Category Archives: Talent
If you ask the average person, they may say the focus of leadership to be:
- Attain results
- Meet goals
- Share vision
- Service customers
- Get people to perform
- Create culture
- Manage daily operations
Leadership is a balance of all the above, but one essential piece that most leaders fall short on is this:
Development of your people in their skills to the highest level they want to attain.
This can manifest in the following ways:
- Helping them gain mastery of core job functions
- Developing skills in new areas
- Strengthen those areas they are already strong in
- Building desire to grow through increased engagement
- Casting vision of the organization to help them see what they can accomplish
- Fostering a desire to lead in varying capacities
- Placing them in situations they can grow and stretch
- Increasing their knowledge by giving access to learning resources of all types
Developing your people is key to sustainable growth of the organization. A good culture cannot grow and refresh if it’s people do not grow. A great strategy can be executed but if your people don’t learn something new the next strategy may not go as well.
At the core of every action, goal, and metric attained in any company is the need to having your people learn as much as they can. This only strengthens the foundation of your organization and builds more connected, committed, and long-term engagement in your workforce.
Purpose daily to develop your people. That is true leadership.
Today’s post is courtesy of Mark Miller. Mark began writing about a decade ago. He teamed up with Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, to write The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do (2007). More recently, he released Chess Not Checkers (2015), and Leaders Made Here (2017). His latest is Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People (February 2018). Today, over 1 million copies of Mark’s books are in print in more than two dozen languages.
What’s the hardest thing a leader has to do? Honestly, I’m not sure.
For me, it varies with the circumstances of the day. However, if I pull up and stop fighting fires and escape the entanglements of growing bureaucracy, I think I might vote for Ensuring Alignment.
Having seen our organization grow from less than two dozen staff to almost 2,000, I can say the task of keeping everyone aligned is mind-boggling. However, regardless of the difficulty factor, I believe Ensuring Alignment is one of the leader’s highest priorities – and one with incalculable returns.
For these reasons, I was not surprised when we began sorting through all we learned from our Top Talent research project about their expectations for their leaders, and landed on this idea of Ensuring Alignment as a leadership best practice. No organization drifts toward a big vision – you drift out to sea or over a waterfall, but you don’t drift to greatness.
Here’s an excerpt from the Talent Magnet Field Guide on this topic…
“When organizations work together, they set themselves apart. Clearly, alignment accelerates impact. Leaders who want to position their organizations to accomplish a Bigger Vision must Ensure Alignment; only then can they harness the collective energy of those they lead. Without alignment, energy, productivity, and impact will suffer.
Picture a tug of war. If leaders can get everyone in the organization on the same side of the rope pulling together toward the vision, their competition is in trouble. When everyone is in sync, not only is the existing workforce energized, but potential talent will be drawn to the team.
Alignment permeates every aspect of a high-performance culture. Leaders know they must model the way and continually work to train team members to embrace the vision, mission, values, systems, and strategy if they hope to execute at a high level. If they succeed, everyone wins. Additionally, they position themselves to be an employer of choice for Top Talent.”
As a leader, you must choose where to invest your time. You can thrash away neck deep in the weeds of busyness or you can make a strategic decision to build an aligned culture. Choose to Ensure Alignment and you will be a step closer to becoming a place so attractive, Top Talent will be standing in line to work for your organization.
About Mark Miller
Mark Miller began his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member in 1977. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since that time, Mark has steadily increased his value at Chick-fil-A and has provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, and Quality and Customer Satisfaction.
Today, he serves as the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership. During his time with Chick-fil-A, annual sales have grown to over $9 billion. The company now has more than 2,300 restaurants in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
When not working to sell more chicken, Mark is actively encouraging and equipping leaders around the world. He has taught at numerous international organizations over the years on topics including leadership, creativity, team building, and more.
Have you ever noticed that quite often leaders don’t promote many of their staff?
That’s because the default method of many average leaders is to hire people who are on a “lower level” than themselves.
I have worked with individual leaders who have hired non-degreed professional help, those with “basic intelligence”, “good followers” and people who are of lower self-esteem on purpose. Those justifications are below:
- The leader wants to be in complete charge
- They never want to be questioned
- Or held accountable
- She or he want to be the smartest person in the room
- They like having a paternal/maternal reputation
- He or she believe they can bully, fool or manipulate their subordinates
However the fact is, that surrounding yourself with people in any capacity that don’t challenge you only makes you grow weaker. When you associate with people who don’t sharpen your skills, the tendency is to not be sharpened yourself. In any realm, that means you grow dull and regress.
The most astute leaders know that hiring people who can be smarter, more energetic, more tech-savvy, or with better charisma doesn’t just compensate for what they don;t fully possess as a skill, and will not only complement what the hiring leader has, but will actually help them learn and play up to the heightened skill set that gets brought on board.
Hiring better people than yourself should not be feared, but fully embraced. I have yet to witness a sharp leader who has hired sharper people and then found themselves out of a position. In fact, the reason they hired individuals who challenged them actually cemented the role that they had in the first place, because the key to being a great leader was displayed – seek and hire great talent.
Purpose to seek and hire talent better than yourself. It not only build the team, but makes things easier for everyone in the organization. You can only benefit from it.