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The Big Stretch: Make Work Developmental for Better Results and Growth of People

20563111_sMany managers take a short term and myopic approach to managing employees—after all, the pressure for immediate results is overwhelming.  Many managers pose the either or question, “Do you want me to get results or develop people?”  Not so for the exceptional development managers we researched . These managers escape what Jim Collins called the “tyranny of the either or” fully embracing the power of the “and.”

These managers increase the capacity of employees while increasing the capacity of their organization to get results.  How?  These managers use the work itself as the starting place to develop people.  They add to and reshape work, stretching the space for people to develop at the same time they are they are achieving expanded business results. A trick?  No.  Tricky—a little as it requires some managers to adjust their point of view and  their behaviors.   Including the behavior of showing up every day ready to develop people in the moment—not waiting for rarely held meetings to give feedback and advice.  It was very noticeable when we talked to exceptiona development managers that they are actively engaged every day to provide feedback and support.   As one manager told us, “I didn’t wait for a meeting.  Every time I noticed anything of importance, the good, the bad and the ugly” I made it my business to talk to them.”  The outcome: a very powerful twofer—employee growth and performance results, both aiming forward to the future versus being stuck in today.  Now that is making “talent your business.”

This article by Jeannie  Coyle was originally published on on November 11, 2012