Tom Flannery

Tom Flannery is the Managing Partner of the Pittsburgh office of Boyden Executive search. He has worked in search for the past 30 years, initially with a local boutique firm that he owned and for the past 17 years with Boyden. Tom’s early career included ten years with Gulf Oil in a series of marketing positions and another eight as owner and president and owner of a multi-​state distribution company he acquired from Gulf and several other related businesses. Tom’s business literally takes him around the world and the people he has met in his travels have provided him with an inexhaustible supply of anecdotes, reminiscences, and tales, some compelling and some somber. Writing is an important part of his business as he presents candidates to his clients and has been part of his life since he started writing short stories when he was in grade school. As he has begun to wind down his career, Tom wants to devote more time to writing and sharing some of what he encounters enjoys and endures on a daily basis. Tom is a Pittsburgh native, a father of two grown children, a grandfather of three and lives in Fox Chapel with his wife, Stephanie.

Passion and Independence: Two More Critical Requirements for Leaders

In a recent essay on leadership for Pittsburgh Quarterly, I listed several characteristics that I believe define great leaders. Among them were courage, vision and the ability to communicate. I realized last week that I omitted two important characteristics from the list after taking part in a couple of well-attended forums designed to increase diversity …

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The Kindness Meter in Various Cities

Returning home last Monday from a weekend trip to visit our newly transplanted daughter and her family in Seattle, we had a delightful conversation with our Uber driver, a native Pittsburgher, on the way back from the airport. He had recently retired from his full time job, but enjoys meeting people and figured driving for …

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The Puzzle of “E”

If you didn’t read my first piece, I was prompted to consider writing this blog by my own passage through late middle age to advanced middle age. I can see the end of the road, career-wise, through the haze. My younger, more energetic colleagues are assuming more of the responsibility in our office and are …

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Thoughts on the Search Business

I‘ve been ruminating recently—one tends to do that at a certain stage in life—about the business I’m in: executive search. It’s a nice business, especially if you enjoy introducing interesting, talented people to other interesting talented people, which I do, and don’t mind rejection, which I don’t. The business is never as good as it …

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