Too many talented individuals get overlooked when managers don’t view development as their responsibility.
Unfortunately, there’s a common misbelief that the best way to get talent is to go out and hire “winners.” Or perhaps you heard you need to “get the right people on the bus” and think you need to find them.
Truth is, most of the right people are right in front of you already. If you want “winners,” try defining ‘winner” as someone with the right values and with potential to grow into the job. The best way to get the right people on the bus is not to hire “winners,” but to develop them.
Peter Drucker is quoted as saying “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If so, then culture snacks on talent before and after every meal. If you hire for skills, you have to hope there will be a culture fit. If you hire for values and potential, you can develop for skills.
Yes, it’s good to bring in some new people at times with fresh perspectives. But if you are dedicated to team development, everyone benefits.
- It’s less costly to develop talent internally than it is to recruit and onboard new people effectively.
- Developing talent internally is less risky than bringing in unknown, unproven outsiders because you already know there’s a culture fit.
- Morale is higher when people know they have an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Creativity, innovation, and the ability to adapt to change increases.
If your team isn’t growing, it’s your fault.
Leadership is about going somewhere, which means you need to know where you’re going and to keep focused on vision and strategy. But there are two faces of leadership. If you want people along the journey who can help you get there, then you need to keep one eye on where you’re going and the other on your team.
If you don’t see team development as a key leadership responsibility, you will lose many of your best people before you even notice them.
It’s your role as a manager to develop a team of “winners.” This is something that can be supported by HR, but cannot be handed off to HR. Team development is the responsibility of leadership. In fact, the strongest sign of a good manager is that the people who report to you are regularly promoted.