Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
 -  Stephen R. Covey







RealTime Coaching FAQ






Talent (Mis)Management

 Have you ever been mismanaged? Conversely, have you ever unknowingly mismanaged someone? Is it possible that you are mismanaging someone now?

  Some years ago at a large consumer packaged goods company there was an up-and-coming account executive (I’ll call him Anthony). He was bright, educated and professional, with well developed people skills, which buyers and senior executives noticed and liked. In short, he was a keeper. In his first two years with the organization he exceeded expectations and received two promotions to manage different accounts in different cities. After the third year he again performed very well, but his manager heard that he might not be happy in his position.

If you were Anthony’s coach/manager, what would you do at this point?

Here’s what happened: His manager didn’t discuss Anthony’s performance review with him. Instead, believing he had a better idea, he asked the Vice President of Sales to do so, who invited Anthony for a special lunch at a prominent (and expensive) restaurant. During the lunch, the VP praised Anthony for his remarkable performance. He went on to further bestow some additional news. Although there was no immediate promotion position available, Anthony was to receive a new title along with a rather sizable salary increase.

The result? Three weeks later Anthony announced his resignation. His manager and many others who worked with him were both shocked and saddened. Two months later his manager John was even more perplexed to learn that Anthony had left for a position with a considerable reduction in salary and job responsibility.

This assumption that a pay raise and a title was a motivator was universal within the organization. Anthony’s manager and VP assumed that the increased salary and new job title would be acceptable and serve to engage Anthony’s continued performance. It obviously failed, and the organization lost a great performer, as well as the impact this performance had on the performance of others.

It turns out that Anthony was very family oriented, and spending time with extended family was an important part of his life. With his manager still unaware of the intensity of this need, Anthony chose to leave the company to accept a lesser job that allowed him to return to live in his home city.

The moral of this story is this – if an organization or manager fails to really understand the different motivators of their talent, then they run the risk of failing to retain top performers. To sustain high performance we need to be in tune with those we coach/ lead. Do you know what’s important to each of your team members and direct reports? Or do you assume that what motivates you also motivates them? Another consideration is, once you do know, how are you building it into their job? For example, if a person needs/ enjoys learning, have you engaged them in new opportunities for learning in the coming year? Have you tried to fit them on project teams that provide learning opportunities they crave? If you don’t know what drives your people, ask them – or you may indeed be mismanaging the talent on your team. If you’d like to understand your talent better, see below.

If you would like to better understand one of your team members, allow us to introduce you to a few of our online profiles. They assist you (and them) in understanding what motivates them most, as well as how to communicate with/ coach them most effectively. Click here for more information.

Also, if you are with a charity or not-for-profit organization, contact client services this week to receive two complimentary profiles.

In the Spirit of Growth, 

Chuck Reynolds  BA, CPBA, CPVA
Chief Performance Officer, Excel Group Development


Chuck  Reynolds is a Principal and Chief Performance Officer with Excel Group Development a Performance Solutions firm that assists organizations in enhancing management and team  effectiveness. He can be reached indirectly  by emailing our admin group. Insert 'ATTN Chuck' in the subject area. Visit them at 

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