Developing Talent

Posted on March 14, 2013 by


One of the biggest opportunities leaders have is to develop future leaders.  This can be challenging, given the constraints on the leader’s time and focus.  By taking the time to build into the culture and even the leader’s day opportunities to identify and develop talent, leaders are able to create a ready pool for succession planning and engage their teams.

Identifying Talent

Leader awareness of potential talent is critical to the ongoing success of the organization.  By creating awareness and visibility within the organization, the leader is able to encourage others to look for those who have the potential to be future leaders.  Leaders can encourage the team to hire for both aptitude and attitude.  Aptitude reflects the ability and skill sets, core competencies, that support the new hire’s ability to be successful in performing job duties or meeting core responsibilities.  Attitude reflects the mindset of the new hire – their willingness to learn, take on additional responsibility, and to be a contributing member of the organization.

Daily Teachable Moments

Leaders can use aspects of the core responsibilities or daily duties as opportunities to develop talent by teaching and coaching.  Leaders can teach new skills through structured on the job training (SOJT), a process that allows talent to learn steps to execute specific tasks or jobs assigned to them.  Leaders can also use failures as opportunities to coach and teach talent, by helping to identify what could be done differently and any other lessons learned from the experience.   By helping talent process failures and successes, the leader is able to maximize experiential learning and further develop critical thinking.

Sharing Experiences

It is easy to focus solely on the experiences of talent as sources for teachable moments, however greater lesson can often be learned by teaching from the leader’s experience as well.  By sharing both the successful and failed experiences, the leader is able to create a relationship with talent.  Through sharing their experiences, leaders are able to allow their personality, insight, observations and self-disclosure provide more depth to the growth and development of talent .

By offering themselves as a person through daily teachable moments, check ins and sharing of experiences, leaders are able to engage talent and demonstrate leadership commitment to developing future leaders.

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