Revamp Talent Management to Develop Employees into Leaders


We all agree that we’re in the 21st century, right? Then why do so many organizations have Talent Management models that are clearly from the business stone age? After all, the entire point of managing talent is to find who your star players are and turn them into leaders! Let’s take a look at some more modern (and practical) approaches to developing your A-Listers.


Break Free from the Cliques

It’s only human nature to want to be around like-minded people. The problem with this is that a bunch of people in a room agreeing with one another rarely challenge each other. The only way to improve in any aspect is to break outside of your comfort zone. In a business context, this could be as simple as a manager favoring and promoting his buddies, while ignoring valuable points of view and skillsets. This may seem like a simple thing to avoid, but many don’t even realize it’s happening. How many times in the course of your career have you heard the phrase “suck up” applied to another person who has advanced to higher levels? It’s easy to take the path of least resistance, and many times when a position becomes available, a leader will lean toward the first name that comes to mind and who they get along with the best.

Toss out the Compliance Records, go for Creative Thinkers

I am not trying to say that habitual rule breakers should be rewarded. What I am suggesting is that one of the most dangerous phrases in business is “we have always done it this way.” If there are certain positions in an organization which require a near carbon-copy of the last person who did the job, I definitely can’t think of what they would be. Historically, it’s the disruptors who achieve the most success, and a compliance record is never going to help to identify that person.

Be Flexible with Your Definition of “Ideal”

I see job postings ALL the time with what qualifications and attributes an “ideal candidate” should have. As said before, the disruptors have a tendency to go on to be successful. A quick anecdote about myself: Once upon a time I was a timeshare salesman for a large resort company. The sales floor was full of outgoing, a-type personalities that you would normally see listed in desired qualities in a job ad for a sales person. But there was one person who consistently outsold them all, myself included. He wasn’t the young, loud, pushy personality. He was in his early 50’s, a former marine, a retired police officer, and as soft-spoken as they come. If our talent acquisition director had passed him up because he didn’t fit the proverbial mold, the company would have missed out on a consistent 5-figure-per-month earner.

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