November 2013

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Management In The Shrinking Talent Pool Find and Grow Your Leaders Within Employee assessments and proactive development won't be options in the future – reach the young, match talent to tasks, and nurture the naturals under your own roof. BY RON SLEE Over the previous two months we have talked about technicians and office personnel including the sales functions; now we come to the leadership group. Let me say this right up front: Management is about leading people not managing people. This is a critical job function and one that many misunderstand. Historically, we have taken the individual with the seniority in the department, and we have made them the supervisors or the managers. As with most of the other job functions, management and supervision need to be developed in-house. This might have been a suitable solution during the middle of the 20th century, but it clearly is no longer the right answer. It is very clear that we must identify and then develop the right individuals to lead the operating and selling departments in an equipment dealership. Identification of good candidates is not an easy task. Let me define leadership for the purposes of this discussion. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. This influence is achieved through respect and trust, which are gained by achievements that are viewed as important by the followers. You do this through shared experiences on the job, working together on a day-to-day basis or on projects. Leadership is not a trait that is limited to a few people. It is a process that rests in the interactions between people. It can show itself and is very natural. It can be learned and it is not some genetic benefit limited to a few. There are many companies in the market that specialize in personality profiling and "personalysis;" there are businesses that develop specific profiles for all job functions. What this is all leading to is managing the individual job functions and the personnel best suited to those functions. This requires what I call a "skill set inventory" for each employee in the company. 40 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | November 2013 What is the educational background and job history, including the performance at each stage in the history, and the specific level of skills of each individual in the business within each department? With this information available for each individual, the company can much more realistically determine the individuals who have the potential to be high performers. For those of you who are interested in pursuing this further, several books come to mind: "What Makes a Leader?" by Daniel Goleman; "What Makes an Effective Executive?" by Peter Drucker; "What Leaders Really Do," by John P. Kotter. Then, of course, the company needs to be able to define the specific skill requirements for each of their job functions. This is typically an area in which many dealerships are lacking. Maybe you are thinking, "I am too small for that," or "I know what they are supposed to do." I couldn't disagree more. It doesn't matter how large or small or how well we think we know

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