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HR in the Boardroom


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. What CEOs Really Think About Most HR People And Why 2. How To Earn A Seat At The Executive Table 3. You've Got a Seat at the C-Suite Table - Now What? 4. What's The Share Price Today? - Knowing The Business Front To Back 5. Helping The Executive Team With Its 4 Rs - Recruit, Reward, Retain And Retire Talent 6. Succession Planning - How To Be An Honest Talent Broker 7. Coaching The CEO And The Executive Team 8. Pros And Cons Of Being The CEO's 'Trusted Advisor' 9. Navigating Executive Team Wars 10. The Board, The C-Suite, And HR Conclusion

About the Author

Lance Wright is managing partner and CEO of Lance Wright & Associates, LLC a management consulting firm based in Washington, DC. Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, Mr. Wright has broad global business experience and has lived and worked in the USA, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. He has authored several articles on corporate leadership including the white paper that led to the global ANSI standard used to develop the desired profile for corporate chief security officers.

Immediately prior to starting his firm, Mr. Wright was senior vice-president human resources and administration for USEC Inc., a global energy company whose core business is enriching uranium for use in commercial power plants. USEC is also the principal agent of the US government in a program known as 'Megatons to Megawatts' in which Russian nuclear warheads are down-blended into fuel that can be used to generate energy for peaceful purposes. In addition to serving as USEC's chief human resources officer, Mr. Wright was also responsible for the corporation's highly sensitive and classified information technology and security functions. As a direct report to the chief executive officer and member of the USEC executive committee, Mr. Wright helped shape USEC's business strategy and its response to the complex and highly competitive environment in which the corporation operated.

Before joining USEC, Mr. Wright served briefly as a vice-president and principal of a major executive search firm. The bulk of Mr. Wright's career was spent in the international oil and gas industry. Mr. Wright served as director of human resources for Mobil's upstream operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East while based in London. He also held senior HR positions for Mobil in Brussels, Rotterdam, and at corporate headquarters in New York and later Fairfax, VA. Following announcement of the Mobil and Exxon merger, Mr. Wright was appointed to an international joint task force of the two companies and played a key role in developing the human resources policies that would be used by the merged company - ExxonMobil.
Mr. Wright joined Mobil following employment with the Arabian American Oil Company (now Saudi Aramco) where he was a senior human resources generalist based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He joined Saudi Aramco as a direct hire in the late 1970's as a pension specialist. He progressed through a series of assignments and promotions while with Saudi Aramco that helped hone his general management skills.

Early in his career, Mr. Wright was a Wall Street based financial services consultant with Johnson & Higgins (now part of Marsh and McLennan). Prior to joining Johnson & Higgins, he had been an institutional counselor with Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF). Mr. Wright began his career as employment manager for his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University.

Mr. Wright holds a B.S. in political science and economics from Eastern Michigan University. He also holds a MSc. in industrial relations and personnel management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He and his wife Shelly are parents to two adult daughters.


'Lance Wright has 'been-there-done-that' twice. As such, he knows of what he speaks. As one who has spent decades alongside those who have a seat at the table and others who want a seat, I can attest to Lance's knowledge and experience. This book has value for those at the top of the HR organization as well as those who are on their way.'

-Carl L. Harshman, Founder & CEO, Carl L. Harshman & Associates

"HR in the Boardroom provides insight into the role HR can and should play at the top level of any organization. Whether you are an HR professional, senior executive, CEO, or board member, the book gives you real world advice, based on the author's real world experience, that's well worth reading.'

-James R. Mellor, Former Chairman and CEO of General Dynamics Corporation; Former Chairman of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and USEC Inc.

"HR in the Boardroom gives any young professional embarking on a career in human resources a clear and concise guide to the skills needed for success. It contains straight talk about what HR professionals need to reach the C-Suite and what they should do to stay there."

-Ralph E Lattanzio, 'Career Doctor', Affiliate Professor and Employer in Residence, ExxonMobil Foundation and George Mason University

"This book works. It's full of real-life experience about what it takes to be a successful HR executive. Apply these insights - and take your seat at the top table!"

- Nick Starritt

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