How to Keep Your Top Talent: 6 Serious Mistakes to Avoid

Here is access to an especially important article co-authored by Jean Martin and Conrad Schmidt for the Harvard Business Review:

Included with this full-text Harvard Business Review article: Article Summary and Idea in Brief

To get the full benefit of the material, all you have to do is click here.

*     *     *

Nearly 40% of internal job moves involving high potentials end in failure. If you want to keep your rising stars on track, here are six sxerious mistakes to avoid:

[All are discussed in more detail in the article.]

1. Don’t just assume they’re engaged. If emerging leaders don’t get stimulating work, lots of recognition, and the chance to prosper, they can quickly become disenchanted.

2. Don’t mistake current high performance for future potential. Stars will have to step up into tougher roles. Explicitly test candidates for three critical attributes: ability, engagement, and aspiration.

3. Don’t delegate talent development to line managers. That only limits stars’ access to opportunities and encourages hoarding of talent. Manage the quantity and quality of high potentials at the corporate level.

4. Don’t shield talent. Place stars in “live fire” roles where new capabilities can—or must—be acquired.

5. Don’t assume high potentials will “take one for the team.” A critical factor determin- ing a rising star’s engagement is the sense that she is being recognized—primarily through pay. So offer A players differentiated compensation and recognition.

6. Don’t keep young leaders in the dark. Share future strategies with them—and emphasize their role in making them real.

*     *      *

Jean Martin ( is the executive director of the Corporate Executive Board’s Corporate Leadership Council and is based in Washington, DC.

Conrad Schmidt ( is an executive director and the chief research officer of the Corporate Executive Board’s Corporate Leadership Council and is based in Washington, DC.


Posted in

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.