.In 1969, when Reynolds decided to launch his own executive search firm, the “headhunting” field was viewed as a somewhat misunderstood business that didn’t attract particularly talented or well-educated professionals.  But within a very short time, Reynolds had succeeded in changing that image dramatically – and along with a handful of cohorts, was responsible for raising the level of quality and  professionalism that has propelled executive search to its current stature as a highly respected, multi-billion dollar industry.

How it all unfolded is the fascinating story of Heads. Written with the goal of providing greater clarity about the role of top-notch executive search professionals, the book also shares Reynolds’ invaluable insights – honed from his vast experience working with many of the world’s most eminent businesses and leading executives – into the personal skills and qualities that contribute to success in business as well as in life.

Written with Carol Curtis, Heads takes readers on a captivating journey from Reynolds’ childhood in Greenwich, Connecticut, during the Great Depression, up to the present, as he continues to oversee the  rapid growth of his second successful search firm, RSR Partners. Reynolds founded RSR Partners in 1993 at age 62, after retiring from Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA), the venture he had launched in 1969 with an investment of just $10,000. By the time Reynolds left RRA, it had achieved almost $100 million in revenues and international prominence in the field. Under Reynolds’ leadership, RSR Partners embodies the same principles of excellence and proven approach to executive and board search, and has established itself as a top-flight boutique firm with a prestigious roster of clients. Through personal recollections, anecdotes, and observations from colleagues in the field, Reynolds  offers an in-depth overview of how the executive search field has grown and matured over the last half century.

Interspersed throughout the narrative are informative details on how today’s search firms are structured and operate, and how good recruiters go about executing a search. The book also addresses  current trends that are having an impact and creating challenges for the executive search industry, and offers specific advice to candidates on how to “master being recruited,” as well as Reynolds’ counsel on the importance of equilibrium for success both in business and in life.

Heads is an absorbing look at how one man channeled his entrepreneurial talent and energy into building two highly successful businesses – along the way earning the trust of major, multinational corporations and the friendship of some of the world’s most prominent and influential business leaders. Filled with anecdotes and insights, the book shines a spotlight on the critical role of executive search in today’s business world, and offers invaluable knowledge and advice that anyone from MBA candidate,  to middle manager, to successful CEO can adapt to his or her life and career.

 About the Author

Russell S. Reynolds, Jr. is the founder and chairman of RSR Partners, a leading executive search and leadership consulting firm. In 1969, Reynolds founded Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc., which soon became one of the world’s leading international executive recruiting firms.

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