I have just recently completed a project where I had the opportunity to review a multitude of executive and managerial job descriptions. I recognize that everyone has different interests and what can be nirvana to some, can be tedium to others, as was the case with me. Reading job descriptions is probably not my cup of tea. In my drudgery after several days of working on the project, a thought struck me. Of the several very noted and reputable organizations, only one firm stated that managers and executives were responsible to develop their subordinates.
I recognize I have been playing the game a long time. This used to be fundamental. As we have “leaned” our organizations, as people feared being downsized, and the American culture accepted the pattern of employee advancement from outside where employees’ attained success by changing companies rather than internal promotion, have we excused our management teams of their responsibility of making their people better? I have even heard a manager state that they do not identify their best players in fear that they will be promoted and they will not be able to meet their own personal objectives without that individual. Most organizations in the past set specific performance goals and often paid bonuses to manager when a subordinate was advanced. Managers were held accountable when they were unable to make acceptable progress.
For an organization to grow and flourish, it needs talent. Given the reluctance to relocation and the tightening labor market, now is an appropriate time to identify internal high potential individuals and hold their managers responsible for their retention, development and advancement.