Monday, March 28, 2016

When you set out to inspire and grow talent, you may just keep the best talent

Mark Lorion, Sydney Finkelstein and Christine Nolan

I was very fortunate to participate in the MassTLC’s luncheon with Dr. Sydney Finkelstein, author of SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent.  Sydney shared many great tactics and there was a small workshop which encouraged the marketing executives in the room to think how they would react in different “Superboss” situations.  I’ve recapped the ideas below

1.       What if you don’t work for a superboss?  Be a superboss yourself! Enable your team to be creative and be the next great superboss that will inspire new talent throughout your network.

2.       What are the barriers to being a superboss?  Superbosses are all VERY confident. They stay away from the traditional, think outside the box and are always team players.  It’s the big personality paradox – they have so much self-confidence they feel good about stepping aside and letting their employees leave.

3.       How do you find a Superboss?  Think about who you admire.  Look at their genealogy.  Have past employees excelled and spurred great talent of their own?  Don’t be afraid to ask your potential new boss, “Who worked for you and where are they today?  Do you stay in touch with them?  How do you spend a typical day?”  Watch for very rigid schedules.  Most superbosses won’t have full days of meetings.  They allow for free time for creative thinking. 

4.       How do you deal with great talent that leaves?  First, aspire to create an environment where they don’t leave.  Provide new opportunities for growth and create challenges.  But, no matter your efforts, you don’t have the power to keep them. Always be looking for talent! Don’t optimize on talent retention.  Learn how you can take advantage of them moving on.  Find out how you can become part of their next big thing.  If you embrace your great employees that leave, there’s a good chance they will be a source for you later.  If you ask a CEO what their biggest challenge is, they often state people management.  If this is the single most important part of an organization, then why is the last to change?  How has this happened?

5.       How do you develop an organization to cultivate Superbosses: There are culture barriers that can often prevent cultivating superbosses. And it was strongly agreed upon that the challenge of cultivating them can be difficult in larger companies.  However, anyone can be a superboss.  They exist up and down the chain. Find out if you’re a superboss and receive a free copy of chapter 2 by taking this quiz!

Based on the discussion and the insights Sydney provided, I suggest picking up a copy of Superbosses.  I’m confident it will provide you a valuable new way to think about leadership.

Thanks to Marketo for the their own insights on leadership and for sponsoring the luncheon!

-Christine Nolan

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