Let me ask you questions. Whose job is it to create a career path for talent today? Is it the individual’s or their manager’s responsibility?
The realities is in today’s dynamic workplace both parties have to own it, especially managers leading individuals earlier in their careers as they lack visibility into other areas of the business.
The challenge is - the job of helping to chart those plans used to be a lot easier. Within the traditional hierarchical structure it was very clear where and when the next opportunity was, both for the team member and the manager. You could clearly “look up” and see your next move, however with roles and business models constantly evolving today it’s become a moving target.
In order to make that move today it requires a manager who can ask deeper questions about where their talent wants to go and then tap their network to make the appropriate introductions.
Of course as the individual looking to make the move you have to own part of this equation as well. You have to be willing to pick up the phone. Follow through on commitments. Look to add value. Look to be of service.
In order for career paths to open up and expand beyond the typical lock step straight up the org chart path though selfless manager are needed. Managers that are capable of developing talent yet willing to help them move on outside of their organization.
That’s not always an easy pill to swallow. And for some the idea of an expanded career path is simply not on their radar.
I'll give you an example. I had an and up and coming Hi-Po recently tell me she was struggling to make a move in her career at a large financial institution. Feeling a little stagnant she wasn’t growing and no longer felt challenged in her current role.
Looking to make a move into a new area of the business she reached out to her manager. After explaining her situation her manager responded by saying, “Oh we aren’t going to let you leave our group - we need you!” and then quickly changed the subject.
Have you been there? Painful.
Not only was this manager not driving the conversation, she was literally shutting down the idea of this individual moving outside of her department.
I call this “talent hoarding” and I see it everywhere.
If leaders today want to retain the best talent for their organizations, it will require them to be willing to not only let people go but in some cases, help them go.
As my good friend and business performance expert Ryan Estis says, “The best leaders today are connected, constantly evolving their networks, building bridges and filling the gaps.”
You can’t underestimate the power you have in your hands to help your people experience a dynamic and exciting career path. You can open doors. You can literally change people’s lives.
It’s moving from “Talent Hoarding” to “Career Launching”
The best leaders don’t hold people back, they propel them forward.
But you have to be willing to let them go.