Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognise people with exceptional talent and willingly move them throughout the organisation. Leaders develop leaders and are serious about their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice
Just read that a few times and let it sink in… raise the performance with every hire and promotion.. EVERY hire and EVERY promotion. That means you really need to know your people and their strengths, have a clear approach to interviewing and selection, appraisal and performance management. Welcome, to leadership.
Being able to identify and nurture talent is a talent in itself. It requires focus on key skills necessary for the job, but also requires you to ensure the right people are in the right roles where they can flourish. It needs you to nurture, to coach and to steer talent in the right direction and be bold enough to hire people better than you and pay them more than you earn.
Yep, you heard that right, pay them more than you earn.
Performance management deserves a long post in its own right, so I wont go into the elements of it here. Needless to say, with a principle like this in place you can be sure its happening at Amazon, and you can be sure they have their HR processes in place to support it.
Now, in case you hadn’t noticed, once you have nurtured and promote the talent in your organisation, this principle then demands that you let them go elsewhere in the organisation. In order for this happen in a meaningful and consistent way, most leaders in the organisation need to be doing the same. If you are to invest time and effort in developing talent and promoting people, just for them to move onto another group in the organisation, then you want to be sure there is alternative and sufficiently available talent rotating into your group. This of course becomes a more difficult process the more you do it, given that EVERY hire and EVERY promotion should raise the performance bar.
Perhaps the bar gets raised through new minds and eyes focusing on problems in with increasing focus as people rotate through the organisation. Whichever way you see it, high performance people need constant challenge and if they don’t get it, they leave. Thats why this element in moving people on is actually so important, so many leaders hold on to their talents, but your job should be to create the environment in which they can flourish or find another one for them if yours isn’t sufficient.
The principle is perhaps a little verbose, I am not sure the last 2 sentences are required. Leaders develop leaders and are serious about their role in coaching others is pre-supposed in the previous statements in my mind, if you don’t do this you don’t achieve the previous elements. Again, working on behalf of your people to create mechanisms for development is clear that its not only the job of HR, but again I think this is an unnecessary addition to an otherwise excellent principle.