The difference of engaging your talent with continual growth opportunities versus checking a development box and setting them on a shelf to wait 

By: Missy Jackson, Managing Partner

Developing your talent, especially those that are up-and-coming leaders within your organization, is a critical part of creating a healthy and sustainable business. Developing your people correctly is not only important from a productivity standpoint, it can mean the difference between developing your talent to lead or developing your talent to leave.

Where many organizations go wrong with implementing development initiatives, is that they view developing talent as a check-the-box activity. They put their talent through one, or at times, a handful of trainings and call it good. The development box is checked.

Don’t get me wrong, these trainings and programs are an essential part of the process of development. When you choose the right programs, and the right tools to support those programs, they can help create meaningful awareness of strengths and appropriately highlight areas of growth opportunity. We create and deliver trainings and programs like this all the time.

So, you may be wondering why I have suggested there is something wrong or missing with this approach to development.

Here is why.

Development shouldn’t be a check-the-box activity.  When it is, you essentially set your talent on a shelf and tell them, “Congratulations, we made an investment in you!  Now wait patiently until we have the next job opportunity available for you!”  The problem is, rarely is that next job opportunity coming available soon, let alone coinciding with the timeline that your ambitious developing talent desires.  So, what do you do?  Your hands are tied right?  You can’t just make that next job appear! And when you can’t, the talent may decide to take their newly developed self somewhere else rather than waiting patiently on the proverbial shelf you set them on after checking the box on their development path.  The fear of talent leaving, taking their developed and capable self somewhere else, is one of the unfortunate reasons organizations often worry about even making the effort to develop talent.

How do you develop talent to lead rather than leave?  The difference is providing an engaging path forward that continually stretches your rising leaders while they wait for the next opportunity to advance in their role within your organization.  Offering a great development course or two is only the first part of successful development.  Keeping the talent engaged, free from feeling they have been set on that shelf to wait, is the difference.

Vantage Group has thought long and hard about the challenges organizations face in developing talent.  We understand the fears that hold organizations back from developing their talent to lead versus developing their talent then watch them leave.  Recently we launched a development program that has been found to be a game changer when thinking about developing the next tier leaders in an organization.  It’s called TNT Leadership Academy + Accelerator™.  Not only have we pulled together a robust development program based on years of learnings and success with developing talent and rising leaders through the Academy, we have elevated it to the next level with the addition of our Leadership Accelerator.  The accelerator is how we continue to keep your developing talent engaged, challenged and continually developing.  When they stay on this engaged path forward, they have confidence and growing capabilities to eventually lead rather than sitting idle on a shelf, waiting, and eventually deciding to leave.


To learn more about The Vantage Group, Inc. and our TNT Leadership Academy and Accelerator program, visit our website or give us a call at 616-676-3330.  We’d love to help you develop your rising leaders to lead rather than leave.  We look forward to working with you!