How will you spot talent this week? (Part I of III)

Hiring and promoting the right people appears to be a combination of art and science.  We work with some fantastic HR professionals that seem to combine the two really well.   What we’ve all probably figured out is that the wrong person in a leadership position can cost your organization time, money and could result in some of your best team members leaving.  So, what process is used and how does your company choose its leaders and key talent?

How to spot talentREAD THIS:  An HBR (Harvard Business Review) article entitled, 21st Century Talent Spotting.  It points out that organizations have emphasized “competencies” in hiring and developing talent with jobs being decomposed into skills.  Business is volatile and complex now and so their point is that you have to look for potential which they define as “the ability to adapt to ever-changing business environments and grow into challenging new roles.”  We define potential as the sum of your skills, resources and behaviors.  In other words, if your behaviors don’t include the five key indicators they mention, which are:

  1. The right motivation
  2. Curiosity
  3. Insight
  4. Engagement
  5. Determination

then, the people you are relying on to grow your company and their team members are going to have a difficult time adapting to the changing marketplace you are sure to be experiencing.

CONSIDER THIS:  Jeff Bezos, CEO of, said “Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of (our) success.”  How high are you setting your bar?  What types of behaviors from your team members do you recognize, consistently, that lead to the desired outcomes you have set?

SPOTTING ENTREPRENEURIAL TALENT:  This short (2:29) video is with Marc Andreessen, a venture capitalist and internet pioneers who funds start-ups.   He speaks about the fact that they measure courage and genius.  It’s a great reality check for those looking to get funded and a reminder for those who want to fund others.

I’m breaking this into a 3-part series so we can explore in Part II:  How to measure talent and in Part III:  8 abilities to look for when picking leaders in your organization.

A HUGE shout out to Joyce Waugh, President of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Thank you, so very much, to Joyce who was kind enough to mention to the Roanoke Times that I might make a good business story.  She is always doing things to help business folks in our region!  Duncan Adams was the reporter who published the story today.  CLICK HERE to read it.  



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