Leadership development: Talent isn’t enough

January 23, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development starts with recruiting, but it doesn’t stop there. The word “talent” seems to have two meanings these days. One of them is the old meaning about skills or aptitude. But “talent” has become HR jargon for “people.”

I thought about that when I read Julie Winkle Giulioni’s excellent post, “Four Mindsets Needed for A Better Talent Pipeline.” She leads off the piece with the following.

“As leaders face the most volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business conditions ever, one thing is clear: talent is an organization’s most powerful and sustainable competitive advantage.”

I remember a quote from master chef Thomas Keller.  He’s the proprietor of The French Laundry and other fine restaurants. Keller said, “Success is about ingredients and execution.” The execution part in business comes from development, especially leadership development.

Leadership Development: Turning Talent into Performance

Leaders have two jobs. They must accomplish the mission through their team. They must also care for their team members. 

Leaders must make sure that they master the skills they need to do a good job of accomplishing the mission. In most organizations, the most important sets of skills revolve around coaching. Other skills involve organizing, planning, and dealing with operational and people issues.

Leadership Development: Creating A Great Working Environment

A key part of that is a leader’s job of caring for his or her teammates. Key skills include coaching and the skills to help teammates grow and develop.

We can make development easier by providing rich and available learning resources. The easier we make it for leaders to care for and develop their teammates, the more likely they are to do it.

Leadership Development: Leaders Developing Leaders

We should help leaders develop their teammates as leaders. They must know how to identify potential leaders, help them try on the role, and move up in the organization.

Leadership Development Bottom Line

You need good people to have a great organization. You should help those people develop so that they and the organization are more productive. Leaders turn talent into performance. Leadership development helps leaders learn how.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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