Monday, July 13, 2009


“I want you to be more employable tomorrow than you are today.”

A generation ago, large companies would present the potential for life-time employment. From watching our parents, family, neighbors and friends, we know this is not still on the table. Companies do not consider this financially viable, and leaders struggle with how to accomplish it on their own within the confines of the legacy company. Seems like quite a dilemma.

What if I told you this was a leader’s artificial constraint? Like the “Ball & Chain” mentioned a week ago. While a leader and company might not be able to offer guaranteed employment, it is within the leader’s capability to offer improved employability. Employability in this context refers to keeping one’s skills current and relevant to the marketplace. As the leader, we usually have the insight to see business cycles, professional trends, technology insertions and skill set changes.

For example, for the last ten years, it was the stated objective of many organizations to move up the value chain and increase global presence. As the leader of a significant supply chain management organization, I was able to help buyers understand what this meant to them and what skills they would need to gain to remain relevant. This simple assistance by the leader allowed these great people to remain employable.

Are you helping your people remain employable? Do you have examples to share on skill set shifts where a leader helped transition the team?

If you have not voted LiaV as #1 leadership blog - please click here or upper right.


R J Hall said...

Great points.

People development is a core tenet of every leader's job description (or should be).

A P Raghu said...


The message is loud and clear. As I leader, if I focus on only business goals such as quarterly results, then I will not be able to grow myself. If I dont grow, I will not be able to provide growth path to others. It is imperative that I should give equal weightage to people develelopment as well.

Thanks for this excellent article.

John Bishop said...

The few comments on this topic actually surprised me. I was asked off to the side "if it is the leaders responsibility to help develop their people, who then owns the person's development plan?" My respnse - the leader helps the perons visulize the posible and the sets that could make it become reality. The individual owns the plan and is completely responsibile to accomplish the actions. The leader coaches.


Add to Technorati Favorites