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Commit to exceptional talent

Sept. 28, 2018
Your company’s path to success is “creating” your leaders.

In my last blog, I wrote about hiring for potential, not position. If you commit yourself to constantly being on the lookout for your next key employee, you will be disappointed in the results. Don’t get me wrong. Staying top of mind for exceptional talent is important. But your path, as well as your company’s path to success is “creating” your leaders.

External searches are expensive. Non-cultured candidates can be risky. The inefficiency associated with a swing and a miss take its toll on an organization. 

For example, in baseball, in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, the New York Yankees had a lousy farm system. The reason? They filled all critical positions with free agents. It worked, mostly, but was very expensive. Triple-A players were trade bait and simply looked at their efforts in the farm system as a way to make another team better.

The team must have confidence in the direction of the organization. The goals must be articulated clearly and often. And the team must see their role and path to success in those plans.

Here’s your fuel for thought: A constant commitment to developing your team will bring out the best in each employee for today’s task and tomorrow’s strategy because they see themselves as a part of it. A team member who receives continuing education, new experiences, opportunities to learn from other employees and time with executives is likely to stick around and be a future, invaluable leader. 

At my company, we are committed to teaching, sharing and learning. Our goal is to reward committed teammates with opportunity by showing them that their advancement is the highest priority. We don’t want them just being comfortable and stuck in neutral.

How do you commit to your best teammates? Leave a comment here, call me at 800-59-ROUSH or join the conversation here.

About the Author

Joe Thompson | Group President, Roush Products Group

Joe Thompson is group president of Roush Products Group, working within the corporate structure of Roush and overseeing ROUSH CleanTech and ROUSH Performance Products. He is a member of the Roush Enterprise Steering Committee. 

Previously he served as president of ROUSH CleanTech, growing the company from six employees to more than 90. Under Thompson’s leadership, ROUSH CleanTech won numerous quality control and environmental awards, including Supplier of the Year from Blue Bird and a Michigan Green Leader honorable mention. He is a recipient of the 2013 Green Fleet Sustainability All-Star award.

Thompson has worked with Roush since 1996. In his previous appointment as vice president and general manager, he helped establish ROUSH Performance as one of the premier brands in the automotive aftermarket segment.  

Raised in Ohio, he earned a degree in public relations from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism. He lives with his wife and two sons in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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