“ The power of a company to attract good people is directly proportionate to its reputation as a developer of successful people for itself as well as for other companies.”- Peter Drucker
McKinsey & Company’s War for Talent survey found that at most companies, talent is not a priority! Disturbing as this is, effective talent management begins with adopting a different mindset. Every leader has to be committed to getting better talent – HR alone cannot do the job.
The War for Talent survey conducted by McKinsey & Company of 13,000 managers and several hundred corporations identified five imperatives for ‘winning the war for talent’:
1. Embrace a talent mindset
2. Craft a winning employee value proposition
3. Rebuild your recruiting strategy
4. Weave development into your organization
5. Differentiate and affirm your people
Talent is the most important strategic resource for future success. According to Robert Hargrove, co-CEO of Masterful Coaching, leaders must place an emphasis on coaching and mentoring over managing the details. Put another way, an organizations humans beings are its most reliable resource for generating excellent results year after year.
The survey also found that a Winning Employee Value Proposition – a reason why customers should do business with you – is equally important to people management. The key is not what core values and organization has, but that it has core values at all. A core ideology provides the glue that holds the organization together through time.
Above all else, people want to believe in their leaders, trusting their words, seeing a match between their words and behavior. According to Rob Goffee, London Business School professor and co-author of Why Should Anyone be led by You, it is unlikely that one will be able to inspire, arouse, execute or motivate people unless one is able to show people who you are, what you stand for, and what you can and cannot do. Pam Alexander, CEO of Alexander Ogilvy Public Relation Worldwide believes relationships are more important than ever. To build trust, she suggests investing constantly in ones relationships. “Don’t sweat ROI, help people whether or not they can return the favor.”
The ability to create trust collapses time in building relationships. The need to build relationships is overlooked at the individual leaders peril. It could be concluded that, if trust does not exist, then that leader really cannot be leading. To build trust it is necessary to fight a battle together, or at least, go through some difficult situation together. It is also necessary for an individual to open him or herself up about who they are – to share professional and personal success, and failure. Joseph Berardino, former CEO of Anderson Worldwide says, “I think leaders who do not make themselves vulnerable to their people, can’t effectively lead because people aren’t going to think you are real.”
Project teams succeed or fail because of program management.
It has been the writers’ experience that role of the project management office (PMO) is extremely challenging, probably, more challenging than an organizational management. Project teams are formed quickly and players are brought in from the outside and from within an organization, largely thrown together in a short space of time with a directive to deliver solution. The unique nature of this ‘temporary’ organization requires out of the box management, in the very least, management who do not apply status quo management techniques. Project teams require a ‘skunk-works’ mentality – people passionately committed to creating something great and unexpected, largely risk-averse, and passionate about creating something new and possibly ground-breaking or revolutionary. Old-style, everyday management techniques will not work for doing something new… if things are still being done the old way.7 That said, the project team will find success elusive if a clear set of objectives, spelled out unambiguously by management does not exist. Individuals with leadership roles on project teams need to demonstrate enthusiasm and passion associated with the hallmarks of those who aspire for greatness, because the need to engage the organization or customers is one of the greatest challenges to gaining buy-in and creating the shared need and urgency around the project.
If you ask managers what they find most difficult and challenging in their job, the most common and honest reply is ‘people’. According to Rob Goffee, Professor of Organizational Behavior, London Business School, “success today and tomorrow will depend increasingly on one’s ability to get people to follow you, not because they have to, but because they want to”.
Getting things done through others is a fundamental leadership skill. Indeed, if one is unable to do it, they’re not leading. In an attempt to get people to do things, some smother their people, blocking their initiative and creativity. They’re the micromanager, insecure leader who can’t trust others to get it right because they don’t know how to calibrate them and monitor their performance. They wind up making all the key decisions about details themselves, so they don’t have to deal with larger issues. And some even abandon their people altogether. This sort of behavior does not yield the results that are often desired by managers using such techniques.
What then should leaders do? First, leaders need to commit as much as 40% of their time and emotional energy, in one form or another, in selecting, appraising and developing people. Leaders are committed to the people process and are deeply engaged in it, so that fundamentally, the right people are in the right jobs.