The Chapter’s Big Ideas

•   Leading people is an honor and should be treated as such.

•   If you aren’t getting what you want from people, it’s usually an issue of skill or will.

•   All good things in an organization come from people.

•   Talent management is inclusive of managing and developing employees.

•   Managing employees and developing them is a science.

•   Good talent management isn’t hard, but it takes commitment. If it’s done well, the possibilities are limitless.

•   Good talent management begins with the manager.

•   Managers need to have five big conversations with their employees throughout the year:

•   The “What you need to do” conversation

•   The “How you are doing” conversation

•   The “How you did” conversation

•   The “Money” conversation

•   The “How you need to grow” conversation

Layout of the BOOK

Talent management consists of the processes, practices, and activities that are used in hiring people, determining their compensation, managing their job performance, training and developing them, and planning for replacing them should they leave or be promoted.

Managing Performance

What You Need to Do” Conversation

The “How You Are Doing” Conversation

The “How You Did” Conversation

The “Money” Conversation

Developing Employees

The “How You Need to Grow” Conversation

Succession Planning

Career Development

Coaching and Feedback

Additional Components

Motivation and Style



The idea of unleashing people’s potential by giving them good input and stretching them to new levels is heady stuff. To help people dig deep and uncover what’s inside them and then watch them become successful is highly rewarding. Done consistently and thoroughly with a group or an organization, it’s incredibly powerful. The collective impact of employees performing at the highest level and truly working TOGETHER is limitless. The magic that can happen when the constraints that organizations put on their own people (or that we put on each other or on ourselves) are removed makes for extraordinary results.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of unleashing people’s potential? So why is it that lack of direction, lack of development, lack of good coaching and feedback, and poor work environments appear as major areas of concern on survey after survey completed by employees? I find that when something that should be happening isn’t happening regarding talent management, even though the resources are available to make it happen, one of two reasons is the cause: lack of skill or lack of will.