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Talent management is a science and an art. It takes a special skill set to do it right — to teach without intimidating, challenge without discouraging and applaud without inflating any egos.

But this talent management trifecta is crucial to creating our new generation of leaders. As the saying goes, "Do unto others as your boss does unto you."

It takes a great leader to know a great leader, so we tracked some down and asked them: “How do you transform your team members into company leaders?"

The consensus among them was that all talent managers should keep four key principles in mind:

  1. Pinpoint the leadership qualities your company needs
  2. Guide them, augment them and rally for them
  3. But give them plenty of room to experiment
  4. Realize that not everyone is suited to lead


Pinpoint the leadership qualities your company needs

David Creelman

David Creelman, Chief Executive Officer at Creelman Research

“A good leader is one people want to work for, so pay attention to how other employees relate to those you think have the potential for leadership.”

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Nicole Le Maire

Nicole Le Maire, Global People Advisor at The People Engine

“To be a successful leader in today’s world, one must impact the success of other employees, products, projects and productivity. Leaders have to be creative, innovative and passionate.”

read more from Nicole

Barry Flack

Barry Flack, HR Tech Advisor at BF Consultancy

“Tomorrow's success is based on networks, diversity of opinion, collaboration and a humility and authenticity in our leaders that we haven't previously seen.”

read more from Barry

Guide them, augment them and rally for them

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary, Innovation/Marketing Leader at RecruitingDaily.com

“Forget engagement and pep talks. People inherently want to do great things. Give them a reason to want to do great things for you.”

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Rita Trehan

Rita Trehan, Chief Capacity Officer at Rita Trehan LLC

“You might have the best strategy, the best processes and the best structure, but the quality and calibre of your leaders will make or break your organisation.”

read more from Rita

But give them plenty of room to experiment

Ben Baran

Ben Baran, Practice Leader of Agility Analytics at Agility Consulting and Training

“The best companies intentionally design stretch experiences within which high-potential employees can expand their knowledge and skills.”

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Jason Lauritsen

Jason Lauritsen, Keynote Speaker, Author and Consultant at JasonLauritsen.com

“Put the person in a spot where they likely feel that they are "in over their head." We get most serious about learning to swim the moment before we are about to drown.”

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Realize that not everyone is suited to lead

Karen Silins

Karen Silins, Resume Strategist and Career Coach at A-Plus Career and Resume, LLC

“The very first thing I tell client companies and executive coaching clientele is that the best ‘doers’ in a given job aren’t necessarily the best managers and leaders for their organization.”

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Judson Highhill

Judson Highhill, President at Dominion Systems

“I assign duties to my employees that they don’t regularly do in order to expand their skill set. This will show me which of my employees are ready to dive in and learn new things, and which prefer to simply stick to the status quo.”

read more from Judson