Finding Talent: Understanding the Skills and Attributes of Great Managers
Updated: Jun 1
“What do you feel your talents are?” My confidence seemed to escape me for a moment as I was asked this in a job interview. I had to stop for a moment to collect my thoughts and compile how I wanted to answer this question. This was a direct question and a golden opportunity to communicate how I could add to the success of the position I was being asked to consider.
WHAT IS TALENT? As staunch supporter of the data that Gallup has gathered over the past 4 decades in business research, I knew the 3 facts about talent:
Talent, as defined, is the innate, natural capacity for excellence in using learned knowledge, skills, and abilities (abbreviated “KSAs”).
Talent, in the right role, is the greatest predictor of long-term success.
Talent cannot be detected on a resume (which is why interviews are still conducted and questions asked to hear how you use your KSAs)
When the right talent is connected to the right role, the work energizes the individual. In contrast, the wrong talent leaves an individual to feel drained, lose momentum, and slow down the progression towards positive results.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR TALENTS? Thankfully, I had taken the time to consider my own natural strengths in support of the managerial role at hand. I had found the strength finders assessment to be the most valuable in providing insights into my own managerial strengths.
Learning your own strengths will help define the direction you take your career. I urge everyone to take assessments to avoid choosing a career path that will not resonate down the road. Assessments provide insights into your natural strengths, and positions you to go after roles that allow you to succeed. Finding your strengths allow you to realize that you are, in fact, 1 in 476 trillion unique. I also recommend having a certified strengths coach walk you through your results so you can know how to apply your strengths for your success!
You can also learn more about how others see your talents by simply asking for feedback. This needs to be done with structure to receive the information you need, because often people think feedback is only to offer where to improve. Request feedback by asking for one thing you do right within a particular context, and then ask for an example of how they see it. This provides you with one exact example of how they see your talent in action. Ask and collect these examples as proof of your talent as often as you like! These will help confirm that you are on track in using your strengths, or provide positive areas you can tweak as you grow.
GREAT MANAGER TALENT IS UNIQUE Companies who use Gallup assessments and hire the top 20% of those who have managerial strengths report 10% higher productivity, 20% higher sales, 30% higher profits, 10% lower turnover, and 25% fewer unscheduled absences. Gallup has determined that, regardless of industry, high managerial talent consistently includes the following 5 talent categories:
Motivation: the ability to challenge themselves and their team to continually improve and deliver outstanding performance.
Assertiveness: the ability to overcome challenges, resistance, and adversity.
Accountability: they assume responsibility for the team’s success and create processes and structure to help their team succeed.
Relationships: the ability to build positive, engaging work environment where their team can create strong relationships with each other and their clients.
Decision-making: they think ahead, plan for contingencies, balance competing interests, and use analytics to help solve the many complex issues and problems inherent to the role.
GREAT MANAGERS ARE ALSO GREAT BRAND AMBASSADORS Just meeting someone may not allow you to know if they possess great managers talents. Highly talented managers, however, possess some visible indicators. Gallup data reveals that talented managers are found to be twice as likely to be engaged at work and are positive advocates for their organization’s brand. They also understand what makes their company unique, and rally those they know to use their organizations products and services. They are, in a sense, great cheerleaders for everything their company stands for, and connect their team’s performance to the organization’s purpose and brand. Find great managers in your organization by looking for people who exhibit these attributed. To learn more about these findings, click here to read the full report from Gallup.
Discover Your Talents with Strength Strategy!
The best managers get to know themselves and their team. You lead a team to success by understanding your team’s capabilities, and by people in positions that play to their strengths while partnering them with people who will overcome their weaknesses. Discover your strengths, and the strengths or your team, with our Strength Strategy course!