Great Leaders of Talent

“Leaders do not put people in boxes.

Leaders free people from boxes.

Leaders take people where they didn’t know they could go.”

Leadership continues to talk about talent acquisitiontalent retention and talent overall as critical to their organizations’ success. One question remains…how successful are they when looking at the “talent within”, those hired, executing, aspiring and already onboard as the acquired Talent from yesterday? Is there too much emphasis on searching outside for tomorrow and not enough effort on considering the asset within today? It poses an interesting dynamic for planning and thinking about all the capital assets in an organization. Studies keep reporting disaffected workers in the double digits (Gallup), and the potential for double digit productivity increases with existing employees (NBOGroup Leadership Survey 2014).

If we focus on acquiring more talent with Millennials as the target, we are forced to think generationally. Millennials demand innovative environments for their workplaces of choice. Millennials want the tools and time to be creative. Millennials want constant challenge, feedback and opportunity. Creativity requires social media access and the freedom to investigate new ideas and relationships.

Now take both paragraphs of information and ask: Is this not what every motivated, inspired and thoughtful stakeholder wants no matter the generation? Good question, because we are all more motivated when we are inspired and challenged as part of a team that has clear direction and trust in the organization and its leadership. Organizations and Leaders should think of the assets in ALL talent and invest with clear direction, clear goals and clear trust, constructing an overall sense that we are in this together.

Great Leaders of Talent share these five qualities:

  1. They operate from the axiom: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” People want to know that their teammates and leadership team care; Show respect for others, are open to input, decent and trustworthy.
  2. They are consistent, which builds Trust. No favoritism, no “say one thing and do another”. Commitments are just that commitments. The most effective way to build TRUST is with consistency in behavior to everyone.
  3. They operate with a positive attitude, sincerity, a willing ear, and an engaging demeanor. They maintain an optimistic outlook and the ability to discern emotions of others. In a nutshell, leaders are positive to be around.
  4. They re-enforce Trust by doing the right thing. Leaders know right from wrong and operate with truth. The sunshine test, will my remarks, promises, commitments etc be seen as authentic and right in the rays of light from the sun.
  5. Lastly, they lead with passion for their vision, strategies and people. They want to succeed and they want everyone to feel the inspiration in the opportunity for themselves, their teams and the organization.

Look into any organization and think of the Gallup studies and other research that shows lack of enthusiasm or commitment. Wherever you find (as Gallup did) disaffected workers in the double digits, you need look no further than “Leadership” in the organization for the answer. The five qualities of Great Leaders of Talent is the template for measuring and developing your Talent strategies, starting with your Leaders. The opportunity is too great to not make the attempt!