To be a great leader nowadays means to be a good talent manager. This essential outer-core leadership ability allows you to attract, engage, motivate, and retain talent, the most important variable in the equation of organizational success. Good talent leadership strikes a balance between job demands and resources, follows through on individual development plans, and treats the education and development of talent as a top priority.

Leaders are Responsible for Successful Talent Management Practices 

With information flowing more quickly and freely than ever, organizations everywhere face unprecedented challenges in retaining their top talent. Opportunities for talented individuals abound, and leaders are hard-pressed to create environments in which their top performers feel comfortable, engaged, and motivated enough to not want to seek better opportunities elsewhere.

Leaders’ ability to devise and enact superior talent management solutions is what I have called in my books talent leadership. Given the impact of employee engagement, alignment, and motivation on company performance, there can be no doubt that talent management is indeed an essential outer-core leadership competency.

In Intelligent Leadership, I have defined the core tenets of talent leadership as four D’s:

  • Deployment: The collection of techniques and practices organizations use to select and onboard their talent.
  • Diagnosis: Continuous monitoring of individual and team engagement levels through effective diagnosis.
  • Development: Relationship and team building and coaching.
  • Demarcation: The honest provision of feedback coupled with performance-related rewards.

In some ways, talent leadership is the art of identifying and catering to the developmental needs of talent while striking a balance between job resources and job demands.

Talent Engagement and the Job Demands-Resources Balance

To ensure adequate talent engagement, leaders have to balance job demands that create strain with job resources that provide motivation.

Demands include various mental, emotional, and physical factors, the prevalence of which can lead to burnout and reduce engagement over time.

Resources cover support, feedback, and autonomy/empowerment. These factors generate motivation and engagement.

Intelligent leaders understand that higher demands require higher degrees of autonomy, knowledge, relevant feedback, and social support to maintain employee engagement.

Individual Development Plans

Although few leaders feel that they have sufficient talent at their disposal to execute their business strategies, the good news is that in-house talent and leadership development is an answer to this problem.

The first step of superior talent management is to create an individual development plan for every employee, highlighting the person’s developmental needs and ambitions, as well as how the organization can help him/her attain these goals.

Leaders need to make sure that they monitor their reports’ progress as part of this individual development plan initiative, tweaking and course-correcting as required.

Access to Leadership Development Programs

Successful talent leaders find it easy and natural to identify high-potential employees and mold them into the leaders of the future. Winning organizations recognize the importance of in-house leadership development. Thus, they promote organizational cultures conducive to mentoring, where leaders at all levels value and nurture the leadership inclinations of their reports.

Enrolling high potentials in leadership development programs can unleash that potential, ensuring a steady supply of top leadership talent for every branch and department of the organization.

Focusing on Education and Coaching Skills

Innovative organizations see their employees as their best resource and do not shy away from investing in employee education/improvement. Forwarding the individual careers of employees should be an organizational priority.

Employee education is the best investment in the future of your organization. 

Offering tuition reimbursements and diverse opportunities for development and training are excellent investments in this context.

Leadership development programs work on the coaching skills of those promoted to leadership positions. As such, they can create outstanding value in the context of talent leadership.

Are you looking to boost the talent leadership abilities of your leaders? Check out my leadership coaching services


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