Talent Whisperers’ site is a continuous work in progress, as are we all.

This site is in service of those who wish to lead, inspire, coach, manage, guide, teach, empower others to grow and develop their independent and innovative talents.

Developing talent may come by working with individuals or teams as well as organizational processes and structures that enhance leveraging and developing talent. Talent Whisperers start with the individual as each team, organization, business is comprised of a collection of individuals. However, the structure and processes of an organization also need to develop to become a more effective framework for the collection of individuals to achieve success.

There’s a wealth of self-improvement information, and Perhaps you hope to become a 10xer having 10x the impact of others. You may be thinking too small, and you might find, inspire and develop ten 10xers to have a 100x impact. Finally, if you inspire ten leaders/Talent Whisperers that each develop ten 10xers and you’re talking about a 1,000x impact…

It’s said for venture funds to provide sufficient return on investment, they need the occasional unicorn. As a result, to become a $1B+ company, a 100x or 1,000x return on investment is needed. I’ve been through two unicorn IPOs and one unicorn acquisition, and I’ve worked indirectly under the “Trillion Dollar Coach.” I’ve seen many contributing factors that may, with some luck, combine to result in a unicorn exit, and Bill Campbell certainly helped develop a few unicorn leaders.

How I became a Talent Whisperer

Talent Whisperer CD

I became an engineering manager 29 years ago, director 26 years ago, and VP 20 years ago. I’ve been a national champion sports coach, teacher, horse whisperer and parent. Hence, I’ve had some amazing experiences with very talented leaders and teams in repeatedly achieving success. My curiosity is continuously fed by research and rich examples of many exemplary authors of books and other linked sources I recommend.

In Trillion Dollar Coach Eric Schmidt describes the lasting impact of Bill Campbell, and I experienced Bill as our leader and Talent Whisperer at Intuit. Bill has since passed, yet his influence carries on in those he lead as well as those that benefit from the guidance of those he coached. Effective level 5 guiding hence also has a ripple affect of positive impact on people that never met the original leader.

Talent Whisperers help foster mindsets

Carol Dweck explains in Mindset – The New Psychology of Success

We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes
who were born different from us.
We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people
who made themselves extraordinary.”

Paul G. Stoltz tells us in his book Put Your Mindset to Work

Ability to persevere begins with you, the individual.
However, change is rarely easy. In fact, sometimes it is downright formidable.

Daniel Coyle premise in The Talent Code is that

Greatness isn’t born, it’s grown.

Liz Wiseman in “Multipliers, How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” helps leaders appreciate how they can multiply the impact of those they lead, but she also describes ‘accidental diminishers.’ They dis-empower those we lead by not create the space, opportunity and encouragement:

Perhaps these leaders understood that the person sitting at the apex
of the intelligence hierarchy is the genius maker, not the genius.

We usually read these books for self-improvement; in contrast, we can find greater leverage by employing them to develop leadership talent in our companies and/or in the classroom as Talent Whisperers.

Talent Whisperers a la Google

Google questioned if managers added value, and they asked if so, how. Hence, they initiated Project Oxygen, and they Collected information from employee surveys. Google looked teams performing at different levels, who received top manager awards, performance reviews, etc resulting. They processed over 10,000 observations of managerial behavior. Challenges facing one organization and the solutions to those challenges are often unique to that organization. Consequently, Google discovered and what works for them is primarily relevant to Google, but may serve as food for thought for others.

Project Oxygen’s outcome ended with eight things great managers do:

  1. Be a good coach.
  2. Empower; don’t micromanage.
  3. Be interested in direct reports, success and well-being.
  4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented.
  5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team.
  6. Help your employees with career development.
  7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
  8. Have key technical skills so you can advise the team.

There are many factors contributing to building success. Sometimes, it involves finding a disruptive offering as described in Innovator’s Dilemma. Success benefits from understanding how to iterate to solutions, and discovering what customers want and build to that end have been explored in such books as The Lean Startup. Learnings of those insights will also be shared here, but the primary focus is on developing talent and leaders of talent.

Teaching a person to fish…

Framing styles of leadership in the fish story:

  • Level 1 leading – Micromanagers – tells them what to do – gives them a fish. There are some leaders that can be surprisingly effective in this mode if they happen to be experts at what they do, fast on their feet and full of energy. I’ve seen successful VPs operate at this level.
  • Level 2 leading – Instructors – shows them how to do it – teaches them to fish. Now they can repeat the task themselves.
  • Level 3 guiding – Eye-Openers – bestows the grit, confidence and experiences, insight and tools allowing them to solve whatever may come – teaches them to learn so they might obtain various forms of food.
  • Level 4 guiding – Leader of Leaders – enables/teaches others to become level 2. 3 and 4 leaders.
  • Level 5 guiding – Talent Whisperers – Some influencers have a lasting impact on our perceptions, approaches and thinking. We may simply think “What would Bill say?” Their influence leaves us on a course where our own intuition allows us to guide ourselves.

Level 3 and above leadership empowers, inspires, grows and scales teams and organizations.

Level 1 and 2 leadership often leads to under-utilize or diminish the potential of members of their team.

The term CEO Whisperer seems to also have gained some traction in recent years, and it is referenced in publications.

Various related posts appear in the blog.

Talent Whisperers help you discover where you want to get to and then to discover there path there.

Talent Whisperers help you discover where you want to get to and then to discover there path there.

Talent Whisperers help you arrive at the second most important day of your life - to discover which mountains you hope to scale and which peaks you dream of reaching.
Talent Whisperers help you arrive at the second most important day of your life – to discover which mountains you hope to scale and which peaks you dream of reaching.