High-performing people are always looking for new opportunities, so you need to be prepared. Author Mike Figliuolo explains how to develop a pipeline of talent so you're not caught short.
- One of the great things about leading a high performing team is that people grow and they grow very quickly. The problem with that is they're always looking for new opportunities and you're always at risk for losing someone either to a promotion within the organization or they move on to bigger and better things outside of your company. So as a leader you need to be prepared for these changes because over-reliance on an individual player can be extremely dangerous. For example, my dad was in the Navy and he was on a submarine, and they had a badge that was called the Dolphins. And the way it worked was, every individual in that crew had to know and be able to perform the jobs of every single other crew member. Because think about it, on a submarine if someone got injured or went down you couldn't have the rest of the crew not know how to perform that role because it put the entire organization at risk. Because there are huge benefits to cross-training. First, it builds redundancy. If someone leaves your organization, you have someone else who can step in and fulfill those responsibilities because the business needs to continue operating. Second, with cross-training it gives people a development opportunity so they can grow. And then third, the people conducting that cross-training are learning how to train and develop others. So you're doing two things at the same time. That individual is learning a new skill and the person teaching it is also learning the skill of developing others. Succession planning is critical to ensuring the talent gaps are short when a key player leaves or gets promoted. As a leader, you need to start looking ahead beyond what your current team has from a people standpoint and you need to build a robust talent pipeline of people who can come into your team and fill roles when gaps arise. Succession planning is not an HR responsibility. It's yours. HR does the recruiting. HR helps you find the candidates. But you as the leader need to understand and build that talent pipeline and make sure you're thinking through succession planning. And you can ask Human Resources to come in and assist you in that work. You should be regularly assessing the talent on your team as well as looking across the broader organization. Ideally, you have a short list of people elsewhere in the organization you would like to recruit should you have an opening. I know some leaders who actually have that talent pipeline written out and it also includes people outside the company who they know from their own personal and professional network. And by staying in touch with those people in other parts of the organization or in other companies, when a role opens up that leader can quickly reach out to those people and fill that role much more rapidly than the leader who has an opening arise they weren't expecting and they don't have a talent pipeline built. So by having a robust talent pipeline and making sure you're doing the cross-training and having that bench strength built in advance of a role opening up, you're going to fill your openings faster, you're going to get better talent that is better qualified for that role, and you're not going to have to just settle and say, "Well, I need a body. "I need anybody to just be able to do this work." And get somebody who isn't a perfect fit for your team.
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- Create a compelling vision and mission for your team.
- List the steps to conduct strategic planning activities.
- Identify the resources teams need to succeed.
- Determine the skills leaders need to look for when recruiting high performance teams.
- Explain how to create stretch opportunities for employees.
- Describe the primary components of conflict resolution.
- Build bench strength and succession plans.