Motivational Skills are in High Demand

I recently came across the results of a study conducted by Right Management Consultants that should be of interest to any manager, executive or business owner.  What traits are you looking for the most as you make succession plans for your senior staff?  And remember… the “baby boomers” who hold many of these key positions are starting to retire now – and the rate of retirement will accelerate quickly. 

Have you started to “groom” your internal staff to succeed your present leaders and managers?  If you are looking outside of your company to attract top talent, what traits are you looking for?

As usual, I found a summary of the Right Management Consultants survey in the April 1006 issue of “The Motivational Manager.”  168 U.S. firms responded to the survey and they ranked these traits as most desirable:

62% – Ability to motivate and engage others.

58% – Ability to effectively communicate both strategically and inter personally.

52% – Ability to think strategically.

51% – Ability to lead change.

47% – Ability to create a performance organization.

45% – Commitment to developing people.

43% – Honesty and trustworthiness.

42% – Ability to develop an inspiring vision.

34% – Decisiveness.

Most telling, on 43% of the 168 firms said that they are providing the necessary development training.  So much for the pablum of many companies who proudly say, “Our employees are our most valuable asset.”  If that is how you value your assets… well, I would hate to be your client – but would enjoy being your competitor.

Can you train people to be effective motivators?  Can you train the next generation of leaders to effectively engage your staff and clients?  Can you improve the overall quality of communication skills within your company?  “Yes, yes and yes!”

I find it interesting that in this study, 45% of the firms value the “commitment to developing people” when searching for future leaders.  Well, why not eat your own cooking?  Encourage your current crop of (soon to be retiring) leaders to groom, mentor and coach your younger staff members?

Does your company employ either a formal or an informal mentoring program?  Is your company committed to continuous training and career development?  If not, why not?  What is your philosophy of leadership?  If you don't have one, you might consider these words from John Quincy Adams:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

So my advice to the 57% of these firms who are not presently providing career development training is simply – start developing your own skills to motivate and engage others.  If you are having trouble motivating and engaging your present staff, you will never be able to hire leaders to fill this role.  It starts with you!

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