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Executives can't do it alone, and must be masters of developing people

by Jamie Flinchbaugh on 12-15-13

The world is more complex. Competition is global. Information moves faster. Small aspects of every business require great depth of expertise. The result is that no CEO or Executive has the talent to lead an organization all by themselves.

What are your choices? While this oversimplifies it, you either buy or build. You could hire all the talent you need. But, you are going to pay a lot for that. You are going to have a hard time building a team environment of people coming in to be a star. Or you could develop people.

But…developing people is shown to be the biggest weakness of senior managers.

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In a lean organization, people development should be the top long-term objective of every manager. That doesn’t mean that you spend more time on people development than you do on other topics, just that it is always front of mind and front of purpose. Problem solving is an opportunity to solve a problem, and develop people. Strategy development is an opportunity to set direction, and develop people. Technical reviews are a chance to manage both innovation and risk, and…develop people.

But developing people takes much more than purpose. You need skills, tools, and plans. You need to be able to evaluate the current state of your team’s talent. You have to have a vision of what your team should be capable of in the future. You deliberate actions to close the gap. You need the same kind of lean thinking that you would apply to any issue you face. LLC tension inverted

Reflection question: Are you doing everything you can to develop your people? Do you have more than just good intentions to do so?

Extra note: if you want to improve your ability to develop people, consider attending our Leading Lean course.

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