That people thing

Someone asked, “Why are senior executives and partners so resistant to developing people?”

Answer:  Over confidence in their industry knowledge

Here are examples a few leaders have given me as justification for not having a defined development plan for their people:

Finance executive:  “I’ve been in this business 30 years and I can spot the people who will succeed”

Construction executive:  “We know how to build things; it’s what we do”

Audit partner:  “We wait and see who naturally excels in our business; the cream always rises to the top”

What do these justifications for not developing people have in common (other than utterly missing the point)? They’ve all assumed that because they know their business and have succeeded personally, that they will recognize top talent when they see it.  The risk, of course, is the talent not showing up in time.

I wonder if they take this “sure hope things work out” approach to business strategy and operations?

Just a reminder for those of you at the top of your organizations…your primary responsibility is preparing the leadership of the future.


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