Manager as talent spotter

Manager as talent spotter

By and large, managers are not very good at spotting talent (unless it is someone like them!). However, if they are prepared to put aside stereotypes about what constitutes talent, they can play a vital role in retention, diversification and harnessing of talent.

Effective talent spotters are on the look out for people, who don’t conform to the norms of competency frameworks, yet who get things done, often in tier own, individual way. They look for talent both in their own teams and elsewhere. Amongst their common behaviours and characteristics are that they:

  • Create opportunities for employees to seize challenges that will demonstrate current and latent talent
  • Take time to listen to people, simply because they are interested in them and their jobs
  • Have a perspective of talent that emphasizes diversity and the unexpected
  • See and value other people more for their strengths than their weaknesses
  • Take a positive view of mistakes and failures, as long as people have learned from them. They empathise with Facebook’s corporate value “Fail harder”, because they know that people, who are really talented, stretch themselves until they fail, whereas people who never may mistakes aren’t trying hard enough or genuinely innovating
  • Encourage people to apply for roles that aren’t obvious to them, but have great learning potential

© David Clutterbuck. All rights reserved

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