Your People Are Your Secret Weapon

Your People Are Your Secret Weapon

The end of the year is upon us which also marks a time where we prepare for the year ahead. It is a moment of self-reflection, not only related to our own personal life and careers, but also how we are doing as executive leaders. Your people are your business so how you are leading your teams, hiring, and nurturing top executive talent, is arguably one of the most important roles of a CEO or business leader and warrants the most amount of personal reflection.

This week I read about a McKinsey & Company survey while reading CEO Excellence, a book that dives into the six most important mindsets of a CEO. In the section on talent management, the authors described a survey where they asked CEOs what the most important jobs were in their company. They then asked them who the most exceptional and talented people in the company were. Surprisingly, for many companies, the two answers were not the same. Those companies that did have the match were the most successful companies based on revenue growth and margin. What they discovered was the best CEOs took the time to evaluate the most critical roles in their organization and made it a priority to marry top talent with those roles. They then put a plan in place to mentor and coach these individuals with an eye on retention and professional growth.

As you begin to find the space for self-reflection, I encourage you to do this exercise. Write down the most critical roles in your company and do a very deep assessment as to whether you have your absolute best people in your most important positions. If there are questions or gaps, think about how you will address them or change them. Do a quiet search where you meet top executive talent outside of your company and take the time to understand the talent marketplace. Prioritize upgrading these critical positions. Where the alignment is right, think about how you, as a leader, are stacking up with mentorship and coaching to grow and retain your most important people.

Your talent is your secret weapon. We are in uncertain times, but this is the moment when the most focused companies come out on top. It is the people in your company that will get you there and dedicating significant time to evaluating talent – and evaluating yourself as a mentor and leader - needs to be prioritized. Forget what the market is doing, you simply can’t control it. The control you have is the people you hire and the coaching you give them. Carve out space to prioritize people in 2023 and you will win.