Managing Type-A talent

Have you ever worked in an organization where the majority of your workforce is A-type leaders? These leaders are hard to keep around.

Organizations that have an overwhelming number of Type-A leaders—but not enough leadership positions—seem to get stuck in a cycle of acquired then lost talent because there isn’t enough growth opportunity. These organizations are going to have to change how they’re operating if they want to retain their strong workforce.
Here are three ways to manage your excess of leadership.

#1. Cross-train leadership for optimal growth. Cross-training fends off employee boredom and places the company in a better position to retain its intellectual capital. Have your leader train in a different department, using his or her talents to learn new skills. Companies like Walmart, CarMax, and other Fortune 500s trains their leadership in multiple areas of the business to have better rounded leadership.

#2. Make talent development a key initiative in your workplace. A good place to start is a mentorship program that pairs senior leadership with lower-level managers as well as upcoming leadership who’ll possibly take the reigns of the company one day. The best mentorships benefit both parties. Mentees learn from C-Suite executives who’ve been where the mentee is, and mentors gain new perspective and the satisfaction of having a hand in someone else’s career growth.

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#3. Disassemble traditional supervisor roles. Enable and empower each employee to serve as a stakeholder in your organization, which will allow everyone to practice different leadership skills in your workplace.

A flat workplace, like Zappos, gives companies more flexibility and employees a bigger voice. The CEO of Zappos claims that flat organizations encourage more personal accountability. Another “flat” company is software developer Basecamp (formerly 37signals’). In an interview on Inc, their CEO Jason Fried said rotating management duties every week helped to reduce conflict because it made employees “more empathetic toward one another.” Another advantage to flat organizations is they give leadership the opportunity to create and make changes while growing on a regular basis.

Developing your Type-A leaders is a must if you hope to beat the competition, and it’s the only to break the cycle of talent gained and talent lost.

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Here’s an interesting bit on engaging up and coming leaders…