Career Development: Why Don’t We Just Do It?

As stated on page 8 of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go by Beverly Kaye and Julie Winkle Giulioni

Unfortunately, they are absolutely correct in their observation that many managers do not take advantage of this effective tool.   They suggest several forces stop managers from engaging in serious and productive career development with their employees.   Here are just two of several myths about career development which they discuss and debunk:

I don’t have enough time

Sigh … how often do we hear this?   For that matter, how often do we say this?

We have enough time to develop others.  What we lack is the willingness to choose to use the time we do have for that.    Time is fixed … we all get the same amount of it every single day.  What is different is how we choose to use that time.

Some managers mistakenly believe that being busy or at least appearing busy is the key to success.   Not so much … personally I’m more impressed by the leader who can get maximum effort from others and has time for his kid’s ball games than the one who comes in early, stays late, and looks really busy all the time.

Fighting fires may seem productive and even include a dash of excitement.  However, the choice between fighting fires alone and creating  armies of firefighters is pretty clear.  Much more bang for your bucks with effective career development.   

I don’t  have enough money or shiny objects.

… because people always want more and bigger, right?

Not necessarily.   We managers tend to assume that employees are always interested in more money, more status, a bigger office, and other visible symbols of “oomph”.   Maybe we managers just assume that others will think and behave the way we think they should.  Maybe we’re wrong.

People can be very surprising.   Rather than assume you know what floats an employee’s boat, why not try asking them.  Then listen carefully and without interrupting.   This might take a while, since you have to establish some trust first, but it’s worth the effort.

Beverly and Julie talk about other things that we throw in our own way, so we do not embrace creative career development.   Check out their new book, not just for the other myths we tell ourselves, but also for how to move past the myths and help your employees grow.

Bet ya enjoy the results:)

Being motivated by less and not more in the Heartland ….


Disclaimer:  Yeah, I got a copy of the book without paying for it.  However, I did pay for the other two copies I bought to share with people who I especially care about and want to see become effective managers.    You know what?   I’d say the same things if I’d paid for the first copy:)