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In this news story from Gallup there are two interesting quotes:

“If great managers seem scarce, it’s because the talent required to be one is rare. Gallup’s research reveals that about one (1) in 10 people possess the talent to manage.”


“Conventional selection processes are a big contributor to inefficiency in management practices; they apply little science or research to find the right person for the managerial role.”

Many of us are leaders in our respective organizations. There are many implications of this study and if properly executed an organization would differentiate your organization from the competition.

Gallup recommends reviewing the following data: “customer metrics; higher profitability, productivity, and quality (fewer defects); lower turnover; less absenteeism and shrinkage (i.e., theft); and fewer safety incidents.”

Assessment: I recommend reviewing managerial talent in your organization as soon as practicable. In addition to the data ask these questions and rate on a 1-5 Likert scale.

1. This manager addresses conflict and rumors in the workplace immediately.

2. It is obvious to me that company communications are received and acted upon by their direct reports.

3. It is obvious to me that this manager engages his/her direct reports on a frequent basis.

4. This leader has development plans for all his/her direct reports.

5. I would promote this manager today to a higher-level leadership role.

It is important for the leadership team of your organization to independently answer these questions and discuss their specific experiences with each of the leaders in your review. It is not good enough for one person to answer these questions as a single perspective will be woefully inadequate to engage in discussions about next steps. Calibration across many perspectives will help reduce single focal point bias.

Selection: The article mentions adding science and research to finding the right leaders. I recommend finding the right psychometric tool as part of the selection process and following its guidance. Amazingly, many hiring managers think they are best able to select the best employees from a pool of prospective candidates. This is rarely the case as each of us brings to the table our innate biases and preferences for the candidates we ultimately select.

Research – this becomes a bit more difficult. How should we research a candidate’s leadership capabilities? Here are some ideas: request past employee engagement results, request written examples of how they supported and developed prior direct reports, and ask to interview past direct reports.

I invite you to share with me your thoughts about this article and my recommended steps. I believe that finding and retaining your best leaders is an automatic win for your organization. How can your organization achieve this result?

Please reach out to: if you would like to meet and discuss your organization’s opportunity regarding finding the best leaders.

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