Talent Spotting: A Critical Manager Skill

Learn to spot the “Big 5 Talent Behaviors”

 

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Promoting a new manager from within is arguably the single most critical strategic decision an organization makes. Consider the economic implications:

 “When companies can increase their number of talented managers and double the rate of engaged employees, they achieve, on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition.” -Harvard Business Review

Simply put, competent and engaged managers are a lead indicator of long-term profitability!

 

Building an effective talent management pipeline starts with talent spotting skills. Each organization’s culture and business requires unique capabilities. However, the following “Big 5 Talent Behaviors,” are strong indicators of an individual’s potential to be a next level leader in your organization.

Closely observe team members who consistently demonstrate these “BIG 5 Talent Behaviors” in their current role:

  1. Self-Starter. Effective leaders have a bias for action and self-initiative. These folks embody Nike’s vision statement – Just Do It! Rarely does the boss need to provide direction to this individual.
  2. Strong Team Orientation. Their language is imbedded with the pronoun “we,” rarely “I.” They always accomplish their responsibilities and naturally reach out to help others. Cooperation and collaboration make up their DNA.
  3. Excellence Reflex. In Danny Meyer’s book, Setting the Table, he shares how his team looks for this trait in new hires and potential next level leaders. Simply put, these employees are driven by high performance standards and results, and are repulsed by mediocrity. These folks hate working with slackers.
  4. Always On The Improve. This employee was seemingly born with the core value of continuous improvement. They are always sharing ideas to improve products, services, operations and the customer experience. This team member sees the big picture, understands the value creation process, and is proactive with suggestions for improvement.
  5. Mastery. This individual loves learning and growth, and possesses high expertise and competency in their craft. If this employee gets bored, or burned out, they are ripe for poaching from the competitor. It’s critical this team member is provided rich assignments and leadership projects to keep them engaged.

 

The potential leader in your current ranks might be categorized as a servant- leader:

“The servant-leader is servant first…It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership

Skilled talent spotting managers recognize that individuals who naturally possess the “Big 5 Talent Behaviors” are ultimately humans first and heroes second, never vice-versa.

 

Keep it simple, keep it focused, and definitely keep it inspiring.

–Steve

 

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