Currently Featured Article »

Jesse Jacoby

We live in a culture of yes. In the business world, we are taught to engage, be assertive and never turn down an opportunity. All of this behavior results in a whole lot of yeses (and time commitments). After all, saying yes is fun; it often feels a lot better than saying no. To further compound the issue, most of us aim to please — our bosses, our coworkers and our teams. There is no …

Read the full story »
Home » Employee Engagement, Talent Management

Are You Running the Right Talent Race?

Published by No Comments

Are you running the right raceA Metaphor

Imagine that you’re competing in a marathon. You’ve been diligently preparing for it for a long time. You’ve trained. You’ve recruited the people that you felt you needed to help you perform at the highest standard possible, and now you’re in that race.

But like almost everyone else in this competition, you’re behind. There are people ahead of you. You may not be able to see them, but you know they are there. And up until now, you’ve been doing all you can just to stay with the pack. You have been pacing yourself so that you can remain competitive.

Now, picture them in your mind. Some of those nearby and even those who are a little bit ahead are starting to flag. They put in too much at the beginning, and they’re running out of resources. They lack the stamina to carry on, and you are moving ahead of them.

You are emerging from the pack. Pretty soon, you can just glimpse the frontrunners, people that you couldn’t see when you were surrounded by your other competitors. And soon you begin to realize that you’re gaining ground on them.

You decide that now is the time to dig into your reserves. You take on some more fuel, and then press on with renewed determination. You even pick up the pace a bit. And then just as you begin to catch sight of the leading pack, you notice something.

You notice that there’s another marathon being run very close to the one you’re in. And you recognize some of the competitors in that race. In fact, you’ve competed against them in the past.

And then it dawns on you. You’re running in the wrong race. Although both races started from about the same place, you made a wrong turn somewhere; and now you’re running in a race that you never intended to be in.

Which race is that? It’s the one that believes that people are just another resource. It’s the one that won’t give people a job for life, but expects them all to act as though they will. It’s the one that takes their people for granted.

If this describes your situation, then rest assured that you’re not alone. It’s something that is true of many organizations, and not just those in the public sector.

Prepare for the Economic Upturn

Economic downturns are one of the most dangerous periods of time for an organization. Most business leaders agree, but do so for financial reasons. The fact is that they overlook something that is far more important, and they do it to such an extent that they begin to believe it’s the truth. It’s simply this: That the people who work for them right now will always be there.

They miss that fact that an inability to leave their organization does not negate the desire to do so. And it’s those managers who fail to realize this when times are bad who are the most surprised when their best people leave as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Which race should you be in? You should be in the one that values its people above everything else, because you know that you couldn’t have a business without them. You recognize if you’re going to treat customers like kings, then you must treat your employees like royalty.

And instead of following the larger group – the one that says that people either do what they’re told, or they get fired – you run with a much smaller one; the one that knows that its employees will do all they can to make your organization as successful as possible if they feel that you have their best interests at heart.

In other words: If you’re loyal to them, then they will be loyal to you. If you want your business to thrive when times are good, then you have to show your employees how much you value them when they are not.

You have to be in the right race. Which one are you in?

Other articles you may be interested in:

Jesse Jacoby
The Editor of Emergent Journal and founder of Emergent, Jesse is a recognized expert in business transformation. He and his team partner with Fortune 500 and mid-market companies to deliver successful people and change strategies. Jesse is the creator of the Accelerating Change & Transformation (ACT) model and developer of Change Accelerator and Savvy Transition. Contact Jesse at 303-883-5941 or

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Hide me
Subscribe to the FREE Emergent Insights newsletter
Show me