Leadership is a Disposition not a Position

“Do what you do with love, and success is a natural symptom.” James Altucher

Before I write an article, journal, or op-ed I meditate on my thoughts to ensure what I present is engaging enough for the readers. At times, I fail, which I easily can admit, but as a writer, I can easily write another article that can engage a future audience.

Sadly, that is not the case in the workforce where several studies cite employee engagement as low as 30%.

Speaking to a client recently, they stated they lacked the resources to consistently engage their workforce, which made me think, “How many employees have been professionally damaged for life?” The truth of the matter is, as important as it is for us to find the right candidate, it is more important to engage and harness their talents at work from the onset. This same client advised me how they lost a talented admin because once they lost their corporate controller, she was never enlisted to help and her offer to help was rebuffed. Later they found out she was previously a successful CPA before relocating to the area.

The lesson? Realize that individuals come with multiple talents, and the role in which a person works doesn’t necessarily dictate their skill level or capabilities, just as a failure in one role does not mean failure in all roles.

As leaders, which is a disposition, not a position, we should help discover talents in others. Go to lunch with a new colleague, sign up for a working committee and get to know someone, as you never know how their talent may assist you in a  future project. For those in an authority role, it is your responsibility to unlock and maximize the talents on your team. If you feel this is not your job, think back to how you made to it where you are, you surely had guidance.

Each of us possesses the ability to unlock talent in one another, by engaging. In comparing engagement to wisdom, it’s been said that wisdom is “the intuitive ability to do the right thing at the right time in the right way.” Another working definition is “the proper application of information and intelligence.” Whichever definition you may prefer, it’s clear that wisdom is something that only enhances and improves the same as engaging your workforce. What are the implications if you do nothing to engage your workforce?

Contributed by: K.L. ALLEN, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, KeyGroup LLC

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Jackie Messersmith is President and CEO of Talent Management LLC. Talent Management provides consulting services to small to mid-size businesses to put an employee engagement culture and talent strategy in place, and is the developer of Talent Snapshot®, an integrated, competency based, online talent management solutions. Jackie can be reached at 513-528-9700 or jackie@talentmanagementllc.com.