Four Key Questions for Identifying Key Talent

We have some real superstars in our company. As company president, I hope I know who they are!

How do you find talent within your organization? We have a few questions we ask each of our success center directors each year.

First, we go through each employee in their team and ask, “Would you enthusiastically rehire this person?”

Second, “If you had ten people and you could only keep nine, who would you move and why?”

Third, “If you could only keep two people in your group, who would you absolutely keep?”

Fourth, “If you could get anyone in the company from somewhere else, who would it be?”

Those four questions allow me to find out who the talent is and where they are. It also tells me a lot about who is recruiting and retaining top people. The people with the most talent have to be doing something right to attract and retain top performers.

As a psychotherapist who is an entrepreneur, perhaps it comes more naturally for me to be able to identify talent and capacity. But, identifying those things is only the first step. The second step is further developing that talent, and we work hard at this.

For example, our vice president, Lee Bason, saw a young man playing football many years ago and recognized his talent. In fact, that young man had tremendous capacity for growth. Lee saw what could become of Colt McCoy in the seventh grade and, together with Colt’s dad and several high school and college coaches, was able to bring out that talent. Colt has since been a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist and set a record for more wins than any other quarterback in the history of college football.

You see, it’s one thing to identify talent, but it’s another to grow it to full capacity. But, if you can’t find it, you sure can’t grow it.

Flip Flippen is a New York Times best-selling author as well as a widely recognized entrepreneur, educator, philanthropist. As the founder of The Flippen Group, one of the largest leadership development companies in North America, he is committed to “bringing out the best in people.”

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