Manager's Corner: Recognize Potential

Manager's Corner
Recognize Potential

We recently started a six-month leadership training program with a new client. The participants are accepted into the program only after they have been nominated by someone at or above their position in the company, and they have successfully passed the program's interview process.
This organization takes their leadership development program very seriously. They've invested a lot of time, effort, money, and other resources into it. The program and its participants are closely monitored not only by their managers, but also by the senior and executive management teams. It truly is impressive how dedicated the management team is to providing solid training and development opportunities to staff members who have shown leadership potential.
The interesting part of this process has been that several participants have indicated they were surprised they were nominated, but they are grateful to whomever nominated them. That's nice. But I believe it's a rather odd approach to nurturing talent. I haven't been able to get a clear explanation as to why this anonymous nomination process was developed. I believe this organization may have even more employees with hidden talent and potential who are waiting to be "discovered." But, because no one has told the employees directly that they have potential, the employees don't realize it or nurture it.
I'm a firm believer in the old saying: Catch people doing things right. When you acknowledge positive performance and behaviors, you help the employee understand what "good" or "excellent" performance is and how it feels to them when they do it. You help them uncover hidden talents they may not have realized they have. You help them recognize their own potential.
So if you have employees who have demonstrated leadership or other skills, tell them. Don't assume they know. Recognize them. Recognize their talents and their potential. You may just uncover your organization's next leader.

Liz Weber of Weber Business Services, LLC. WBS specializes in Strategic, Business, and Succession Planning, as well as employee and leadership training. Contact: liz@wbsllc.com or 717-597-8890.