|Monday, November 26, 2001||Bucks County, Pennsylvania|
What Makes Great Enterprises?
|Management Functions||Traditional Manager||Great Manager|
|Selects people based on...||Experience (resulting in skills & knowledge)||Talent, intelligence, determination|
|Sets expectations by...||Defining the right steps||Defining the right outcomes|
|Motivates people by...||Helping them overcome their weaknesses||Building on their strengths|
|Develops people by...||Helping them get promoted||Finding the right fit for them|
Gallup defines talent as, "A recurring pattern of behavior that fits the role." No mention of skills or knowledge! Because underlying attitudes drive behavior, talent is really about ATTITUDE! Perhaps you may have heard that 95% of people are hired for experience, while 90% of people are fired for their attitude. In great enterprises, firings are infrequent, because they hire for talent.
How is talent developed? It isn't it's cultivated, by helping to make people more of what they already are. This is accomplished by transforming potential into performance: In the table above, this transformation is embodied in "motivates people by . . . building on their strengths." Talent is a behavioral strength: Because attitudes drive behavior, the key to transforming potential into performance is attitude development. Attitudes are changed using spaced repetition to effect positive conditioning, coupled with instilling permanent goal achievement habits.
SETTING EXPECTATIONS IN TERMS OF OUTCOME
By defining their version of the right steps for performing a job, mediocre managers short-change their organizations. Employees resent that their talents aren't valued enough to be allowed to do their job in ways that suit their strengths. If the defined steps require employees to use their weaknesses, they won't perform the job well eventually, they'll leave or get fired. On the other hand, by defining the right outcome, great managers capitalize on employee talents: When talented employees design steps that make use of their strengths, they will excel in the job.
IDENTIFYING TALENTS AND THE "RIGHT FIT"
There are many ways to identify talents -- your employee's behavioral strengths -- but it's tricky, so you should seek professional guidance, at least at the start. There are many behavior measurement systems that you can use to identify the talents already existing within your staff (you could be surprised!) and to identify the best recruits. Chances are, you will discover that some of your employees aren't matched to their role. With knowledge about their talent inventory, you will avoid blindly trying to make them fit the role, rather than finding a role that fits their talent.
Excellence is derived from talent, which is a behavioral strength. Behavior is driven by attitudes, so turning talent into performance is all about attitude! Attitude development can't be accomplished overnight, and you probably can't do it using your internal trainers, who are immersed in, and busy with, skills and knowledge training. Besides, when was the last time that your dentist drilled his own teeth?
1First, Break All the Rules -- What the World's Greatest Managers do Differently, by Buckingham and Coffman, published by Simon & Schuster, © The Gallup Organization.
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