Last week, I wrote the following post:
My friend could NOT get a promotion. He GENUINELY deserved one. He just didn’t quite fit in. So, the right people weren’t willing to give him a go.
A few, easily learned skills were holding my friend back. Yes, this hurt him. It ALSO hurt his employer. My friend’s deep talent (that his employer was paying for) went under-used, underappreciated and over-spent trying to his own unfair situation.
While my friend was forced to spend years working out how to prove himself, his employer missed out on years and years of service from a truly great leader. THEY were missing out on a top performer.
It’s easy, as senior leaders, to complain about talent shortages… then look for shiny external solutions or promote internally to the person who is most obvious.
If you REALLY want the fix your business problems, try looking for the people who can GENUINELY make the biggest difference. Give THEM the chance to help you succeed. Even if it’s a bit less obvious. Even if it takes a bit of time at first. The rewards are soon much bigger.
Often, the greatest gifts are the people who are already right underneath our noses.
So, how DO you, “Go Get the Gifts You’ve Got?” and develop your DIFFERENCE MAKERS?
Go for the gold. Gaps are obvious. Everyone has them. Make time to celebrate and identify the genuine strengths in every team member.
See the potential before they do. If you want someone to be senior, treat them as if they are senior. Give them stretch roles, invite them to meetings.
Fill their skills. Be very clear about the skills you need for future promotional opportunities and start building them now. Leadership and influencing skills are just as teachable as any other skill. Like any skill, you just need to find the right coach.
Open up to your own opportunities. If someone isn’t fitting in, ironically, the are probably not be alone. Look for the unspoken attitudes and beliefs are holding people back. It’s amazing how many people can be hiding their potential without you even realising it.
Ask questions, start talking about it. It makes a difference.
Otherwise, everyone pays the price.