Talent Management with No Talent!

January 18, 2011

I am a big fan of football.  In fact, I have a whole series of football posts planned for Superbowl week so all I am going to say for now is that I really like football.  By default, I am a Bears fan and by default I mean, my husband reads this blog and would divorce me if I said anything else.  Also by default, I am not allowed to like the Colts, specifically Peyton Manning.

While I do not have the same deep loathing of the older Manning brother as my husband, I have gotten sick of hearing about why he has struggled this season. It seems there is always excuses, none of which include him.  A few weeks ago on Monday Night Countdown, someone echoed my sentiment when they talked about how Peyton needs to work with the guys he has and stop making excuses (paraphrased).  You can read a great article about this here.  With all of the praise about the leader that Peyton is and about what an amazing talent he is, shouldn’t he be able to work with any team and raise their playing level?

This same phenomenon plays out in the business world.  Talented leaders make excuses every day about why their team is not performing.  Often the excuses have nothing to do with them and focuses on the lack or immaturity of the talent they lead.  Leaders, it is time to stop the excuses and work with what you have!

Part of a leaders essential job functions and dare I say, one of the most important, is to develop their people.  If a team has little talent or underdeveloped talent, then it is the leader’s job to get them up to speed.  Does it take a little more time, of course!  Is it harder, absolutely!  Is it more rewarding than anything else you will accomplish as a leader – in my experience, YES!

Who wants to be the leader of a team whose success has nothing to do with their contribution?  You are not really a leader if the team does not and has never needed your guidance.  That isn’t to say that successful teams aren’t important, but if they were successful before you and are successful without you, then what are you doing?

Here is the good news.  Peyton Manning doesn’t have to develop those around him alone and neither do today’s leaders.  There are other coaches (HR/Training), mentors (other employees) and methods (books, e-learning) to aide in development.  The leader’s job is to facilitate the development, provide feedback and accountability which all help to raise the level of talent.

If Peyton puts the time in during the off-season to help develop his team, what do you think the Colts will look like next season?  What about your team?


One Response to “Talent Management with No Talent!”

  1. I am a huge football fan as well and now that I’m in Chicago and my man “Julius Peppers” from my favorite team The Panthers….I’ve now converted to THE BEARS. It is crucial that leaders develop those around them and encourage them in any way possible. I am always inspired by your posts. Thanks

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