In over a decade of helping leaders develop themselves and their people I have developed a secret question.  It is probably the most impactful thing out of my mouth as I listen to the processess that are in place and the dreams/frustrations of senior leaders as they try to get the right people in place to make their business plans a reality. (aka:  talent management)

Ready?  Here it is . . . .

So what was their input on specific development needs and career goals?

I do not promote performance evaluations, career plans, or development plans – – I promote performance conversations, career conversations, and development conversations.  The plan piece is the outcome that promotes ownership, supportive commitments, and ultimately the buzzword of the year for 2011 – accountability.  In many ways, the plan is the easy part.

Yesterday I went to a Family Business Alliance event and listened to an executive from White Castle, Jamie Richardson, speak about their family business and share some great stories around everything from preserving culture to being a key small business voice in the healthcare debate.  (fyi:  the Harold and Kumar movie was NOT their idea. You have to love having people do movies about your product 🙂 )  When asked about how the nine 3rd generation leaders approached the question of “Who wants to be CEO?”, he said they did two things:

  1. Gave each a 360 and, as a group, shared the results and explored strengths, weaknesses, and needs together.
  2. Asked each the question “Do you want to be CEO?”

In the end, two people answered yes, so the process continues.  This is one of those processes that is not easy, but it is simple.

Great talent management processes are well designed, well communicated, and have to be understood by the participants. 

AND . . . . Don’t forget to put most of your effort into making it a conversation.

Recent & Related

One Word That Improves All Leaders

Love. This word can mean a lot of different things to people. For many of us, it has deep roots that take us back to our childhood, current and past relationships, and even the media bombards us with mixed messages about...

read more

Why Delegating is a Vital Skill in Business

If you aren’t comfortable passing work off to members of your team, now is the time to start getting used to the idea. Many leaders are exhausted by all the work on their plate, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a mountainous to-do list....

read more