You have to imagine a lot of talent managers are glad they didn’t have to compete for their position as hard as contestants on American Idol do. According to a recent survey, only 34% of American workers want to be managers. So when managerial positions like talent manager get filled, you have to wonder how many of them actually want their jobs.
If you really want to show your company you’re a better fit to be a manager than other people who fill that spot, you’re going to have to shine, just like the best entrants on American Idol.
Do You Have the Talent to Lead Talent?
American Idol and the search for the next great talent manager have a few things in common. For one, many of the same skills that will make you a great manager will also make for a great career singer. You have to be open to think about challenges in new ways, set high goals you expect to exceed and you cannot be afraid to face obstacles that scare you head-on. Both stars and talent managers need enough self-reliance to be confident in themselves whenever the moment comes, but also require the humility to work with others in a system larger than themselves. The most important trait to achieving stardom and being a good manager is persistence.
How do you know if you’re a fit to be a talent manager? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you motivate the people around you to do better every day?
- Are you capable of being assertive and creating a culture of accountability?
- Can you rise above internal struggles and produce good talent consistently?
- Can you overcome social comparison bias and hire people who compete with your strengths?
Though American Idol contestants are literally competing with each other for the top spot, the best know that competition itself isn’t the end, be all. Many of the biggest successes from the show, like Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken, aren’t the winners. Work on building an environment of collaboration instead of one of competition and you’ll be that much better at talent management.
Can You Audition Well?
As many contestants eliminated in the first few rounds of American Idol can attest, you can have all the talent in the world, but if you can’t perform under pressure, you’re not going to make it. Similarly, talent managers, more than other positions, need to not only be good at their jobs, but good at showing it. If you’re going to lead talent, you need to demonstrate it. Glenn Llopis (@GlennLlopis) is a motivational speaker and business consultant specializing in management, and he emphasizes the importance of making a strong impression on the teams you lead.
"The most memorable leaders know how to naturally make a good first impression. They are mindful of what most employees do and don’t expect of them and want to create for them a safe environment that enables engagement. Leadership success is all about people and when leaders forget this fact, they are headed down a path of self-destruction."
Talent management often involves selling yourself to your team. Show your team you’re a strong leader by recommending solutions to problems instead of dwelling on them, all while making sure you have their backs when they need you to.
Are You a One-Hit Wonder?
Woe is the talent manager who does not heed the tale of the one-hit wonder: someone who makes a big splash early on, but can’t maintain the consistency necessary to truly shine once they get their chance.
A Gallup survey reveals that companies don’t choose the right talent for management positions 82% of the time. You can’t be content to ride off the back of a single great success forever, and you should be prepared to analyze your successes as much as your failures when looking to improve.
As a talent manager, it’s also important to look for that same consistency in the people you work with. When evaluating how candidates view their successes, ask them what accomplishment in their career they’re most proud of. This question will reveal every candidate’s “biggest hit,” and allow them to impress you, but their answer can often reveal whether or not they’re prepared to create more of those hits. If they can’t come up with an answer? They may not have a good assessment of their own skills. If they can’t decide which of their many accomplishments to highlight? Then you may have a keeper. Always evaluate talent based on consistency, rather than looking for highs and lows.
Perseverance is key to being a star and a talent manager, and there will be lots of obstacles along the way to becoming both. If you want to stay in the business, there will be times you’ll have to reflect on your career path. Ask yourself and those you work with the right questions periodically, show your leadership instead of assuming it, and work for consistency over a single instance of greatness, and you’ll have your spot on the VIP list of talent managers.
ClearComapny has all the talent management tools you need to manage the most consistent high-performers around. Sign up for a demo today and we’ll show you just how regular great performance can be.
As ClearCompany's HR Business Partner, Laura focuses on all things HR including managing employee benefits, onboarding and engagement initiatives. With a keen focus on best-practices, she serves as a strategic partner to the leadership team by acting as a trusted resource on a wide variety of human resources topics including policy interpretation, creating and recommending enhancements to the HR process, and career development.