Russell S Reynolds Jr is an executive search pioneer, having started off, after a brief sortie in commercial banking, William H Clark Associates in New York City.
A quick learner, after three years with Associates he founded the Russell Reynolds Associates with a good friend.
The firm became one of the world’s leading international recruiting firms – employing 1,200 people worldwide and generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
As a result, Russell Reynolds are in the same league with industry leaders like Korn Ferry International, Heidrick & Struggles, Spencer Stuart & Associates and Egon Zehnder International.
However, Reynolds sold his stake in 1993, citing the need to spend more time with his family.
Speaking to the Greenwich Sentinel (GS), he said: “I was happy, healthy and felt liberated and wanted the freedom.”
However, the freedom didn’t last long. Reynolds went on to found the Directorship Search Group, focusing on director education, publishing and Board recruitment.
He then went on to found RSR partners – once again, focusing on executive recruitment.
And with a multitude of civil, altruistic and community schemes that he’s loyal to, Reynolds is keen to share his advice.
Values driven, Reynolds explains to the GS: “People who grow into really great leaders are usually givers as opposed to takers. Their basic orientation is to help people become successful - to take an interest in what others want and to help them discover what they are truly capable of achieving.”
He also explains that it’s important to “look at the relationship rather than the issues”, using his long-standing marriage as an example of this.
And when looking for the right candidate he says: “What I look for in people is honesty, with no close second.
“Of course, we are looking for great talent, but purity of intention, people who want to contribute and not just take - that’s what we look for.”
Yet, his biggest takeaway for exec search, and businessmen alike, is this: “Opportunity is everywhere you look for it.”