A Blog by John Bossong

5 Ways To Attract, Develop and Keep Talent

The great organizations seem to create an atmosphere where people thrive and learn. Employees get up excited to work and ready to contribute. Why are some organizations able to attract great people and others struggle with constant turnover?

The answer: leadership.

Everything rises and falls with leadership – author and leadership expert John C. Maxwell.

Be A Magnet

Here are 5 things you can do to attract and keep great people.

1. Make your workplace a launching pad for learning. If people aren’t learning and growing they are stagnant. They get complacent and bored, quickly.  People need and want to be challenged. They want to learn. Create an environment where people can learn and grow. Reward them for it. Make it part of your core values.

2. Let your people make mistakes. If people are scared to make mistakes, they can’t grow and learn. Mistakes are how people learn. Failure is a precursor to success. Several prominent leaders failed multiple times before achieving greatness. The key is allowing the people you lead to experiment. To fail. To experiment. To fail. As long as the failures are not fatal, they are learning and growing. Too many organizations handcuff their people and then wonder why they seem average or complacent. Don’t discourage your people from making mistakes. Encourage the learning involved when mistakes are made.

3. Encourage your people. Everyone needs encouragement. It’s easy to be a hammer all day when everyones a nail.  People need encouragement and confidence. Not ridicule and doubt. Be a source of encouragement, not discouragement.

4. Celebrate with your people. When your team or group has success, celebrate it. Let them know it’s a big deal. Let them know they are the reason for the success, not you. Make sure it’s sincere. Don’t celebrate average, but celebrate extraordinary success!! Encourage celebration. Make it a habit.

5. Show compassion and be a caring leader. Your people need to see how authentic you are. It’s ok to show your feelings. You don’t have to know everything. Your people know you don’t, so don’t act like it. Be compassionate with your team. Let them see your vulnerable side. Care about them and their struggles. They have lives and concerns outside the cubicle. Life happens. Let them know you care about their life. Be a part of it when it happens.

Recognizing and Developing Talent

Here’s a great video with John Baldoni emphasizing the need to recognize and develop your talent.

  • Finding new talent is something every leader must do.
  • If you can’t find talent, you have to develop it.
  • Take care of your people and the business will take care of itself.
  • Look for potential, what can someone become?
  • Look into their souls.
  • Cross train, this expands their skillset.
  • Create challenges for people.
  • Find the right spot on the bus. When someone’s struggling, don’t just fire them. That’s the easy thing to do. Find out where their skills match up and get them in the right seat.

Be a talent magnet. Attract the best people and then train and develop. Do this over and over and over.

Have a great week.



  1. I thought it was really interesting you brought up #2 — never thought about that before. But you’re absolutely right. Being transparent with employees about making mistakes helps them grow and take risks. (Though make sure you communicate what your risk tolerance level is.) Thanks, John.

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